Eligibility & Criteria


The Sustainable Neighborhood Small Grant Competition invites teams of City residents, neighborhood organizations, schools, religious organizations, community groups, and/or other organizations to propose sustainable projects for their own neighborhood.

To be eligible:

  • A project must be submitted on behalf of at least one of the 79 official City of St. Louis neighborhoods.
  • A project team must include an organization that has not-for-profit status and who can serve as fiscal representative if awarded the prize money.
  • There must be at least one person with an e-mail address on each team designated as the point person to receive Sustainable Neighborhood Small Grant Competition e-mail updates and information.
  • Grant applications for projects must be submitted using the online application template by June 15, 2013, at 11:59 p.m. CST.  The application template will be available on May 6, 2013.

All prospective applicants are requested to register their intent to apply online by May 31, 2013, at http://sustainableneighborhood.net/apply.


Grant Application: The City of St. Louis Sustainable Neighborhood Small Grant Competition will only accept proposals that are submitted using the application template found online.

Application contents:

  • Written project proposal and budget using PDF template (click here to download)
  • Letter of Support from partner organization with a Not-For-Profit status with a copy of the organizations current IRS Letter of Determination indicating tax-exempt status.
  • Optional (1) 8.5 x 11 page of visual support (photographs, sketches, etc.).

Projects should (1) complete a tangible, physical deliverable by October 31, 2013, and also (2) provide for ongoing care, maintenance or growth, such as community capacity building, planning, or neighborhood educational programs.

Submission Process:  The submissions process is now closed.  Winners will be announced by July 1, 2013.

Project Awards:  Award amounts are limited to $5,000, but a team may propose a project that costs more than $5,000, if the team can procure additional funds or donated items.  A budget will be required demonstrating both the anticipated expenses and any income or in-kind donations that will be used to fund the project.

Reporting & Documentation:  Winning project teams will agree to report monthly updates on progress of the project and allow competition organizers access to the demonstration project for the purposes of project filming, documentation, and education. One page updates are required on the last day of each month during the implementation phase (July 31, August 31, September 30 and October 31) and a final self-evaluation, on a form to be provided, will be required by the end of the year (December 31, 2013).

The winning projects will be captured on film and included in an idea bank of sustainable neighborhood initiatives. At least one member of winning project teams must agree to be filmed before, during, and at the completion of the physical component of the small grant project implementation.

Permitting:  Winning project teams will be responsible for obtaining any applicable permits or licenses that may be required to carry out the demonstration project. Project teams are also responsible for complying with all local, state, and federal laws and requirements.

Teams may only submit one grant request; however, individuals or organizations may participate on more than one team, and neighborhoods are not limited to how many proposals can be submitted.

For questions about eligibility, please e-mail sustainableneighborhoods@stlouis-mo.gov.


Projects are encouraged to address environmental, social, and economic issues determined to be of importance to the neighborhood. Bonus points will be awarded to projects that incorporate all three of these issues in an integrated manner. Resources and examples of sustainable neighborhood small grant ideas will be available on the competition website by May 6, 2013, and teams are encouraged to conduct their own research on neighborhood-level sustainability projects. Additional ideas can be found in the City of St. Louis Sustainability Plan at http://stlouis-mo.gov/sustainability.

Summary of Prerequisites:

  • Proposals must suggest a neighborhood-level project that includes a tangible, measurable outcome that will be complete by October 31, 2013.
  • Proposals must specifically demonstrate one or more of the objectives, strategies or ideas found in the City’s Sustainability Plan.
  • Proposals must be designed to address long-term success for the neighborhood.

The grant applications will be evaluated by a jury of local funders and community sustainability experts.  Grant applicants are not to discuss their project proposal with any jury member until after the small grant selection has been made on July 1, 2013.

Competition judges will receive all proposals and score them before a full jury selection session at the end of June. At that time, the jury may choose not to further review proposals that scored less than 25 out of 45 total possible points on the scoring rubric.


A jury will use the following rubric to evaluate all proposals submitted to the City of St. Louis Sustainable Neighborhood Small Grant Competition. Judges will score proposals in their ability to successfully address each field, with 5 points indicating a likely successful solution and 0 points indicating insufficient information.


1. Tangible or physical project deliverable that can be   measuredThe proposed project is feasible to   complete by October 31, 2013, with the $5,000 grant, with any additional   in-kind, volunteer, or cash resources sourced identified in the budget.  
2. Specific connection to City of St. Louis Sustainability   PlanThe proposed project clearly   specifies how it will implement some aspect(s) of the Sustainability Plan.   Specific references to the Sustainability Plan are encouraged.  
3. Demonstrated neighborhood needThe proposed project demonstrates   that it is likely to address and improve an economic, environmental, or   social need in the neighborhood. (Bonus points for addressing all three areas,   below)  
4. Community engagement & participationThe proposed project involves its   neighborhood at a human level. It will affect people on a regular basis and incorporate  them into the project design, implementation, and maintenance processes when   possible and appropriate.  
5. Builds strength and positions for future successThe proposed project has a component that strengthens the local community or neighborhood organizations through capacity-building techniques, such as adding new skills, education, planning,   assessment or learning. ­  
6. Qualified teamThe team is composed of relevant, experienced, and eager neighborhood people and organizations able to execute   the project proposed.  
7. Long-term maintenance and impactThe proposal shows thought about who   will maintain the project (and how they will do it) after it is implemented   and beyond the competition timeframe. The project will likely have an ongoing   positive effect on its neighborhood.  
8. Measurement & evaluationThe proposed project involves some quantifiable impact, and the team will provide measurements, commentary, and   other forms of evaluation of its efficacy in sustainability.  
9. Implementation plan and project budgetThe proposal outlines a plan of   action for viable execution of the project. It shows benchmarks of completion   and how funds will be spent.  
10a. 1 Bonus point: Innovation and CreativityThe proposed project is innovative or   creative in its approach or application.  
10b. 2 Bonus points: CollaborationThe project incorporates different   organizations and takes a multi-disciplinary approach.  
10c. 5 Bonus points: “Sweat   equity” or Matching fundsThe proposed project will involve   hands-on participation from the community for implementation and/or   contribute additional resources, such as cash or donations.  
10d. 2 Bonus points: Triple bottom   line integrationThe proposed project is likely to   successfully address economic, social and environmental issues of the   neighborhood.  



The Sustainable Neighborhood Small Grant Competition will award seven $5,000 grants to support project initiatives from teams with a not-for-profit organization that can serve as its fiscal representative.

Winning teams must agree to use any award funds granted pursuant to the competition solely for implementation of their grant application, and they agree to use reasonable effort to implement and maintain the project and allocate other resources thereto as proposed in their submission.

Once award agreements are signed, the winning awards will be issued to the project team’s not-for-profit fiscal representative by July 15, 2013.


The competition organizers shall retain ownership of and all rights in and to all materials submitted by any entrant. Each entrant shall retain ownership of any and all copyright, patent, trademark or other intellectual property embodied in its submission but shall and does hereby grant the City of St. Louis and the competition organizers a royalty-free, nonexclusive, worldwide perpetual right and license to use the same for all purposes associated with the competition and the promotion thereof, including, without limitation, the right and license to film aspects of project implementation, hold an online exhibition of work and to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies of the design submission, and the right to authorize such use by others. No entrant shall use the name, logos or other protected marks of any other entrant or competition organizer without the other party’s prior written consent. Any and all copyrights, patents, trademarks or other intellectual property of the competition organizers in and to the Neighborhood Small Grant Competition materials and program shall remain the sole property of the competition organizers.