SFI Community Grant

Sustainable Forestry Initiative

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Grant amount: US $5,000 - US $10,000

Anticipated deadline: Oct 9, 2019 8:59pm PDT

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit College / University Indigenous Group

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Training / Capacity Building, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Canada, United States

Location of residency: Canada, United States

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About this funder:

View past grantees & full 990 summary


The purpose of SFI’s Community Grant Program is to elevate and enrich the link between people and forests. SFI awards two types of Community-based grants:

  • Community Partnership grants are awarded for collaborative community-based projects, activities or events which support SFI’s core mission to connect communities to forests. Applications which feature creative partnerships, and/or high degrees of leverage (e. g. matching funds, scale of impact, etc.) are preferred.
  • SFI Inc. also offers competitive grants to SFI Implementation Committees (SIC) through an SFI Board-designated fund – the SFI Implementation Committee Community Engagement Fund. These grants are intended to help SICs with their capacity to support SFI’s strategic direction. Eligible entities for application are limited to SFI Implementation Committees. Funds will be granted to SICs who:
    • Illustrate best practices for SIC engagement (e.g. logger training, government and local leader outreach, university relations, indigenous groups, etc.); 
    • Expand SIC involvement in critical work areas (e.g. getting youth outdoors, green careers, African American land retention, PLT State Network collaboration, etc.); 
    • Pioneer new partnerships to facilitate scale and impact.

For both categories of Community grants, the SFI Community Partnerships Grant program and the SFI Implementation Committee Community Engagement Fund grant program, SFI seeks requests in the following five areas:

Leverage the engagement of SFI Implementation Committees (SICs) to enrich the link between people and forests.

Appropriate projects could include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Explore best practices for SICs to deliver on core and secondary SIC priorities, in partnership with local communities. 
  • Programs that enrich understanding of the link between well-managed forests and conservation-related outcomes, and particularly those which directly engage conservation organizations or community groups dedicated to achieving those outcomes.
  • Programs that leverage engagement between SICs to capture efficiencies, and advance mutual goals.
  • Projects which effectively promote the use of forest products carrying the SFI label, and which illustrate the values of well-managed forests and their impact on our daily lives. 
  • Other projects which serve to utilize the networks and expertise of SFI Implementation Committees to advance the remaining four objectives below.

Engage and educate youth to encourage understanding, appreciation and hands-on interaction with the natural world.

Appropriate projects could include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Support for Project Learning Tree (PLT) activities that illustrate the value of managed forests in our daily lives, or which help to expand the reach or effectiveness of PLT programs. Projects could include expanding audiences for PLT training, scalable approaches to reach more students, creative partnerships with credible natural resource or sustainability non-profits, and linking PLT training with outreach activities of SFI Implementation Committees.
  • Active engagement in partnerships linking reputable youth organizations to activities illustrating the multiple values of well-managed forests. Partnerships could include Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, Earth Rangers, youth programs of National Wild Turkey Federation, or other reputable youth programs.
  • Other creative approaches which effectively link youth to the outdoors through the lens of forests.

Train and educate current and future practitioners who are engaged in actions affecting the future of our forests.

Appropriate projects could include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Creative approaches relative to the training of harvesting or natural resource professionals, including identification and/or expansion of best training practices, or developing models for collaborative training across jurisdictional boundaries.
  • Developing and implementing approaches for the engagement of affiliated professionals, including estate planners, architects, builders, etc. to advance the use of SFI certified products, and to promote understanding of the long-term benefits of well-managed forests to society. Approaches may include creative engagement of university or other higher education programs relevant to such professions.
  • Development of programs, including mill tours, forest tours, knowledge exchange initiatives, etc. focused on building understanding among future professionals at the university or high school levels, regarding the values of well-managed forests and sustainably sourced products.

Support and promote Aboriginal, Tribal and Heritage values.

Appropriate projects could include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Projects which help ensure the retention, use, and understanding of traditional forest knowledge and values for a variety of parties including youth, forestry professionals and community groups.
  • Projects which demonstrate innovative conservation and protection of Aboriginal, Tribal and Heritage values, and particularly those which engage community members and youth.
  • Creative approaches to Indigenous housing, especially those that show strong promise of scalability to other communities, advancements in design or construction, and/or the use of forest products carrying the SFI label.

Support underserved communities through forestry, with a focus on urban forestry, rural communities and/or minority landowners.

Appropriate projects could include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Support for impactful efforts to advance engagement of underserved communities in forestry, including African American forestland owners, for improving management of family forestlands, or connecting families to forests across multiple generations.
  • Efforts which connect affordable housing to the utilization of sustainably sourced forest products (including work with Habitat for Humanity), and which help build understanding of the relationship between housing and the multiple values of well-managed forests.
  • Support for activities in the urban forest, which help promote understanding of forests and forest products, or which add to the quality of life in underserved communities.

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


  • The Lead Organization in the Project must be a registered, tax-exempt (for example, a 501(c) (3) in the US or registered with the Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency in Canada), non-profit and/or charitable organization.
    • Applicants must submit a tax identification number as proof of tax-exempt status within the Online Application Form.

    • Please note:
      • SFI Implementation Committees are considered nonprofit entities and are strongly encouraged to apply for grant funding from the SFI Implementation Committee Community Engagement Fund, utilizing this Community Grant Application. 
      • Colleges and universities qualify as tax-exempt organizations. Indigenous groups are also eligible to apply.
  • Projects must be collaborative and involve at least one Project Partner, in addition to the Lead Organization. 
  • The applicant must agree to authorize SFI Inc. to publicize the Project and to use their name, images, logos and information about the Project in such publicity. The Lead Organization will provide electronic signature of the Communications Agreement within the Online Application Form. A copy of this agreement is provided as Appendix II in this instruction document. To the extent possible, SFI Inc. will work cooperatively with Project Partners on any publicity associated with the project.


  • Additional non-profit conservation or community partners may strengthen the Proposal
  • These elements are not mandatory, but SFI Inc. will give preference to Proposals that contain one or more of the following desirable elements:
    • The Project demonstrates how SFI certification complements or engages existing cooperative or government initiatives (including, but not limited to, landscape-scale collaborations) that advance conservation objectives in managed forests, and includes involvement from decision-makers associated with relevant initiatives.
    • Lead Organizations are strongly encouraged to partner with SFI Program Participants or SFI Implementation Committees where appropriate.
    • Project Lead Organization and Project Partners are strongly encouraged to secure matching or in-kind funds for the Project from other organizations and/or other outside funding sources.
      • Applications without matching or in-kind funds may still be considered, however those demonstrating matching or in-kind funds of 1:1 or greater will be given stronger consideration.
    • Organizations are strongly encouraged to speak about the Project in public venues, including the SFI Annual Conference, or other venues identified by SFI Inc. and the Project partners.
      • Proposals that include plans for such project promotion may be given stronger consideration.


  • SFI will not grant funds to cover overhead costs, but such funds could be used to describe “matching” dollars considered essential to the project.