Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Applicants

  • Non-profit organizations*
  • Officially recognized neighborhood groups
  • Business and professional associations
  • Schools
  • Local units of government

*Minnesota nonprofit organizations are governed by the Minnesota Nonprofit Corporation Act, Minn. Stat. ch. 317A. A nonprofit corporation’s purpose and activities must serve the organization’s mission to benefit the public, and may not be operated to profit other persons or entities.

Most nonprofits are exempt from taxation. There are more than two dozen different types of tax exemptions under the Internal Revenue Code, with exemption under section 501(c)(3) being the most well-known.

You can determine if your organization is registered as a non-profit with the State of Minnesota by searching the Minnesota Secretary of State’s database.

Eligible applicants may not serve a dual role as project manager and project consultant. Individuals, private businesses and homeowner and condominium associations may partner with eligible applicants to apply.

Past grant recipients may apply for funding of projects that have not previously received MWMO funds, however the MWMO does not usually support ongoing projects.

An eligible organization may apply for multiple Stewardship Fund grants over time as long as their requests a) Don’t exceed a total of $63,000 in Stewardship Fund grants for the same project location; or b) Are not for funds to support the same project as in a past grant.

Eligible Location

All project types should benefit people who live, learn, and/or work in or near the MWMO watershed. Physical projects must be located within MWMO boundaries or drain to receiving water bodies within the watershed.

Use our find your watershed app to determine whether you are in the MWMO watershed.

Applications that include improvements on private lands will be considered, but issues such as public access and the environmental benefits of the project will influence decisions. All projects completed on private land must provide a public benefit.

A single property may be awarded the maximum amount of $63,000.00 (the equivalent of one Mini-Grant, one Planning Grant, and one Action Grant, awarded in any combination of grant types and in any order).

Eligible Expenses

MWMO Stewardship Fund grants may not be used to fund projects installed only to meet regulatory requirements. Projects may be initiated to meet a regulatory requirement; however, stewardship funds may only be used to fund portions of the project that create water quality innovations that exceed those regulatory requirements.

Funding can only be used for activities that occur after the agreement has been signed.

When a match is required (Planning + Action Grants only), the following rules apply:

  • Eligible organizations are required to provide a 25% match to the grant received. The match may be cash or in-kind support (e.g., volunteer time, donated materials or services, etc.).
  • Individuals, homeowner and condominium associations, private businesses or any other organization that must partner with an eligible organization to apply for an Action Grant are required to provide a 25% cash match.

All MWMO Grant Funding must be used toward those items specifically connected with the stormwater components of a project.

Project expenses will be discussed in detail at the orientation meeting and during contracting. The following project expenses may be eligible for reimbursement:

  • Staff time
  • Consultant costs (e.g., engineering, training) Note: design work cannot be funded under the Action Grant
  • Contractor costs
  • Materials and supplies
  • Postage
  • Printing
  • Travel
  • Facility rental
  • Others as proposed and accepted

Expenses that are Not Eligible:

  • Costs incurred before a funding Agreement is signed
  • Any costs not directly related to the funded project
  • Costs associated with activities that are a normal part of the organization’s activities (for example, production of an organization’s regular newsletter)
  • General “overhead” or “administrative fees” that are not specific to this project
  • Features that are deemed aesthetic only
  • Regulatory requirements, such as sanitary sewer line disconnects (only stormwater best management practices that exceed regulatory requirements are eligible for funding)

Eligible Projects

The MWMO focuses its grant funds in areas related to the Stewardship Fund grant purposes listed in our Frequently Asked Questions. This means we cannot support worthy projects outside our program interests. For example, we do not generally fund grants (or project costs) like decorative-only items, projects being completed to satisfy regulatory rules, lobbying or advocacy work, roofing materials, building plumbing, traditional pavement, or environmental projects that don’t prevent stormwater pollution or protect waterbodies’ quality, habitat and natural resources.

Learn more about past projects that have received Stewardship Fund grants in our Projects section. Proposals may vary from these examples as the MWMO welcomes new and creative ideas.

More Information

Frequently Asked Questions
Stewardship Fund Grants Brochure (PDF, 1.4 MB, 2 pages)
Grantee Resources