How to Pitch a Project to Us

Start a Conversation

Let’s build something together. Do you have an ambitious idea to improve the Great Lakes ecosystem? We have a basin-wide view and decades of experience creating change.

We should talk. Give us a call! Early conversations help us understand your vision for making a transformational impact on the Great Lakes ecosystem. To start, take a look at our list of strategic priorities and read our funding guidelines. They describe what we’re looking for and what we fund. But remember, we’re open to discussing any project with the potential to transform the Great Lakes for the better.

Don’t think your idea is ready yet? Please say hello anyway. We strongly encourage you to contact us. We prefer to get involved early so we can put big ideas on the path to success. And we love connecting with people who are as passionate about the Great Lakes as we are.

You can start the conversation at, appropriately,

Send Us Your Concept

After our conversations, we’ll ask you to send us a project concept. This should be no more than 1,500 words (that’s about three pages, single-spaced) and should include:

  • Project vision and objective
  • Expected environmental outcomes
  • Proposed work
  • Key team members and partners
  • A budget and funding plan

We’ll guide you with more specific details about what’s needed. In all cases, we’ll expect you to describe how your project concept meets our funding guidelines.

Send your project concept and your team leader’s résumé as one PDF document to In return, we’ll let you know the next steps and timetable for making a funding decision on your project.

What Happens Next

We’ll review your project concept and work with you to clarify your outcomes, strategy, and theory of change. This is a collaborative process. We aim to understand how your project advances our mission to protect and restore the Great Lakes ecosystem.

If your team is selected to submit a more detailed proposal, you’ll receive feedback from our evaluation of your concept and guidance on what the detailed proposal should include.

After we receive the detailed proposal, Fund staff and a panel of outside technical experts review it. You’ll receive further guidance based on those reviews.

Finally, the Fund’s Board of Directors will decide whether to fund the project.

How Long Does the Process Take?

Typically, from initial concept to approved funding takes six to eight months. However, we will work with you to accelerate the process for time-sensitive projects of high value.

Please contact us if you have any questions. We’re always excited to talk to passionate people with big ideas for transforming the Great Lakes.