There are many national environmental organizations working throughout the western United States, as well as state and local non-profits that have considerable knowledge about problems in their communities. Besides being a possible partner, they may have or know of funding programs that are available for projects in the area. They may also be able to help with technical assistance or volunteer support.
Mining companies have worked on abandoned mine clean up projects in the past, even when they were not involved in the mining activity at the site. They may provide heavy equipment or technical assistance on restoration projects as an in-kind donation. Some mining companies also have corporate giving programs or company foundations that provide community grants. The following sites can be used to identify mining companies who may be active in your area:
National Mining Association
Northwest Mining Association
There are thousands of foundations around the United States who support a wide variety of causes like public health, economic development, and education through a competitive grant process. In 2003, these institutions gave out over $240 billion. Many foundations are specifically focused on funding projects that improve the environment, whether on a national or local level. Many local or state-wide foundations will not be listed in the larger directories but could be an important funding source for your project.
It is important to first find foundations that have a history or commitment to funding projects in the same category as yours. Each foundation has a special set of criteria that they use to make funding decisions. They also have different deadlines and application processes. Be sure to research the foundation’s guidelines and their past giving history thoroughly before applying. For more help on foundation giving, see the following:
The Foundation Center
Environmental Grants Directory
Fundsnet Services Online
Non-Profit Guides: grant writing tool
Grantmakers of Oregon and Southwest Washington