Virtual Grant Workshop

Due to COVID-19, we have created a video entailing how our grants works in lieu of our in-person workshops! We have also included a transcript here.

This page is designed to provide information about what Coastal Fund will and will not consider in a funding request. For information about Coastal Fund’s application process, please see our pages on Major Funding, Minor Funding, and Emergency Funding. Contact coastalfund(at) with any questions.

Coastal Fund grant applications must be submitted in connection with a UCSB affiliated department, registered nonprofit, or government agency. Unaffiliated individuals cannot apply for funding. While Coastal Fund does not set a limit on the amount of funding an applicant may request, applicants should note that we typically allocate $150,000 amongst 15-20 projects each quarter and most projects funded through our Major Grant program range from $3,000 to $15,000.

The Coastal Fund is bound by its mission statement and seeks to fund projects that align with its core tenets to protect the local coastal environment. Applicants should demonstrate a strong connection between their project and the Coastal Fund mission statement.

Example Major Grant Applicant Presentation

Watch this video to get an idea of what it is like to present your major grant project to the Coastal Fund Board! Reminder, minor grants do not present to the Board. While the general format of introductions, presentation, and questions is the same for all applicants, this is just one example of how an applicant could present their project. Visuals like slideshows are not required. In the end these presentations are for us to learn more about your work and the project you are passionate about!

Repeat Funding and Project Overlap

Coastal Fund allows repeat funding for ongoing projects. For ongoing or repeating projects (such as an internship that occurs every quarter), applicants should submit a request once per year rather than requesting smaller amounts of funding each cycle. Applicants may submit more than one proposal per grant cycle and may have more than one grant active at once provided that each is a distinct and separate project. We do not approve new funding for an ongoing project until the previous Coastal Fund allocation is complete, though applicants may apply for funding during the cycle in which they will complete the previously approved grant in order to prevent funding gaps (for example, an applicant who will spend all previously approved funds at the end of June may apply for the spring grant cycle April deadline, because the request will not be reviewed, approved and processed until June). We very rarely approve additional funds for an active and approved project unless the additional expense could not have been overseen by the project leader.

UCSB Student Internships

Student interns must be currently or very recently (see below) enrolled in UCSB, and may be paid via hourly wage or stipend. Applicants should consult with their department or agency HR director to determine which is best suited for the position. If a student has already worked on the project while enrolled at UCSB, the Coastal Fund will support their work for up to one academic quarter after they graduate. Students that have graduated and continue working after point this are considered staff and should be listed in the proposed budget as such.

Supplies and Equipment

Coastal Fund accepts funding requests for supplies (items that are consumed during the project, such as lab chemicals, volunteer snacks, or flyers). Equipment (durable items that last beyond the life of the project) needs are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, though Coastal Fund does not provide funding for general-use equipment such as computers, desks, office supplies, et cetera that is not tied to and necessary for a specific project. Applicants should clearly explain why the requested equipment is necessary for the project and describe the equipment’s use after the project is completed.

Staff Time and Oversight

Coastal Fund does consider staff time in funding requests. Staff funding requests should provide an estimated number of hours or percentage of time required to accomplish project objectives. Only staff time that is essential to project success will be considered. While administrative overhead costs may be considered, applicants should detail the types of tasks to be performed using overhead funds and how they connect to the project in question.

Contingency Funding

Coastal Fund will not provide blanket “contingency” funding. If a funded project wishes to reallocate approved funds to new or different line items, the grantee should complete and submit a Budget Reallocation Request, found on the bottom of the Major Funding and Minor Funding pages, to the board for approval.

Event Funding

Coastal Fund does not provide funding for events under Major or Minor grants. 

Promotional Materials

Coastal Fund will not fund branded merchandise for promotional purposes (ie. pens, bags, T-shirts). In rare cases, these items may be funded through a co-sponsorship request if they are associated with a particular event. 


Projects should be completed within one year of receipt of funding. Because Coastal Fund’s application review process takes one full academic quarter and funds cannot be approved for expenses that have already occurred, applicants seeking funding beginning in summer should apply to our spring grant cycle, those seeking funding for spring should apply in winter, and so on. Coastal Fund does not consider funding requests during summer, so those looking for funding for fall should apply in the spring grant cycle.