Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

How to Get Grants for Gardens: 5 Garden Benefits

Posted by Vickie Garton-Gundling on Thu, Jul 19, 2018 @ 21:07 PM

How to get grants for community gardensEach year, we receive many requests from community organizations, schools, and other entities seeking funding to build gardens.  The good news is that grants for gardens are numerous.  But because there are so many funding options for garden-building projects, it can be challenging to know where best to focus your application efforts.

To increase your organization’s likelihood of funding, it is important to first decide what the main benefit or outcome of your garden project will be. Once you do so, you can then apply to the grant opportunities most closely aligned with your garden’s specific goals. Below are examples of five benefits of building gardens and related grant opportunities for each benefit.

Benefit #1: Community Cohesion

For many community gardens, the primary goal is to bring residents together, promote collaboration, and instill local pride in the beauty of the community. There are many organizations that fund garden grants to help achieve such community-oriented benefits. Project Orange Thumb’s Growing Communities grant is one such funding program. 

Benefit #2: Education

Many grantmaking organizations fund gardens to allow community agencies and especially schools to create or sustain educational programming related to gardening, health education, sustainable food sourcing, or other relevant topics. Annie's Grants for Gardens or Big Green's Grants for Learning Gardens  are examples of programs that fund garden-building projects where enhanced education is ultimate outcome.  

Benefit #3: Health and Wellness

Gardens provide at least two obvious health benefits: healthier eating by partaking of the garden’s yield and increased physical activity through the act of gardening itself. If improved health is your garden’s main goal, then health and wellness grant programs in addition to garden-specific funding opportunities may increase your chance of funding. For instance, The Aetna Foundation's Cultivating Healthy Communities Grant Program funds a variety of projects that help improve eating habits and encourage physical activity.

Benefit #4: Economic Development

Delicious, fresh food is not the only thing gardens can produce. Many gardens also create jobs and generate revenue. If improving your community’s economic development is the main goal of your garden-construction project, then grants like the USDA's Economic Impact Imitative Grant may be right for your institution.

Benefit #5: Religious or Spiritual Benefits

As a much more outside-the-box angle, there are surprisingly many religious and secular organizations that support building gardens for religious or spiritual benefits, such as for ministry opportunities, the meditative benefits of gardening itself, or to help provide food for needy members of religious communities. The Lutheran Foundation's grant program is one example of a grant that might fund garden-building projects for religious purposes.   

Need more ideas on how best to position your garden-building project in order to receive funding? Contact us today for a free consultation or to learn more about additional grant opportunities to meet your organization’s unique needs.

Photo credit: d-olwen-dee

Topics: community garden grants, grants for gardens, garden grants, grants for community gardens

Grants for Community Gardens

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Thu, Sep 28, 2017 @ 16:09 PM

8572318025_916cf04e18_m.jpgIn this week’s blog we have collected a list of grant opportunities for starting and growing your community garden. The first will be open in just a few days.  Put the others on your calendar so you're alerted to apply during their application period.


This non-profit organization wants to help more people, especially disadvantaged populations, to grow and access more healthy food. SeedMoney offers both traditional grants as well as crowdfunding grants. There will be $400 crowdfunding grants awarded to the first 50 projects that are able to raise $600 via their crowdfunding pages during a 30-day challenge running from Nov. 15-Dec. 15. Additionally, SeedMoney will also award 50 traditional grants of $200 each. To qualify a project must raise at least $200 of its own. Merit grantees are chosen by a committee. The application for both grant programs will open Oct. 1 with a deadline for submission of Nov. 13. Garden projects must be non-profit, public food gardens to be eligible. Last year, 200 projects raised $400 or more including 12 that raised more than $1,000 and one that raised more than $5,000.

Project Orange Thumb

Project Orange Thumb supports community gardens that aim to beautify communities and provide people with sustainable food resources. Fiskars has provided over $1.6 million to more than 210 community groups since the program started in 2002. Non-profit groups are eligible to apply. Applications are available late in the year so keep your eyes on the website to see a specific date coming soon. Grant recipients are announced in the spring of the following year. Already established gardens as well as new garden start-ups are eligible to apply.

Scott’s Miracle Gro

Non-profit organizations are eligible for grants from this program. Grants are awarded to entities planning gardens, pollinator habitats, and community green spaces. The maximum grant award is $1,500. The 2017 grants have already been awarded. Applications will be available in the spring for the 2018 grant period. Last year a California community created a vegetable garden to provide better access for healthier food options for its residents. A school in Columbus, Ohio used its 2017 Scott’s Miracle Gro grant to create a sensory garden to bring therapeutic benefits to students.

Seeds of Change

The Seeds of Change grant program supports both school and community gardens. Non-profit organizations focused on community-based gardening, food and nutrition education, farming and agriculture education, or sustainable farming are eligible to apply. Public school gardens are also eligible. Community gardens seeking support should be able to show that they have engagement from the public. In 2017, 12 grants were awarded to community gardens. Two of those projects received $30,000 and the other 10 were granted $10,000. Grant applications are accepted in March of each year.

Our team of Grant Helpers are ready to help you find, apply for, and manage grants. We have a full range of services that can be customized to fit your specific needs. Call us today to set up your consultation, and remember the first consultation is always free.


Photo Credit: Jennifer C.

Topics: community gardens, garden grants, grants for community gardens, grants for gardens, grants for school gardens, school garden grants, community garden grants, grant opportunity