Grants For Nonprofit Organizations

Is your nonprofit organization thinking about applying for a grant from Farm Aid? Carefully read all of the information below and contact grants@farmaid.org if you have any additional questions.

Overview

Each year, proceeds from Farm Aid’s annual concert and our generous community of donors are granted to IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations working to strengthen family farm agriculture in the United States. Since our first concert in 1985, we’ve granted more than $25 million to over 300 organizations nationwide. Farm Aid’s grantees are critical on-the-ground partners in the movement to keep family farmers on the land, producing good food for all.

Meet Our Grantees

Click here to see a list of our current grantees.

What We Fund

Farm Aid’s grantmaking is focused on work that enhances the viability of family farm agriculture in the United States. We issue grants to qualifying nonprofit organizations that serve family farmers in one of three funding areas.

Click to read about our funding areas:

GROWING THE GOOD FOOD MOVEMENT: This funding area supports efforts that build local and regional food systems and connect family farmers directly with consumers.

HELPING FARMERS THRIVE: This funding area supports efforts that provide family farmers with support and resources to start farming, transition to more sustainable farming practices, and/or continue farming in the face of financial crises and natural disasters.

TAKING ACTION TO CHANGE THE SYSTEM: This funding area supports efforts that promote fair farm policies and organize grassroots campaigns to defend and bolster family farm agriculture on a local, regional or national level.

We fund nonprofits all over the country that address these funding areas through a variety of approaches. We are especially interested in work that addresses the following priorities, which cut across all three funding areas:

Confronting the Farm Crisis:

  • Programs that provide crisis support to farmers in the form of farm advocates, legal support, mental health & social services, hotlines, emergency funds, and more;
  • Work that builds farmer power to advance policy solutions like supply management, fair pricing, fair access to credit, and anti-trust policies.

Farmer-Led Solutions to Climate Change:

  • Programs that develop resilient systems of agriculture and drive forward on-farm climate mitigation and adaption practices;
  • Work that advances farm-based solutions to climate change in state and federal policy

Building Power: 

  • Rural organizing and community-building strategies
  • Work to dismantle corporate control in agriculture
  • Programs supporting democratic cooperative development or other market-based power-building for farmers

Empowering & Serving Socially Disadvantaged Farmers & Communities: 

  • Organizations or programs led by and/or serving farmers of color, Native American farmers, or women farmers;
  • Programs dedicated to supporting socially disadvantaged rural or urban communities;
  • Organizations or programs that include socially disadvantaged farmers in decision-making and leadership structures.

To better understand the type of work we fund, click here to see a list of our current grantees.

What We Don’t Fund

Per IRS regulations, we are unable to provide grants or loans to individual farmers for the commercial operation of their farms. If you are a farmer looking for funding or other resources, please click here to explore appropriate opportunities for you and your farm.

The following activities are ineligible for Farm Aid grant funding:

  • Grants or loans to individuals
  • Grants or loans for the commercial operation of a farm
  • Grants to nonprofits that do not have IRS 501(c)(3) status (or do not have a fiscal sponsor with 501(c)(3) status)
  • Production of book, film, television or radio projects
  • Projects located outside the United States
  • Projects directed or substantially funded by federal, state or local government entities
  • Legal defense funds
  • Capital campaigns, land or equipment purchases, endowments or deficit financing
  • Historic preservation of farmland or buildings
  • Conferences or academic research projects, unless they are directly connected to ongoing program activities

To better understand the type of work we fund, click here to see a list of our current grantees.

How to Apply for A Grant

Click here to learn how to apply:

  • We are suspending Farm Aid’s 2020 competitive grants program until further notice. The COVID-19 crisis presents Farm Aid with much uncertainty regarding our annual festival and other fundraising avenues this year. As we work to navigate these unknowns, we are not inviting applications for our grant program at this time.
  • We will update this page and communicate with current grantees when we have more information in the coming months.

Guidance for All Applicants

Click here to read tips for applicants:

Our applicant pool is extremely competitive. Each year we find ourselves in the difficult position of having more qualified applicants than available funding. The most competitive proposals are the ones that clearly demonstrate how their work positively impacts family farmers through approaches that emphasize collaboration with others, as well as strive for diversity, equity and inclusion within the farmer population served.

Funding requests may be for general operating support or for specific projects. In either case, remember to identify which funding area your organization is applying to (Growing the Good Food Movement, Helping Farmers Thrive, or Taking Action to Change the System).

Funds are typically awarded near the end of the calendar year (November-December). Given that, applicants should base their funding request on work that will be accomplished in the upcoming year (January and beyond).

Farm Aid grants generally range from $5,000 to $10,000, with $5,000 being the most commonly granted amount to an organization. Applicants are strongly encouraged to base their request on this funding range.

Farm Aid can only grant to IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organizations. Applicants are required to submit a copy of their IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt verification letter or include the IRS 501(c)(3) letter and authorization from an organization acting as their fiscal agent.

Reporting guidelines for Farm Aid 2019 Grantees

Click here to expand the guidelines:

  • Grants received in December 2019 can be shifted to general support for your work this year. For those of you who applied to Farm Aid’s grant program for specific program or project support, we are happy to convert those to unrestricted general support for your organization. If that is of interest, please send an email to Sophie (grants@farmaid.org) to let us know.
  • Farm Aid 6-month reports are no longer mandatory. We still welcome and encourage a narrative sharing how you are pivoting your work around COVID, or a story you would like us to amplify to our audience. A link to submit these is here.
  • Final reports: Stay tuned for a note from us in the coming months about final reports, which we intend to make less intensive this year in order to accommodate you during these difficult times.

Farm Aid’s grant program is a proud participant in Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems Funders and the Environmental Grantmakers Association.

Questions? Contact grants@farmaid.org.

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