GRANTS & FUNDING
Check here for the latest opportunities in grants and funding for urban agriculture projects in Chicago. If you have an opportunity to share, please send information to: email@example.com.
Michael Fields Agriculture Institute’s Grant Advising Program provides free grant writing assistance, including clarifying and articulating ideas, assessing which grant program fits needs, and crafting a high-quality proposal. Interested individuals and organizations can also be added to an e-mail list announcing new grant opportunities by making a request to firstname.lastname@example.org
Private, Corporate & Foundation Philanthropy
Patagonia provides grants between $5,000-$20,000 to 501c3 environmental organizations that seek to protect both the environment and affected communities, including supporting local, organic and sustainable agriculture.
Application deadline: One proposal per group in a given fiscal year (May 1–April 30).
The Home Depot Foundation offers grant awards up to $5,000 to 501c3 designated organizations (recognized and in good standing with the IRS for a minimum of one year) and tax-exempt public service agencies in the U.S. that are using the power of volunteers to improve the community. Grants are given in the form of The Home Depot gift cards for the purchase of tools, materials, or services and are required to be completed within six months of approval date.
The Awesome Foundation – Chicago Chapter has been funding awesomeness in the Windy City since the summer of 2011. They’’ve funded everything from little free libraries and puppet shows to electron microscopes and a temporary mini golf course on Milwaukee Avenue. The Chicago trustees generally meet on the third Tuesday of every month to review proposals.
Network for Good Awards monthly grants to promote fundraising activities and capacity building that can lead to revenue sustainability to 501(c)3s in any industry. Average grants range in size from $1,000-$5,000. Application deadlines are the 15th of the month, non-profits are encouraged to re-apply monthly.
The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation provides in-kind donations of fruit trees, equipment, volunteer workers, and training to 501(c)3s, public schools, and government entities to create orchards in communal and public places.
Grassroots Exchange Fund grants to grassroots organizations working to promote environmental justice and social change. Priority will be given to small, community-based groups seeking to meet face-to-face with other grassroots organizations, to build collaborative campaigns, and to benefit from technical assistance opportunities. Rolling Applications.
State and Federal Grant Opportunities
Open Enrollment Loan & Financing Opportunities
Kiva provides 0% interest loans of up to $10,000 to entrepreneurs, including urban farm businesses. To promote urban farmers’ access to capital, AUA is a proud Kiva Trustee, which means we help spread the word on these valuable resources and publicly vouch for urban farm entrepreneurs. Kiva trustees do not handle or disburse the loans. To learn more, please review the program overview, step-by-step guide to apply, and reach out to AUA’s Executive Director, Laura Calvert (email@example.com) with any questions.
USDA Farm Storage Facility Loans provide up to $50,000 in low-interest financing to build or upgrade permanent facilities to store or process agricultural products. Most recently, these loans made available funding for refrigerated vehicles. Funding: Up to $500,000 per loan.
USDA Farm Service Agency Microloans provide up to $50,000 in financial assistance for small, beginning farmer, niche and non-traditional farm ownership or operations. Non-traditional farm operations can include truck farms, farms, direct marketing farmers, Community Supported Agriculture, restaurants and grocery stores, or those using hydroponic, aquaponics, organic, and/or vertical growing methods. Maximum of $50,000.
USDA EZ Guarantee Loans provides $100,000 to help beginning, small underserved, and family farmers and ranchers to purchase farmland or finance agricultural operations. The USDA also added a new category of lenders, including microlenders. Funding: Up to $100,000.
Whole Foods Micro-Producer Loan provides between $10,000 and $100,000 for expansion of farm operations, not to exceed 80% of total project cost. Existing vendor relationship with Whole Foods Market required.