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2021 Virginia Wildlife Grant Program Application Guidance

Grant submission range: November 15 – December 15, 2021

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Year 2021 will be the 8th year of the Virginia Wildlife Grant Program to connect youth to the outdoors. Almost 200 projects have been supported at $380,000 and connecting nearly 53,000 youth!


In October 2010, the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) and the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia (WFV) created a mutually-beneficial relationship for the purpose of developing new or enhanced fundraising projects and managing funds to implement projects which aligned with the missions of the DWR and the WFV. Funds to support the Virginia Wildlife Grant program include:

  • The sale of merchandise at Go Outdoors Virginia (GOV)
  • Fundraising events
  • Direct contributions from corporations and individuals
  • Round-Up of purchases at GOV

Grant Focus Areas

Through this grant, DWR and WFV are connecting youth to the outdoors through the recruitment and retention into outdoor activities. “Recruitment” is creating awareness and interest in an outdoor activity and most importantly, providing a first-time or trial experience of that activity. “Retention” is defined as efforts or programs that will support and encourage youth to continue participating in an outdoor activity in which they are currently engaged. Effective recruitment and retention efforts provide participants with learning experiences to increase their interest and participation in the outdoor activity. By providing support and opportunities to overcome barriers and learn new skills, participants will gain confidence to continue the activity even after the program is completed.

2021 Eligible Applicants (this is a change)

  • 501(c) (3) Non-Profits
  • Colleges/Universities (2 & 4 year)

2021 Award Amount Range

  • $5,000 – $10,000 (anticipating 15- 20 awards)

Recruitment/Retention Program Eligibility

  • Your program recruits or retains youth in one or more of the following eligible activities:
    • Archery
    • Boating
    • Hunting
    • Fishing
    • Recreational Shooting (firearms)
    • Wildlife Viewing – includes observing animals or signs of animals in their natural habitats. This category can also include observing and better understanding the natural habitat itself and how it supports the animals that live there. Priority will be placed on programs/activities with the potential to build a lifelong interest and skill set in wildlife viewing (e.g. bird watching, creating pollinator gardens with native plants and identifying pollinators, identifying frog calls or building a frog pond and observing frog life cycles, fresh water snorkeling and learning to identify fish and other aquatic species, identifying animal tracks and other signs of wildlife, going on nature walks to observe and learn the habitat values of natural areas, nature journaling, etc.)
    • Other
  • Youth ages (5–21)
  • The program period is from January 01, 2022 – November 01, 2022.
  • All grantees will be required to sign a grant agreement.

Grant Content Requirements – online submission is required

  • Select your primary activity which is related to your budget and gear purchases. You may be buying a kayak (boating) but most of your $$ are spent on fishing gear — fishing is your primary activity.
  • Projected Number of Participants
  • Age Range
  • Program description and activities including how program will address the focus areas and include program goals which are broad statements about the long-term expectation of what should happen as a result of your program
  • Objectives – specify the intended effect of the program in the target population or end result of a program. The outcome objective focuses on what your target population(s) will know or will be able to do as a result of your program/activity.
  • List of Community Partners and their contributions
  • Budget
  • + More

Priorities Demographics

The Virginia Wildlife Grant Program will prioritize programs focusing on college/ university campuses and non-profits with preference on improving diversity and inclusion.  This includes programming that provides outdoor access and exposure to underrepresented communities such as:

  • Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)
  • Low income
  • Foster and kinship care
  • Persons with disabilities

Allowable Expenses

  • All grant purchases will include outdoor gear and equipment related to the eligible tasks (rods and reels, firearms, ammunition, binoculars, field guides, etc.).
  • Transportation needs
  • Instructor support to provide expertise related to the outdoor activity.

Non-Allowable Expenses

  • T-shirts, refreshments, prizes, raffles, or other items not directly related to the activity.

Disbursement of Funds

  • The WFV shall disburse 100% of the funds to Grantee when the award is accepted.
  • Checks not deposited by January 15, 2022 will result in revocation of the grant.

Grant Timeline

  • Application Submission Deadline: December 15, 2021
  • Award Announcement: by January 1, 2022
  • Grant Agreement Signed: January 15, 2022
  • Check Deposit: January 15, 2022
  • Project Completion: November 1, 2022
  • Final Report: December 1, 2022


The DWR contact is Tom Wilcox, Tom.Wilcox@dwr.virginia.gov.

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