Organic Farming and Agriculture Grants
Grants for organic farming and sustainable agriculture
Looking for grants to help support your nonprofit organic farm, or for strengthening our sustainable agriculture and food systems? The Instrumentl team has compiled a few sample grants to get you headed in the right direction.
Read more about each grant below or start a 14-day free trial to see all organic and sustainable farming and agriculture grants recommended for your organization or farm's specific mission or programs.
CS Fund & Warsh-Mott Legacy
The CS Fund was created in 1981 by Maryanne Mott and Herman Warsh, who together endowed the Warsh-Mott Legacy in 1985. CS Fund and Warsh-Mott Legacy (CSF and WML) are private family foundations that share common program areas, staff, and boards of directors. Proposals to the two foundations are considered collectively, and grants are made by both entities. The boards of directors of CSF and WML also make recommendations to the donor-advised TOP Fund at the Marin Community Foundation.
CSF and WML’s grantmaking is forward thinking and evolves over time, yet is guided by a commitment to consistent, long-term support. Some organizations have received funding from the foundations for three decades. CSF and WML recognize the importance of general support and multi-year grants in building institutional strength and longevity and provide such support when appropriate. Project-restricted grants are also made in order to advance specific foundation objectives.
CSF and WML currently have three grantmaking focuses:
- Emerging Technologies
- Food Sovereignty
- Rights and Governance
While emerging technologies now being developed and commercialized may result in useful applications, they can also have serious negative social, environmental and political consequences. That’s why emerging technologies need precautionary assessment, regulation and oversight – including those that are fast tracked and marketed as “techno-fixes” or “green” panaceas to climate change and other crises.
CSF and WML focus on developments in three emerging and converging technologies in particular:
- Nanotechnology – the creation and commercialization of tiny bits of matter (a nanometer is one billionth of a meter)
- Synthetic biology – the design, manufacture and release of artificially created DNA
- Geoengineering – intentional, large-scale climate manipulation through a range of methods
Food sovereignty emphasizes the right of people to define their own localized, culturally appropriate, and ecologically sound food and agriculture systems. Food sovereignty is deeply connected to global struggles for a more socially just and sustainable world and integrates some of the most critical issues facing humanity into a clear mandate for action.
CSF and WML’s Food Sovereignty program area is grounded in traditional agricultural knowledge and agroecological practices. The foundations’ grantmaking focuses on three cornerstones of agrobiodiversity and food system resilience:
- Preserving native and heirloom seeds
- Building healthy and fertile soils
- Protecting and restoring the populations and diversity of native pollinators
This program makes most of its grants to organizations working in the Global South.
Rights & Governance
CSF and WML’s Rights and Governance program area is dedicated to restoring and protecting the tenets articulated in the US Constitution.
We are especially focused on the areas of:
- Dissent – Protecting and advancing the rights to free speech and assembly.
- Open Government – Making the federal government more transparent, effective, and accountable.
- Rule of Law – Ensuring that US national security policies respect constitutional rights, domestic laws, and international treaties.
- The Constitution and the Courts – Building a progressive legal movement to counter conservative and corporate influence.
In the realm of international governance, CSF and WML have also long funded in the area of:
- Trade – Making the rules of global commerce more democratic, just, and sustainable.
Clif Family Foundation
Welcome to the Clif Family Foundation, an organization we started in 2006 to support small-to-midsize grassroots groups led by people whose vision and commitment we deeply admire. We have been proud to support hundreds of organizations that are working tirelessly to strengthen our food system, advance equitable community health outcomes, and protect the places we play by being stewards of our environment and natural resources. Our desire has been to leave the world a better place for our children. Now that we’re grandparents, the urgency to build a healthier, just, and sustainable world is even more personal. We look forward to expanding the reach and impact of the foundation in the years to come. This includes working with more organizations to make their innovative ideas a reality and supporting a new generation of leaders. We believe we can all do more good in the world. Together.
- Strengthen Our Food System
- Grow organic farming and other climate-friendly agriculture
- Safeguard agricultural seeds and biodiversity
- Democratize access to fresh and nutrient-dense foods
- Connect families with local food outlets and farmers
- Create viable opportunities for the next generation of farmers
- Enhance Equitable Community Health Outcomes
- Promote clean water access
- Curtail exposure to toxic materials
- Increase access to nature and outdoor activities
- Expand pedestrian and bicycling opportunities
- Improve farmworkers’ standard of living, wages, and working conditions
- Safeguard Our Environment and Natural Resources
- Accelerate action on climate change
- Advance renewable energy and support green jobs
- Break the resource waste cycle
- Preserve watersheds, open spaces, and wild places
- Conserve water supplies for fair, long-term access
Priority is given to applicants that:
- Address two or more of our funding priorities at the same time:
- Strengthen our food system
- Enhance equitable community health outcomes
- Safeguard our environment and natural resources
- Demonstrate strong community ties.
- Operate within viable and clearly defined plans for positive change.
Food and Farm Communications Fund
Who We Are
The Food and Farm Communications Fund is a multi-funder collaborative and pooled grant program organized around a shared belief in the role of strategic communications and narrative to build power and embolden transformative change in our food and farm systems. We believe that working together, with the long view in mind, will help us to invest our time and resources strategically. We find strength in our networks, yet know we have much to learn. To that end, we maintain an open application process and take cues from those closest to the problems we seek to address.
Core Grants Program
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.
Core Grants are intended to:
Bolster communications capacity and strategy
- establishing or upgrading communications tools, platforms, or systems, to strengthen your organization’s ability to understand, target, and reach diverse audiences;
- developing content, collateral, or creative media initiatives to convey your organization’s work in a more impactful way;
- comprehensive, integrated communications planning and strategy-setting;
- professional development and training, to improve the communications capacity of staff and leadership;
- as well as short-term communications staffing solutions (including partnerships with outside consultants) that demonstrate sustained benefit to the organization.
Shift public narrative
- narrative development work that serves to amplify a grassroots food and farm narrative and/or debunk misleading dominant narratives;
- message framing and integration;
- as well as development of content, collateral, or creative media initiatives that convey the story of your constituents in a more impactful way.
Build connections and community engagement
- campaigns, events, or experiences that utilize communications tools and activities to foster constituent and public engagement around food and farm systems issues;
- multicultural, equity, and justice-based approaches to communications;
- as well as communications projects that bring people together across divides (geographic, racial, economic), to foster empathy and solidarity, and to build collective power.
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.
Inspiring better food systems & nurturing everyday health in our communities
We support non-profits in our communities whose main mission or innovative programs focus on:
Increasing the supply of organic food
Supporting organic farmers who work hard every day to grow healthier food options. More organic food means healthier soil, cleaner air, and more tasty, nutritious food for families.
For example: efforts to increase the number of certified organic farms through cost share, outreach and training
Improving access to fresh, healthy food
We see food as medicine. Underserved communities and those facing serious illness or diet-related disease need it most.
For example: mobile markets and meal delivery to at-risk community members
Providing hunger relief for vulnerable populations
Doing our part to alleviate hunger in our communities, always through the lens of healthy, nutritious food.
For example: farm-to-food bank initiatives and community garden programs
Advancing childhood nutrition education
Creating space and opportunity for kids to adopt healthy eating practices when it matters most. Meaningful, hands-on food learning in the classroom, cafeteria and in the garden.
For example: school gardens, backpack programs and nutrition education efforts