Growing Pains Capital Campaign

Over the past year, we have submitted proposals to find capital funds for a badly needed CFI expansion/upgrade to various local (and national) foundations. We estimate the funds needed for this urgently needed project to be at least $600,000 to expand and remodel at our current location, but considerably more if we opt for a completely new facility. After more than 30 years of writing grant proposals to state and federal agencies for species-specific projects, learning how to write proposals that would be seriously considered by these organizations has been a steep learning curve. Our initial requests were politely rejected, honestly, because we were approaching organizations with whom we did not have prior relationships. Also, many foundations were entertaining requests for Covid-associated grants supporting humanitarian needs (rightly so!). The funding needs were higher than the available funds. We are hopeful that several outstanding proposals developed for our capital needs will at least provide partial funding. And indeed, several have.

We have also submitted proposals to new, non-traditional funders for species that might not have risen to the top of the agency priority list for funding. We are also hopeful for these proposals' outcome. With additional, non-agency funding to support these projects, hopefully the agencies responsible for managing endangered or threatened species would have more flexibility in funding a wider variety of recovery projects.

Regarding Covid, CFI has applied for and received two PPP funding amounts to assist with salaries for the 9 staff that have continued to work through the pandemic . . . we have shifted schedules to limit the number of people working at any given time. And, of course, fieldwork was difficult as we could not safely crowd people into a single field vehicle. To help support our work during the pandemic, we also received some support from the East Tennessee Foundation's Neighbor to Neighbor Disaster Relief fund to assist our staff's workstations during the pandemic.

Last, but not least, we want to give many thanks to all of our loyal supporters who made donations to CFI during the one-day (December 1, 2020) Big Give Knoxville online fundraising event! That event raised approximately $2,000 to support our Capital Campaign and allow for our continued work during this trying year. If you are so inclined, please click on the Donate buttons located throughout our site and THANK-YOU for your continued support!

Conceptual Design of Expanded CFI Facility (Addition to existing facility)