Food and Farm Communications Fund: Core Grants Program

Food and Farm Communications Fund

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Grant amount: US $15,000 - US $40,000

Anticipated deadline: Dec 9, 2020 3:00pm PST (Letter of inquiry)

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Training / Capacity Building, Education / Outreach

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: United States

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Overview:

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

This includes:

  • 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

This includes:

  • 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

This includes:

  • 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.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • The Core Grants Program primarily supports organizations headquartered in the United States; international organizations are eligible to apply with an established connection to the Fund. 
  • Applicants should meet most of the following criteria:
    • Be a community-based organization or a grassroots network/coalition with 501(c)(3) status (or with a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor);
    • Have an average annual revenue of less than $2 million;
    • Clearly demonstrate a commitment to equity and racial, social, and/or economic justice;
    • Clearly demonstrate a commitment to integrating leadership of core constituents within the organization’s staffing, advising, or governance structures;
    • Be collaborative in approach and practice.

Preferences:

  • The Fund recognizes that the voices and stories of those who have been historically – and are currently – marginalized by powerful actors in the food system, are often not heard, yet critical to the change we seek.
    • We prioritize work led by communities of color, indigenous communities, farmers, farmworkers, fishermen, and food workers.

Ineligibility:

  • With limited resources, the Fund is not able to support an organization’s ongoing communications activities.
  • The following are ineligible for Core Grants funding:
    • Nonprofit organizations that do not have 501(c)(3) status or do not have a fiscal sponsor with 501(c)(3) status;
    • Individuals or scholarship programs;
    • Other foundations or regranting programs;
    • Businesses or business associations;
    • Schools, Colleges, or Universities;
    • State agencies or government programs;
    • Organizations that have already received a Core Grant from the Food and Farm Communications Fund within the past three years (this restriction will begin with the 2019 round).
  • Furthermore, the Food and Farm Communications Fund does not support the following activities:
    • academic research projects;
    • capital or endowment campaigns;
    • conferences;
    • discretionary or emergency requests;
    • litigation or legal expenses; or
    • marketing or branding for products or services.