How to Apply
The application process includes a pre-application phase and an application phase. Potential applicants must submit a pre-application form that describes the proposed project and how it meets the program requirements. If your pre-application is approved, the Grant Coordinator will invite you to submit a full application.
The program uses the pre-application as the primary basis to determine funding eligibility and to provide feedback on how the proposal can best meet the Percent for Green program goals.
Applicants who do not receive an invitation to submit a full application will also be notified.
Pre-applications are due no later than April 15. If your pre-application is accepted, the grant coordinator will invite you to submit a full application, due by June 1. After submitting the full application, applicants usually hear from the program within two months. After the Grant Coordinator has notified you that your project is approved, processing of the contract/agreement can take several months.
The next round for pre-applications will be Sept. 1, 2021.
In the pre-application, please briefly describe your project and how it meets the grant selection criteria. Please see the selection criteria for detailed descriptions of the four criteria.
You will also need to identify the fiscal agent for your project and the property owner. Please discuss your project with them. Letters of support from the property owner and fiscal agent are required with the full application.
Upon receiving your pre-application, the Grant Coordinator will notify you that your submission is under review.
After the Grant Coordinator notifies you that your pre-application was approved, begin to complete the full application. The full application will be available later in April.
Please contact the Grant Coordinator with any questions about fiscal agents, property owners, or letters of support.
After receiving all the required materials, the Grant Coordinator will notify you to confirm the application package is complete and ready for assessment.
Preparing to Do Business with the City
It is important to be prepared for what you will need if you are chosen to receive funding. The City of Portland has policies in place that require partnering organizations to:
- Have a business bank account. This is required to allow for payment. The grant program cannot write checks to personal accounts. The program reimburses for project costs after the work is done and not in time to pay invoices. However, you can submit paid invoices for reimbursement throughout the project schedule and do not have to wait until project completion.
- Provide insurance documentation. We need to confirm that the people who perform the work for the projects are properly protected. Exact insurance requirements may vary by project type. Talk to the Grant Coordinator if you have questions about meeting this requirement.
- Have the financial capability to make project-related purchases upfront and provide invoices and receipts for reimbursement. It can take up to 30 days after invoices are processed to receive funds.
- Tax liability. Grantees are responsible for any, federal, state, or local taxes and fees applicable to their receipt of funding through the program. Federal law requires the City of Portland to report payments under the Percent for Green program to the Internal Revenue Services on Form 1099. Please speak to your tax advisor about the reporting requirements for your tax return.
If your organization or group is unable to meet one or more of these requirements, the Grant Coordinator may be able to help you connect to a fiscal agent to fulfill these components of the process.
Fiscal Agents Frequently Asked Questions
Fiscal agents help organizations with the administrative and financial side of the project.
- Does my group need a fiscal agent? Your organization will need a fiscal agent if you are unable to meet any of the requirements in section above on Preparing to Do Business with the City. If you are unsure if you meet the requirements, talk to the Grant Coordinator. If necessary, the Grant Coordinator may be able to help match you with a fiscal agent.
- Who can be a fiscal agent? Any organization that has the following:
- A business bank account,
- Insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation, automobile), and
- The ability to make purchases up front, with the understanding that reimbursement will come 30 days after the City receives an invoice.
- What does a fiscal agent do? The fiscal agent for a Percent for Green project will participate in the initial contracting process by providing or coordinating insurance documents, setting up direct deposit for reimbursement, and signing the contract itself. The fiscal agent will pay for project expenses up front and be responsible for saving receipts, tracking expenses, and sending invoices to the Grant Coordinator for reimbursement. Note: You can submit invoices for reimbursement throughout the project. You do not need to spend the full amount of the contract/agreement before getting reimbursed. The exact division of tasks with the fiscal agent is up to you to negotiate.
- Do fiscal agents receive compensation? Some organizations are willing to act as fiscal agents for smaller groups at no charge. Other organizations charge a percentage of the award to cover administrative costs. Be clear about your arrangements from the beginning and be sure to factor this into your budget.
Partners help you get your project done. They provide materials and services, help find volunteers, offer special knowledge and advice, and help you reach out to other groups and communities. Partners also benefit from being a part of the project. They learn about watershed health, develop skills, and create lasting relationships in your community. Contact the Grant Coordinator for a list of potential partners.
A budget template is provided in the application. Add additional lines if you don’t find your budget item. The Grant Coordinator can help with estimating costs and figuring out what items might be needed for your project.