Gaia Foundation - Sustainable Agriculture Grant

Gaia Fund

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Grant amount: US $5,000 - US $50,000

Next anticipated deadline: Jul 15, 2019 (Letter of inquiry)

Later anticipated deadlines: Feb 15, 2020 (Letter of inquiry)

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, General Operating Expense, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Preferred: Counties in California: Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, Napa County, Sacramento County, San Francisco County, San Joaquin County, San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County, Solano County, Sonoma County, Stanislaus County, Yolo County Other eligible locations: California

Location of residency: United States

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About this funder:

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 Sustainable Agriculture

Gaia Fund's highest priority is to help California address its pressing environmental problems. California is our nation's most productive agricultural state and, as studies have consistently shown, prevailing practices related to the U.S. conventional food and farming system carry high environmental and human welfare costs. With this in mind, the Fund seeks to foster the transition of California's food and farming system to one that is sustainable, integrating the goals of best organic practices, responsible environmental stewardship, profitability, and social and economic equity. 

The Fund focuses on sustainable agriculture methods which, concurrently, produce nutritious food crops, mitigate climate change, protect natural resources, and promote biodiversity.


Grants for projects usually range from $5,000 to $50,000. The Fund defines grants in this category as those that support projects with finite funding needs, or those that provide seed funding for new initiatives. Grants for specific programs may be awarded in either a single payment, or in annual installments that may range from two to five years.

Gaia Fund will consider capital and endowment campaign requests, but assigns such requests a lower priority. Grant awards in support of capital and endowment are typically consistent with the grant amounts awarded for specific programs. 

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


  • Applicants must be tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or be able to demonstrate that they have obtained a 501(c)(3) organization as a fiscal agent. 
  • The Fund considers requests for California initiatives that:
    • encourage farmers to adopt sustainable practices; 
    • support sustainable farming that operates on a smaller commercial scale and that serves local markets;
    • train individuals for careers in sustainable farming; and
    • preserve land that will be farmed sustainably.
  • The current focus is on the following food crops: vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grains. 


  • Preference is given to organizations with annual operating budgets under $5 million. 
  • The Fund limits its review to proposals for California-based projects, and geographic emphasis is placed on the following Northern California counties:
    • Alameda
    • Contra Costa
    • Marin
    • Napa
    • Sacramento
    • San Francisco
    • San Joaquin
    • San Mateo
    • Santa Clara
    • Santa Cruz
    • Solano
    • Sonoma
    • Stanislaus
    • Yolo
  • The Fund may, on occasion, award grants for initiatives operating outside of these counties, if they are judged to have a particular local relevance.


  • The Fund also does not currently consider urban gardens/agriculture, or garden-based education programs.
  • Meat and fiber production is not a current grantmaking priority.
  • Unsolicited requests for programs that don’t align with our specific funding interests will not be considered. 
  • Non-renewed general support or project grants will be ineligible for reconsideration until at least two years have passed since the last grant was awarded.