• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • James Freyr
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
  • Dave Burton
stewards:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Joseph Lofthouse
garden masters:
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Steve Thorn
  • Eric Hanson

Talk to me about Grants

 
gardener
Posts: 747
Location: Western Washington
202
duck forest garden personal care rabbit bee homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello everyone,

As many of you know, I've been working with churches and religious spaces to develop community food forests. They serve as centers of education, community, and sacred spaces. They also help the environment. I'm hoping to do more of these. I keep seeing more places that could use and would maintain a food forest--women's shelters, schools, libraries, etc. My church has said we could create an official organized ministry for this, but we need to get grant funding. This would be through the United Methodist Church of the Pacific Northwest. We would also support other religious spaces (including mosques and synagogues) in doing this, through this ministry.

I have no experience with grants, but in the past did apply for and win scholarships. Can anyone please recommend any sources of funding, and also give tips on grant writing?

Thank you very much!
 
Posts: 107
Location: Zone 6a
7
food preservation medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
SARE has a lot of resources that might help:

https://www.sare.org/content/search?SubTreeArray=2%2C2003%2C104&SearchText=grant+writing
 
master pollinator
Posts: 4662
1068
transportation cat duck trees rabbit books chicken woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have gotten quite a few grants from the USDA ($67,000), but in this case they are out because the USDA is only for for-profit entities. I do not know of any grants that work for non-profits, but I do not operate my farm in that capacity, so I am out of the loop on that. They are out there, I am just not sure where you would find them.

What you are proposing is kind of different in that you are looking to start a new way of producing food, with the food produced not being the true end result. We have a lot of food programs here because we are the poorest spot in the United States, and a lot of kids are going without food here, but those grants are for providing meals, and not really farming. A local Christian's Children's Camp gets a lot of grants in that way, but it is for them using their commercial kitchen to provide meals and food for kids. They teamed up with the local school district and do after-school programs which includes meals. They also provide meals all summer to kids in a grant.

One thing you have to keep in mind about grants is, it is not just free money. In this way it is like subsidies. Subsidies are put into place as a bribe to get people to do something they would rather not do. For instance, I got a subsidy for years to do rotational grazing, because it was better than set-stocking. They used money to encourage me to farm a specific way. Grants are slightly different in that it is money given to solve a problem in society. In order for you to get grant money, you have to....

1) Find a philanthropist or organization that has grant money available that feels there is a problem that your work addresses
2) Convince them (whomever it is) that your work will adequately address that problem

This is going to be a challenge because your work is not confined to a problem. For instance I got a lot of donations to do Rock the Flock because people identified that the Opioid Crisis was a problem and that businesses could do something about it. In your case it is a little challenging because you are not aiding Family Protection from Violence directly, let's say as an example, you are looking to provide food for that organization. And it is not just providing food, it is a specific way of growing food.  That is kind of a double whammy because if you find a philanthropist that might have been abused as a child, and wants to help others that were in her situation at one time, that benefactor is probably not going to care that the food was raised in a certain way, just that that Family Protection from Violence facility has food. If you can convince them a food forest is the best way to get that, okay...but that will not be the philanthropist's main objective.

So in order for you to get grant money, you are most likely going to have to find a philanthropist or organization that has a deep interest in permaculture.

I know I sound like a Negative Nancy here, but that is not really the case. With grants, you can spend a lot of time chasing one down, only to get denied the grant. By kind of spelling out where you best success will be, you will be putting your efforts in a spot that is more likely to generate monies.
 
T.J. Stewart
Posts: 107
Location: Zone 6a
7
food preservation medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The USDA actually does have grant opportunities for Non Profits, it just depends on what you are trying to do.  For example if you are trying to get a high tunnel your group might be eligible for an EQIP grant:

https://usdasearch.usda.gov/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&affiliate=usda&query=EQIP&commit=Search  

Not sure which state you are in, so when you click on the link choose your state for more information.  

NSAC has info on a Community Food Project, also funded by the USDA (NIFA):

https://sustainableagriculture.net/publications/grassrootsguide/local-food-systems-rural-development/community-food-project-grants/

You can also search all government grants that are available on this site:

https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/home.html

Click on "search grants" and on the left hand side you can refine your search.  









 
 
pollinator
Posts: 736
Location: Southern Oregon
153
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I took a land steward class from the extension office here, and one of the great things about it was so much information from local agencies and how they can help. So here, we have the Jackson Soil and Water organization, that I'm going to try to get a grant (usually matching) for rainwater harvesting. So possibility reaching out to your extension office,  they may have some ideas.
 
James Landreth
gardener
Posts: 747
Location: Western Washington
202
duck forest garden personal care rabbit bee homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you!! I'll look into all these ideas. The extension is a good one. I'm going there today now
 
gardener
Posts: 1414
Location: Cascades of Oregon
28
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
James, look at WalMart Community Grants it sounds as if your efforts would qualify for one.
 
Travis Johnson
master pollinator
Posts: 4662
1068
transportation cat duck trees rabbit books chicken woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

T.J. Stewart wrote:The USDA actually does have grant opportunities for Non Profits, it just depends on what you are trying to do.



It also depends on how the Non-Profit organization is structured. In this case, James could configure his Non-Profit as he sees fit as he has not formed it yet, and could get a Non-Profit USDA grant, and it may be worthwhile to do that, if they have some that would work for him.
 
James Landreth
gardener
Posts: 747
Location: Western Washington
202
duck forest garden personal care rabbit bee homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm hoping to actually do it through my denomination, as other ministries are done I believe. Would that work?
 
Robert Ray
gardener
Posts: 1414
Location: Cascades of Oregon
28
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The reason I suggested the Wal-Mart Community Grant was because they have resources to walk you through the process. "Access to Food" requires a letter of inquiry but all of this practice helps in future aplications.
In Oregon and I would guess Washington the Casino's are an outlet for many Grant opportunities. Our local kitchen has been the recipient of substantial assistance from that source. Your local library may have a resource book similar to what we have in Oregon that lists requirements and specific limitations to available grants.
A clear concise plan to begin with. Many times matching funds or in kind donation of labor or material will be required. Sometimes much like a house construction loan proof of work towards the end goal/forward progress determines release of funds.
Ghost writers sometimes apply on behalf of an organization for grants and receive a percentage of the organizations final award.
 
gardener
Posts: 829
Location: South of Capricorn
241
dog rabbit urban cooking writing homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Another option might be community development block grants. Sometimes a town has a certain number of dollars to spend and is looking for as many local programs as possible to add in. When I ran a nonprofit in the US we were almost guaranteed one from each town we operated in. The amounts were small, like maybe 1 or 2 thousand per year, but dependable. You can go talk to the municipal or city grant coordinator to see if that is an option.

I used to write grants for a living back then, if you ever wanted someone to take a look at one you`re writing and proofread, I'd be glad to do it for you. It's no terrible thing, you have to make sure you tell them what they want to hear and do what they want accomplished, and also build in accountability measures (so they know the money has been effectively spent and they are moving toward the overall goal).
 
Posts: 134
20
solar wood heat
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello James,

There are three things I hope you will consider once you get your grants.

Firstly, I'm hoping you also plan a small processing/preserving building too for every garden/food forest you plan.  I've noticed much food from community gardens, public bushes, and public trees going to waste.  One method I like is to dry everything:  a solar dehydrator the size found on this site here would do the job for you.

Secondly, you'll need a lot of containers to store the dry food in: my small garden took up a great deal of food storage space once dried. A small building and large solar dehydrator will help actually keep the food from being wasted on the ground. The small building would hold the dried food canisters inside for later distribution.

Thirdly, you'll need to package the food so that the users (homeless and others who are hungry) actually want to eat the food. Sounds strange but, the homeless are not really into canned corn or canned green beans as I've noticed when I've volunteered in food banks.   A homeless person/hungry person who has no means is going to look at a full ripe squash and think, " What am I going to do with this???  I don't have a stove or a refrigerator and it'll make big mess which I don't have the water to clean the mess up with.....heck, it will make a mess outta me!!!"

But if you plan the food combinations before you plant the food forest/garden products, then you can distribute the dried food in tasty combinations: sunflower seeds, butter nut squash, and dried banannas are one idea. Another idea is kale chips dipped in chillis.

A dried package, like a dried shell of of some sort, say a dried hollow gourd so you don't have to buy plastic or paper bags, filled with things tasty dried items, removes all the issues a homeless person /hungry poor person may have with garden food.  Now the person can hold it in one hand and use the other hand to dip and eat...... and the "bag" isn't going to add to the general trash of the neighborhood...it'll decompose.

Harvest time could be a large church gathering to process the food to be dried. Once dried, a a certain number of hollow gourds could be filled (or maybe dried food wrapped in large leaves...possibly small baskets make from the squash vine), and the rest stored for later food gourd making parties.

Without these steps, a great deal of food will be lost (which I see quite frequently).

Good luck and let us know what you develop.
 
James Landreth
gardener
Posts: 747
Location: Western Washington
202
duck forest garden personal care rabbit bee homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Orin Raichart wrote:Hello James,

There are three things I hope you will consider once you get your grants.

Firstly, I'm hoping you also plan a small processing/preserving building too for every garden/food forest you plan.  I've noticed much food from community gardens, public bushes, and public trees going to waste.  One method I like is to dry everything:  a solar dehydrator the size found on this site here would do the job for you.

Secondly, you'll need a lot of containers to store the dry food in: my small garden took up a great deal of food storage space once dried. A small building and large solar dehydrator will help actually keep the food from being wasted on the ground. The small building would hold the dried food canisters inside for later distribution.

Thirdly, you'll need to package the food so that the users (homeless and others who are hungry) actually want to eat the food. Sounds strange but, the homeless are not really into canned corn or canned green beans as I've noticed when I've volunteered in food banks.   A homeless person/hungry person who has no means is going to look at a full ripe squash and think, " What am I going to do with this???  I don't have a stove or a refrigerator and it'll make big mess which I don't have the water to clean the mess up with.....heck, it will make a mess outta me!!!"

But if you plan the food combinations before you plant the food forest/garden products, then you can distribute the dried food in tasty combinations: sunflower seeds, butter nut squash, and dried banannas are one idea. Another idea is kale chips dipped in chillis.

A dried package, like a dried shell of of some sort, say a dried hollow gourd so you don't have to buy plastic or paper bags, filled with things tasty dried items, removes all the issues a homeless person /hungry poor person may have with garden food.  Now the person can hold it in one hand and use the other hand to dip and eat...... and the "bag" isn't going to add to the general trash of the neighborhood...it'll decompose.

Harvest time could be a large church gathering to process the food to be dried. Once dried, a a certain number of hollow gourds could be filled (or maybe dried food wrapped in large leaves...possibly small baskets make from the squash vine), and the rest stored for later food gourd making parties.

Without these steps, a great deal of food will be lost (which I see quite frequently).

Good luck and let us know what you develop.



Thanks for all the thoughts. Virtually all of our churches are equipped with commercial grade kitchens and large storage spaces. And, though we are moving in the direction of holding food preservation classes etc, that will have to be in someone else's hands. I'm an unpaid volunteer developing tens of food forests across the region and won't have time to take that aspect on. But we do have people more dedicated to things like distribution and outreach to the homeless

But it is true,  that growing the food means very little if we don't get it out to people in a way that they can use it
 
Robert Ray
gardener
Posts: 1414
Location: Cascades of Oregon
28
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The "ASK" is often the most difficult part when looking for donations I am really uncomfortable with it personally. For me a grant is a little easier since the ice is broken with an outline of the project.
I would suggest some deep research into Community Gardens and Food Forest successes to reference and bolster your "ASK".
The plan should include land acquisition or commitment from a land owner for the projects life. Costs?
Maintenance requirements initially and for the life of the project. Costs?
Interested community members and commitments of labor and material from those community members. If you have a location and can begin initial startup, being able to show the interest and need or desire for your project that would be a plus. Any work or donations should be clearly documented and tracked for use as in kind donations. Since some grants are wanting that equivalent monetary or portion of community commitment.
Harvest plan?
Who will benefit?
Tracking of success, community involvement. Could this be piggy backed with a youth or troubled youth program? Senior outreach? Being able to assist another organization or do additional good works and tracking that aspect of the project would be separate but maybe an additional selling point.
Is it solely (souly) religious in nature? Is it open to everyone without having ministry involved. It might matter.
How will you maintain and continue to flourish?
Budget throughout initial start up, during and up to harvest.
Those are my suggestions for beginning your request outline. I'm sure that others will have suggestions. Break out that legal pad: people need food...people need affordable food...people need good food...with a food forest.....
 
Robert Ray
gardener
Posts: 1414
Location: Cascades of Oregon
28
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The "ASK" is often the most difficult part when looking for donations I am really uncomfortable with it personally. For me a grant is a little easier since the ice is broken with an outline of the project.
I would suggest some deep research into Community Gardens and Food Forest successes to reference and bolster your "ASK".
The plan should include land acquisition or commitment from a land owner for the projects life. Costs?
Maintenance requirements initially and for the life of the project. Costs?
Interested community members and commitments of labor and material from those community members. If you have a location and can begin initial startup, being able to show the interest and need or desire for your project that would be a plus. Any work or donations should be clearly documented and tracked for use as in kind donations. Since some grants are wanting that equivalent monetary or portion of community commitment.
Harvest plan?
Who will benefit?
Tracking of success, community involvement. Could this be piggy backed with a youth or troubled youth program? Senior outreach? Being able to assist another organization or do additional good works and tracking that aspect of the project would be separate but maybe an additional selling point.
Is it solely (souly) religious in nature? Is it open to everyone without having ministry involved. It might matter.
How will you maintain and continue to flourish?
Budget throughout initial start up, during and up to harvest.
Those are my suggestions for beginning your request outline. I'm sure that others will have suggestions. Break out that legal pad: people need food...people need affordable food...people need good food...with a food forest.....
 
The permaculture playing cards make great stocking stuffers: http://richsoil.com/cards
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!