Planning your budget for a Watershed Stewardship Grant

What you can include and how community matching works.

There are 2 funding levels for Watershed Stewardship Grants (WSG). 

Mid-scale project

  • Budget of $15,000 to $75,000
  • Contract period of 12 months
  • Community match of at least 35%

Large-scale project

  • Budget of $75,001 to $150,000
  • Contract period of 18 months
  • Community match of at least 25%


Expenses you can include

You may include these expenses when they relate directly to the project:

  • Costs of labor and professional services (see limits below)
  • Equipment, supplies, and materials 
  • Community outreach materials
  • Permit fees

Expenses you can include within limits

Some expenses must be less than a specific percentage of the total budget:

  • Project management: 15% or less
  • Design: 20% or less
  • Construction and materials: At least 40% but no more than 60%
  • Outreach and engagement: 15% or less
  • Administrative overhead or fiscal sponsorship fee: 15% or less

Limit on signs

You will also be required to install permanent signs that explain the project. These signs must include the Community Challenge Grant Program (CCG). The maximum amount you can budget for signs is $1,000.

Expenses you cannot include

  • Decorative items that don't improve stormwater management, like benches or artwork
  • Food and drink, except as part of the community match
  • Travel 
  • Any expenses from before you receive a grant contract 
  • Expenses that are part of your organization's regular operation or part of another program

Fiscal sponsor (if needed)

What a fiscal sponsor will cost

Most fiscal sponsors will charge a fee that's 15% of the total project budget. The fee covers technical support and administrative support like:

  • Preparing reimbursements
  • Ensuring compliance with vendor requirements and financial policies

To make sure you receive enough funding, include the 15% fee as a line item in your proposed budget.


You must include how the community will match part of the amount you are requesting. 

The amount and type of match must meet the needs of the project. Show how each contribution to the match is required to complete the project.


The community must match a percentage of the grant amount. They must match at least 25% for a mid-scale budget or 35% for a large-scale budget.

The match can include:

  • Donations of items allowed in the budget section above
  • Volunteer labor 
  • In-kind professional services

Volunteer labor

Calculate the value of volunteer labor at $25.00 per hour. You can only count volunteer labor after you have a grant contract. You cannot count any work before then as part of the community match.

Professional labor

Professional services or project management costs count as in-kind or in-cash matches. They cannot count towards both. Discounted rates do not count toward a project’s match amount.  


You must document the match. Documentation could include service contracts, invoices, receipts, and signed timesheets or attendance logs.


The WSG is a reimbursement grant program. You will need to pay expenses. Then you will submit invoices with receipts in order to get paid back. The grant administrator will review and approve each invoice before paying it. It may take up to 30 days to pay the invoice after the administrator approves it.

Last updated May 19, 2022