Core Grants Program

The Food and Farm Communications Fund is supporting leading-edge efforts for low-capacity groups. This work is experimental in nature. It is great to see funders support innovation, even if it carries some risk.” Food and Farm Communications Fund Grantee

Program Overview

*CURRENTLY OPEN! Accepting Letters of Interest through Dec. 28*

The Core Grants Program is the central offering of the Food and Farm Communications Fund, awarding targeted communications support to community-based nonprofit organizations and grassroots networks working to advance systemic and cultural change across our food and farm systems. We’ve set our sights on building power and shifting narratives, and are looking to support organizations vested in the long view, with equity and resilience as central pillars of their vision. Read below for more details regarding our funding priorities. With limited resources, the Fund is not able to support an organization’s ongoing communications activities.

Core Grants are intended to:

Criteria and Restrictions

The Core Grants Program primarily supports organizations headquartered in the United States; international organizations are eligible to apply with an established connection to the Fund. The Fund recognizes that the voices and stories of those who have been historically – and are currently – marginalized by powerful actors in the food system, are often not heard, yet critical to the change we seek. We prioritize work led by communities of color, indigenous communities, farmers, farmworkers, fishermen, and food workers.

  • Be a community-based organization or a grassroots network/coalition with 501(c)(3) status (or with a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor);
  • Have an average annual revenue of less than $2 million;
  • Clearly demonstrate a commitment to equity and racial, social, and/or economic justice;
  • Clearly demonstrate a commitment to integrating leadership of core constituents within the organization’s staffing, advising, or governance structures;
  • Be collaborative in approach and practice.

Range and Term of Core Grants

Core Grants are expected to range from $15,000 to 40,000 over a 12-month term, with $25,000 being the typical funding amount. Grant amounts are contingent on demonstrated need, alignment with the Fund’s purpose and criteria, as well as the Fund’s giving capacity in any given year. Upon successful completion of a Core Grant, grantees may be invited to apply for a mini-grant in the second year to further boost the organization’s communications work. Renewals of Core Grant awards are rare and by invitation only; they should not be counted on for project success. Core Grantees may be invited to participate in optional communications capacity-building, training, and peer-networking opportunities during the term of their grant.

How to Apply and Timeline

Before you begin an application, familiarize yourself with the Core Grants Program overview and restrictions. The Fund receives many more worthwhile requests for support than it can possibly fund (in fact, just eight percent of Letters of Interest to date have resulted in grants). As a result, we encourage only those who can demonstrate strong alignment with the intention, criteria, and values of the Fund, as well as a clear need that is in line with the funding range and term of the Fund, to apply. That said, we fully recognize that applicants will vary in their capacity to write grant proposals; please don’t allow concerns about grant writing skills to dissuade you from applying.

STEP 1. If you believe you are a strong fit, the next step is to submit a Letter of Interest (LOI) via the online iGAM portal by 5:00 p.m. central time on December 28, 2018.

  • To view a PDF of the LOI application questions before you begin, click here.
  • For questions about the online iGAM submission process, please email [email protected]. Emailed or mailed LOIs will not be accepted.
  • Multiple LOIs from the same organization will not be considered.
  • LOI applicants will be notified of their status by mid-February, 2019.

NOTE: The iGAM portal is a separate platform and will look different from this website.

STEP 2. If invited, the next step is to submit a Full Proposal via the iGAM portal by the communicated deadline. Further directions will be shared upon invitation.

Full Proposal applicants will be notified of their status by mid-April, 2019.