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How to Apply for Collaborating for Climate Action Funding

Oregonians, secure funding for your climate project! Apply for Climate Action grants by May 17 and propel Portland towards a sustainable future.

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    Oregon Climate Grants: Apply by May 17!

    Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of our time, and taking decisive action is more critical than ever. In Portland, a new window of opportunity has opened up for those looking to make a significant impact.

    The Collaborating for Climate Action funding initiative is an ambitious plan to empower projects aimed at reducing or sequestering carbon emissions, bolstering economic opportunities, and enhancing the city’s resilience to climate change.

    With a whopping $150 million in funding over the next five years, here’s your guide on how to apply for these funds and make your climate action project a reality.

    An Overview of the Opportunity

    The Portland Clean Energy Fund Committee (PCEF) approved the Collaborating for Climate Action funding in March 2024, dedicating a substantial budget for impactful, multi-stakeholder projects.

    Whether your focus is on energy efficiency, renewable energy, or regenerative agriculture, this initiative provides a financial boost of $20 million to $100 million per project to ensure your ideas come to life by 2029.

    Upcoming Information Sessions

    Knowledge is power, and two free Information Sessions are scheduled to give you the power to succeed in your application:

    These sessions will provide an overview of the opportunity, clarify eligible expenses, and give answers to any burning questions you might have. Plus, they’ll be recorded and shared on YouTube for those who can’t attend live.

    Application Period

    Mark your calendars: the application window is set from April 4 to May 17, 2024. Use this time wisely to review the eligibility criteria and prepare a compelling letter of interest.

    The Two-Step Application Process

    1. Submit Your Letter of Interest by May 17, 2024: Start by making a strong case for your project’s viability, its potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and how it benefits the community, especially PCEF priority populations. (see Interest Letter here)
    2. Full Proposal (By Invitation): If your letter catches the eye of the PCEF Committee, you’ll be invited in early June to flesh out your proposal, with submissions due in mid-July 2024.

    Funding recommendations will be presented to the City Council by early September 2024, meaning your project could soon be on the path to becoming a banner for change in Portland’s climate action landscape.

    Are You Eligible?

    Here’s a quick checklist for eligibility:

    • Your project must cut or sequester greenhouse gases (GHG).
    • Primary applicants should be either a nonprofit or government entity, part of, or supported by, a community coalition.
    • You must be a one-time primary applicant but can partner in other applications.
    • Include in your coalition at least one nonprofit with notable experience in community engagement within Portland, focusing on PCEF’s priority populations.

    And before those funds flow, an executed community benefits agreement is a must.

    Funding Categories

    Your project should align with the City’s Climate Emergency Workplan and target one or more of the following areas:

    • Energy Efficiency
    • Renewable Energy
    • Green Infrastructure
    • Regenerative Agriculture
    • Transportation Decarbonization
    • Workforce and Contractor Development

    Use of Funds

    What can you spend the PCEF funds on? Here’s a guide:

    • Materials and Supplies: This includes anything from equipment purchases to maintenance contracts.
    • Project Reporting: Yes, your reporting tools are covered.
    • Personnel Expense: Direct staff implementing the project? Their time is covered.
    • Building Improvements: Limited funding is available for necessary non-green infrastructure improvements.
    • Wage Requirements: A crucial rule – pay fair wages, at least 180% of the area’s minimum wage.

    In Closing

    Taking on climate change requires collective effort and resources. The Collaborating for Climate Action funding opportunity is a testament to Portland’s dedication to sustainability and resilience.

    To apply, prepare your letter of interest, align your project with the outlined criteria, and ensure your approach embodies innovation and community benefit. This funding could be the catalyst needed to turn your vision into a reality, contributing to a greener future for Portland and setting an example of proactive climate action.

    Remember, the future starts with our actions today. Good luck!

    PCEF Grant FAQs

    Oregonians, let’s cut through the fog and shine a little sunlight on your burning questions about applying for the Collaborating for Climate Action funding:

    Who can apply for the Collaborating for Climate Action funding?

    Nonprofit organizations or government entities based in or serving the Portland area can throw their hat in the ring. If you’re working towards reducing or sequestering greenhouse gases and can show you’re part of a solid community coalition, you’re in the game.

    What kind of projects qualify for funding?

    Projects that have a clear aim to cut down or capture carbon emissions are what we’re after. We’re looking at endeavors in energy efficiency, renewable energy (let’s harness more of that Oregon sunshine!), green infrastructure, regenerative agriculture, decarbonizing our transport, and building a workforce ready to pioneer in these areas.

    How much funding can a project receive?

    You can request anywhere from $20 million to a cool $100 million. Think big, but also think impactful. We’re not just throwing cash around; we’re investing in Portland’s greener future.

    What’s the timeline for applying?

    You’ve got from April 4 to May 17, 2024, to submit your letter of interest. Don’t let it hang till the last minute – show us you’re as serious about this as we are.

    Are there any information sessions where I can learn more?

    Absolutely. Pop into one of our free Information Sessions on April 16 or April 24, from noon to 1 p.m. Bring your questions and enthusiasm – we’ll supply the rest. Can’t make it? Catch the session recordings on YouTube.

    How are proposals evaluated?

    We’re looking for viability, significant reduction or sequestration of GHGs, and projects that clearly benefit the community, especially our priority populations. Strong public-private collaborations and community engagement will surely catch our eye.

    What can the funding be used for?

    Think project essentials: materials, equipment, and those people powering your project day in, day out. There’s wiggle room for building improvements and overhead costs, but it’s all about making smart, sustainable choices.

    When will I know if my project has been selected?

    Hang tight until early September 2024. The PCEF Committee will make their recommendations to the City Council by then, and you’ll hear from us shortly after.

    What if my project isn’t focused on Portland?

    Keep it local, my friend. We’re all about strengthening our stomping ground. Projects must be turning Portland’s climate ambitions into reality to get the nod.

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