Our support is a little different than that of most funders. Our mission is big, our niche is relatively narrow, and the improvements we seek will have regional implications.
We do not have specific funding programs, nor do we have formal deadlines. We are always open to discussing ideas and we can be nimble (e.g., funding vehicles, timeframes) when an opportunity presents itself.
Think of us as an investor more than a charity. Many, but not all, of the investments we make are called grants, but they more closely resemble seed capital or angel investments. We will work with you to align your innovation with the funding instrument that will help your idea make a big difference. The Fund accepts sizable risks in the quest for outsized ecological reward.
We will dedicate considerable time up front with you, prior to and during proposal development, to help hone your strategy and expand your collaborative team. This time is also used to identify the tangible ecological outcomes that can result from your work and help you craft an approach that will set your work on a path to regional scale.
We know our process is different. We have found that time spent with applicants to build a strong preproposal (and subsequent full proposal) improves the likelihood of a positive funding decision, and the likelihood of significant improvements for the Great Lakes.
It’s a challenge and we hope to take that journey with you.