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 2013 Southern Company Power of Flight Request for Pre-Proposals

Request for Proposals - 2013 Version

Pre-proposal Due Date: Tuesday, November 13th, 2012 (midnight CST)

OVERVIEW 

The Southern Company Power of Flight Program is a partnership between Southern Company, its four operating company affiliates (Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, and Mississippi Power) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). The purpose of this partnership is to provide grants that result in measurable benefits to key bird species and their habitats in the Southeast.

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS 

The Southern Company service area of Georgia, Alabama, northwestern Florida, and southeastern Mississippi.

FUNDING GOALS AND OBJECTIVES 

The goal of the Southern Company Power of Flight Program is to address the conservation needs of high priority bird species characteristic of the southern United States, such as red-cockaded woodpecker, Northern bobwhite quail, coastal shorebirds and other imperiled bird species. Grants are awarded to support this goal and the following objectives:

·         Advance implementation of established conservation strategies within the following conservation plans:

·         Federal species recovery plans;

·         NFWF’s American Oystercatcher Initiative;

·         NFWF’s Southeast Grasslands Keystone Initiative;

·         State Wildlife Action Plans (Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi);

·         Range-wide Conservation Plan for Longleaf Pine *

* NOTE: Applications that include restoration or management of longleaf pine habitat should instead be directed through the Longleaf Stewardship Fund. Please contact Suzanne Sessine (suzanne.sessine@nfwf.org; 202-857-0166) with questions about the appropriate program for applications.

·         Support the management of targeted bird species in order to enhance populations and the habitat on which they rely;

·         Accomplish on-the-ground habitat restoration projects that directly support targeted bird species;

·         Engage the public in education, monitoring and management activities that promote awareness about the importance of protecting and recovering priority bird species; 

·         Strengthen  scientific understanding of priority species to enhance management decisions by practitioners and policy makers;

·         Utilize the East Gulf Coastal Plain Joint Venture Open Pine Decision Support Tool to target projects occurring in open pine systems (Note: GA priorities will be added once completed),  and the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative Biologist Ranking Information (BRI) maps.

FUNDING PRIORITIES 

The following activities are priorities of the Power of Flight Program:

·         Implement programs and activities that support species management;

·         Restore and manage natural habitats to support target species;

·         Support education and outreach activities that advance priority species goals. Proposed activities should be highly collaborative, address strategic species conservation needs, be broadly applicable/easily transferable, and be clearly and demonstrably linked to specific conservation outcomes;

·         Develop nature tourism programs that support targeted species and related conservation goals; and,

·         Conduct critical research identified as a priority need in the above-listed plans that will directly inform species management decisions by on-the-ground practitioners.

Note: Research-related proposals must demonstrate coordination with key organizations, academic institutions and agencies performing similar or complementary work and describe how the project results will be used to enhance the work of on-the-ground practitioners. Relevant agencies or practitioners should provide letters of support indicating their interest in the project and intent to utilize any management recommendations/data that result;

CRITERIA FOR COMPETITIVE APPLICATIONS

All applications should:

·         Clearly and specifically describe how the project will help meet the goals and support implementation of one or more of the conservation plans listed above.

·         Provide measurable and meaningful conservation outcomes linked to project goals of the above plans.

·         Result in the restoration and protection of habitats and species in, or adjacent to, existing conservation areas.  If occurring on private lands not connected to a conservation area, explain the importance of these areas in contributing to a larger conservation goal and how conservation outcomes will be sustained over the long-term.

·         Demonstrate how the project will build new, or enhance existing, partnerships (list all partners involved). Applicants are encouraged to leverage diverse strengths and resources to enhance project sustainability through partnerships and collaborations.

·         Describe a thorough work plan, and demonstrate that the project is technically sound and involves qualified technical experts, agencies and/or organizations in project design and execution.

·         Describe how the project will be maintained to ensure specific ecosystem benefits are achieved and sustained over time. This should include how future funding will be secured to implement necessary long-term monitoring and maintenance activities.

·         For projects including an education, training, and/or public outreach component, demonstrate how the project supports specific species and related conservation goals, how the project will motivate people to take the desired action(s), and include an evaluation component that measures the success of the project in achieving specific conservation outcomes for the targeted species.

·         Describe any ancillary benefits that may result from the project, (e.g., supports new ecosystem markets; creates a replicable model for landowners; establishes methods that can be shared with other practitioners; creates new partnerships; etc.).

·         The 2008 Hardner & Gullison Associates evaluation of the Southern Company grant programs addressed both the limiting factors that pose serious challenges to the programs’ conservation targets, as well as those factors that characterize successful projects. Please view the discussion of these factors, and describe in the application how any of these factors may impact the project, as appropriate.

PROJECT DELIVERABLES 

All applications should include a list of specific quantitative performance metrics that will be tracked and measured to evaluate the success of the project in achieving stated conservation goals (degree of change from baseline or pre-project conditions as a result of project activities).

Performance metrics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

·         % increase in priority bird species’ populations over short- or long-term.

·         # of breeding pairs over short-or long-term.

·         # acres of priority bird species’ habitat restored.

·         # of acres of priority bird species habitat protected.

·         # of citizens engaged in public education, training and outreach programs that support priority bird species conservation.

·         # of landowners receiving directed technical assistance for priority bird species habitat protection and restoration activities.

·         # of volunteers involved in project implementation.

PROJECT EVALUATION 

All applications should include a statement describing how the project and its quantifiable results will be evaluated. 

COMMUNICATIONS REQUIREMENTS

Please refer to the Grantee Communications Guidance to understand the communications requirements for grants awarded through Power of Flight (these include: issue at least one press release; provide a project description, funder recognition, and links to the NFWF and Southern Company websites on grantee website; and provide notice of external communications – articles, etc.- and events as they occur).

FUNDING AVAILABILITY 

Approximately $600,000 in grant funds is available. 

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS 

Government agencies, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions are eligible for funding. 

GRANT SIZE 

Typical grant awards range from $50,000 - $100,000, and multi-year requests for projects up to two years in length are allowed. 

RESTRICTIONS 

Grant funds cannot be used for political advocacy, fundraising, lobbying or litigation activities or to support projects resulting from legally mandated mitigation projects. 

MATCH 

A minimum 1:1 match of cash or in-kind/contributed goods and services, of which at least 50% is from non-federal sources, is required. The ratio and type of matching funds offered by the applicant is one criterion considered during the review process, and a diversity of sources, including contributions from project partners, are encouraged. All potential sources, including Federal funds, and amounts of match should be listed on the application. 

To be eligible, matching contributions must be:

·         Raised and dedicated specifically towards the project;

·         Voluntary in nature (mitigation, restitution, or other permit or court-ordered settlements are ineligible); and

·         The cost of recent land acquisitions may also qualify as match for a project involving work at that site. Applicants may also include an easement put on the land, if this occurs during the award period.

Match contributed up to one year prior to the pre-proposal deadline may be included.

INDIRECT COSTS POLICY 

Applicants should view the guidance provided here to understand the Foundation’s policy on indirect costs in both the project budget and as matching contributions. Please keep in mind that cost-efficiency and diversity of partnerships as shown through matching contributions are important criteria used to evaluate proposals, and proposals with high indirect costs as a proportion of their project budget or matching contributions will be less competitive. 

HOW TO APPLY 

1. Go to www.nfwf.org/easygrants to register in our Easygrants online system. (If you already are a registered user, use your existing login.) Enter your applicant information.

2. Select “2013 Power of Flight” from the “Funding Opportunity” list.3. Follow the instructions to complete the application. A Power of Flight Easygrants Cheat Sheet, which may be downloaded at www.nfwf.org/power, is available to guide you through the application process. Once you get started, you may save your application in progress and return another time to complete and submit it.

All pre-proposals (and additional uploads) must be submitted to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation by midnight (CST) on November 13, 2012, for consideration. 

TIMELINE

The anticipated timeline for this grant round is as follows:

November 13th, 2012:  Pre-proposals due

February 21st, 2013:  Full proposals due

June 2013: Grants announced

QUESTIONS

Please direct any questions to Suzanne Sessine, Assistant Director, Eastern Partnership Office, suzanne.sessine@nfwf.org or 202-857-0166.