Grants For Nonprofit Organizations

Overview

Each year, proceeds from Farm Aid’s annual festival 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 $27 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. Farm Aid is committed to supporting farm, food and rural organizations that meet current challenges, as well as lift up work that pushes for systemic change in our farm and food systems. 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.

Funding Priorities

We award grants to nonprofits all over the country that address our 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:

Racial Equity: Organizations that support BIPOC farmers and ranchers, particularly those organizing for and supporting Black and Indigenous farmers to repair harm caused by historic exploitation, discrimination, and land theft; organizations that are BIPOC-led or have made commitments to Racial Equity and are actively pursuing organizational change based on those commitments; work that fosters the next generation of farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers challenging racial injustice.

Farmer-Led Solutions to Climate Change (mitigation and resilience efforts): Organizations working to develop agricultural systems and on-farm practices that nurture and safeguard natural resources, food supplies and communities; advancing agriculture-based solutions to climate change in state and federal policy; working to include farmers and communities most impacted by climate change in decision-making and leadership opportunities.

Stopping the Growth of Industrial and Corporate Power in Agriculture: Organizations that work to reform animal agriculture, support communities opposing Concentrated Animal Feed Operations (CAFOs), other industrial agriculture (e.g. industrial energy farms), and land grabs, and support producers transitioning out of industrial agriculture or contract farming towards climate-responsible/regenerative agriculture.

Support for Farmers Experiencing Crisis and Farm Stress: Organizations providing direct support and stress reduction services to farmers experiencing financial, mental health, disaster, or other types of crisis.  This refers to specialized support such as: farm advocates (working one-on-one with farmers to navigate lending, state and federal regulations, contracts, and government programs), legal support, mental health and social services, hotlines, and emergency funds.

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.

Guidance for All Applicants

Farm Aid’s End of Year Grantmaking is by invitation only. Organizations invited to apply will receive applications in summer 2023.

Click here to read tips for applicants:

Our applicant pool is by invitation only. For those invited to apply, the most competitive proposals are those that clearly demonstrate how their work positively impacts family farmers through approaches that emphasize collaboration with others, strive for diversity, equity and inclusion within the farmer population served, and compellingly address one or more of Farm Aid’s priority areas.

Farm Aid offers general operating support funds for your organization to use in the best way you see fit to achieve your mission. This flexible funding model enables you to address organizational or project needs, take advantage of unforeseen opportunities, adapt to conditions as they change and adjust programmatic priorities as needed.

Farm Aid grants average between $5,000 and $10,000, with some higher amounts awarded to organizations working on larger scale issues or geographic scope. Please base your request taking this into consideration.

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 2024 and beyond).

Reporting requirements for grantees include a final report due in February of the year following the grant program year. Further details on reporting requirements will be provided to grantees.

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 sponsor.


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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