Evan Means Grants Program
The Evan Means Grants Program was created in 2011 to honor the memory of Evan Means, one of the co-founders of the Tennessee Trails Association in 1968. The program provides funding for volunteer-based nonprofit groups that may feel their request is too small to submit to more formal grant-making organizations.
In 2019, TTA redesigned the Evan Means Grant program to make it easier to participate.
- Grant requests must be for projects related in some way to improving or enhancing trails and/or the hiking experience in Tennessee.
- Grant requests are generally expected to be less than $1,000, but requests for any amount will be considered.
- Recipient organizations must be registered with the state as a nonprofit. Federal nonprofit status is not required. TTA chapters are eligible.
- Projects must be freely accessible to the general public.
- There should be a significant use of volunteer labor in the project.
- Grant requests will generally be for tools and materials, not for general labor. However, payment for specialized skills may be considered. Tools purchased for a project may be retained by the recipient, passed on to another non-profit, or returned to TTA. They may not be sold to other organizations, or sold or given to individuals.
- Individuals submitting grant requests do not have to be members of the grantee organization, but should have the organization’s approval.
- Projects generally should be completed within 12 months and TTA should be advised of any delays encountered as a project progresses. Significant delays in starting a project may result in revocation of the grant, with resubmission in a later cycle. Significant delays in completing a project should be discussed with TTA as soon as possible.
Grant requests will be submitted to the TTA Grants Committee and must include:
- A brief narrative description of the project and how it fits within the range of the organization’s total activities
- A narrative description of how hikers will benefit from the project, and an estimate of how many hikes will benefit.
- An estimate of the project’s start and completion dates
- A detailed budget for spending the amount requested
- The total cost of the project from all funding sources
- The number of total man-hours required by the project, and
- The amount of volunteer hours expected to be used.
A Grants Committee, appointed by the TTA President and approved by the TTA Board of Directors, will evaluate each grant request and make a recommendation to the Board to approve the grant in full, approve the grant for a different amount, or reject the grant.
The Committee will consider both subjective and objective factors in evaluating each request. Priority is given to projects with high volunteer labor content and to projects expected to impact a high number of hikers.
The Grant cycle will be quarterly. Requests must be submitted to the Grants committee no later than 30 days prior to a regularly scheduled board meeting. Requests not meeting this requirement will be considered in the next cycle unless the submitter chooses to withdraw the request. Rejected requests may be modified and resubmitted in a later cycle.
Requests that cannot be granted because of budget constraints will be automatically considered in the next cycle unless the submitter chooses to withdraw the application.
The grantee will acknowledge TTA’s participation in the project in some way, either by attaching tags or placards to a structure, or by inclusion in signage or in publications prepared by the recipient.
TTA is free to publicize its contribution to the project.
The grantee agrees to participate in a press release or other publicity that acknowledges TTA’s participation in the project
The grantee must submit photos of the completed project before another grant request from the organization will be considered.