Farmers Advocating for Organics is a competitive grantmaking fund and is open to applicants seeking funding for projects or programs that are oriented towards protecting, safeguarding, and advancing organic agriculture and organic marketplace through research, advocacy and/or education. The committee accepts proposals from NGOs, universities, public/private schools, and farmers who are interested in securing funds for their organic specific projects. FAFO currently accepts proposals from applicants within the United States and Canada. Applicants are encouraged to carefully review the mission of CROPP Cooperative/Organic Valley to ensure that FAFO is the best granting program for your project. Successful proposals will need to affect independent, organic, family farmers by addressing one or more of the following giving categories:
Proposals that do not fall within any of the above giving categories will not be considered by the FAFO committee.
FAFO will not be able to accept proposals if individual/organization has a past due progress report from prior FAFO award.
In addition to the above listed categories, FAFO is especially interested in receiving proposals that address the following topics:
Soil: Healthy, fertile soil is the foundation of organic farming operations; to increase on-farm sustainability, productivity, nutrition, and animal health, FAFO seeks to increase understanding of this complex resource through support of:
Seed: FAFO seeks to increase availability of organic seed through investment in organic seed research, farmer knowledge and skills, and advocacy. We are interested in funding:
Farmland Access/ Preservation: FAFO is interested in supporting projects which advance the opportunities to increase organic acreage to meet the growing demands of the organic consumer/farmer. For example:
Young Farmer Leadership Training: To ensure that the organic leadership of tomorrow is getting the training it needs now, FAFO is interested in funding:
Health & Wellness Education: FAFO is interested in supporting projects that address one or more of the following topics related to education:
Please consider the following giving criteria before deciding to submit your proposal:
1. Multi-year funding: FAFO acknowledges the importance of conducting multi-year projects to assure continuity and to achieve long-term goals or scientific validity. However, because a principle of the fund is to ensure accountability and results, the fund will only commit funding one year at a time. Upon completion of an interim report that includes an updated proposal, FAFO will consider continued funding for an ongoing project. While projects submitted to and approved by FAFO may span longer than one year, FAFO generally will not award grants that provide funding for multiple years.
2. Funding levels: FAFO is open to funding both small and large scale projects with a suggested budgetary guideline being $5,000 - $50,000 per year. In addition, FAFO has established a Small Grant Fund for individuals and organizations seeking grants that amount to less than $5,000. Small grant proposals will be reviewed monthly and can be submitted at any time.
3. Scope of Project: FAFO is interested in funding projects that will have a significant impact on the organic marketplace, as well as projects that are innovative and offer to serve as a model for other organizations or regions. Generally, FAFO will not fund projects that are limited to having a small local or regional impact.
4. Budget Restrictions: The FAFO Committee generally will not consider funding the following expenses:
FAFO recognizes that there are acceptable exceptions to the above list and therefore encourages applicants to submit reasonable proposals. Applicants may also contact FAFO regarding proposal-specific questions.
Regarding funding, the grant recipients: 1) will only be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred after the initial funding date; 2) may need to submit a final report and a final budget documenting the project expenditures before the fund will release final payment (if a portion of the payment is withheld); 3) must return unspent funds; 4) will have a 1099 form automatically filed with IRS with each payment for tax reporting purposes.
5. Reporting: Because FAFO is a farmer-funded/farmer-directed program, the practice of regularly reporting to the CROPP Cooperative membership will be required. The FAFO committee requires that all Grant Recipients submit regular progress reports. Upon approval of a grant, a reporting schedule will be agreed upon between the grantee and grantor and will be included in the grant contract.
When submitting progress reports, keep in mind that the primary audience will be CROPP farmer-members. Progress Reports should address the following points/questions in 1-3 pages:
Progress reports must be submitted by the project leader (or other highly involved person/s). In addition, we may ask that the Grant Recipient agree to submit short article updates for the co-op newsletter and/or conversations with members of the FAFO committee.
At the end of the project the grantee must submit: 1) a final report summarizing the project, including objectives and outcomes; 2) a final budget that shows how funds were spent; 3) photos or slides (electronic format preferred), when possible, of project activities or outreach events and any other requirements detailed in the contract. Final Reports should address the following points/questions (minimum of 3 pages):
After the completed final report has been submitted, two FAFO Committee members will conduct a project reivew. They may or may not request additional project information to satisfy the grant terms, including dispersment of any funds withheld.