Small Grants Program for Grassroots Groups – US

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CHEJ Small Grants Program

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CHEJ Small Grants Program Guidelines

All Tiers – Round 2

CHEJ has a Small Grants Program for grassroots groups working on environmental health and justice issues. Grassroots communities of color, low wealth, rural and urban groups are encouraged to apply. If you are part of a coalition, each group in the coalition may apply as well as the coalition itself. This grant program will support projects that help groups move toward their goals by building leadership, increasing capacity, or providing training and education. A priority of CHEJ’s Small Grants Program is to help grassroots community groups to build their capacity. Our program is designed to reach people from low wealth communities and communities of color who are impacted by environmental harms.

Please carefully read the guidelines and areas of interest before you apply. We recognize that we are operating in an unusual time because of the coronavirus and that this may impact your options for carrying out your work. We will take this into consideration when reviewing all applications.

The closer your project is to the focus of the Center for Health, Environment & Justice’s (CHEJ) program, the better chance you have to succeed in securing funding. CHEJ supports a wide range of issues; however, we have a limited amount of funds provided to support a specific focus. That doesn’t mean that your work outside the focus is less critical– IT IS NOT. If you have questions about your project and if it will meet the guidelines, please call and ask before you invest your valuable time in filling out the forms. We’ll give you an honest answer.

CHEJ prioritizes community-based organizations aiming to have local, state, and regional impact as the core of the health and environmental justice movement. CHEJ believes that no social change on behalf of the exploited comes without strong community-based organizations.

Grant activities can include:

  • Board Development
  • Membership outreach
  • Fundraising efforts
  • Meeting to develop organizing/strategic plans.
  • Events that are part of that plan.
  • Training leaders to go door-to-door
  • Equipment for communications, example; the purchase of Zoom software.
  • Educational activities directly connected to your strategic plan General events, done safely and honoring social distancing.

Projects we are not likely to fund:

  • Film production
  • Community gardens
  • Individuals
  • National organizations
  • Legal assistance
  • Market campaigns
  • Natural environmental protections
  • Food banks
  • Organization outside of the United States
  • National Campaigns, (except local/statewide group specific efforts may fit into a campaign)
  • We no longer can fund environmental testing
  • Groups with annual budget over one million dollars
  • Legislative lobbying

CHEJ’s Small Grants program focuses on addressing environmental threats and associated public health harms.

Proposals are due August 14, 2023. Your project must be complete, and your final report submitted by April 12, 2024.

  • The grant application is different for different sized organizations. Small organizations and all-volunteer groups with budgets under $50,000, FALL UNDER TIER 1  (Applications downloads at the top). Grants are available in this tier range from $1,000 to $5,000.
  • Organizations with budgets no greater than $250,000, FALL UNDER TIER 2  (Applications downloads at the top). Grants are available in this tier range from $5,000 to $10,000.
  • Larger organizations with budgets over $250,000, FALL UNDER TIER 3  (Applications downloads at the top). Grants are available in this tier range from $10,000 to $20,000.

If you are a grassroots group, but are not incorporated and do not have a bank account, you will need to find an organization that can accept the funds for your group. Consider such as a faith-based organization or another non-profit who will serve as your “fiscal sponsor.”

Although we believe that many efforts in the field are valuable in creating change, our resources are limitedProjects such as film production, community gardens, legal assistance, market campaigns, natural environment protection, and food banks are not likely to be supported. CHEJ’s program focus is on addressing environmental threats and associated public health harms.

The deadline for submitting your application is August 14, 2023. Applications must be submitted to CHEJ at or you can send it by mail to CHEJ, P.O. Box 6806, Falls Church, VA 22046 (must be postmarked no later than August 14, 2023). Please check our application form carefully for more specifics on our guidelines.

If you have questions, feel free to give us a call at 614-539-1471 or send an email to Teresa Mills,

Our small grants training call will be on July 21, 2023, from 12-1 Eastern Standard Time. Please watch for our notice to register.

 Thank you for your interest. 

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