Duke Energy Water Resource Fund Program Requirements


  • 501c3 nonprofit (NGO) organizations, or
  • Local governmental organizations, including municipalities, counties and schools, that
  • Demonstrate collaboration on environmental issues with state and local governments and industry stakeholders.
  • Eligible programs and projects benefit waterways in North Carolina and South Carolina or immediately downstream of Duke Energy operational facilities in Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia, as depicted on this eligibility map
    • Priority will be given to programs and projects in Duke Energy Service areas and regions where Duke Energy has facilities, as shown within the red line on the eligibility map.  
    • If your program or project impacts an area that is on the perimeter of the eligibility or service area, click here for an interactive map that allows closer look.

Priority Programs and Projects

  • Efforts to address water quality and quantity issues in streams or watersheds that are identified as priorities in state or local watershed action plans
  • Encourage education and awareness of water quality, quantity and conservation issues preferably focused on helping individuals understand how their actions impact the overall health of a river basin
  • Research focused on improving water quality, quantity and conservation issues
  • River management plans
  • Watershed studies
  • Purchase of conservation easements
  • Public use and access to waterways

Funding Restrictions

  • Organizations are not eligible to receive funding in a given round if they currently are operating under an extension on a project previously funded by the Water Resources Fund.
  • Lobbying organizations and/or organizations whose primary mission is advocacy
  • Salaries and other operating/administrative costs
  • Satisfaction or enforcement of any regulatory requirements for the proposed project or for any other related or unrelated projects, whether ongoing or future
  • Capital investments beyond those necessary for project execution
  • Interest on loans to support purchases already made
    • This program prefers to support property acquisition projects that will take place in the future. Property acquisition proposals wherein the purchase has been made already are accepted; however, they will receive lower priority.  Favorable consideration will be given to these projects if they are geographically desirable to the program's scope or if there are other unique contributing factors.
  • Applications cannot be signed or submitted by a person who is or was a "Designated Individual" as defined by NC General Statute Section 120C-100(a)(2) at the time of submission of the application

Grant Terms

  • Grants will range from $10,000 to $100,000.
  • The term of the grant is 18 months from the time of the award, and the project must be completed within that time frame.
    • Note: The grant term was extended from 12 months to 18 months, effective 10/1/2017 for cycles occurring after that date.
  • Organizations may only submit one (1) proposal per cycle.
  • Funded organizations will be required to provide reports on outcomes achieved as a result of grants received.

Grant Considerations 

  • Strength of alignment with program goals
  • Clear, well-defined Impact related to water 
  • Feasible, realistic plans, achievable within the grant term
  • Sound budget structure with adequate financial support
    • Favorable consideration is given to grants that leverage other funds or in-kind resources.
  • Sustainability via continuation of the program and/or lasting benefit
  • Evidence of collaboration with supportive partners


The process begins with applicants submitting a letter of inquiry (LOI) through the NCCF online system.  LOIs are accepted twice each year, according to the schedule below.  The committee will only review up to 50 LOIs each round, so it is important to note that if 50 LOIs have been received prior to the deadlines below, the cycle will close at that time.  

Please note that the deadline is 12:00 NOON on dates provided.  Any updates to the deadlines will be posted on this page.

  • The next cycle opens October 1, 2018 and closes November 1, 2018 - this cycle is now closed as the maximum 50 LOIs have been received.

Please note that grants made from the cycle opening October 1, 2018 will fulfill Duke Energy's original $10 million commitment to the Water Resources Fund.

Everyone who submits a letter of inquiry will be notified of the outcome. Based on the committee's review, up to 30 applicants will be invited to submit full proposals.  

Applying to the Duke Energy Water Resources Fund

The next LOI cycle will open on October 1.

Instructions are provided below, and you can Click Here to enter the online system.  Please read carefully all instructions below before entering the online system.  

Please note: Organizations are not eligible to receive funding in a given round if they currently are operating under an extension on a project previously funded by the Water Resources Fund.

All letters of inquiry and full proposals must be submitted electronically, using the NC Community Foundation's online grant system.  Below you will find instructions for how to do so, and a link to our online system.  Be sure to read these instructions carefully before you begin.

First, you must create an account profile.  For assistance with creating your account, please click here to view the training slides.

Once your profile is created, you will be directed to your dashboard.  Click on the word "Apply" in the upper left-hand corner.

You will arrive at a page with information about applying for a grant from NCCF.  In the upper right-hand corner, you will see an "Access Code" box.  In that box, type the word: water.  Then, click on the Enter Code button.  NOTE: The Access Code is case-sensitive.

The page will refresh, and a link to the online portal, titled "Duke Energy Water Resources Fund", will appear.  Click on that link to access the LOI form.  

This program is using a structured LOI format that is much like a brief version of the full application.  You will know you are in the right place if you see LOI in the upper left-hand corner.  Follow the instructions to complete the form and submit it.  

A printer-friendly version of the questions is available to you once you have set up an account and entered the portal for this program.

Ready to apply?

Christopher Fipps

For questions about the program, email Christopher Fipps

For technical questions regarding accessing and using the system, email NCCF Tech