Criteria at-a-Glance

Conservation Trust Criteria at-a-Glance

The Trusts fund on-the-ground conservation projects across Manitoba’s working landscapes that provide Ecological Goods and Services.

The CT fund uses a two-stage application process:

Stage 1: Letter of Interest (LOI)
Stage 2: Accepted LOIs proceed to full project application

Applications will be completed entirely online.

The following highlights key eligibility criteria only.
Please refer to the current call Guidelines  and GROW Guide for full details.

Eligible Areas

Eligible Applicants

  • GROW applications: only Watershed Districts may submit a GROW application.
  • CT applicants: 
    • Community-based Manitoba not-for-profit groups
    • Provincially-based not-for-profit groups
    • National not-for-profit groups with established Manitoba operations.
      *Eligible applicants may include ineligible applicants as project partners

Ineligible Applicants

  • GROW applicants: all groups other than Watershed Districts
  • CT applicants: 
    • Organizations without established operations in Manitoba
    • Governments (including Municipalities and Indigenous Governments)
    • Individuals
    • For-profit organizations
  • *Applicants are encouraged to seek knowledge and partnerships from various experts in the field. Ineligible applicants are encouraged to participate as project partners with eligible applicants. Organizations are not restricted from partnering multiple times in the same funding cycle.  

Eligibility Frequency

  • There is a $100,000 organizational funding limit for Watershed District applications to the Conservation Trust
  • There is a $500,000 organizational funding limit for other Conservation Trust applicants to the Conservation Trust 
  • *Groups should be aware the partial funding of applications is a possible outcome.

Project Timelines

  • Groups may submit applications for up to two years for project implementation activities. If applicants are considering including Annual Incentive Payments to landowners please contact a Trusts Associate.

Matching Funds

The overall objective for the Trusts is a total match ratio (cash and in-kind) of 2:1. Incentive payments do not require match.  Therefore, the Trust funding request for project implementation should not exceed one-third the total project cost. 

  • Matching funds can be cash and/or in-kind goods and services
  • Projects with less than a 2:1 match ratio may be considered and ranked accordingly
  • No more than 50% of matching funds can be from provincial government sources
  • Matching funds for activities that directly relate to the project may have been received up to one year prior to the proposed start date

Eligible Projects and Expenses

A. Direct Project Costs 

  • Consulting/professional services: include contractors, consultants, crews or equipment operators including equipment, and legal fees
  • Construction contracts
  • Materials: Required for the proposal
  • Equipment rentals

B. Delivery Costs

  • Salaries and benefits*
  • Travel & Field Costs*
  • Administration and Overhead associated with proposal* (board expenses, management costs, rent, phone)
  • computer infrastructure
  • Communications (should not be calculated as part of a day rate)

*Note: Applicants could choose to capture all expenses in a day rate which is entered in the Salaries and Benefits line

C. Other 

Project Agreements with Landowners: All activities occuring on properties not owned or controlled by the grantee will be supported by written agreements between the grantee and the landowner. Those agreements should include responsibilities of the landowner and the grantee as well as the duration of the agreement and the project area

Ineligible Expenses

The Conservation Trust is a project funder and it is not the intent of the fund to provide on-going operating or programming support. The following expenses are ineligible however these may be used as match.

  • Research costs
  • Water quality monitoring
  • Land purchases
  • Major equipment purchases (> $5000 per item)
  • Management fees
  • Major capital assets such as buildings
  • Maintenance of existing projects
  • Activities primarily focused on festivals / tours/ events
  • Mapping-only projects that are not integral to the development of a larger CT project
  • Creation or management of stand-alone electronic databases, websites or file systems
  • Organizational fundraising
    *See Conservation Trust Guidelines for additional ineligible expenses

Ineligible Activities

  • Any activity that must be undertake because of a government order or regulatory requirement (e.g. the restoration of wetlands that are already required by regulation)
  • Primary and applied research
  • Fish or wildlife rearing, farming, stocking, or hatcheries projects
  • Feeding or control of wildlife species
  • Rearing or rehabilitating wildlife in captivity
  • Conferences, lecture series, or conventions
  • Policy promotion and advocacy activities
  • Ongoing control of alien invasive aquatic or wildlife species
  • Projects whose requested funding exceeds maximum stated limits

Conservation Trust Project Categories

Projects must apply under one of the following Conservation Trust project categories. Note that individual Calls for Letters of Interest may not include all categories.

Please see current Call Guidelines for full details.

  • Watersheds
  • Habitat and Wildlife
  • Connecting People to Nature
  • Innovation
  • Conservation Planning
  • Soil Health
    *See Conservation Trust Guidelines for more information

Proposal Review

Full proposal applications undergo a three-tier review process:

1)  Application review and pre-screen

2)  Technical review and evaluation

3)  Final review

Successful proposals will meet and exceed basic eligibility requirements. Preference may be given to projects which:

  • Address an evident conservation need that is a priority for the Trusts
  • Have significant, measurable, and/or multiple EG&S outcomes (conservation benefits)
  • Involve active partnerships and have effective engagement with other organizations
  • Request funds for one-third of total project costs (have matching funds that meet or exceed 2:1 ratio)
  • Show how funds help to directly achieve measurable conservation results

After reading the Trust Guidelines, if you still have questions or need assistance, please contact the CTrust Team at