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 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. Additionally, 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 2017 concert region (Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio); and our 2016 concert region (DC, Virginia, Maryland).
  • Demonstrates commitment to racial diversity and equity within the farmer population served, and actively included 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: Farm Aid’s grant program is currently at capacity. As a result, we are not accepting letters of inquiry or proposals from new applicants or non-recent grantees for the 2017 grant cycle.

FOR CURRENT OR RECENT GRANTEES: If your organization last received a grant from us in 2014, 2015, or 2016, then we invite you to mail us a full proposal by August 1, 2017.

Download the 2017 proposal template. Mail your completed proposal to:  Farm Aid, Attn: Grant Program, 501 Cambridge Street, Third Floor, Cambridge, MA, 02141. We only accept proposals by mail. 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 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.

Timeline for Grant Applications

By August 1, 2017:

Full proposal due via postal mail from current and recent grantees (last received a Farm Aid grant in 2014, 2015, 2016). 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 2017:

Farm Aid reviews all proposals.

By December 15, 2017:

Farm Aid communicates proposal decisions to applicants via email.

By December 31, 2017:

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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