How can I learn about what the Trust is interested in funding?

The Trust conducts all its grantmaking activities toward projects that protect and restore the water and related resources of the Commonwealth. The Trust's grantmaking falls into two four portfolios, the General Grants Program, the Restricted Settlement Grants Program, the Directed Grants Program, and the Land & Water License Plate grants. The web site describes each program's funding objectives in detail.

All Trust RFRs are posted to, the Commonwealth's central repository for RFRs. Comm-PASS will always have the most recent version of any Trust RFR and is the location of record for these documents.

Who is eligible to apply for funding through the Trust?

Eligible organizations generally include 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and municipalities. Unincorporated organizations may apply provided that they have an eligible fiscal sponsor. Please review the specifics of each Program area to learn about specific eligibility requirements for your area of interest.

Non-public entities should consult 815 CMR 2.00 (state regulations governing grant funding to non-public entities).

How do I apply for a grant?

If you are applying for funding under the General Grants Program, there are specific deadlines and requirements you should be aware of. Please visit the Project Funding Guidelines to learn more. Be sure to see the latest "Request for Proposals (RFR)" for details.

If you are applying for funding under the Restricted Settlement Grants Program, there are specific deadlines and requirements you should be aware of. Please visit the RFR to learn more.

What are the application deadlines?

Deadlines for submission of a letter of inquiry and/or a full proposal vary according to the Program through which you are seeking funding. Please visit the Project Funding Guidelines and current RFR on to learn more.

If there is not an open RFR on this web site or on Comm-PASS then the Trust is not accepting applications. Applications are only accepted when an RFR is marked "open".

What is the size of a typical grant?

The size of a grant depends upon many factors. The Trust has funded projects at many different levels. Generally, our grants range from $5,000 to upwards of $100,000. We encourage you to present a well-reasoned and realistic budget in your proposal that justifies the amount you seek.

Do you provide multi-year funding?

In some cases, yes. The Trust will consider multi-year funding if your project will take longer than one year to complete or you need consecutive years for successful results. You should be aware, however, that requests for multi-year funding should be made clear early in the grantseeking process.

What types of support are available?

The types of support available vary according to the portfolio. Generally, the General Grants Program, Directed Grants Program and the Restricted Settlement Grants Program offer different opportunities. Please visit the Request for Response ("RFR") for each to learn more.

Is there anything that the Trust will not fund?

No portion of any grant funds provided by the Trust shall be used for: any lobbying activity; any political committee, contribution, expenditure or campaign activity; or commencing or otherwise funding litigation, appeal or service related to an administrative hearing. No funds can be used in support of political or religious organizations. Funds may only be used for the public purposes outlined to meet MET goals.

Do you fund organizations outside of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts?

Yes, the Trust welcomes proposals from organizations located outside the Commonwealth. However, the project focus must have a direct connection to and affect on Massachusetts' water resources.

How long should my proposal be? What can I include?

There are specific requirements on proposal submission in each grantmaking program. Please refer to the Request for Response ("RFR") for the program to which you are applying.

Can I apply for a grant under more than one program?

The Trust will only accept one proposal or letter of inquiry in each program during an open RFR. Different locations or offices of an organization are considered by the Trust to be part of the larger organization and that organization may only submit one proposal per open RFR.

I received a grant award from the Trust…now what?

Congratulations! Since being notified that your application materials have been accepted by the Trust, you are now what we call a "grantee." Please visit the For Grantees page on this website to learn more about what to expect from the Trust (and what we will expect from you) during the life of your grant.

Be sure to read your contract thoroughly. Remember that your award is a contract and not a gift. To comply with the contract you will be required to submit progress reports and expense reports. Your organization's performance on the contract will be a factor in any future applications to the Trust.

I was recently turned down for funding. Can you tell me why?

During each grant round, the Trust receives a high number of well-prepared and qualified proposals from worthy organizations. Unfortunately, we are unable to fund them all. With limited grantmaking resources available, the Trust's Board of Trustees attempt to fund those projects that are most able to create and sustain a lasting impact on the water and related resources of the Commonwealth.

Other common reasons for being declined include:

  • Unrealistic budgets, requesting too much funding, or not showing any financial commitment from applicant's organization to project.
  • Poor connection to program guidelines or to the protection of water resources
  • Late or incomplete proposals
  • Lack of detail or clarity in proposal

Be sure to read the program description and evaluation criteria in the RFR carefully before applying. The review teams use these guidelines to evaluate proposals.

Do you have a list of your current and past grantees?

To see a listing of projects that we have funded in the past and are currently supporting, please visit the past recipients (INTERNAL LINK) page on this website to learn more.

What is the nature of the Trust's relationship with the Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs?

The Trust is a state organization that does not use any tax dollars to operate. It is entirely funded by the sale of our specialty license plates and legal settlements. The Trust has an independent Board of Trustees appointed by the Secretary of Energy & Environmental Affairs.

As a state organization, all Trust grants are made through the Commonwealth's procurement process and are subject to all state laws in this regard. By awarding Trust grants in this way, MET can assure supporters who purchase license plates and applicants for grants that the process is fair, transparent, and thorough.

Can you recommend other sources of funding?

Here in Massachusetts, the Associated Grant Makers (AGM) Library of Philanthropy Resources is a great place to start research on other funders in the area. AGM also provides workshops and seminars of interest to grantseekers. Visit for more information.

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and its agencies manage over 50 competitive grant programs. Visit

For grantseekers looking for funds outside of the Commonwealth, we recommend that you visit the Foundation Center Library at for information about funders with a national or regional scope as well as for information regarding federal funds available.


This information is provided by the Massachusetts Environmental Trust,