Find Nonprofit and Small Business Grants

Advance Search

Only Available for Paid Subscribers
Clear Filters
Search Filters

Grants to USA Organizations in Multiple States for Environmental Stewardship in the Delaware River Watershed

Watershed Protection Grants


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: DelawareNew JerseyNew YorkPennsylvania

Important Dates
LOI Date: 06/02/23
Deadline: 07/28/23 - Deadline for Grants above $110,000; grants at or below $110,00 are accepted on a rolling basis. Save

Grant Description
Grants to USA organizations for a broad range of projects that enhance water quality and protect eligible watershed areas in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York. Applicants requesting larger grants must submit a letter of inquiry prior to submitting a full application. Funding is intended to support activities that include, but are not limited to, scientific research and data collection, land acquisition, stream and upland restoration, environmental education and outreach, and the advancement of policies and practices for the promotion of watershed protection. Eligible projects are those that improve water quality in the Delaware River watershed.

The William Penn Foundation is working to create the long-term conditions – the practices, policies, and public engagement — that will ensure the Delaware River Watershed supports aquatic life and recreation in and on the water. The Foundation underwrites efforts to secure concentrated forest protection, agricultural restoration, and stormwater solutions that maintain and improve stream health in targeted sub-watersheds; robust and sustained regulatory protections and funding; and equitable and widespread public access to and engagement with rivers and streams.

Selections are based on the potential for a proposed project to significantly improve water quality in the Delaware River watershed.

Supporting Watershed-Wide Research, Policy, and Practice

The Foundation will consider opportunities to:

  • Fund scientific research and analysis to provide information on surface water quality and watershed health.
  • Support media, communications, and organizing to inform key audiences on best practices for watershed protection.
  • Advance policies and practices that accelerate, strengthen or expand public and private watershed protection.

The Foundation’s goal is to better understand the baseline data, progress over time, emerging threats, policies, and practices that can advance sustainable public funding and robust regulatory protection for clean water and healthy watersheds, with an emphasis on protection of forested headwaters and reduction of agricultural run-off and polluted stormwater.  

Protecting and Restoring Targeted Sub-Watersheds

The Foundation consider opportunities to:

  • Develop and implement conservation and restoration models.
  • Provide capital for land acquisition to promote conservation and protect water quality.
  • Provide capital for stream and upland restoration to restore water quality.

Increasing Engagement with Waterways

The Foundation will consider opportunities to:

  • Ensure equitable public access to rivers and streams, particularly those that are recovering from more than a century of impairment and where historically there have been physical or other barriers to access.
  • Engage a diverse array of people in experiential environmental learning and outdoor recreation on waterways and trails, particularly people who have been left out of the conservation movement, including communities of color. 

For further details on each of above strategies, see the URL for Full Text below (click on the appropriate tab for each funding strategy).


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria
Organizations may apply for projects in the Delaware River watershed.

Applicants may use a fiscal sponsor for fiduciary oversight of a grant. If a fiscal sponsor will be used, please contact the Foundation prior to starting an inquiry or full proposal.

Funding will not be considered to any organization that discriminates on the basis of race, ethnicity, creed, gender, or sexual orientation in policy or practice.

Not Funded Under Supporting Watershed-Wide Research, Policy, and Practice:
- Work that is not grounded in credible science or other relevant data.
- Work with primary impact outside of the Delaware watershed.

Not Funded Under Protecting and Restoring Targeted Sub-Watersheds:
- Work that is not targeted to specific sub-watersheds.
- Work that is not designed to respond to specific local stressors.
- Work that is not grounded in credible science or other relevant data.
- Work with primary impact outside of the targeted sub-watersheds
- Work that is not aligned with basin-wide improvements.

Not Funded Under Increasing Engagement with Waterways
- Work with primary impact outside of the Delaware River watershed.
- Environmental education or outdoor recreation programs not tied to watershed protection.
- Environmental education that does not have a significant outdoor, experiential component.
- General operating support, except as it supports targeted constituency building initiatives.

Additional Geographic Information:

Delaware River watershed

Pre-Application Information

- Inquiries Due: September 2, 2022
- Proposals Due: October 28, 2022
- Scheduled Board Review: February 3, 2023

- Inquiries Due: November 23, 2022
- Proposals Due: January 27, 2023
- Scheduled Board Review: April 28, 2023

- Inquiries Due: March 3, 2023
- Proposals Due: April 21, 2023
- Scheduled Board Review: July 21, 2023

- Inquiries Due: June 2, 2023
- Proposals Due: July 28, 2023
- Scheduled Board Review: October 27, 2023

All grant proposals above $110,000 follow the schedule above. Applicant organizations are strongly encouraged to submit materials by these deadlines. Program staff can provide more information on timing and materials for consideration at a board meeting.

Grants at or below $110,000 are not required to be considered at a board meeting, and thus do not follow the deadline schedules above. Grants of this size are accepted on a rolling basis, and program staff can provide more information about the timing and submission process for these types of requests.

The Foundation accepts inquiry and full proposal submissions only through the Grantee Online Portal. Email submissions are discouraged.

Application Process: The Foundation uses a multi-stage submission process for grant development – the first step is an inquiry, and the second is a full proposal. If you would like to share a project concept for consideration, it is strongly recommended that you reach out to the appropriate Program Officer first or to Grants Management, who can direct you to the appropriate team. (See the link to Foundation Staff in Contact Information below.) Once an idea has been discussed and if aligned with the Foundation’s priorities, applicants will receive an email directly from the Program Officer inviting the submission of an inquiry or full proposal.

Please note:
- Submission of an Inquiry does not guarantee that Foundation staff will invite a full application for funding consideration.
- Submission of an application does not guarantee funding will be awarded or awarded at the requested level.
- The Foundation does accept unsolicited requests for funding, but in lieu of speaking with a Program Officer applicants are strongly encouraged to review the program guidelines and eligibility requirements prior to submitting a funding request. The Foundation accepts unsolicited requests online only through its WPF Grantee Portal. (See Unsolicited Requests for Funding in Supporting Documents below.)

Prospective grantees are welcome to submit proposals to more than one strategy.

How to Apply:

For further information about the grant program:

Estimated Size of Grant
It is Foundation policy not to fund more than 25% of an organization’s operating budget. The Foundation may make exceptions on a case-by-case basis under limited circumstances, subject to approval by its board of directors.

Contact Information
Online application portal:

Direct questions to:

For additional questions, contact a program staff member prior to submission. For contact information for program staff, see

William Penn Foundation
Two Logan Square, 11th Floor
100 North 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2757
(215) 988-1830

Grant News
Live Chat Chat Now