Protecting Bering Sea Marine Resources Grant Opportunity

Application Deadline:

May 25, 2022, at 5pm Mountain Time

General Information

The Bering Sea is one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world supporting large numbers of marine mammals, sea birds, fish and shellfish. Over 70 Indigenous communities have relied on the Bering Sea for millennia and continue to do so to this day. Due to record-breaking temperatures caused by climate change that have led to reductions in sea ice and snow, Native communities are facing more hazardous and unpredictable conditions when hunting or fishing traditional foods. Other threats such as overfishing, habitat destruction, poaching, bottom-sea trawling, and pollution have also led to a decline in wildlife species. Through this grant opportunity, First Nations will provide grant resources to Bering Sea Native communities to address the depletion of marine resources needed to sustain their communities and people.

First Nations is now accepting applications under our Stewarding Native Lands (SNL) program for Native communities that are working to protect marine resources in the Bering Sea ecoregion. First Nations expects to award approximately 10 grants of $50,000 each to eligible organizations. Organizations that have not been formalized as a nonprofit are encouraged to apply through a fiscal sponsor.

Grant Period

The grant period for this funding opportunity is July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023.

Grant Award Ceilings

Total requests for project budgets within this funding opportunity should not exceed $50,000.

Grant Submission Deadlines

All applicants must complete the First Nations online grant application, including submission of necessary attachments.

Full applications will be due May 25, 2022, at 5pm MDT

First Nations recognizes that some of our most rural and remote applicants may have limited access to high-speed internet. Any exceptions to use of the online system must be requested at least two weeks in advance of the application deadline by submitting an email request to grantmaking@firstnations.org. Please include your name, organization, contact information and the name of the funding opportunity for which you are applying. If you do not have access to email, you can call our office at (303) 774-7836 and ask to speak with a member of the Grantmaking Department.

Download instructions for First Nations’ Online Application System here. Access First Nations’ Online Application system here.

First Nations cannot make any emergency exceptions to application deadlines. Partial applications, incomplete applications due to user error, or faxed/emailed/mailed applications will not be considered unless they have received prior approval.

Please allow yourself enough time to submit a complete application before the deadline, as the system will shut down automatically at 5 pm Mountain Time on May 25, 2022, and no data may be entered thereafter. We do not accept partial, faxed, emailed or mailed applications. Applications that are not received on time due to user error will not be considered.

Download a PDF of the RFP here.

Types of eligible applicants include, but are not limited to:

  • Federal and State Recognized Tribal Governments and Departments
  • Native-controlled 501(c)(3) nonprofits
  • Native-controlled community organizations with fiscal sponsorship
  • Native §7871 Organizations

Please refer to the FAQ section for further insight regarding applicant eligibility.


Application Requirements

  • A brief history of the organization, its mission and previous work.
  • A concise description of the proposed project and how it will directly contribute to marine resource protection in the Bering Sea.
  • A summary of project activities and how they will be implemented.
  • At least three specific and measurable objectives to be accomplished during the project year.
  • An estimated budget for the proposed project.
  • Information on additional funding sources your project is utilizing (if any).
  • A timeline of your project activities.

The following required attachments must be uploaded during the online submission process:

Tax-Status Documentation. A copy of the organization or fiscal sponsor’s IRS Determination Letter if the applicant is a 501(c)(3) organization or a community organization using a fiscal sponsor. Tribal programs and governments may submit proof that they are a federal- or state-recognized tribe. This document should be uploaded as a PDF file.

Description of Board of Directors. Native-controlled nonprofits should submit a list of their Board of Directors, with tribal affiliation of each director where applicable. Community organizations with fiscal sponsors should submit a list of their leadership team, with tribal affiliation of each team member where applicable. Tribal programs and governments should submit a list of their Tribal Council in lieu of a Board of Directors. This document should be uploaded as a PDF file.

Description of Key Leadership Staff. Native-controlled nonprofits and community organizations with fiscal sponsors should submit a list of key staff who will be responsible for overseeing and implementing the proposed project. Tribal programs and governments should submit a list of key staff responsible for overseeing and implementing the proposed project. This document should be uploaded as a PDF file.

Budget. (Download Suggested Budget Form) An estimated budget for the proposed project with a detailed cost breakdown that is reasonable and directly related to proposed grant activities. This form must be uploaded as an Excel file.

Timeline. (Download Suggested Timeline Form) A detailed project timeline that documents important project activities for each identified objective. Include staff who will be responsible for the implementation of the project and when each activity will be completed. The form provided is in Excel format and it must be uploaded as an Excel file or PDF file.

All applicants must complete a full proposal in the First Nations online grant application portal, including submission of necessary attachments, no later than May 25, 2022, at 5pm MT.

Selection Criteria

Selected grantees under this opportunity must use funding to support projects that will protect marine resources in the Bering Sea. Examples of allowable projects under this funding opportunity include, but are not limited to:

  • Conservation and stewardship activities
  • Data collection and research
  • Coalition building
  • Government consultation activities
  • Advocacy and outreach campaigns
  • Policy development

Examples of unallowable activities under this funding opportunity include:

  • Lobbying
  • Entertainment
  • Capital construction projects (including the construction, purchase, renovation or furnishing of facilities)
  • Scholarships or tuition assistance
  • Endowments
  • Funding for individuals
Grant Requirements

Evaluation & Reporting: Grantees will be required to submit one mid-grant progress report and one final report. These reports will enable First Nations to (1) tell grantee stories, including accomplishments, challenges, impact, and programming practices; and (2) measure the impact of funding support on grantee programs.


First Nations Development Institute will hold one informational webinar to discuss the call for proposals and address any questions on the following date:

Tuesday, April 26, 2022, 10:00 am Mountain Time. Register here!

This Q&A session will provide an opportunity for applicants to ask questions about the application, selection criteria, guidelines, or other related topics. Participation is NOT mandatory; however, applicants are strongly encouraged to participate in the webinar.

First Nations has compiled several free resources related to the grant writing process. Whether you are a small organization new to grants or an organization with extensive experience, these resources will help with development of your application to First Nations.

Please click here to access First Nations’ free grantseeker resources.

Additional Questions

Should you have any additional questions about the call for applications or this specific funding opportunity, please contact Emilie Ellis by email at eellis@firstnations.org or by phone at 303-774-7836.