CHEJ Small Grants Program

The Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ) has a Small Grants Program for grassroots groups working on environmental health and justice issues. 

Grassroots communities of color, low wealth, rural and urban groups are encouraged to apply. This grant program will support projects that help groups move toward their goals by building leadership, increasing capacity and/or providing training and education. A priority of CHEJ’s Small Grants Program is to help grassroots community groups to build their capacity. The program is designed to especially reach people from low wealth communities and communities of color who are impacted by environmental harms.

Although we believe that many efforts in the field are valuable in creating change, our resources are limited. Projects such as film production, community gardens, legal assistance, market campaigns, natural environment protection, food banks, national campaigns, (except local/statewide group-specific efforts that may fit in to such a campaign) and projects for individuals, national organizations, or organizations outside of the United States are not likely to be supported. CHEJ’s program is focused on addressing environmental threats and associated public health harms.

Please read carefully these guidelines and areas of interest before you apply. The closer your project is to the focus of the CHEJ’s program, the better chance you have to succeed in securing funding. CHEJ supports a wide range of issues, however, we have a limited amount of funds, which were provided to support a specific focus. That doesn’t mean that your work outside the focus is less important– IT IS NOT. If you have questions about your project and if it will meet the guidelines, please call and ask before you invest your valuable time in filling out the forms. We’ll give you an honest answer.

CHEJ prioritizes community-based organizations aiming to have local, state and regional impact as the core of the health and environmental justice movement. CHEJ believes that no social change on behalf of the exploited comes without strong community-based organizations.

Grant activities can include board development, membership outreach, and fundraising efforts. Project activities could also include holding meetings to develop an organizing/strategic plan, training leaders to go door-to-door, events or educational activities which are directly connected to your strategic plan, or general events.  It is recommended that project activities be creative, effective and strategic.

Proposals are due May 6, 2019 and the project must be completed and a final report submitted by February 15, 2020.

The grant application is different for different sized organizations. Small organizations and all volunteer groups with budgets under $50,000 should click here for an application. Grants are available in this tier range from $1,000 to $5,000.

CHEJ is not funding larger organizations this May 6th cycle. Stay tuned for announcements for applications for groups that have higher budgets defined below. Please do not apply if your budget is greater than $250,000 this May 2019. 

For organizations with budgets no greater than $250,000 click here for an application. This tier of the program will provide support from $5,000 to $10,000.

Larger organizations with budgets over $250,000 but less than one million dollars should click here for an application. This tier of the program will support projects with grants from $10,000 to $20,000.

If you are a grassroots group, but are not incorporated and do not have a bank account, you will need to find an organization that can accept the funds for your groups, such as a faith-based organization or other non-profit who will serve as your “fiscal sponsor.”

We unfortunately cannot support proposals/projects that fall in any of the categories below.

  • Organizations with an annual budget over $1 Million
  • Individuals
  • National organizations
  • Organizations outside of the United States
  • National campaigns, except local/statewide group-specific efforts that may fit into such a campaign.
  • Legal work or lobbying

The deadline for submitting your application is May 6, 2019. Applications should be submitted to CHEJ at or you can send it by mail to CHEJ, P.O. Box 6806, Falls Church, VA 22046 (must be postmarked no later than May 6, 2019). If you have questions, feel free to give us a call at 614-539-1471 or send an email to

Tier 1 Application
Tier 2-3 Application