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Frequently Asked Questions

Updated April 28, 2020: Due to budget constraints faced by the City as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, both the Make a Splash Grant and Sustainability Small Grant programs have been suspended for the remainder of the year. No applications for either program will be reviewed or awarded in 2020.

The City of Tacoma is grateful for our community’s continued commitment to restore, protect, and preserve our environment and surface water resources. With that in mind, we ask those who submitted (or were planning to submit) applications in 2020 to please hold on to your project ideas, as we hope to resume both programs in 2021.

In the meantime, we invite you to visit any of the following City of Tacoma resources to learn about ways you can prevent stormwater pollution, help protect Puget Sound, and care for our shared environment – all while staying home, and staying healthy:

For questions about the Make a Splash Grant Program, please contact makeasplash@cityoftacoma.org. For questions about the Sustainability Small Grant Program, please contact sustainability@cityoftacoma.org.


How do I apply for a City of Tacoma Make a Splash grant?

You can find the application online or request one to be mailed to you, email Makeasplash@cityoftacoma.org or call (253) 591-5588. Print the application and either mail (Attn: Make a Splash Grants, City of Tacoma, 326 East D Street, Tacoma, WA 98421-1801), or email makeasplash@cityoftacoma.org. Applications will be accepted during May. Note that the application period is currently closed.


When will Make a Splash grants be awarded?

Grants are typically awarded by August of the award year. Reimbursable expenditures can be made between receipt of the executed contract and August 1 of the following year.


How can I get help in developing my project idea or filling out the Make a Splash application?

Can I as an individual apply for and receive grant funds?

Yes. However, as an individual be aware that the money you receive must be claimed on your yearly taxes. The City suggests partnering with a 501(c) (3) nonprofit group or other fiscal agent and have them accept the money on your behalf.


How many applications can I or my organization submit?

The City encourages everyone to apply with as many projects/events as they would like, however, individuals, groups or organizations may not win more than two in each grant cycle.


What can grant money be spent on?

Grant money can be applied toward costs that are identified in the approved project budget. This includes transportation and materials. Up to 10 percent of the grant may be spent on food. Grant money can cover up to 20 percent of personnel or labor costs for project/event development, oversight and coordination. The grants cannot fund construction labor or digital cameras, video cameras or other electronic equipment.


What happens when I am awarded a Make a Splash grant?

You will be notified by email or mail about the grant award, and you will receive a City of Tacoma Statement of Services (SOS) contract to sign and W-9 for tax purposes. It is important that these forms are filled out accurately and completely with your social security number (if you are an individual) or your Tax ID number (if you’re a group/business/organization) as well as the correct mailing address. Once a contract is signed by the grantee, the contract is routed for City signature.  Monies should not be spent until a fully executed contract is returned to the grantee.


The grants are funded in a pay as you go format. As you complete the work, you or your organization will invoice the City (with a Make a Splash grant invoice) for grant-related expenses and will get reimbursed up to the allotted amount of your Make a Splash grant.


For more information about the Make a Splash environmental grant program, please email makeasplash@cityoftacoma.org.


The Make a Splash program is supported by user fees from the City's Surface Water Management utility.