Cave Acquisition Grants

The NSS Cave Acquisition Grants are awarded by the NSS Administrative Vice President (AVP) based on recommendations from the NSS Preserves Committee. The allocation of funds comes from the NSS AVP budget, which is approved annually by the BOG. There are typically two to four grants awarded per fiscal year. Allocation of funding is carefully managed by the NSS Preserves Committee to ensure that NSS Preserves costs are balanced with grant requests and any pending NSS acquisitions.

Priority is given to proposals from non-profit cave conservancies, Land Trusts, and similar conservation organizations. Funds must be used only for the requested purpose and must be used before the end of the current fiscal year or returned to the NSS. Documented “out of pocket” expenses are permissible but must be thoroughly detailed in the request as no portion of a grant may be used to reimburse a member of the receiving organization for personal services or travel.

Awarded grants range from $500-$5,000 to ensure funding for as many applicants as possible. Priority is given to organizations (conservancies, Land Trusts, etc.) that have not received previous funding from the NSS, or at least grant money within the range of 2017 to the present.

To be considered for a grant award, applications must include adequate description of one or more of the following:

  • Grant requestor organization history and mission;
  • Project purpose, mission alignment, benefit to cavers, threats to cave, etc.;
  • Significance of the cave and property (biological, geological, historical, scientific, recreational); and
  • Proposed costs, timeline, stakeholders and access plan.

Cave Acquisition Grant Application Process

Awards are based on the nature of the project, available funds, and number of applications received. Proposals should include a Cover Letter including a proposal summary and amount requested plus a two-to-five page Project Narrative.

Please specify in your Project Narrative:

  • Organizational Details:
    • Name of applicant / official grant recipient (name, email, address, telephone number and other contact information).
    • Summary of organization's history including mission, goals, and objectives.
    • Descriptions of programs, activities, and accomplishments.
    • Organization's affiliation with other groups or public agencies.
  • Project Description & Grant Purpose:
    • Statement of financial need and the importance of this acquisition including:
      • Discussion of the cave’s significance (biological, geological, historical, scientific, recreational) and how it aligns with the organization’s mission.
      • Discussion of the intended access policy for this cave and preserve (e.g. Open, closed, permission required, research only).
      • Discussion of the Conservation Management Plan.
    • Description of the organization’s goals related to the acquisition.
    • Timetable for acquisition.
    • List of key people and titles who are responsible for the acquisition.
    • Projected cost of the acquisition and plans to fund the balance.
    • Map and photos of the cave and surrounding land.
  • NSS Recognition: Planned announcements and acknowledgement of the NSS grant money.

Please e-mail the NSS Preserves Committee if you need more information.

Contact Information: