Grant Writing Resources

Sustainable Jersey grants are intended to help local governments make progress toward a sustainable future in general, and specifically toward Sustainable Jersey certification. The application process is meant to be as simple and as easy as possible. Below are some grant writing resources that provide tips on how to write a good grant proposal and additional in-kind and funding resources to explore.

Tips for Writing a Good Grant Proposal

  • Create a Strong Team

Research shows that creating a team is an effective approach for organizing and strengthening efforts to advance sustainability. A strong coordination and collaboration effort between the municipality and other community stakeholders is encouraged. This includes representatives and green team members from schools, municipal and county agencies, civic or community-based organizations, professional organizations or local businesses.

  • Choose a Project That Speaks to Your Community Needs

Applicants can choose to do whatever project they want as long as it is applicable to one or more of the 18 action categories in the Sustainable Jersey Certification Program. With over 149 actions to choose from proposals can focus on a wide range of initiatives such as creating a creative placemaking plan; conducting a brownfields inventory; holding a green fair; completing projects that promote diversity on boards and commissions, identify vulnerable populations for emergencies, support local food programs; holding education and outreach campaigns that promote recycling, commercial and residential energy efficiency, and healthier communities; and more. Please explore the entire range of options from the Sustainable Jersey action menu when brainstorming project ideas with your team. Choose a project that you feel will address the needs of your community and will have the most impact.

  • Utilize Free and Low-Cost Resources

When creating your proposal, be sure to seek out any available free or low-cost resources. Technical assistance is available for certain projects through entities such as the Rutgers Cooperative Extension (find your county office here) and AmeriCorps New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors Program (more information available here). Other funding is also available. Additional funding sources should be reviewed to determine if your project costs are covered by existing grants through other programs or if additional funding can be secured for your project.

Download the additional resources handout here

NOTE: If using another grant to fund part of your project, the status of the grant award should be clear in the application. Projects where its completion is contingent upon receiving uncommitted funding will not be viewed favorably by the Blue Ribbon Selection Committee.



Consider reviewing these presentations with your team when working to identify a project for your grant application and when writing the proposal.


Improve Your Odds: Grant Writing Workshop

2019 New Jersey Sustainability Summit Grants Session

Have you applied for a Sustainable Jersey grant in past cycles, but have yet to receive funding and wonder how you can improve your odds? Do you have a project in mind that you need grant funding to accomplish, but aren't sure how to craft a proposal that will be successful? This workshop will provide guidance and insight into what makes a good grant proposal and how to leverage other sources of funding to maximize your project budget and resources.

Download the presentation here

Download the worksheet here


Turn Projects into Points: Supplement Your Certification with a Grant

2018 New Jersey Sustainability Summit Grants Session

Are you interested in completing one of our actions, but do not have the resources available to fully take on the initiative? Are you part of a newly formed Green Team that needs funding to jumpstart your certification? The Sustainable Jersey Grants Program provides municipalities and schools with the opportunity to take on actions and supplement Green Team certification efforts. This session focused on identifying projects that can translate into certification points.

Download the presentation here


2018 NJLM Conference Grants Session

Does your municipality have a wish list of projects that could improve the community’s quality of life, & make a meaningful impact on sustainability, but not enough resources to do so? This presentation includes success stories from previous grant recipients that can be consulted when considering your what project to submit a grant application for.

Download the presentation here

Navigating the sustainable jersey grants program

2019 NJLM Conference Grants Session

Does your municipality have a wish list of projects that could improve the community’s quality of life, and make a meaningful impact on sustainability, but not enough resources to do so? For the last ten years Sustainable Jersey has distributed over $4,900,000 in grants to fund over 800 projects in municipalities and schools. Information about our new funding cycle and project insight from previous grant recipients will help show you how your municipality’s wishes can come true.

Download the presentation here