The Vermont Community Garden Network has funded more than 260 garden projects over the past 12 years. See the list of past grants here.
Vermont and New England-based Grant Programs:
- Seed Grants – The New England Grassroots Environment Fund (Grassroots Fund) offers grants of $250-$1,000 for new and evolving school and community gardens and compost projects. Applications accepted year-round. More info.
- Grow Grants – The New England Grassroots Environment Fund (Grassroots Fund) offers grants of $1,000-$3,500 for established school and community gardens to increase capacity, collaborate, and leverage impact. Application deadlines March 15 and September 15, each year. More info.
- Pilot Project: Food Scrap Composting at Community Gardens – Special funding has been set aside through the Grassroots Fund’s Grow Grants for starting food scrap composting at, or in association with, a community garden. Successful applicants become a part of a new pilot project, supported by Composting Association of Vermont (CAV) and Vermont Community Garden Network (VCGN). Selected gardens receive funding, training, technical assistance, and other resources for starting projects in the 2017 season. Application deadline March 15, 2017. More info.
- Vermont Community Foundation – Small and Inspiring grants help foster the spark and hope that keeps Vermonters healthy and happy. Grant awards are $500–$2,500 for projects that connect people to each other through volunteer work or community-building efforts, connect people to the environment around them in new ways, and bring people together and provide opportunities for positive social interaction and benefit. Application deadlines Feb. 1, April 5, Aug. 2, Oct. 18, 2017. More info.
- Northeast Farm to School Institute – The Institute is a unique year-long professional learning opportunity for 12 school teams from New England and New York, which kicks off with a Summer Retreat held at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, VT from June 27-29, 2017. VT FEED welcomes Farm to School champions — seeking long-time advocates and those looking to begin integrating these programs into their school community — to form a team and apply for the 2017-2018 Institute. Teams should include a diverse mix of classroom teachers, parents, school administrators, school nurses, school nutrition staff, school board members and community partners. Teams are paired with an experienced coach from their state’s Farm to School Network for year-long support creating and implementing their action plan. Application deadline: March 9, 2017. More info.
Youth Gardening Grant Programs:
- KidsGardening.org – The KidsGardening.org website keeps an updated list of grants for youth gardens. More info.
- Carton 2 Garden Contest is open to public and private schools. Contest winners will be selected based on their implementation of an innovative garden creation featuring creative and sustainable uses for re-purposed milk and juice cartons. Application deadline: April 12, 2017. More info.
- Whole Kids Foundation – Grants & awards for schools and other youth programs to enhance their farm to table programs, including funding for salad bars, gardens and bees! More info.
- American Honda Foundation – Funding for youth education, specifically in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, the environment, job training and literacy. Eligible organizations include nonprofit charitable organizations classified as a 501(c) (3) public charity, a public school district, and private/public elementary and secondary schools. The grant range is from $20,000 to $75,000 over a one-year period. Application deadlines: February 1, May 1 (returning organizations only), August 1. More info
- DonorsChoose.org is a crowdfunding platform for public school teachers from across the U.S. to request much-needed materials and experiences for their students. More info.
General Grant Programs That Support Garden Projects:
- Community Impact Grants – The Home Depot Foundation offers grants of up to $5,000, available to IRS-registered 501c designated organizations and tax-exempt public service agencies in the U.S. that are using the power of volunteers to improve the physical health of their community. This year’s focus is on veteran support. Among projects considered are community gardens and/or landscaping community facilities that serve veterans. Grants are given in the form of The Home Depot gift cards for the purchase of tools, materials, or services. More info.
- Seed Money is a fundraising portal for public food garden projects. They use a “crowdgranting” platform, combining crowdfunding with challenge grants. Participating projects use the possibility of securing a challenge grant of $400 to motivate local donors in their area to contribute to their project. Applications due November 12, each year. More info.
- ioby is a crowd resourcing platform for funding neighborhood projects. The group combines “crowdfunding” (the pooling of small online donations for a cause or project) with “resource organizing” (a core tenet of community organizing) to organize all kinds of capital—cash, social networks, in-kind donations, volunteer time, advocacy—from within the neighborhood to make the neighborhood a better place to live. More info.
- The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (FTPF) donates orchards where the harvest will best serve communities for generations, at places such as community gardens, public schools, city/state parks, low-income neighborhoods, Native American reservations, international hunger relief sites, and animal sanctuaries. Applications accepted on a rolling basis and remain on file until there is an opportunity to award an orchard. More info.
- Community Food Projects – A competitive grants program that is administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Grants are intended to help eligible nonprofits, tribal organizations, and food program service providers in need of a one-time infusion of federal assistance for projects that promote self-sufficiency and food security, address specific needs, and provide comprehensive, community-based solutions in low-income communities. These one-time grants require a dollar-for-dollar (1:1) match in resources, which can include in-kind support. NIFA releases a Request for Applications once a year. More info.
- Awesome Foundation – Every month, one $1,000 micro-grant will be given to an individual or group to fund an awesome idea. The more inventive, the better. More info.