Application Guidelines

April 1, 2022

Applications for 2022 have been closed. Please check back or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram for next year’s announcement.

[Jump to Application Instructions section] [Watch a Recording of our Q & A session]

[Download these guidelines]

An asterisk (*) indicates a word found in the Glossary of Terms at the end of these guidelines. 

Overview 

Justice Outside advances racial justice and equity in the outdoor and environmental movement. We shift resources to, build power with, and center the voices and leadership of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color because the health of current and future generations demands it.  We envision a just world where Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Color experience safety, health, and abundant joy through meaningful relationships with one another and the outdoors. We are thrilled to invite applications to help us achieve this mission and vision through the Youth Access to Nature Fund.

Established in 2016, the Youth Access to Nature Fund works to ensure youth of color in the San Francisco Bay Area have access to meaningful experiences in nature to support their growth as leaders and students, and to improve their mental and physical health. To that end, the Youth Access the Nature Fund is committed to the young people of the Bay Area, by centering the strength, joy, and leadership of their communities. By offering flexible funds and capacity-building* the Liberated Paths Grantmaking Program: Youth Access to Nature Fund seeks to embody grantmaking that is built on trust, relationships, and support. 

Grant Guidelines 

Through the Youth Access to Nature Fund specifically, we aim to fund work that is at the intersection of racial justice, youth, and the environment. This could include a variety of activities, such as recreation and experiential education programs, environmental justice, conservation, climate justice, environmental advocacy work, cultural and ancestral practices and education, and much more. Additionally, applicants do not need to have a 501c3 status nor a fiscal sponsor to apply.

Your work is eligible for funding if: 

  • Projects and programming engage young people* of the nine counties of the greater San Francisco Bay Area of California:
    • Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma counties

Liberated Paths Grantmaking: Youth Access to Nature Fund will prioritize:

  • Organizations or projects led by and engaging Black, Indigenous, and/or Communities of Color
  • People and projects rooted within their communities, with the lived experiences they need to understand what approaches will work the best for the young people in their communities 
  • Organizations or projects with an annual budget of less than $1 million
  • People or projects that have limited relationships with and/or funding streams from the larger philanthropic community

Application Process 

This is an open invitation and we welcome applications from all organizations, groups, and individuals whose work is eligible and in alignment with our vision for this program.

We ask that you carefully review the information in this announcement. Completed applications are due by 11:59pm PST on Saturday, April 30, 2022. 

Justice Outside will host an application question and answer webinar April 14 at 2pm PT | 5pm ET and we invite your questions regarding our application process. If you are unable to attend the webinar, you can find a recording afterward here at JusticeOutside.org. (Register for the Q & A session here.)

Part of our commitment to this work is meeting communities and people where they are. To this end, we encourage you to contact Rena Payan, Justice Outside Director of Grantmaking, at liberatedpaths@justiceoutside.org if you have any questions or would like any support along the way.  We are here to support you with what you need to successfully submit an application, whether that is help with the application itself, or a different mode of submission.

The Grant and Cohort  

The Youth Access to Nature fund is supported this year with pooled funds from individuals and organizations across the Bay area. We are actively working on growing this program, and we intend to offer multi-year grants. All funds will be awarded as general operating support*. The total grant amount requested for a period of one year should be no more than $25,000.

Grantees will be offered the option to participate in a capacity-building cohort series with other grantees. During the series, grantees will have the opportunity to engage in capacity-building, networking opportunities, and technical support to ensure the longevity of their work. The cohort will meet four times a year beginning in  August 2022.

Application Submission & Review Process

Deadline:
Completed applications are due by 11:59PM PST on Saturday, April 30, 2022.

Application Options:
Our application is designed to be flexible and accessible. We are here to support you and work with you, especially if you have not submitted a grant application before. There will be no penalties for lack of traditional writing conventions, such as grammar, punctuation, and formatting in the application process. To make the process as flexible as possible, we are currently offering three ways to submit your application materials:

  1. Written letter of intent
  2. Video or phone interview with a Justice Outside staff member
  3. Audio recording

No mode of submission will be given preference over another. We ask that applicants choose only one submission method. If none of these methods work for your needs but you are still interested in applying, we would like to hear from you! Reach out to LiberatedPaths@JusticeOutside.org or call us at (510)839-0731.

Application Instructions

Step 1: Provide Basic Applicant Information– Online Form Here

We ask all applicants to submit basic applicant information, this can be submitted via the online form or via email. If you need to provide the basic application via U.S. postal service or another method please contact Rena Payan at liberatedpaths@justiceoutside.org or call us at (510) 839-0731.

Basic applicant information requested is:

  1. Organization or project name
  2. Primary contact name and title; email address; phone number; mailing address; and organization EIN or fiscal sponsor (if applicable)
  3. Leader/s identify as Black, Indigenous, or Person of Color?
  4. Geographic and programmatic boundaries:
    1. Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma counties
  5. List of top five community partners (for example: community based organizations, funders, schools)
  6. Amount requested for year one (not to exceed $25,000) and amount requested for year two, (not to exceed $25,000) The total amount requested for the entire two year period should not exceed $50,000 in total
  7. An attached one-page current year operating budget (there will be no penalty if you or your organization do not have this). 

Step 2: Choose Application Submission Method

We ask that you indicate on the online form if you plan to submit your application materials via written letter of intent, video or phone interview with Justice Outside staff member, or audio recording. If you cannot access the online form, please contact Rena Payan at LiberatedPaths@JusticeOutside.org or call us at (510) 839-0731.

Step 3: Complete Your Application (Any Method) by April 30, 2022.

For Letter of Intent*

After completing the basic applicant information, if you have chosen to submit your application via a letter of intent, submit a written letter of intent no more than two pages in length to liberatedpaths@justiceoutside.org by April 30, 2022. The letter should answer the following questions:

  1. Please tell us about the communities the youth you are engaging come from. What are the community needs or desires as they relate to the outdoors and/or the environment?
  2. Please describe the relationship that your team’s leadership has to the community you are engaging with? Community in this case includes the people, the land/geographical area and any other local community efforts/initiatives you are engaged with in support of your mission.
  3. What is the positive impact your work has, or will have, on the environment/outdoor which can include contributions to policy change, advocacy or connection between people and land?
  4. What is the impact you or your organization/project will have, or has had, on the youth you engage?

For Video or Phone Interview  – Schedule Interview Here

After completing the basic application information, if you have chosen to submit your application via video or phone interview, use this Calendly link to schedule this conversation. At the selected time you will then join a Zoom video chat or phone call with a Justice Outside staff member.

Your interview will be no more than 30 minutes in length. Use the Calendly link to select an interview time, and review the following questions in advance of your call. Your interview time must be scheduled at least 2 days in advance. All time slots fall within April of 2022, so please work to reserve a time as soon as possible. Your conversation will be recorded, and you can assume your submission is complete at the end of the conversation.

  1. Please tell us about the communities the youth you are engaging come from. What are the community needs or desires as they relate to the outdoors and/or the environment?
  2. Please describe the relationship that your team’s leadership has to the community you are engaging with? Community in this case includes the people, the land/geographical area and any other local community efforts/initiatives you are engaged with in support of your mission.
  3. What is the positive impact your work has, or will have, on the environment/outdoor which can include contributions to policy change, advocacy or connection between people and land?
  4. What is the impact you or your organization/project will have, or has had, on the youth you engage?

For Audio Recording

After completing the basic application information, if you have chosen to submit your application via audio recording, please contact Justice Outside via email (liberatedpaths@justiceoutside.org), or call us at (510) 839-0731, to make arrangements with our staff.

Once arranged, you will be asked to answer the following questions:

  1. Please tell us about the communities the youth you are engaging come from. What are the community needs or desires as they relate to the outdoors and/or the environment?
  2. Please describe the relationship that your team’s leadership has to the community you are engaging with? Community in this case includes the people, the land/geographical area and any other local community efforts/initiatives you are engaged with in support of your mission.
  3. What is the positive impact your work has, or will have, on the environment/outdoor which can include contributions to policy change, advocacy or connection between people and land?
  4. What is the impact you or your organization/project will have, or has had, on the youth you engage?

Timeline

Once we have reviewed all submissions, we may reach out to you for additional information. The following timeline is intended as a guide regarding our process and may be subject to slight changes.

Funds will be disbursed once the grantee recommendation is approved by the Justice Outside Board.

2022 Youth Access to Nature Grant MilestoneTimeline (subject to slight changes)
Application submission deadlineApril 30, 2022 by 11:59PM PST
Justice Outside review processMay 2 – June 10, 2022
Additional information requests due (if applicable)May 20 – May 23, 2022
Awards announced to selected grantees +
Updates to applicants not selected
June 13 – June 17, 2022
Awards announced publiclyJune 20 – June 24, 2022
Funds releasedJune 20 – July, 2022 (dependent of grantee responsiveness)

Ongoing Responsibilities of Accepted Grantees

If Justice Outside is fortunate enough to enter into a partnership with you and your organization, we will request the following over the course of your funding:

  • An annual report and organizational operating budget (when available)
  • Agreement to work with Justice Outside staff to participate in partner visits during your award period (if possible and appropriate)
  • You or a member of your organization will join a cohort of grantees during your award period
  • Engagement with your cohort and with Justice Outside through the capacity building program

We hope to see a variety of submissions that represent the depth of experience and wisdom in these various and intersecting fields. We look forward to working with many of you and supporting the great work that you do!

Sincerely,

Kim Moore Bailey
President & Chief Executive Officer
Justice Outside

[Jump back up to Application Instructions section] [Download these guidelines]


Glossary of Terms

Capacity-building: Capacity-building is training and learning that provides support for building organizational infrastructure and works to ensure the longevity of a project or program. Capacity building can include, but is not limited to, training and insights around fundraising, hiring processes, organizational growth, board recruitment and retention, and organizational budgeting. 

General Operating Support: Funds that can be used in any manner by the grantee, in order to make the project or program run. This could include, but is not limited to, paying staff, paying rent, paying utilities, buying gear, providing stipends, providing bus passes, etc. 

Letter of Intent (LOI): A “Letter of Intent” or LOI, for short, is a written document requesting financial support from a grant or funder. Justice Outside offers 4 questions that we would like addressed in the letter of intent for Youth Access to Nature (YAN) funding. You can find these questions under the “Application Instructions” section of this document. 

Outdoor Experiences: Activities that include, but are not limited to, activities/experiences in national, state and local lands, parks, and bodies of water; spaces such as school gardens, farms, ranches, and camps which are utilized to impact people’s well-being and environmental stewardship.

Racial Equity: When someone’s race does not determine their access, opportunities, treatment or statistical outcomes in society. Racial equity requires a proactive and ongoing commitment to anti-racist policies, practices, attitudes, and actions. (Source: Strive Together)

Young People: The Youth Access to Nature Fund identifies young people as those between 3 and 24 years of age.