SFI Conservation Grant

Sustainable Forestry Initiative

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Grant amount: US $15,000 - US $30,000

Anticipated deadline: Sep 30, 2020 8:59pm PDT

Applicant type: Nonprofit College / University Indigenous Group

Funding uses: Research, Project / Program

Location of project: Canada, United States

Location of residency: Canada, United States

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About this funder:



SFI Conservation Grants

The SFI Conservation Grants foster partnerships between organizations interested in improving forest management in the United States and Canada, and responsible procurement globally.

The SFI Conservation Grants Program fosters partnerships between organizations interested in improving forest management in the United States and Canada, and responsible procurement globally. Projects address topics of current importance such as improving wildlife habitat management and conservation of biodiversity, avoiding controversial sources of fiber such as those resulting from illegal logging.

Since 2010, SFI has awarded 64 grants totaling more than $4.4 million to foster research and pilot efforts to better inform future decisions about our forests. When leveraged with project partner contributions, total investment exceeds $11 million.

The grant program builds on the fact that SFI is the only forest certification standard in North America that requires participants to support and engage in research activities to improve forest health, productivity and sustainable management of forest resources, and the environmental benefits and performance of forest products. Since 1995, SFI program participants have invested more than $1.6 billion in forest research activities.

Conservation Grants Criteria

For SFI Conservation Grants applications in this grant cycle, SFI Inc. is placing a priority on projects which measure, demonstrate, or establish methodologies to demonstrate, the conservation-related values of SFI-certified forestlands, or such values which result from application of the SFI Fiber Sourcing standard. Ideally such projects will be scalable to a regional, or bio-regional scale (e.g., Ponderosa Pine forests, Boreal Plains, Longleaf Pine ecosystem, the central hardwood forest, etc.). Particular attention will be paid to applications focused on conservation values in the areas of water, climate change (including both carbon attributes and forest resiliency), and biodiversity. Projects which advance communication of these values through the supply chain, and with relevant stakeholders, are also desirable.

Examples of priority projects which may serve to demonstrate the conservation-related values of SFI certified lands, or SFI Fiber Sourcing activities, may include:

  • Studies that calculate ecosystem service values (e.g., carbon sequestration, water filtration and/or quantity control) by adapting established methods to quantify the impact of SFI Program Participant activities.
  • Studies that quantify the relationship between diversity of age-classes and structure in well-managed forests, and forest ecosystem water storage, and filtering. A related component could include quantifying the value of reforestation in promoting water quality and regulating flow.
  • Studies that quantify the contribution of SFI-certified forests, or SFI Fiber Sourcing, toward the attainment of broadly accepted conservation goals in landscapes of conservation interest.
  • Studies that increase understanding of conservation values in managed forests, that build from previously established methodologies, including those resulting from past or current SFI Conservation Grants, especially as they may be applied in new landscapes, and/or in refinement of metrics, or explore cross cutting conservation values (e.g. utilizing established spatial data or analytical methods previously applied to water quality to calculate biodiversity or carbon values).
  • Pilot efforts or studies which help fulfill sustainability data gaps associated with corporate responsibility commitments. (e.g. research that illustrates forest carbon values relative to a specific product line – projects that feature collaboration with consumer-facing brands would be highly desirable in this category)
  • Studies that assess conservation values associated with the footprint of mills or facilities certified to the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard.
  • Other focal topics as noted in the RFP

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


  • The Project Lead Organization (i.e. the Applicant) must be a tax exempt, non-profit organization (e.g., a 501(c) (3) in the US or registered with the Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency in Canada) whose scope encompasses expertise in improved forest management, forest conservation, wildlife habitat, water resources, or other areas that would support a project related to one or more of the topics outlined in the RFP.
    • Note: SFI Implementation Committees, Colleges, universities and schools qualify as non-profit organizations; Indigenous groups are also eligible to apply.
    • Non-profit applicants must submit current proof of non-profit status with this application.
  • Projects must be collaborative and involve at least one Project Partner, in addition to the Lead Organization. 
  • Projects must include a SFI Program Participant or a  SFI Implementation Committee (SIC) as a Project Partner, and where applicable must take place in part or in whole on lands/sources certified to the SFI 2015-2019 Forest Management Standard or lands providing fiber through the SFI 2015-2019 Fiber Sourcing Standard”.
  • The project results must have implications or benefits that are applicable to multiple sites or geographies, or which may be adaptable to a larger scale.


  • Additional non-profit Project 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.  
    • 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