Small Grants Program for Grassroots Groups

The Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ) is accepting applications for its Small Grants Program for grassroots groups working on environmental health and justice issues.

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. Their program is designed to reach people from low wealth communities and communities of color who are impacted by environmental harms.

Funding Information

  • The grant application is different for different sized organizations.
  • Small organizations and all-volunteer groups with budgets under $50,000, fall under tier 1. 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. Grants are available in this tier range from $5,000 to $10,000.
  • Larger organizations with budgets over $250,000, fall under tier 3. Grants are available in this tier range from $10,000 to $20,000.

Eligible Activities

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 they 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)
  • They no longer can fund environmental testing
  • Groups with annual budget over one million dollars
  • Legislative lobbying

Eligibility Criteria

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 organizations as faith-based organizations or other non-profits that will serve as your “fiscal sponsor.”