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 $22 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.

Click here to see a list of our current grantees.

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.

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 program areas:

GROWING THE GOOD FOOD MOVEMENT:  This program area funds organizations that build local and regional food systems, connecting family farmers directly with consumers and/or creating and expanding other markets for family farm products.

HELPING FARMERS THRIVE:  This program area funds organizations 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 program area funds organizations 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 program areas through a variety of approaches. Additionally, for 2016, we are especially interested in work that:

  • Focuses on at least one of our priority audiences, which include: beginning farmers in years 3-10 of their careers; small and mid-scale farmers serving wholesale and retail markets; and socially disadvantaged farming populations, including farmers of color, immigrant farmers and others.
  • Addresses at least one of our priority issues, which include: farmer-led solutions to climate change; farmer access to land and capital; reform of the contract livestock and poultry system; and overall dismantling of corporate control in agriculture.
  • Is based in at least one of our priority regions, which include: Farm Aid’s 2016 concert region (this year the DC, Maryland, Virginia area); and our 2015 concert state (Illinois).
  • Demonstrates commitment to racial diversity and equity within the farmer population served, and actively includes these farmers in decision-making and other opportunities to exercise leadership.

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

What We Don’t Fund

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

NEW APPLICANTS AND NON-RECENT GRANTEES:  If your organization has never received a Farm Aid grant, or last received a grant from us in 2012 or earlier, then please email us a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) to familiarize us with your current work. We will review it and determine if your organization is a candidate to submit a full proposal for further consideration.

LOIs are due to grants@farmaid.org by May 1, 2016. Click here to download the LOI template. See below for more details on our grantmaking timeline.

FOR CURRENT OR RECENT GRANTEES: If your organization is a current grantee, or last received a grant from us in 2013 or later, then you do not need to submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI). We invite you to mail us a full proposal by August 1, 2016.

Click here to download the proposal template. Mail your completed proposal to:  Farm Aid, Attn: Grant Program, 501 Cambridge Street, Third Floor, Cambridge, MA, 02141. See below for more details on our grantmaking timeline.

We do not accept unsolicited proposals or any proposals submitted via email.

Guidance for All Applicants to Keep in Mind

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 LOIs and 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 program 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 $3,000 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.

Timeline for Grant Applications

By May 1, 2016:

Letter of Inquiry (LOI) due from new applicants (have never received a Farm Aid grant) and non-recent grantees (last received a grant in 2012 or earlier). Click here to download the LOI template. Email your completed LOI to grants@farmaid.org.

May – June 2016:

Farm Aid reviews LOIs.

By June 10, 2016:

Farm Aid communicates LOI decisions to applicants via email.

By August 1, 2016:

Full proposal due via postal mail, from current and recent grantees (last received a Farm Aid grant in 2013 or later) and from LOI applicants invited to submit a proposal. Click here to download the proposal template. Mail your completed proposal to:

Farm Aid
Attn: Grant Program
501 Cambridge Street, Third Floor
Cambridge, MA, 02141

We do not accept unsolicited proposals or any proposals submitted via email.

August – December 2016:

Farm Aid reviews all proposals.

By December 15, 2016:

Farm Aid communicates proposal decisions to applicants via email.

By December 31, 2016:

Farm Aid mails grant agreements and checks to the applicants selected for funding.


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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