BoatUS Foundation Grassroots Grants

The BoatUS Foundation Grassroots Grants Program is an online grant program which makes funds available to small, local nonprofit organizations, boating clubs and student groups for projects that promote safe and/or clean boating on local waterways.

1. How it works:

The Foundation is looking for unique project ideas to reach recreational boaters with safety and/or clean boating messages. Information designed for boaters and delivered to boaters should be a key component of the project, not an afterthought. The Foundation is especially interested in projects that result in behavior changes in the boating community and are not solely about passive exposure to safe and clean boating messages. Projects should be planned to get wide exposure in the local community, and be replicated by others. The maximum grant request allowed is $10,000. Although applicants are free to request the maximum funding amount, the Grant Committee reserves the right to fund all or part of the proposed project. If changes are made to the funding request, the Grant Administrator will notify applicants of these changes before the application is posted online for voting. The best applications submitted will be posted for public voting in the Spring. Grant applicants will have several weeks to promote their project and encourage others to vote. After voting concludes, Foundation staff will notify the grant recipients and complete the required contracts. If a group receives a grant, they will be expected to complete all grant-related work within 12 months.

2.Grant Projects:

The Foundation is looking for unique project ideas to educate boaters on safe and clean boating topics. Projects that the Foundation is most interested in funding will include several of the following elements:

  • facilitates behavior changes in the boating community
  • be unique ideas - either topic, methods or delivery mechanism
  • include extensive outreach efforts to boaters
  • use technology to educate boaters including social media and the web
  • have a widespread reach (not just a handful of boaters)
  • include hands on work with the boating community
  • have a means to measure the success of the program

The Foundation is NOT interested in funding projects that:

  • are reproductions of projects done in the past by other organizations or the applicant
  • use the majority of grants funds for signs, brochures or giveaways (floating keychains, whistles, life jackets, etc.)
  • are not directed specifically to boaters
  • focus on promoting the applicant’s organization and not on safe or clean boating messages

3. Eligibility:

The Grassroots Grants Program is intended for nonprofit organizations. Applicants can include boating groups, clubs and associations, student groups as well as nonprofit organizations, including local chapters of national organizations. Grants will not be awarded to government agencies, international organizations, for-profit businesses or individuals. The following types of projects are not eligible for funding:

  • capital improvement projects or general operating funds
  • money to start an organization
  • debt repayment or reimbursement
  • multi-year projects unless the project will become self sufficient after the initial funding
  • projects that include lobbying efforts or any type of political action
  • promotional or membership drives for businesses or clubs
  • projects solely intended to benefit a group's membership
  • expenses for transportation, meals or lodging
  • specialized training or equipment for the recipient group members unless it can be shown that this training will benefit the general boating public
  • while the program does occasionally fund purchases of equipment for educational or display purposes, requests for electronic hardware/software, boats, motors, or other expensive boating gear is not likely to be funded

4. Project Budget:

  • The maximum allowable grant request is $10,000 but applicants can request any amount up to that.
  • Salary requests cannot exceed 10% of the total grant request
  • Funding requests for equipment cannot exceed 10% of the total grant request
  • The Foundation reserves the right to fund all or part of the proposed project

Annapolis, MD Office

147 Old Solomons Island Road, Suite 513
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
800-245-BOAT (2628)

Contact BoatUS Foundation Grassroots Grants

Alanna Keating
880 South Pickett Street
Alexandria, Virginia  22304
Phone: 703-461-2827
Toll Free: 800-245-2628


Service Area

National Program

Office Locaters

To request additions or corrections to this entry email the Administrator