Established in 2012, the Ohio Chapter International Society of Arboriculture (OCISA) Education Grant Program funds arboricultural education programs or projects within the state of Ohio. The purpose of this grant is to increase the public awareness of and support the advancement of knowledge in the field of arboriculture and urban forestry to benefit people, trees and the environment. Successful grant applications must:
- Relate to arboriculture, urban forestry or related disciplines
- Serve a target population of 16 years of age or older
- Include a hands-on, interactive or experiential component
- Include a sound evaluation component to demonstrate program outcomes and impact
The grant application process is open to non-profit, charitable, municipal or educational organizations that can demonstrate tax-exempt status, are not engaged in partisan political or religious activity, and whose mission is consonant with TREE Fund’s charitable purpose, including but not limited to, arboretums, public gardens, high schools, vocational schools, two-year colleges and four-year colleges which serve a target population of 16 years of age or older. Individuals may only apply for grants if they have such an organization as a fiscal agent, confirmed in writing on agency letterhead.
Projects are expected to be completed within one year. One $5,000 grant will be awarded annually. No project may receive more than one award from this program within a two-year period. Grants will not be made to endowment or annual operating campaigns.
TREE Fund will accept applications only between January 15 and March 15, 2021. To apply, send an email containing a brief (no more than 100 words) description of your project title and concept to firstname.lastname@example.org. TREE Fund staff with confirm eligibility for consideration, and if your concept qualifies, will send you a numbered application form for your use.
Upon completion of this application form, you will save a Word version for your records, then create a PDF version of the completed document with title in the format “Organization Name, Grant Program, Application Number” (e.g. “Organization, OCISA, #19-023”), and email it as an attachment to email@example.com with a PDF of key staff (if applicable) CVs. Staff will confirm receipt of your application at that time.
In addition to contact and CV information for key staff, applicants will need the following information to complete the form. Note well that word count limits are firm and absolute. Exceeding word counts may result in your application being rejected before review. Applicants should compose their text in Word or related systems that allow counts to be confirmed before they are placed in the application form.
- Overall Project Summary, Including Overarching Goals (400 Words Maximum): A brief statement of the current need that requires grant support, how the project will meet that need, and what the expected goals of the project would be.
- Description of Measurable Outputs/Outcomes (250 Words Maximum): Include a list of the tangible outputs (publications, extension/outreach materials, posters, etc.) from this project and identify up to five measurable outcomes (real changes in the population served by the project) that are expected to result from work proposed.
- Project Work Plan (1,500 Words Maximum): Clearly define the scope and structure of the project, including design, methodology, and analyses.
- Dissemination, Sustainability and Replication Plans (300 words maximum): A brief description of activities and outlets used to share the results of this project, sustain the project after TREE Fund support is completed, and/or replicate the project successfully in other communities.
Budget Elements, Including:
- Institutional Compensation, Stipends and Benefits
- Travel and Transportation
- Other Materials and Supplies (e.g. Paper, Ink, Etc.)
- Contract Labor (Consultants, Speakers, Etc.)
- Institutional Overhead (Maximum 10%)
- Cash or In-Kind Funding from Other Sources (Minimum 10%; unrecovered institutional overhead may be applied to meet this minimum)
Evidence of Organizational Financial Health:
From your three most recent IRS Form 990s (or similar accounting documents), you must provide the following information for your current and prior two fiscal years:
- Total Expenses
- Revenue Less Expenses
- Year-End Net Assets or Fund Balances
CRITERIA FOR SELECTION
Staff will screen all applications for applicant eligibility, word counts, alignment with TREE Fund and OCISA missions, and compliance with minimum requirements, then forward compliant applications to TREE Fund’s Education Committee. Members of this committee will score your proposal as follows:
- Qualifications of the team: 10 points
- Potential impact of the project: 25 points
- Approach: 35 points
- Dissemination, Sustainability and Replication Plan: 10 points
- Feasibility: 15 points
- Discretionary: 5 points.
- Total Maximum Possible Score: 100 points.
TREE Fund does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, disability or national or ethnic origin. Current trustees of TREE Fund or any member of the family of any such trustee are ineligible to receive grants from TREE Fund.
AWARD PROCESS AND FUNDS DISTRIBUTION
Recommendations on grant awards will be presented by the Education Committee to the TREE Fund Board of Trustees for approval in May 2021, and grant recipient(s) will be notified in writing within two weeks of Trustee approval. A Grant Agreement form that includes a report and payment schedule will be provided with award notification. It must be completed within two weeks of notification, and returned to TREE Fund with all required supporting documentation.
Applicants are most strongly encouraged to review the sample Grant Agreement form (which can be viewed here) with their employers’ financial or grant management offices prior to submitting an application, to ensure that the Agreement forms can be signed expeditiously upon receipt. Potential difficulties with Agreement terms that are identified during the application process may be considered and negotiated more favorably than those presented after the grant award process.