CHEJ Small Grants Program

Round 2, 2024

NOTICE: Our grant applications have changed! Please refer to our newly updated “Guidelines” and “Instructions for Applying” documents before submitting your application. Also, pay attention to what Tier your organization falls under as each application is different according to Tier.

The Small Grants Program is for grassroots groups working on environmental health and justice issues related to the presence of “toxics” (toxic chemicals or hazardous substances) in their immediate communities. CHEJ prioritizes community-based organizations aiming to have local, state and regional impact through their own strategies and actions. This program is designed to reach people from low-wealth communities and communities of color who are impacted by environmental harms related to toxics.

This grant program supports:

  1. Grassroots community groups fighting an environmental health harm in their community.
  2. Grassroots community groups looking to build up their own leadership, increase capacity or provide training and education.
  3. Projects that help grassroots groups move toward their goals by building leadership, increasing capacity or providing training and education. 

Projects that align with CHEJ’s programs have a better chance to succeed in securing funding. Grassroots communities of color, low wealth, rural and urban groups are encouraged to apply. Should you be a part of a coalition, each group within the coalition may apply individually as well as the coalition itself. CHEJ supports a wide range of environmental health issues; however, we have a limited amount of funds that can only support a specific focus. If your organization’s work is outside of this focus, it does not mean it is less critical, it just means that it will not be considered for this grant.

Please carefully read the Guidelines and the Instructions for Applying per Tier before you apply.

Grant activities can include:

  • Board development
  • Door-to-door organizing training
  • Educational activities directly connected to strategic planning
  • Equipment and/or subscriptions for improving communications (such as Zoom)
  • Fundraising
  • General in-person events or activities
  • Local or statewide group/community-specific efforts or campaigns
  • Meetings/Events to develop organizing and/or strategic planning
  • Organizational membership and outreach



Projects or activities that we are not going to fund:

  • Community gardens or farming
  • Disaster relief and/or emergency response and planning
  • Environmental testing
  • Film, documentary or podcast production
  • Food insecurity interventions (such as food banks)
  • Groups with a budget of over $1,000,000 (one million dollars)
  • Individuals
  • Legal assistance
  • Legislative lobbying or policy work
  • Organizations outside of the United States and its Territories
  • Market campaigns
  • National organizations and/or campaigns
  • Natural environmental protection or conservation efforts
Grants by Tiers

The grant application is different depending on the size of the organization’s annual budget. Your grant application must be submitted as a Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 organization. Refer to the listings below to determine which Tier your organization falls under:

  • Tier 1: Small organizations and all-volunteer groups with budgets that do not exceed $50,000. Grants available in this tier range from $1,000 to $5,000.
  • Tier 2: Mid-sized to larger organizations with budgets over $50,000, but not exceeding $250,000. Grants available in this tier range from $5,000 to $10,000.
  • Tier 3: Large organizations with budgets over $250,000, but not exceeding $1,000,000 (one million dollars). Grants available in this tier range from $10,000 to $20,000.
Will You Need a Fiscal Sponsor?

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. Consider asking a faith-based organization or another non-profit if they will serve as your “Fiscal Sponsor.”

How to Apply

The deadline for submitting your application is Friday, May 31, 2024 by 11:59 PM EDT. Applications must be submitted to CHEJ by email at or by mail to CHEJ’s Office at P.O. Box 6806, Falls Church, VA 22046 (this must be postmarked no later than May 31, 2024). 

All applications are due May 31, 2024 by 11:59 PM EDT. Your project must be complete, and your final report submitted by April 30, 2025.

If Assistance is Needed

If you would like to learn more about the application process, we will be hosting a Training Call on Zoom. The training will be on Tuesday, May 14, 2024 at 12 PM EDT. You must register to attend the call and to receive a recording of the call and the slides that were presented.

If you have questions about this program, whether or not your group/project will meet the guidelines, or on submitting an application, please contact Hunter Marion at or Sharon Franklin at

Thank you for your interest.