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2023 Virginia Wildlife Grant Program Application Guidance

Grant submission period: December 20, 2022 – February 1, 2023

Year 2023 will be the 9th year of the Virginia Wildlife Grant Program to connect youth to the outdoors. Almost 230 projects have been supported at $565,000 and connecting nearly 69,000 youth! See more details at the Virginia Wildlife Grant Program page.


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 participants to the outdoors through the recruitment and retention into outdoor activities from new audiences (urban, underinvested communities, etc.). “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 participants to continue 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. Please review the DWR Recruitment and Retention Strategies. The DWR R3 Plan is part of an overall national initiative at most state fish and wildlife agencies.


The Virginia Wildlife Grant Program will prioritize the following opportunities:

2023 Eligible Applicants

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

2023 Award Amount Range

  • $10,000 – $20,000 (anticipated number of awards: 10 – 12)

Recruitment/Retention Program Eligibility

  • Your program recruits or retains participants in one or more of the following eligible activities:
    • Archery
    • Boating
    • Fishing
    • Hunting
    • Recreational Shooting (firearms)
    • Wildlife Viewing – please research the goals, objectives, and strategies of the DWR Wildlife Viewing Plan
  • Youth Ages (5 – 18)
  • College Level Ages (18 & Up)
  • The program period is from March 1, 2023 – November 1, 2023.
  • All grantees will be required to sign a grant agreement.

Grant Application Content Requirements – online submission is required

  • Please review the DWR R3 Strategic Plan, Virginia Wildlife Viewing Plan, and Inclusive Excellence Strategic Plan.
  • Select your primary activity which is related to your budget and gear purchases. You may be buying a kayak (boating) but if most of your budget funds will be used to purchase fishing gear then 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

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 must be deposited by March 15, 2023.

Grant Timeline

  • Application Submission Deadline: February 1, 2023
  • Award Announcement: by February 15, 2023
  • Grant Agreement Signed: March 1, 2023
  • Check Deposit: March 15, 2023
  • Project Completion: November 1, 2023
  • Final Report: December 1, 2023


The DWR contact is Tom Wilcox,

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