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Conserve Wildlife Matching Grant Program


The 2015 grants have been awarded.
The next Request for Proposals will be announced in Fall 2016.

With funding from the Conserve Wildlife License Plate renewal fund, the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife's Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP) offers small matching grants for projects that advance nongame wildlife conservation and education. Approved projects are funded on a single-year basis and must be located in New Jersey. Grants are awarded every other year.

The total amount available through the Conserve Wildlife Matching Grant Program in 2015 was $60,000. The maximum request per proposal is $3,500 ($1,000 is the minimum). This is a 1:1 matching grant; therefore grant funds cannot exceed 50% of the total project cost. At least 25% of the grantee's share of project funding must be monetary, and the remainder may be from in-kind support.

Only nonprofit 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) organizations are eligible to apply.

Banded kestrel
Kestrel banding made possible via a CW grant
Photo by Melanie Mason
Click to enlarge

Eligible projects will benefit New Jersey's nongame wildlife through education, outreach, research, species protection, habitat management, or any combination of such actions. Examples of eligible projects include, but are not limited to:

1. Education/outreach projects, such as classroom wildlife programs, interpretive signage or online resources;

2. Research projects, such as animal surveys or censuses, habitat monitoring, or public attitude surveys;

3. Management projects, such as habitat creation, improvement, or restoration;

4. Habitat protection projects, such as securing wildlife corridors or sensitive wildlife breeding areas.

Projects that complement new or significant ENSP initiatives or that might inform the ENSP's future work are encouraged. Examples of such complementary projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Minimizing human-wildlife conflicts (ex: venomous snakes interactions, impacts of roads);
  • Promoting/marketing of NJ's Wildlife Action Plan;
  • Promoting the Connecting Habitat Across New Jersey (CHANJ) project;
  • Summarizing or showcasing multi-level, species-specific habitat change information;
  • Implementing approved strategies or developing new technical guidance to control invasive species that threaten nongame wildlife (e.g. Chinese pond mussel, invasive plants);
  • Implementing approved strategies or developing new strategies to limit the spread of wildlife diseases or pathogens affecting nongame wildlife (e.g., White-nose Syndrome, chytrid fungus, Ranavirus, snake fungal disease, West Nile disease);
  • Gathering, compiling, or confirming location/survey data for under-represented rare species (e.g. corn and king snakes, invertebrates, bats, barn owls, vernal pool herpetofauna) for inclusion in ENSP's Biotics database.
See Successful Grant Recipients (pdf, 250kb) for examples of projects that have received funding since 2008.


The deadline for proposals will be announced in the fall. Requests must be submitted electronically to

Requests for funding should be concise - no more than two pages in length (not including attachments). Proposals must contain the following:

1. Title Title of the project

2. Area - Describe the geographic area and context where the project will take place.

3. Objectives - Describe the measurable goals of the project.

4. Procedures - Explain the methods that will be used to accomplish the project objectives. If applicable, include protocols for controlling the spread of non-native/invasive species or disease. Briefly detail the relevant experience or expertise of key project personnel with the species, habitat type, or activity proposed. Describe any partnerships involved.
NOTE: Grantees must obtain a Scientific Collecting permit before commencing work on any projects involving direct handling of animals. The Permit fee can be included in the project budget.

5. Deliverables - Outline the products that will be provided to ENSP at the conclusion of the project. Data submissions must follow an approved format and meet ENSP mapping standards.

6. Wildlife Action Plan Connection - Identify the action(s) from New Jersey's Wildlife Action Plan that the project will address. Visit for the most updated version of the Plan. Provide the page number for each referenced action.


The following attachments must also be provided:

1. Budget - Itemize costs for the entire project. Be sure to specify the amount being requested. Matching funds must be identified and the sources of those funds named. Again, the request cannot exceed 50% of the total project cost, and at least 25% of the grantee's match must be monetary.

2. Calendar - List your timeline and completion date. Projects must be completed within one year.

3. A completed state issued W-9 form (pdf, NJ Dept. of Treasury site).

4. An IRS letter of determination stating the organization's nonprofit status.

5. Resolution by the governing body of the nonprofit organization authorizing the organization to enter into the grant agreement and certifying that the matching funds and in-kind support will be provided for the project if the Department approves and funds the project.
NOTE: If a signed resolution cannot be obtained by the proposal deadline, successful applicants will have 30 days from the date of award notification to submit a signed resolution.
   Blank Resolution Form (pdf, 13kb)
   Sample Completed Resolution (pdf, 16kb) (entries in red).

6. Samples of past work if applying for education/outreach material development.

7. Letters of endorsement from partners or stakeholders are encouraged and will be considered in the review process.

The ENSP will confirm the receipt of each proposal.


All proposals will be reviewed by an ENSP technical review committee. Applicants can view the Ranking Criteria Form (pdf, 130kb) used by the committee.


Applicants are expected to be notified by a date to be announced in fall as to whether their proposals were chosen for funding.

Grant Agreements will be created with successful applicants to formalize the award amount, Scope of Work, project period (not to exceed one year), and work products/deliverables to be submitted by the conclusion of the project.


The entire grant amount will be paid to the grantee in one sum, following receipt and acceptance by the ENSP of all agreed work products/deliverables, documentation of costs and match, and upon compliance with all terms of the Grant Agreement.

For information contact:

John Heilferty
NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife
Endangered and Nongame Species Program
P.O. Box 420, Mail Code 501-03
Trenton, NJ 08625-0420
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Last Updated: January 7, 2016