The 2019 grant application period is OPEN! Submit your online application by October 15.
DHEC awards up to eight Champions of the Environment grants each school year. Smaller awards are available for runner-up projects. Winners are selected based on the quality of their environmental projects.
Projects must address one or more of the following: prevention or reduction of pollution in the air, water or land; waste reduction; restoration, preservation or enhancement of natural areas; water or energy efficiency. Projects must also educate the community and make a lasting difference to the environment.
- K-12 students, their teachers, and environmental educators carrying out an environmental project in South Carolina.
- One student or a student group of any size. Applicants that educate K-12 students outside of a formal classroom setting (such as an environmental education center) are encouraged to partner with a school, classroom, or teacher.
- A cash award of $2,500 to use toward their project
- Their project featured in a TV commercial aired statewide and on social media
- Their project highlighted on the Champions website
Merit and Seedling awardees receive a smaller cash award to use for their project.
Note: No additional application is needed to be considered for a Merit or Seedling award.
To Apply for a Champions Grant:
- The grant application period is open from August 1st to October 15th. Awards will be made in November.
- Print the Champions of the Environment Grant Application Help Sheet for instructions on how to complete the application.
- Electronically submit the completed Champions of the Environment Grant Award Application.
- If you have any questions, or have trouble accessing the Grant Award Application, email the Champions coordinator, or call 803-898-4183.
- Fill out the application and tell us about your environmental project. Be sure to supply all the requested information. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
- Your application will not be considered if it is submitted after the posted deadline.
- Applicants who are not chosen to receive a grant award are encouraged to revise their application and apply to Champions of the Environment again.
How Are Champions Grant Winners Chosen?
The Champions Partnership awards grants to environmental projects that are logical, well-planned, and are highly likely to meet goals and objectives. Champions is a competitive grant program; therefore, a limited number of projects will receive funding. Projects are evaluated on the degree to which they satisfy the following criteria:
- Benefits to the environment - positive outcomes for the environment through one issue or cumulatively through multiple issues
- Sustainability / long-term environmental benefits - ability to sustain the project and/or sustain the environmental benefit or education gained through the project
- Student education - learning opportunities
- Student involvement - as appropriate for the age and skill level of the students
- Outreach - education (and involvement) of those involved with and outside the project - including students, school, parents or the community
- Realization factor - likelihood of completion
- Suitable Use of Funds - funds used on items that support the goal(s) of the project
- Consideration is also given to innovation, creativity and partnerships
Based on the quality of the applications received, the Champions selection committee reserves the right to award fewer than eight grants on an annual basis.