Grants & Project Criteria

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CARE for the Cape and Islands projects help to preserve and protect Cape & Islands’ natural environment, culture and historic places. Each year we seek proposals from local nonprofits that fit within five themes including Carbon Footprint Reduction, Environmental Stewardship, Food and Culture, and Infrastructure and Sense of Place. These projects lead the Cape and Islands community one step closer to long-term sustainability and the protection of our fragile environment.

Applications for 2024 are now being closed. See details below regarding funding criteria. Previously funded projects may be found here.

Recommended project guidelines may be found here and project criteria is listed below. We look for projects, whose impacts are continued, lasting, easily maintained and reach/touch a significant number of people. Most grants are $1,000-2,000. Should you have questions, please send them to


CARE for the Cape & Islands™  

Project Funding Criteria

To be considered for CARE for the Cape and Islands funding you must be a 501c3 and your project must:

Directly affect visitors’, 2nd homeowners’, and year-round residents’ experiences, and include at least 5 of the following characteristics:

  1. A project that can be completed with one-time funding.  Successful proposals will be innovative, have value as a sustainable model for other communities, and demonstrate a methodology for measuring results under CARE’S mission statement.  
  2. Supports and/or enhances the development of a vibrant, sustainable tourism economy for our region. *see other funding themes on page 2. 
  3. Project has clear leadership, which strengthens the project mission and outcomes through execution of a timeline, scope of work and funding theme. 
  4. Project with multiple stakeholders, involving direct participation of multiple entities and has been developed collaboratively.
  5. Project creates a clear link to Geotourism*, that will increase awareness among all stakeholders (including tourists and residents) of the impact of travel and tourism (funding themes) on the community and the environment. Projects will enhance collaboration between tourism and related fields (agriculture, heritage, environment, culture, etc). 

*Geotourism is defined as tourism that sustains or enhances the distinctive geographical character of a place-its environment, heritage, aesthetics, culture, and the wellbeing of its residents.

      6. Project includes a clear educational component that will empower community stakeholders.

Successful proposals MUST:

  1.  Include specific, measurable outcomes based on a triple bottom line perspective (i.e. – How will this project impact people, planet, and profits* in the Cape Cod & Islands region?
  2. Contain project scope of work and a timeline outlining objectives that will be attained through the proposed activities.
  3. Include a project budget with the scope of work that accounts for the financial cost including labor, materials, overhead, professional services, etc.
  4. Recognize CARE as major funder. The CARE logo is required to be prominently integrated in all promotional material and on any deliverable i.e. water bottle filling station, educational signage, etc.
  5. Grant recipients will be required to participate 2 or 3 x’s annually with CARE events. All grant recipients must agree to attend CARE Day in the spring/fall. Other events include CARE Summits, Fundraising Events and Annual Meeting. 

Additional information:

  • Grants are typically announced in February.
  • This is a reimbursable grant. Funds will be paid upon completion of the project and upon receipt of a Final Project Report.
  • Project is to be completed within one year. A 3-month extension may be requested based upon special circumstances but not guaranteed.
  • Preference will be given to projects that can provide up to a 1:1 match (in cash and/or in kind) to support the completion of the project (e.g. leveraging volunteer hours.) 
  • Preference will be given to projects with budgets that limit overhead expenses in their project budgets to no more than 10%.
  • Preference will be given to regional Cape Cod & Islands projects   
  • Special attention will be given to projects that include a hands-on/experiential opportunity.

Funding Themes:

  • Environmental Education
  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Infrastructure for Community Livability
  • Sense of place
  • Food and Culture
  • Reduce and Reuse 
  • Protection of the natural environment, cultural, and historical elements 


We are looking for projects, whose impacts are continued, lasting, easily maintained and reach/touch a significant number of people. Please visit our website for a list of previous projects:

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Funding will be awarded upon completion of the project and receipt of  Final Report. Project must be completed within 12 months of the award announcement. A 90 day extension may be requested based upon extenuating circumstances.

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