TRA Grant RFP, Round Two

Deadline July 15, 2019

Awards September 1, 2019 at OTR

The Robertson Association will be switching its grant program to coincide with awards at its annual Old Timer’s Reunion. That allows us to have an additional round of grants this year. This round of grants can support multiple projects at the $500 level, but more complex projects may be considered for higher amounts.

This grant packet includes the basic guidelines, submission information, requirements and scoring criteria for applicants. All information should be submitted to the grants coordinator, Sharon Brinkman-Windle by midnight July 15th to allow the committee ample time for careful considerations.

Basic Guidelines

Since its incorporation in 1978, TRA has supported caving through grants. We are charged with existing “exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes, including the study and science of speleology, the development of safe caving techniques and equipment, the protection of caves and their natural content, and the promotion of fellowship among those interested therein.”

  • Grants should be related to TRA.
  • Grants will be scored on the concept.
  • Grant experience is not necessary. If you have questions or need assistance, contact Sharon Brinkman-Windle .
  • Projects must be completed within one year of receipt of funding.
  • We do not fund individual or group travel or previously purchased items.


  • Grant recipients or their representatives are requested attend the 2019 OTR Awards Program, Sunday evening, September 1st to receive their check.
  • Results must be completed by OTR 2020 or funding must be returned.
  • Must participate in the Grants Roundtable to explain their project and how TRA contributed to it. Participation can include:
    • In person
    • Submitting a poster to be displayed throughout the event or
    • Submitting a PowerPoint detailing your project.
  • A written report is required upon completion of the project and all grantees are encouraged to publish any results in regional caving publications.

Submission Information

We keep trying to simplify the process. What we need from you:

  1. Who is applying? Group? 501c3 status?
  2. Who will lead the project? How many people will it take to complete it, over what time period?
  3. Who is the financial officer (Grotto Treasurer, etc.) who will handle the money?
  4. How much money do you need to complete your project?
    1. Will TRA be your only source of funding?
    2. Do you have any partnerships supporting your efforts?
  5. Who does your project serve?
    1. Public, landowners, new cavers, the scientific community, etc.
  6. How does it benefit the greater caving community?
    1. How does it relate to the TRA goals above?
  7. What output or product will be the result of this grant? For example, is it a gate on a cave for a landowner, a training program for new cavers, a publication, search and rescue equipment, and so forth? Is it tangible?
  8. Explain your goals for the project.
  9. Explain your timeline for the project.
    1. How long will it take you to accomplish?
  10. Describe your work plan
    1. (ex. We will buy X, have X training sessions, and evaluate the skills learned as a result of the training, determine further action steps as needed.)
  11. How will you determine the success of your project?
    1. Set a goal. (ex. We hope to have X new members participating in a minimum of X trips using the new equipment.)
    2. Evaluation methods will help inform others
  12. How will you disseminate the results?
    1. NSS News
    2. Academic newsletters, newspapers, regional caving publications, local press. TRA should be mentioned as a funding source in any press. 

Scoring Criteria

Your project will be judged and scored by the grant committee, consisting of seven members with diverse caving and professional backgrounds. We will try to simplify this round. There will be a maximum of 100 points.

  • Maximum 40 points
  • Workable plan with realistic timelines and goals?
    • Maximum 15 points
  • Demonstrated capacity to complete the project successfully?
    • Maximum 15 points
  • Realistic budget?
    • Maximum 5 points
  • Supports TRAs goals and purpose?
    • 25 points

Please submit your grant or direct specific questions to:

Sharon Brinkman-Windle, TRA Life Trustee, grants coordinator