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Clearinghouse Background

The grants clearinghouse at is an online grants application process that makes it easier to find and get National Fire Plan grants, and technical assistance.

The California Fire Alliance, through grants to the California Fire Safe Council, spearheaded the clearinghouse to help achieve the goals of the National Fire Plan by facilitating an open, collaborative process for grant funding. It expands the playing field to more organizations by making it easier to find and apply for grants. It increases collaboration among agencies by sharing information and facilitating planning across agency boundaries. This will better demonstrate to Congress California’s needs and accomplishments.

The clearinghouse also can enhance existing relationships between communities and federal agencies, and help create new ones by expanding funding opportunities for eligible organizations and agencies alike.

To find grant money, all you need to know is your community’s project idea. You submit it to the clearinghouse, which will find the right funder – often times more than one agency. And the clearinghouse keeps watch over applications that aren’t funded the first time for another chance at funding if additional funds become available.

The clearinghouse helps deliver National Fire Plan funds to community projects on federal and non-federal lands that meet the goals and objectives of the National Fire Plan’s Comprehensive 10-year Strategy.

Benefits to grant-seeking organizations:

  • No more research to identify specific grant programs, requirements and deadlines – Under the clearinghouse, there is one deadline for all programs. Filling out the grant proposal gives funders the information they need to make preliminary funding decisions.
  • No more writing multiple, extensive applications just to be considered by funders – Writing an application is time-consuming. Multiply that by having to write applications for each agency and all effort could be spent on writing applications. Then there’s no guarantee the project will be funded. All that time gone to waste. The clearinghouse’s grant proposal cuts out the extensive paperwork by phasing the application process. Fill out one grant proposal per project and it’s routed to various funders as appropriate. Then, only groups with projects selected for funding will be asked by the funding organization to provide new, specific information it needs.
  • Diverse funding opportunities – The clearinghouse can help facilitate multi-agency funding of projects. In addition, projects may be sent to agencies or programs applicants may not otherwise have known about.
  • Less paper – Grant proposals are accepted electronically, giving organizations more time to complete them, and saving the cost of photocopies and postage.
  • Grant proposals live on – The clearinghouse keeps watch over projects that aren’t funded the first time for another chance at funding if additional funds become available. And organizations can resubmit unfunded projects for two additional funding cycles without having to retype the information.

Benefits to funders:
  • Better planning – For the first time, the clearinghouse will give funders a landscape look at projects across ownership boundaries. Timing projects to complement each other can potentially lead to landscape-scale improvements.
  • Diverse funding opportunities – The clearinghouse will facilitate the matching of the right proposed projects to the right grant programs, offering funders the ability to support projects and organizations they may not otherwise have known about.
  • Less paper – Once funders select projects, they only have to process new, specific information for projects they will fund.
  • Fast-track funding – If funders receive supplemental grant money during the fiscal year, unfunded projects are ready for immediate consideration and funding.
  • Improved success reporting – Funders improve their ability to report on inter-agency, California-wide successes, which supports not just maintaining, but increasing funding.

Funding Sources
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Eligible Applicants
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Eligible Activities

Eligible projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Developing a community wildfire protection plan (CWPP) which focuses on communities-at-risk (CAR) and/or at-risk communities adjacent to federal land and incorporating federal projects
  • Fuel reduction projects on private lands, BLM owned lands or within communities, particularly those listed as communities-at-risk (reference pages 43387-43391 of and resource values identified within a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) and/or Community Fire Plans with an interdisciplinary and interagency collaborative process.
  • Fuel reduction projects that improve wildlife habitat
  • Wildfire prevention education
  • Fuel reduction projects that deliver wood products to market
  • Demonstration projects
  • Purchase of processing equipment (such as chainsaws, personal protective gear, chippers and hand tools) to reduce and use fuels on private, non-industrial lands
Cost sharing or matching requirements vary by program from 0-50%. Applicants are encouraged to show the maximum amount of match, which will make their project more competitive.

Proposal Process
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Funding Cycle

Although there is one deadline for grant proposals, funding organizations have different funding cycles. Applicants whose projects are selected for funding will be notified of the appropriate cycle. In general, funders are interested in funding programs that can be done in 12-18 months, beginning when the organization receives funding. Applicants should be aware that funding is contingent upon Congressional appropriations. In some cases their project may be selected for funding, yet if Congressional appropriations are lower than anticipated, funding agencies may have to cut projects.

Grant Proposal Scoring Criteria

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Grant Proposal Help

Organizations should plan to attend grantwriting sessions for training. Bring questions. An example of a grant proposal is on the website, E-mail for help to Or call toll-free 800 FS CALIF (372-2543).