- Applies to K-12 public and private schools carrying out environmental projects in South Carolina
- All projects must be implemented on school campus
- The primary project coordinator must be an onsite teacher or school staff at the school where the project will be implemented
- All funds must be expended, and all activities must be completed, by the end of the school year for which the grant is provided
Projects must address environmental issues among the following categories:
- 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
- Up to $2,500
- Project highlighted on the Champions website
- Local media promotion of your school
To Apply for a Champions Grant:
- Electronically submit the completed grant application. The grant application period for the 2023-2024 school year is CLOSED. Check back August 1, 2024 to apply for a Champions of the Environment grant.
- If you have any questions, or have trouble accessing the rant Award Application, email the Champions Coordinator, or call 803-898-4183.
- 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.
How Are Champions Grantees Chosen?
The Champions Partnership provides grants to environmental projects that are logical, well-planned, and are highly likely to meet goals and objectives. Projects are evaluated on the following criteria:
- Benefits to the Environment--Project offers definite improvement/protection of the environment through one comprehensive program or through multiple activities
- Outreach--Project offers extensive education or involvement opportunities for those outside the project (school, parents, and/or the community)
- Student Education--Project offers strong, clearly defined learning opportunities
- Suitable Use of Funds--Project budget clearly states how use of funds are directly related to the project and its goals; use of grant funds for salaries/wages, giveaway items like t-shirts, food, or prizes is prohibited; see "Stretching Your Buck" below
- Student Involvement--Project is largely designed by students and/or implemented by students
- Realization Factor--Project is highly likely to meet goals and objectives
- Sustainability/Long Term Benefits--Project will remain in place over many years, providing long-term educational benefit
- Innovative and/or Creative--Project is something new or uses a novel approach to address a common issue
- Partnerships--Outside partners, volunteers, or other environmental education programs (like Green Steps) are actively involved, providing additional resources, knowledge, or donations to the project
Stretching Your Buck
Champions is a competitive grant program; therefore, a limited number of projects will receive funding. Priority will be given to applications that make the most of this one-time funding. Consider using the funds to pay for something you would not/could not otherwise provide. Here are some suggestions to help you stretch your funds and get the biggest bang for your buck:
- Borrow construction/gardening tools from parents or teachers.
- Purchase supplies that will stay with the classroom like binoculars, recycling bins, microscopes, books, etc
- Check with county/city offices, local garden centers, Native Plant Societies, Clemson Extension, etc. for material donations
- Print two-sided outreach materials
- Secure additional funding from other grants, private donations or other sources, if available, and include this information in the application