FAQ

Does the StEPP Foundation fund projects outside of Colorado?

The Stepp Foundation’s first series of project awards were made in CO, the Foundation’s home state. We do work with funding sources across the country and we encourage you to submit your project ideas from any where in the United States.

What kinds of projects does the StEPP Foundation fund?

Projects are funded based upon consideration of the maximum environmental benefit the project will have for the dollars spent. The StEPP Foundation awards funding to projects that best meet the Specific Criteria defined by the funding source or that are the most appropriate match with the funding available. Projects that are in the implementation stage and have the majority of funds requested allocated to capital equipment will be weighed more strongly than those that do not. Those projects with the greatest benefit to the public good will also receive higher consideration.

Who is eligible to receive grant funding from the StEPP Foundation?

Government entities (local, state and national), non-profit organizations, academic institutions and other organizations are all encouraged to enter project ideas into the StEPP Project Pipeline for funding consideration. In some cases, funding sources will limit the possible funding recipients to one or more of the groups previously listed. For instance, a funding source may only be able to make funds available to non-profit organizations. In this case for profit businesses, academic institutions and government entities would need to partner with a non-profit organization to be considered for funding. The non-profit organization would need to be the primary applicant, with the other organization(s) acting as a partner.

Where does the StEPP Foundation receive its funding?

The StEPP Foundation is constantly seeking funding from a variety of sources, which include private, government, non-profit foundations and academic institutions, with a defined need or interest to fund environmental projects.

How do I apply for funding from the StEPP Foundation?

To apply for funding from the StEPP Foundation, applicants first must submit a project idea online at www.steppfoundation.org. This officially logs a project idea into the Strategic Environmental Project Pipeline (StEPP) and allows a project idea to be considered for current funding and future funding opportunities over a twelve-month period.

Once a project is entered into the StEPP Project Pipeline the applicant will periodically receive email updates on their project’s status. If a match for funding becomes available, the applicant will be requested to submit a full proposal based upon Specific Project Criteria, such as geographic location, environmental category, minimum dollar request, segment of society benefited, etc. defined by the funding source.

The proposals received are then reviewed by a committee, which includes at least one StEPP Board member and experts in pertinent and related fields. The review committee then makes its recommendations to the full StEPP Foundation Board, which, in turn, makes recommendations to the funding source. The funding source makes the final decision on project awards.

How many project ideas can an organization submit into the StEPP Project Pipeline?

There is no limit to the number of project ideas that can be submitted by a single organization. Each project must, however, be distinct and separate from others submitted by the applicant.

What general criteria do projects have to meet to be “strongly” considered for StEPP Foundation funding?

  • Quantifiable environmental measurements must be built into the project;
  • Project should contain a significant equipment or capital investment component;
  • Projects must clearly benefit the public;
  • Partnerships that will result in maximum leveraging of resources are encouraged;
  • Applicant and partners should show a proven capability for successful project completion;
  • The immediacy with which a project can be implemented will be considered;
  • Project sustainability requires applicants to demonstrate their ability to complete and plan for the operation, maintenance and management of projects;
  • Impact of all projects should address a local or statewide need and benefit to a local community, region or state; and
  • Urgency and the determination if there is an immediate need for the project are considered.

What projects has the StEPP Foundation funded?

Visit the Project Awards section of this site to see a list of projects, including their scope and location, the StEPP Foundation has funded.

Can I get help filling out an application?

The application process is detailed and self-explanatory. If you do have questions, feel free to e-mail [email protected], or call 303-277-0932.

Does the StEPP Foundation fund Research & Development projects?

It has been our experience that it is easier to find funding for projects that are at the implementation stage. We do not preclude the possibility that a funding source may be interested in R&D, but please keep in mind that the viability of the project is ultimately based upon the maximum environmental benefit for the dollars spent. R&D projects that include implementation or demonstrable environmental attributes saved may more readily receive interest from funding sources.

Will it help me to have partners?

It is not a requirement to have project partners. However, strong project partners may mean that a project with partners has more technical or financial resources than a project without any partners.

Are matching funds required?

The StEPP Foundation does not require applicants to provide matching funds, unless otherwise specified in the Specific Criteria Sheet of an RFP. Matching funds can however significantly strengthen a proposal. If two proposals are equal on all aspects with the only difference being the leveraging of funds this could make the difference in the final selection and award of project funds. The maximum leveraging of funds is preferred in all cases.

Should I enter my idea into the project pipeline, even though the open RFP’s do not apply to my idea or location?

Yes, the project pipeline allows the StEPP Foundation to attract funding sources for energy efficiency, renewable energy and pollution prevention projects. Often times a formal RFP request will only be made to projects already logged into the system.

How will I know if my project idea is under consideration for available funding?

You will receive an email alerting you that your project idea is ‘Under Review’ by one or more funding sources. You will also be able to the view the status of your project in the [Browse Projects] section of the Online Submittal System.

What if my project idea is of interest to a potential funding source?

The following items can occur:

  • Specific Criteria will be finalized with the funding source;
  • An RFP may be issued to you and other project ideas in the project pipeline;
  • An RFP may be issued to a specific geographic location or other specific group of projects;
  • An Open RFP may be issued to a National audience; or
  • An RFP may be requested only of the project idea(s) currently under consideration.

If a funded project stalls, or never gets off the ground, how does the StEPP Foundation reallocate the funds?

The StEPP Foundation maintains wide discretion on how, to whom, and when those funds are reallocated. First of all, as part of our policy, we do not fund project requests that are already part of a standing regulatory requirement. If the Foundation needs to reallocate funds, a selection committee is formed and that selection committee may elect to pursue any one of the following:

  • Reallocate funds to one or more projects that were considered for the original allocation, but were not selected;
  • Allocate more funds to the project or projects that were part of the original selected group;
  • Allocate funds to entirely new projects that may have come in since the initial award; or
  • Some combination of the above.

How do I open a new project submittal?

To open a new project submittal first login to the Online Project Submittal System . Once you are logged in, click the [PROJECT] button and a series of options will appear. One of the options will be [Create New Project]. Click on this and a new submittal form will appear.

How can I edit a project that I started during a previous session?

Projects can be edited by logging onto the Online Project Submittal System . Once you are logged in, click the [PROJECT] button and a series of options will appear. One of the options will be [Browse Projects]. Click on this and a table displaying all of your project submittals will appear with a column indicating their status (i.e. – draft, submitted or under review). To open a specific project from the table, just highlight the project name and click. The project submittal form will appear with all of the information you input during any previous sessions.

Can I make changes or edits to a submitted project?

Changes can be made to projects that are submitted, as long as they are not currently ‘Under Review’ by the StEPP Foundation for funding consideration. If changes or edits are made to a previously submitted project, you must resubmit your updated version by clicking on the [Submit to StEPP] button.

How long will my project idea remain in the system?

Project ideas remain in the pipeline for as long as they are viable during a 12 -month period. Therefore, it is imperative that applicants correctly fill out the information relating to project timeframes in the online form. Applicants will be given the opportunity through email notices to update their online filing periodically. The StEPP Foundation will purge project ideas from the Project Pipeline as they become obsolete.

I’ve forgotten my password, what should I do?

Click the [Login] button on the StEPP Foundation website. Once that screen appears, the last sentence of the opening paragraph reads – Forgotten your password? and prompts you to click here. This will allow you to send an email to the Online Project Submittal System requesting your password. An email will be sent to you within a few moments containing your password.

How can I contact the StEPP Foundation?

To contact the StEPP Foundation, please use one of the following:

The StEPP Foundation
1536 Wynkoop
Suite 403
Denver, CO 80202
USA