Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

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

National Nutrition Month, Grants, and School Gardens

Posted by Rita A. Jensen, Ph.D. on Tue, Mar 22, 2016 @ 17:03 PM

In addition to ushering in spring and heralding the return of daylight savings time, March is Women's History Month. But did you know that March is also National Nutrition Month?2647830369_5451483493_q.jpg

School Garden Projects

The USDA has issued media advisories to mark the observance of National Nutrition Month and to profile successful USDA "...efforts to improve access to safe, healthy food for all Americans" (USDA Media Advisory No. 0014.16). Although no mention of school garden projects made the front page, the USDA acknowledges that they can play a starring role in attempts to focus children's attention on health, nutrition, and locally-sourced food. When integrated into the curriculum, school garden projects also create hands-on learning opportunities and invite community participation and inter-generational involvement.

Grants for Gardens

There is a variety of potential funding sources for school gardens. Certainly the USDA is one of those sources. This link offers a great starting point for researching USDA grant opportunities and other USDA resources related to school garden projects.

Some private foundations also invite requests for funding school garden projects. Be sure to check out Michelle Hansen's February 11, 2016 blog post, which profiles four garden funding sources.

How-To Guidance for Gardens

Just as important, some of the funding organizations also offer helpful informational resources. For example, in addition to providing funding, Annie's Grants for Gardens has a free how-to guide for creating five kinds of children's gardens. Annie's Grants for Gardens website also provides links to other resources related to planning and funding school gardens.


Planning Tip: School garden projects require planning, collaboration, time, effort, supplies, and money. The good news is that a lot of "ground work" already has been laid by others. And the Internet offers easy access to a wealth of how-to information for planning, jump starting, and maintaining school gardens. Here are a few links to get you started.


Gardens and Grants: Attracting Funders

I close by offering one final point regarding school garden projects. Funders who want to get the most bang for their buck usually like to know what grant applicants already have accomplished and what next steps they have planned. Why do funders like to work with organizations and innovators who already are headed in the right direction? Because that's one sign of commitment to the cause, along with in-kind contributions, project partnerships, and financial support from other sources.

For instance, if your school is considering applying for a USDA Farm to School Grant, you should know if your school or district is listed on the USDA site as actively participating in farm-to-school activities. Find out by accessing the results of the USDA farm-to-school census.

If your school or district is identified as participating in farm-to-school initiatives, you can highlight that detail in your application and describe the great things that already are happening. And if your school or district isn't listed, then you can find out if it's an oversight or if farm-to-school activities truly are conspicuous by their absence within your district.

Of course, if you would like some assistance in preparing a request for funding or identifying potential funders for school garden projects, we invite you to contact us.


Photo Credit: John Hritz

Topics: community gardens, grants for community gardens, garden grants, grants for gardens, grants for school gardens, nutrition grants, nutrition program grants, nutrition for kids, school garden grants

Opportunities for Garden Grants

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Thu, Feb 11, 2016 @ 09:02 AM

The gardeners must be getting the itch to plan their gardens as we have gotten numerousgarden_grants.jpg requests lately for grants for community and school gardens. We have received requests for grants for gardens that will simply beautify a community. Some requests are more a necessity, to grow food for people without access to fruits and vegetables. Schools have been asking for grants to add a garden to their school curriculum, to teach healthy eating, nutrition, and science. No matter why you want to start or upgrade a garden, below are some grant opportunities that may help you.

Gro1000 Grassroots Grants

To celebrate its 150th anniversary, Scotts Miracle Gro is supporting the creation of community gardens around the country. Any non-profit organization is eligible to apply, and suitable projects could be the creation of green spaces, outdoor places to learn at schools, or the growing of food to support a community. Last year examples of grants included the a creation of a child sensory garden in Detroit, MI and an educational program for Rochester, NY residents to learn about urban agriculture. Applications are being accepted until Feb. 22. Approximately 120 grants are awarded yearly and most grants are $500. A selection of the highest-scoring applicants will receive $1,500.

The Donald Samull Classroom Herb Garden Grant

Donald Samull was an elementary school teacher who loved to use herbs to teach his 3rd-6th grade classrooms. He wanted to make sure that love continued, so when he passed away he started an estate that provided herb gardens grants for teachers in grades 3-6. Eligible public or private teachers must have a minimum of 15 students in their classes. The grant program is run by The Herb Society of America. The society will award indoor window sill herb gardens to four schools each year. The classrooms selected will receive three windowsill herb garden kits including pots, soil, seeds and educational materials to use in the classroom. The Herb Society of America will also select five schools/classrooms to receive $200 "seed money" to establish an outdoor herb garden. The 2016 application is due Oct. 1.

Project Orange Thumb

Fiskars is a proud sponsor of the Project Orange Thumb grant program. This grant provides tools and resources to help communities throughout the country. Fundable programs include neighborhood beautification, healthy and sustainable food sources, and community collaboration. This program has awarded over $1.6 million to more than 160 community groups since it started in 2002. The 2016 grant application window has closed. Check back early in 2017 for the new deadlines.

Annie’s Grants for Gardens

Annie’s offers grants for schools and other educational programs to start a school garden. The grant program started in 2008 and has funded more than 295 school gardens since that time. Spring 2015 grants went to 25 different schools throughout the country. Waverly-Belmont Elementary School in Nashville, TN plans to use its new urban garden to supplement the free lunch program at their school and incorporate the garden into the curriculum. Students will also learn the importance of seasonal eating and sustainable gardening. The yearly applications for this grant program has closed. It will reopen in November 2016.


These grants might not seem large compared to others, but may provide the seed you need to grow your grant funding capabilities. Enrich your efforts with a free consultation with one of our grant helpers followed by a Grant Opportunity Search or any of our other grant services. We will help you find the funding you need. Contact us today.


Photo Credit: Koshy Koshy

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

Grants for Community Gardens

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Wed, May 7, 2014 @ 08:05 AM

According to the National Community Garden Association, there are currentl7728597566 74b7ef9619 qy more than 20,000 community gardens in the U.S., up from only 6,020 in 1996. Community gardens are popular for a variety of reasons. Those that produce food give people peace of mind about the safety of their food as well help save on food bills. Gardens focused on flowers, bushes, and trees create beautiful centerpieces for neighborhoods to be proud of. Community gardens can also be an economic boon to a community, taking a rundown area or environmentally unsafe land and creating a useful, safe area for all to enjoy.

There are several grants available to communities hoping to create or enhance a community garden. Below are a few we selected to highlight.

New England Grassroots Environment Fund

Communities with established gardens as well as those communities hoping to create gardens should apply for Seed grants. The organization will fund a wide range of activities, including materials and supplies for gardens, outreach materials to encourage volunteers, and more. The grant cannot be used acquisition of land. There is no deadline for this fund. A maximum amount is not stated, but the example budgets shows a $1,500 application.  This fund also has Grow grants, which support only already established community gardens. Groups eligible for this grant must have over one year of experience running the community project. The next deadline for the Grow grants is Sept. 15.

Home Depot Foundation

Municipalities would need to partner with a non-profit organization to apply for a $5,000 Community Impact Grant from the Home Depot Foundation. Grants are given to help volunteers improve the physical health of their community. Proposals for planting trees or creating community gardens are highly considered. Grants come in the form of Home Depot cards in order to purchase materials, tools, or services. Deadline for application is Aug. 15.

The Sow It Forward Garden Grants Program

Community garden organizers interested in starting or expanding their gardens can apply for grants from The Sow it Forward organization. Gardens must be of a general benefit to the overall community. The 2014 grant cycle is already closed. However, the program is already accepting applications for 2015. This program offers full grants as well as partial grants. The full grants have a value of $500 and include cash, gift card, seeds, an online garden planner subscription, and a gardening magazine subscription.

Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program

Municipalities and non-profit organizations can use this USDA grant program to start or enhance community gardens. The primary goals of the program is to increase the self-reliance of communities in providing for the food needs of the communities, meet the food needs of low-income individuals through food distribution, and provide equipment for the operation of a project. Community food projects (max $300,000 for 3 years), planning projects (max $25,000), and training/assistance (max $500,000 for 3 years) were included in the 2014 program, whose deadline has already passed. It is expected the deadline for 2015 will be March.


The Grant Helpers are here to help you meet your needs. Our services are completely customizable to your needs. Contact us today and our municipality expert, Rebecca Motley, will walk you through the process. And remember, the first consultation is always free.


Photo credit:iinduuu

Topics: muncipality, community gardens, grants for community gardens, garden grants, grant opportunity, municipal grants, community grant, community improvement grant

Grants for Community Gardens

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Mon, Aug 5, 2013 @ 20:08 PM

It is the time of year when gardens are producing a bounty of fresh vegetables ready for sharing with a neighbor or creating a home-cooked meal. Community gardens not only provide a fresh, local source of food, but also a place for citizens to build camaraderie an7172085202 ee4b614e1a qd volunteers a place to work. According to the National Community Garden Association, there are currently more than 20,000 community gardens in the U.S., up from only 6,020 in 1996. Following is a selection of grants to assist in either creating or sustaining community gardens.

Home Depot Community Impact Grants Program

Non profit and tax-exempt public service agencies are eligible for grants up to $5,000 from the Home Depot Foundation for projects that utilize volunteers to improve the health of a community. Grants are given in the form of The Home Depot gift cards for the purchase of tools, materials, or services. The Home Depot Foundation focuses on projects that help or involve veterans, so community gardens that would serve veterans in some way would receive a higher consideration for funding. Applications are accepted online throughout the year, and the program is competitive with the Foundation receiving more applications than they can fund.

Mantis Tiller Award

In 2014, 25 charitable or educational programs will each receive a Mantis Tiller/Cultivator with border/edger and kickstand, and their choice of gas-powered 2-cycle engine or electric motor. These will be awarded through the Mantis Tiller Award Program. Mantis has been awarding tillers to programs for the past 18 years to help garden projects in cities throughout the country. The online application must be submitted by March 7, 2014. Winners will be notified in April 2014 and awards will be distributed in May 2014.

ScottsMiracle-Gro GRO1000 grants

The GRO1000 grant program, sponsored by Scotts Miracle-Gro, is an annual grant program to fund community gardens through 2018. Government entities, school districts, and non profit organizations are eligible to apply for these grants. There are two grant categories: Grassroots Grants and Showcase Grants. Grassroots Grants of up to $1,500 are awarded to local communities to help bring edible gardens, flower gardens, and public green spaces to neighborhoods across the United States. Showcase Grants are awarded directly to mayors for the installment of edible gardens, public gardens, and green space development. Applications are normally accepted starting in January, with a deadline of February. Programs that show a positive impact on the community, involvement of area youth, a health and wellness benefit, and plan to donate some of the food to those in need are given priority in funding.

Captain Planet Foundation

Grants from the Captain Planet Foundation inspire youth and communities to participate in community service through environmental stewardship activities, which include creating or maintaining community gardens. Schools and non-profit organizations with an operating budget of less than $3 million are eligible for these grants. Deadlines are Sept. 30 for spring and summer projects and Jan. 31 for fall and winter projects. Preferential consideration is given to requests seeking funding of $500 or less and to applicants who have secured at least 50 percent matching or in-kind funding for their projects. The maximum grant award is $2,500.

Fiskars’ Project Orange Thumb

Since its creation in 2008, Fiskars’ Project Orange Thumb has provided over $1.3 million to 140 community groups and helped to complete 14 garden makeovers in the U.S. and Canada. Non-profit organizations and schools are eligible for the program. Grants come in the form of cash, garden tools, and materials to help support community gardens throughout North America. Applications for the 2014 program will be available on the website starting in the fall.

Annie’s Grants for Gardens

Annie’s believes that gardens are “places for kids to connect to real food, explore new flavors and talk about where our food comes from.” Educational organizations and schools can apply for funding from the organic food producer. Projects that receive funding should combine youth and education with gardening. The next round of grant funding will begin in the fall. Check the website for the application and deadlines.

Our team of experts, including Municipality Specialist Rebecca Motley, can help pair you with the appropriate grant to meet your needs and goals. Our services are completely customizable and include everything from project development to grant writing to project implementation. The first consultation is always free!


Photo credit: Lori L. Stalteri

Topics: community development, grant announcement, community gardens, grants for community gardens, garden grants