Any student or teacher for grades 6 -12 is eligible to enter a climate project idea for their school, club, team or favorite after-school program/learning institution (library, science center, boys and girls club). If a student or student group applies, the application must include contact information for the sponsoring adult (teacher, advisor, group director).

  • Grant awards of $1,000 up to $20,000 may be requested.
  • A simple budget completion form will be incorporated into the online submission.
  • Grants are awarded for a one-year period.
  • Entrants undertaking multi-phase projects are welcome to apply for funds. (The judges will consider funding for a single phase at a time.)


Applicants must identify a problem their project/idea will solve and demonstrate an understanding of the issues, show passion for wanting to be part of the solution and have the potential to leverage the power of young people to inspire others and build public support for climate action.

The scale of the project does not always determine its merit. For projects to be significant for all involved, they need to be well-researched, outcome-oriented, planned, communicated, well-promoted and evaluated.

Local projects that change the local narrative around climate denial and/or promote bold solutions will be considered equally.

Proposals will be reviewed by a committee of NWF staff and top proposals will be determined by external judges.

Project ideas will be judged on a simple point system described below.

  • Impact and Scale (40% of score)

    The proposed project has a significant, positive effect on the school community and demonstrates a measurable impact. (Clear before and after scenario.)

  • Project feasibility (20% of score)

    The proposed project is feasible in its scope and costs are commensurate with anticipated outcomes.

  • Technical merit (20% of score)

    Proposals adhere to guidelines and are well written, including the submission of a complete application and budget.

  • Creativity/Originality (10% of score)

    It is absolutely appropriate to replicate a project idea from the case studies or examples provided, just tell us why is unique for your community.

  • Communication (10% of score)

    Let us know how you and your group are going to celebrate and share your project success.

Projects may range from the following:

Climate Resilience and mitigation projects; (native tree and shrub planting projects);

Communication campaigns for behavior and policy changing activities; (school purchasing procedures across a district, visit to the state capitol to present policy or climate education program);

Applied research, assessment, or monitoring projects of local climate change impacts and communicating findings to the public for greater understanding while prompting the development of solutions (street flooding along bus routes in coastal communities, App development);

Changes to the facilities – such as installation renewable energy, new technology and or conservation applications. (Wind turbine to power the school, energy saving applications, painting the school’s roof white);

Resources for training/piloting a green job program or fair (such as solar power installation training, Green Jobs Expo); and really,

Any innovative idea the can reduce carbon emissions and help your school and your community celebrate climate solutions, prepare for problems caused by climate change, interact with decision-makers and/or take full advantage of the career opportunities the climate resilient future holds.

The following types of projects are ineligible:

Land acquisition efforts, including conservation easements.

Advocacy and 501(c)(4) campaigns that are politically partisan or endorse specific candidates or political parties.

Salary expenses outside of project parameters.

Reimbursement of expenses for complete or partially completed projects.