The Stewardship grant program provides funding to increase awareness and understanding of the ecology of the Great Lakes so residents can be advocates for strategies that support long-term sustainability of the Great Lakes fisheries and become stewards of the Great Lakes. The Stewardship RFP will be released in the winter every other year on odd number years (e.g., 2021, 2023, 2025, etc.).
Organizations eligible to apply for GLFT grants include nonprofit, educational, and governmental (including tribal) organizations.
Initial project requirements:
- The project must be focused on investments in place-based stewardship education, preK–12, fishing education, and youth leadership programs.
- Projects may be located outside of Michigan but need to have a strong nexus to the Great Lakes Basin, particularly Lake Michigan.
Additional project-specific considerations, priorities, and requirements are provided in the Policies and How to Apply sections below. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact GLFT staff prior to submission of a grant proposal to discuss project eligibility, goals, and alignment with GLFT priorities. Staff are available to assist applicants with navigating the online grant proposal submission process.
Stewardship History of Grantmaking
The trust has awarded approximately $15.5 million through the Great Lakes Stewardship grant program to supports efforts to increase awareness and understanding of the ecology of the Great Lakes so residents can be advocates for strategies that support long-term sustainability of the Great Lakes fisheries and become stewards of the Great Lakes.
Please review the GLFT Policy on Great Lakes Stewardship Proposals before submitting an application under the Stewardship grant program. The GLFT Board of Trustees has also established a number of additional policies regarding grants that may be applicable to applications submitted under the Stewardship grant opportunity:
To review all of the grant-related policies for our multiple grant programs, please visit our Resources page.
For additional information related to stewardship practices and examples of stewardship in the Great Lakes, please review the Stewardship Help Document.
How to Apply
The Stewardship grant program RFP is released every other year on odd years. Please review our Active Grant Opportunities to see which of our grant programs are currently accepting applications. The forms and instructions necessary to guide you through the application process are provided in the 2023 Great Lakes Stewardship Guidance Document. If the Stewardship program is not currently accepting proposals, the guidance document provides information on general program requirements for the next grant cycle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Staff are currently developing the frequently asked questions sections for each of the grant programs. Questions will be available for applicant review prior to the release of the requests for proposals.
Where can I find examples of previously funded stewardship projects?
I’ve never submitted a proposal to the GLFT before. Should I spend the time contacting staff to discuss our project?
Yes, the GLFT encourages prospective applicants to contact staff when developing proposals. Staff can provide guidance that can help you align a proposal with GLFT priorities.
Can GLFT funding be used to support projects outside of the Lake Michigan basin?
Yes. Priority will be given to projects focusing on Lake Michigan and its stewardship by Michigan residents. Some projects may involve residents of other Great Lakes states in addition to those living in Michigan. For those projects that involve residents of other Great Lakes states in addition to Michigan, the applicant must explain how the proposed effort will enhance stewardship throughout the Great Lakes basin, particularly Lake Michigan.
Can GLFT grant dollars be used as match funding for other funding sources?
Yes, the GLFT encourages grantees to use GLFT funding as match for other sources. GLFT funding can fulfill matching requirements of many state and federal funding programs that require sources of nongovernmental match funding.
I’m interested in submitting a proposal, but I see that the application period has closed. What can I do?
In most circumstances, the GLFT evaluates all proposals for each of our grant categories at the same time during the year. This helps ensure that requests are considered in the context of each other and that the proposals best aligned with GLFT priorities are funded. Our website is kept up to date with future application periods and the request for proposals from our most recent application period. These documents can be used to help begin developing a proposal. We encourage applicants to submit a proposal once the application period is open. If you feel there are compounding factors that would require immediate action, you are encouraged to contact GLFT staff.