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. We would greatly appreciate your help in sending this announcement to grassroots groups in your network. If you are a grassroots group or working directly with a grassroots’ group, please consider submitting an application.

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.

Grant activities can include board development, membership outreach, and fundraising efforts. Project activities could also include meetings to develop an organizing/strategic plan, training leaders to go door-to-door, events, educational activities which are directly connected to your strategic plan, or general events. It is recommended that project activities be creative, effective and strategic.  Please read our guidelines available on button to the right of this page. 

This year we are excited to announce that our small grants program has grown and can now support the work of small and larger grassroots community-based organizations, which are working on environment, health and justice issues.  First round of applications are for Tier One and Tier Two organizations and later this year we will be taking proposals from larger organization (Tier Three) whose budget doesn’t exceed one million dollars. Stay tuned for that announcement. For the first applications if Tier 1 and Tier 2 proposals are due February 21, 2020 and the project must be completed and a final report submitted by December 11, 2020.

The grant application is different for different sized organizations. Small organizations and all volunteer groups with budgets under $50,000 should apply for Tier One with the button on the right.  Grants are available in this tier range from $1,000 to $5,000.

For organizations with budgets no greater than $250,000 should use the Tier Two application also available on the right side of this page.  This tier of the program will provide support from $5,000 to $10,000.

For organizations with budgets greater than $250,000 but less than $1,000,000 we are not yet accepting application. Watch for our notice this spring. This tier will provide support 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 group, such as a faith-based organization or other non-profit who will serve as your “fiscal sponsor.”

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 protections and food banks are not likely to be supported. CHEJ’s program is focused on addressing environmental threats and associated public health harms.

The deadline for submitting your application for the first round is February 21, 2020. 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 February 21, 2020). Please check our application form carefully for more specifics on our guidelines.

 If you have questions, feel free to call Teresa Mills at 614-539-1471 or email

Thank you,

Lois Marie Gibbs

Leadership Training Academy

Quick Links

Tier 1 Application
Tier 2 Application
Tier 3 Application