Trail Volunteer Fund
Advice about Eligible Projects

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The purpose of the Trail Volunteer Support Fund is to encourage volunteer projects by providing materials and supplies. These examples of types of projects that are appropriate or inappropriate to propose may help to clarify that purpose.

Our emphasis is on helping trails develop a volunteer base with long-term personal commitment to the trails.  Accordingly, we do not generally regard as volunteers the members of job or youth corps programs, corporate community service day groups, or other groups who are working as part of an arrangement with their employers, the legal system, or other supervisors.

Types of grant requests the Fund will consider for support

Construction materials such as trail surface material, concrete, drain pipe, or fencing to be placed by volunteers.

Tools such as chain saws, loppers, or formwork to be used in a major trail building effort staffed principally by volunteers. Also, rental of major equipment such as spreaders or wood chippers when that provides high leverage for volunteer effort.

Supplies and materials such as paint, brushes, rollers, lumber for volunteer maintenance of trail structures, information boards, signage and crosswalks and the fabrication of such structures when the volunteer effort is substantial compared to the cost of materials.

Mowing machines and maintenance thereof for long trails that are being mowed by volunteers.

Equipment kits such as first aid kits and repair tools for trail patrols (monitors, ambassadors, etc).

Materials for student and youth volunteer projects such as Scout, service, or church group projects.

Bicycle trailers for local volunteer fire, EMS companies that respond to emergencies along the trail.

Production and installation of interpretive signs, when most of the effort in designing and building the signs is done by volunteers.

Construction and installation of information kiosks, signs and mileposts, where most of the effort is provided by volunteers.

Development of non-motorized river access along the trail, including carry-in launch areas for canoes and kayaks.

Permits when required for volunteer projects.

Partial support for personnel such as circuit riders who will organize projects and cultivate volunteers.

Types of grant requests the Fund will normally decline

Software, because this is already supported by TechSoup Stock. TechSoup Stock is an online product donation service that connects nonprofits with technology product donations, primarily software, from more than twenty leading providers. All products are available either as donations or for prices that are deeply discounted just for nonprofits. Individual companies also have programs for non-profits.

Tools and equipment that do not enable proportional volunteer effort. Generally the value of volunteer effort should be greater than the size of the grant. Expensive equipment that will be used only occasionally will usually not be considered, though rental of that equipment or arrangements to share the equipment with other trails might be considered.

Paid labor, staff, contractors, engineering effort, supervision, inspectors, etc.

Purchased prebuilt structures, including trail furniture, that will simply be placed by volunteers.

Hand tools that commonly would be in a handymanís basement.

Events, even if staffed by volunteers.

Chemical toilets, even if maintained by volunteers.

Projects to develop short, unconnected, or loop trails, especially if there is no prospect of connection to the network or of use by touring cyclists.

Development of single-track mountain bike trails.

Development of trails for motorized use, including ATV trails and snowmobile trails.

Because of the nature of the fund we can not provide commitment letters to be used as match for other grants requests.

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