Climigration network's concept development support

for community-led projects on managed retreat

Release date: June 20, 2018
Proposals due: July 25, 2018 at 4:00pm EDT

Download full RFP

Flooded interchange and surrounding area of northwest New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina. [AP]

Flooded interchange and surrounding area of northwest New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina. [AP]

The Climigration Network is pleased to announce the availability of three $7,500 awards to support teams that want to develop a concept-level proposal for a community-led project on managed retreat. Applications will be accepted until July 25th, 2018 at 4:00pm Eastern and should be submitted to Amelia Taylor-Hochberg at the Consensus Building Institute,

what is the opportunity?

The Climigration Network is a community of practitioners driving innovation in conversations, policies, and practices in places where sea level rise, storms, and other impacts from climate change are eroding the viability of living at the water’s edge.

In partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, the Climigration Network is offering $7,500 awards to support the development of a robust project concept and budget that could be expanded into a large grant proposal. This opportunity is one of many ways the Climigration Network is seeking to foster the development of community-led projects that will help communities as they decide whether and when strategic, planned retreat is needed and how to plan for it. Proposals may be for projects anywhere in the United States and should focus on a “local” scale, such as neighborhood, municipal, or small-regional scale.

Here are a few examples of some projects that could be strong candidates for these awards.

  • Creating a neighborhood advisory group to inform long-term planning.

  • Collaborating with a local arts organization to produce a related production or installation that would help the community talk and think about relevant topics.

  • Establishing a community of learning among municipalities within a region or state struggling with climate change at the water’s edge, including the question of managed retreat.

  • Conducting a process to understand community needs and desires related to the future in the form of a situation assessment or series of meetings.

  • Analyzing the psychological impact of managed retreat on residents.

  • Conducting an economic analysis of managed retreat in a particular locale.

  • Conducting an analysis of various managed retreat policy approaches (e.g., buyouts, land swaps, disinvestment, etc.) and their likely impact to a range of communities.

Recipients will:

  1. Scope a substantial project that works in some way at the community scale, articulating the project’s key components, need, projected outcomes, staffing, and budget

  2. Get feedback at the conceptual stage from professionals with expertise in managing community response to climate change

  3. Receive some leads for funding organizations or agencies that might welcome a fully-developed proposal.

The goal is that, by the end of this process, award recipients will be well-positioned and prepared to submit a competitive proposal for other funding opportunities.


Damaged homes seen on Sunshine Key, Fla., in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma [AP]

why is the climigration network doing this?

Developing great projects takes time.

It takes significant time and energy for collaborative teams to envision, research, and develop a new idea with enough detail to be compelling to funders and other supporters. These awards provide support for this creative process.

This topic is especially hard.

At a community scale, including managed retreat in conversations about response to sea level rise is proving to be one of the most difficult climate-related topics to address. Given our land use laws and rights in the US, the local scale is where decisions about investment in infrastructure, property, and open space must take place. Any project seeking to begin a dialogue with residents, neighborhood associations, municipal interests, business leaders and others who would be affected will require a tailored approach that is sensitive to local context, history, personalities, and opportunities. By providing this support, we hope to encourage innovation in one place that can help similar communities in other places.

We have resources to share.

The Climigration Network is building a community of practice on this difficult subject to help communities consider managed retreat along with other adaptive options to protect from or accommodate changes in their environment due to climate change. The Climigration Network operates through peer-to-peer learning, information sharing, and by supporting on-the-ground projects. This year, the Climigration Network has the opportunity, thanks to a partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, to offer financial resources to support the development of on-the-ground projects. We also have a broad base of experts who are able to offer feedback on proposed projects.

If my team received this $7,500 award, what would we be required to do?

The three recipient teams will each develop a project framework (10 pages or less) with the following sections, and submit it by October 25.

  • Local Challenge or Need

  • Project Team

  • Project Approach

  • Budget

  • Timeline

More detail will be provided to those who receive this award.

Climigration Network staff will support development of each project framework by scheduling three check-in calls with award recipient teams during the project period. The first will be to help kick off the effort, the second will be an opportunity for project teams to get feedback from a small team of Climigration professionals whose input the team would like, and the third will be near the end of the project timeframe to confirm the recipients are on target to complete the framework by the deadline and to troubleshoot together as needed.

Three ways the Climigration Network will support award recipients:

  1. Provide $7,500, half at project start, half at project completion.

  2. Provide expert consultation. Experts in the Climigration Network will be happy to talk with award recipients about project ideas and/or review drafts of the project concept.

  3. Build relationships with funders. Climigration staff will reach out to funders that fund the types of projects that award recipients are developing to inform them of the ideas under development and encourage them to welcome the proposals when they are ready.


Community meeting to discuss adaptation measures in Terrebonne, Louisiana. [LA SAFE]

How to apply

Participants should submit a brief proposal (either no more than a title page plus three pages of narrative, or no more than a title page and a five-minute video) to Amelia Taylor-Hochberg at the Consensus Building Institute,, by 4:00 pm Eastern, July 25th, 2018. Applicants will receive confirmation by email that their proposals have been received.

Eligibility - This funding opportunity is open to all individuals and entities working in the US.

Format - Proposals should be in word or PDF or video and should be submitted by email.

  • Title page (in addition to the 3 page limit)

    • Project title

    • Community or geography on which the project will focus

    • Name of the designated fiscal agent

    • Lead person’s name, title, institution, phone, address and email

    • List of additional team members and their affiliations

  • Narrative (up to 3 written pages or five minutes of video) - Describe the concept you expect to develop and how you plan to use the $7,500 support.

    • What community or communities do you want to work in and why?

    • What is your relationship with the community you are proposing to work in?

    • What work do you want to do and why is it important and/or timely?

    • Has anyone tried to address this challenge previously? Why or why not?

    • How do you plan to use the $7,500?

    • Who would be your project team in developing the proposal, what would their roles be, and why would the group work well as a team?

    • Who would be responsible for providing the deliverables required from award recipients?

    • Other - Feel free to:

      • Describe how your process in developing just this brief proposal worked, what you learned, and what it indicates about going forward.

      • List challenges you anticipate.

The review process

A small review team will use the following criteria to evaluate applications:

  • Does the proposed project team inspire confidence that they will work effectively together to develop a great proposal? Does the project team leverage its members’ strengths and expertise?

  • Do the reviewers think the project is ultimately likely to succeed with another funder?

  • Does the project concept you propose to develop fit the Climigration Network focus?

    • Would the results benefit the community in which it takes place?

    • Would it address potential equity issues?

    • Would it be likely to create innovation on managed retreat issues and can other communities benefit directly from the work or indirectly by applying the lessons learned?

    • Would it focus at a local scale?

Applicants will be notified about the results of the team's decision by mid-August.

Questions? Please feel free to email or call Ona Ferguson, Senior Mediator at the Consensus Building Institute,, 617-844-1127.

We'll post answers to questions as we receive them on our FAQ page.