Hawaiʻi Conservation Program 2023 Requests for Proposals

Applicant Webinar [View Recording]:      Wednesday, September 28, 2022 at 10:00AM Hawaiʻi Standard Time
Full Proposal Due Date:   Wednesday, November 2, 2022 by 5:59 PM Hawaiʻi Standard Time


The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is soliciting proposals to strategically protect and enhance essential habitats in Hawaiʻi, from mauka to makai (from the mountain to the ocean), to reduce extinction risk and sustain resilient populations of native species. Particular species and habitats of interest include palila (finch-billed Hawaiian honeycreeper), kiwikiu (Maui parrotbill), ʻuaʻu (Hawaiian petrel), Oʻahu elepaio (monarch flycatcher), puaiohi (small Kauaʻi thrush), and conservation objectives on Lānaʻi. The Hawaiʻi Conservation Program anticipates awarding approximately $1,135,000 in grants. Major funding partners include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), and Pūlama Lānaʻi.


To be eligible for funding, projects must occur within the areas illustrated in Maps 1-4 below.
Priority geographic locations include those found on the islands of Hawaiʻi Island, Maui, Lānaʻi, Molokaʻi, Oʻahu, and Kauaʻi.

Map 1: Priority Geography for Hawaiʻi Island.
Map 1: Priority Geography for Hawaiʻi Island.
Map 2: Priority Geography for Maui Nui.
Map 2: Priority Geography for Maui Nui
Map 3: Priority Geography for Kaua‘i.
Map 3: Priority Geography for Kaua‘i.
Map 4: Priority Geography for Oʻahu.


All proposals must specifically address how projects will directly and measurably contribute to the accomplishment of one or more of the program priorities as identified in the Hawaiʻi Conservation Program Business Plan. Projects that incorporate community outreach, foster community engagement, and pursue collaborative management while elevating traditional knowledge that will lead to measurable conservation benefits are encouraged.

In 2023, the Hawaiʻi Conservation Program will award grants to projects that address the following program priorities.

Bird Conservation: Reduce extinction risk for a suite of endemic bird species by addressing direct threats and improving habitat conditions. Pervasive and ongoing threats for Hawaiian birds include avian malaria and other non-native pathogens, habitat loss and degradation, invasive predators and plants, and climate change. In 2023, NFWF seeks projects that support listed birds on Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Maui and Hawaiʻi with a primary emphasis on the following priorities:

  • Landscape-scale mosquito control – Support the development of tool(s) to control mosquitoes known to vector avian malaria at a landscape-level to protect native forest birds. Project activities may include research and development of control methods and landscape-level deployment techniques, data collection to inform prioritization of control locations, coordination and planning among Birds, Not Mosquitoes partnership, community outreach and education on the conservation need and tool(s) available, and implementation planning.
  • Kiwikiu – Support the kiwikiu steering committee’s efforts to address short/long-term conservation needs. Activities may include support for establishment of at least one new population to reduce extinction risk, through establishment of a captive population or by translocation. Specific actions may include captive rearing or translocation planning and/or assessments, locating and capturing individuals, infrastructure support, and species monitoring.
  • Oʻahu elepaio – Increase Oʻahu elepaio territorial occupancy. Project activities may include rodent control through trapping, predator surveys, and efficacy monitoring.
  • Palila – Achieve a stable population. Project activities may include invasive vegetation and predator control, outplanting native plants, maintaining ungulate-proof fences, removal of ungulates within fenced units, and monitoring population response to management actions.
  • Puaiohi – Increase puaiohi reproductive success. Project activities may include rodent control through trapping, predator surveys, and efficacy monitoring.

Kuahiwi a Kai: Lānaʻi Watershed Conservation Program: Lānaʻi is home to unique natural and cultural resources, stretching from the island’s mountain to its surrounding ocean. However, the landscape faces threats from uncontrolled ungulate populations, sedimentation runoff, invasive plants, and non-native predators. Over the past 150 years, mismanagement of and overgrazing by non-native ungulates, including axis deer and mouflon sheep, has led to unnatural erosion patterns, burying historic cultural sites near the coast, smothering the island’s coral reefs and white sand beaches with sediment, and destroying terrestrial habitats that are home to native fauna. Invasive plants, such as strawberry guava and fire-tolerant grasses, have changed the hydrology of the watershed, increasing soil compaction and flash flooding, and decreasing water infiltration to the island’s aquifers.

The Kuahiwi a Kai Program was launched in 2019 to protect and enhance Lānaʻi’s watershed health, coral reefs, native plants and animals, endangered Hawaiian petrel habitat, and sensitive coastal cultural sites, while fostering coordinated connection between Lānaʻi’s community and the land. In 2023, the Kuahiwi a Kai Program seeks projects in the following program priority areas:

  • Installation of ungulate-proof fence – A project to install an initial segment of ungulate control fencing has been awarded through the program’s 2021 RFP. NFWF is seeking project(s) to build approximately 5.4 miles of additional fence to enclose a core segment of the Kuahiwi a Kai program area to manage invasive ungulate populations, protect native habitat, improve watershed conditions, and reduce land-based sources of pollution to nurture healthy coral reef ecosystems.
  • Ungulate monitoring – Establishing baseline ungulate distribution and abundance information within the program area, and further develop a monitoring program that can be used to evaluate management actions.
  • Invasive species management planning – Strategy development and implementation planning for invasive species management and native habitat restoration across Lānaʻi Hale. 
  • Invasive vegetation management – Removal of non-native, invasive plants and grasses negatively affecting Hawaiian petrel (ʻuaʻu) breeding habitat within the Hiʻi predator-proof fence located on the Lānaʻi Hale.
  • Community engagement – Integrate the community and its cultural history into the priority conservation activities referenced above. Potential project activities may include engaging students and/or community members in educational, hands-on internships and/or volunteer projects focused on ungulate monitoring, invasive plant management, and native plant restoration.


To better gauge progress on individual grants and to ensure greater consistency of project data provided by multiple grants, the Hawaiʻi Conservation Program has a list of metrics in Easygrants for full proposal applicants to choose from for future reporting. We ask that applicants select only the most relevant metrics from this list for their project (all possible program metrics are shown in the table below). If you think an applicable metric has not been provided, please contact Jana Doi (jana.doi@nfwf.org) to discuss acceptable alternatives.

Project Activity Recommended Metric Additional Guidance
Habitat Management # of miles of ungulate-proof fencing installed Enter the number of miles of ungulate-proof fencing installed.
Species-specific Strategies # of acres protected by ungulate-proof fencing Enter the number of acres protected by installing ungulate-proof fencing.
Habitat Management # of miles of ungulate-proof fencing maintained Enter the number of miles of ungulate-proof fencing maintained for the benefit of palila. In the metric notes section, indicate the year the miles of fence were maintained.
Species-specific Strategies # of individual ungulates removed Enter the number of ungulates removed.
Habitat Management  # of lbs sediment avoided (annually) Enter the number of pounds of sediment discharge (lbs/year) reduced. In the metric notes section, specify the reef tract that this metric is supporting and describe the method used to calculate the reduction.
Habitat Management # of lbs of nutrients avoided annually Enter the number of pounds of nutrient discharge (lbs/year) reduced. In the metric notes section, specify the reef tract that this metric is supporting and describe the method used to calculate the reduction.
Habitat Management # of acres with BMPs Enter the number of acres with Best Management Practices (BMPs) for sediment and nutrient reduction.
Habitat Restoration # of wetland acres restored Enter the number of coastal wetland acres restored. In the metric notes section, specify landcover prior to restoration (example: marsh, tidal marsh, wet meadow, swamp) and indicate % of vegetation on pre-project site (0-20%, 21-40%, 41-60%, 61-80%, 81-100%).
Habitat Management # of marine acres under improved management Enter the number of marine habitat acres under improved management, including herbivore or invasive algae management.
Habitat Management # of acres under improved management through predator control Enter the number of acres under improved management through predator control (cats, mongoose, and rodents) for palila on Hawaiʻi Island and ʻuaʻu on Lānaʻi
Habitat Restoration # of acres restored through invasive plant removal Enter the number of acres of invasive plants removed. In the metric notes section, specify: vegetation removed (i.e. species/plant type such as broadleaf, conifers, forest understory, shrubs, kudzu/vines, and grasses/forbs), desired dominant vegetation (broadleaf, shrub, grass), average frequency (in years) of future treatment, and whether removed vegetation will be left on site to decompose (Yes/No).
Habitat Restoration # native species outplanted Enter the number of native plant species planted. In the metric notes section, indicate the species of plants planted.
Habitat Restoration # of native plants outplanted Enter the number of native plants planted.
Habitat Restoration # of acres restored through native outplanting Enter the number of acres of native plants installed. In the metric notes section, specify landcover type prior to planting (barren, cropland, grass, shrub), type of natives planted (grasses/forbs, shrubs, or broadleaf forest) and density per acre.
Habitat Management # miles of fuel breaks created  Enter the number of miles of fuel breaks and/or green breaks established. In the metric notes section, indicate the total miles for each type of break created.
Planning, Research, Monitoring # studies used to inform management Enter the number of studies to inform management.
Planning, Research, Monitoring # monitoring programs Enter the number of monitoring programs. In the metric notes section, describe what is being monitored, the methodology, and frequency.
Capacity, Outreach, Incentives # people targeted Enter the number of people reached by outreach, training, or technical assistance activities. In the metric notes section, describe the type(s) of outreach and how the outreach contributes to conservation activities. Metric notes should include information as to how people were reached (i.e. community meetings, workshops, volunteer events, etc). If using this metric, please also use the "# people with changed behavior" metric.
Capacity, Outreach, Incentives # people with changed behavior Enter the number of people demonstrating a minimum level of behavior change. This metric should be used to capture people that have been reached, and as a result are applying gained knowledge. Examples include implementing a conservation practice or entering into a partnership that will promote conservation efforts. If using this metric, please also use the "# people reached" metric.
Capacity, Outreach, Incentives  # of volunteers participating in projects Enter the number of volunteers that participated in the project. In the metric notes section, indicate the events or activities volunteers participated in.
Capacity, Outreach, Incentives # of volunteer hours Enter the number of volunteer hours completed through the project. In the metric notes section, indicate the events or activities volunteers participated in.


Eligible and Ineligible Entities

  • Eligible applicants include non-profit 501(c) organizations, U.S. Federal government agencies, state government agencies, local governments, municipal governments, Tribal Governments and Organizations, educational institutions, and businesses.
  • Ineligible applicants include international organizations and unincorporated individuals.
  • For-profit applicants: please note that this is a request for grant proposals, not a procurement of goods and services; see the Budget section below for specific cost considerations.

Ineligible Uses of Grant Funds 

  • Equipment: Applicants are encouraged to rent equipment where possible and cost-effective or use matching funds to make those purchases. NFWF acknowledges, however, that some projects may only be completed using NFWF funds to procure equipment. If this applies to your project, please contact the program staff listed in this RFP to discuss options.
  • Federal funds and matching contributions may not be used to procure or obtain equipment, services, or systems (including entering into or renewing a contract) that uses telecommunications equipment or services produced by Huawei Technologies Company or ZTE Corporation (or any subsidiary or affiliate of such entities) as a substantial or essential component, or as critical technology of any system. Refer to Public Law 115-232, section 889 for additional information. NFWF funds and matching contributions may not be used to support political advocacy, fundraising, lobbying, litigation, terrorist activities or Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.
  • NFWF funds may not be used to support ongoing efforts to comply with legal requirements, including permit conditions, mitigation and settlement agreements. However, grant funds may be used to support projects that enhance or improve upon existing baseline compliance efforts. 


The Hawaiʻi Conservation Program will award approximately $1,135,000 in grants. Generally, grants range in size from $50,000 to $200,000, although grants greater than $200,000 can be considered on a case-by-case basis. Projects relating to bird and coral reef conservation priorities must have a minimum match of 1:1 non-federal cash and/or in-kind contributions. Projects implemented on Lānaʻi within the Kuahiwi a Kai program area must have a minimum match of 1:1 federal cash, non-federal cash, and/or in-kind contributions. Projects may extend from one to three years.


All proposals will be screened for relevance, accuracy, completeness and compliance with NFWF and funding source policies. Proposals will then be evaluated based on the extent to which they meet the following criteria.

Program Goals and Priorities – Project contributes to the Program’s overall habitat and species conservation goals, and has specific, quantifiable performance metrics to evaluate project success. Project addresses one or more of the program priorities.

Technical Merit – Project is technically sound and feasible, and the proposal sets forth a clear, logical and achievable work plan and timeline. Project engages appropriate technical experts throughout project planning, design and implementation to ensure activities are technically-sound and feasible.

Cost-Effectiveness – Cost-effectiveness analysis identifies the economically most efficient way to meet project objectives. Project includes a cost-effective budget that balances performance risk and efficient use of funds. Cost-effectiveness evaluation includes, but is not limited to, an assessment of effective direct/indirect costs across all categories in the proposed budget according to the type, size and duration of project and project objectives. Project budgets will be compared to similar projects to ensure proposed costs across all budget categories are reasonable for the activities being performed and the outcomes proposed.

Transferability – Project has potential and plan to transfer lessons learned to other communities and/or to be integrated into government programs and policies.

Communication – Project includes a detailed plan to communicate information about the project to appropriate audiences.

Funding Need – Project establishes a clear need for the funds being requested, and demonstrates that activities would not move forward absent funding.

Conservation Plan and Context – The project advances an existing conservation plan or strategy. 

Monitoring – Project includes a plan for monitoring progress during and after the proposed project period to track project success and adaptively address new challenges and opportunities as they arise. 

Long-term Sustainability – Project will be maintained to ensure 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.

Past Success – Applicant has a proven track record of success in implementing conservation practices with specific, measurable results.

Partnership – An appropriate partnership exists to implement the project and the project is supported by a strong local partnership that leverages additional funds and will sustain it after the life of the grant. If the organization does not have the capacity or history of successes needed to constitute a competitive application alone, we highly encourage organizations to identify and collaborate with partner organizations to increase capacity and improve project design and outcomes. These partnerships may include multiple organizations needed to implement the project and authentically engage local stakeholders but elevate one higher capacity organization to act as the applicant and pass-through entity for project funding if needed. Identify proposed partners, if known (including potential or contemplated subawards to third party subrecipients of the applicant), the roles they will play in implementing the project, and how this project will build new or enhance existing partnerships. (Note: a project partner is any local community, non-profit organization, tribe, and/or local, state, and federal government agency that contributes to the project in a substantial way and is closely involved in the completion of the project.)

Community Impact – The applicant organization and its partners will work collaboratively with diverse local community members, leaders, community-based organizations, and other relevant entities to develop and implement the proposed project. Describe the community characteristics of the project area, identify any communities impacted, describe outreach and community engagement activities and how those will be monitored and measured. Use demographic data to support descriptions.


Applicant Demographic Information – In an effort to better understand diversity in our grantmaking, NFWF is collecting basic demographic information on applicants and their organizations via a voluntary survey form (available in Easygrants). This information will not be shared externally or with reviewers and will not be considered when making grant decisions. For more details, please see the tip sheet and the Uploads section of Easygrants.

Budget – Costs are allowable, reasonable and budgeted in accordance with NFWF’s Budget Instructions cost categories. Federally-funded projects must be in compliance with OMB Uniform Guidance as applicable.

Environmental Services – NFWF funds projects in pursuit of its mission to sustain, restore and enhance the nation's fish, wildlife, plants and habitats for current and future generations. NFWF recognizes that some benefits from projects may be of value with regards to credits on an environmental services market (such as a carbon credit market). NFWF does not participate in, facilitate, or manage an environmental services market nor does NFWF assert any claim on such credits. 

Intellectual Property – Intellectual property created using NFWF awards may be copyrighted or otherwise legally protected by award recipients. NFWF may reserve the right to use, publish, and copy materials created under awards, including posting such material on NFWF’s website and featuring it in publications. NFWF may use project metrics and spatial data from awards to estimate societal benefits that result and to report these results to funding partners. These may include but are not limited to: habitat and species response, species connectivity, water quality, water quantity, risk of detrimental events (e.g., wildfire, floods), carbon accounting (e.g., sequestration, avoided emissions), environmental justice, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Matching Contributions – Matching Contributions consist of cash, contributed goods and services, volunteer hours, and/or property raised and spent for the Project during the Period of Performance. Larger match ratios and matching fund contributions from a diversity of partners are encouraged and will be more competitive during application review.

Procurement – If the applicant chooses to specifically identify proposed Contractor(s) for Services, an award by NFWF to the applicant does not constitute NFWF’s express written authorization for the applicant to procure such specific services noncompetitively. When procuring goods and services, NFWF recipients must follow documented procurement procedures which reflect applicable laws and regulations. 

Publicity and Acknowledgement of Support – Award recipients will be required to grant NFWF the right and authority to publicize the project and NFWF’s financial support for the grant in press releases, publications and other public communications. Recipients may also be asked by NFWF to provide high-resolution (minimum 300 dpi) photographs depicting the project.

Receiving Award Funds – Award payments are primarily reimbursable. Projects may request funds for reimbursement at any time after completing a signed agreement with NFWF. A request of an advance of funds must be due to an imminent need of expenditure and must detail how the funds will be used and provide justification and a timeline for expected disbursement of these funds.

Compliance Requirements – Projects selected may be subject to requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act (state and federal), and National Historic Preservation Act. Documentation of compliance with these regulations must be approved prior to initiating activities that disturb or alter habitat or other features of the project site(s). Applicants should budget time and resources to obtain the needed approvals. As may be applicable, successful applicants may be required to comply with additional Federal, state or local requirements and obtain all necessary permits and clearances.

Permits – Successful applicants will be required to provide sufficient documentation that the project expects to receive or has received all necessary permits and clearances to comply with any Federal, state or local requirements. 

Federal Funding – The availability of federal funds estimated in this solicitation is contingent upon the federal appropriations process. Funding decisions will be made based on level of funding and timing of when it is received by NFWF.


Dates of activities are subject to change. Please check the program page of the NFWF website for the most current dates and information Hawaiʻi Conservation Program.

Applicant Webinar [View Recording] Wednesday, September 28, 2022 at 10:00AM HST
Full Proposal Due Date Wednesday, November 2, 2022 by 5:59 PM HST
Review Period November 2022 – March 2023
Awards Announced March 2023


All application materials must be submitted online through National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Easygrants system.

  1. Go to easygrants.nfwf.org to register in our Easygrants online system. New users to the system will be prompted to register before starting the application (if you already are a registered user, use your existing login). Enter your applicant information. Please disable the pop-up blocker on your internet browser prior to beginning the application process. 
  2. Once on your homepage, click the “Apply for Funding” button and select this RFP’s “Funding Opportunity” from the list of options.
  3. Follow the instructions in Easygrants to complete your application. Once an application has been started, it may be saved and returned to at a later time for completion and submission.


A Tip Sheet is available for quick reference while you are working through your application. This document can be downloaded in the related links section. 

Additional information to support the application process can be accessed on the NFWF website’s Applicant Information page.

For more information or questions about this RFP, please contact: 
Jana Doi
Manager, Alaska and Hawaiʻi Programs
(415) 243-3102

For issues or assistance with our online Easygrants system, please contact:
Easygrants Helpdesk
Email: Easygrants@nfwf.org
Voicemail: 202-595-2497
Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET, Monday-Friday. 
Include: your name, proposal ID #, e-mail address, phone number, program you are applying to, and a description of the issue.