The following guidelines for VAR grants were approved at the Fall 1999 VAR meeting:
- VAR funds must be used for cave conservation, cave preservation, cave and karst education, or landowner relations.
- The project must be within the Region and be of benefit to the Region.
- The project must be completed within a specified time limit (to be described in the grant request).
- Incremental payments will be made as project expenses are incurred or are imminent.
- A written report on how the VAR funds were used must be provided to the Chair prior to the VAR meeting following the receipt of funds by the project. This report will normally be printed in the Region Record.
- The VAR must be credited in any published reports about the activity.
- No caver may profit from the activity (i.e., no salaries or payment for personal expenses or equipment).
The grant request should contain the following information:
- A detailed description of the project. This should include a discussion of the benefits of the project and an assurance that it is sound from a scientific and/or conservation point of view.
- A explanation of how the entire project will be funded and administered, including a detailed explanation of how the grant money will be spent. A discussion of alternative sources (club funds, grants from other organizations, etc.) should be included.
- A proposed schedule for the project.
- A discussion of how any purchased equipment will be disposed of at the end of the project.
The written grant request must be received by the Chair at least 30 days prior to the VAR meeting where it will be considered. Verbal and late requests will not be considered. Grant requests will be evaluated by the VAR officers and then presented, along with the Officers' comments, at the next VAR meeting. The VAR organizations will vote on which ones will be partially or wholly funded. Funding of grant requests is dependent on available funds and there is no assurance that any request will be funded even if it meets the criteria published above.