The following foundations are potential sources of grants for agriculture and food system-related projects. This list is updated regularly, so check back from time to time.
Directories of Food System Funders
This directory is an ongoing project of Community Food Funders. Currently in beta version, we are looking to build this directory to eventually include every philanthropic entity active in the food system in our region.
A free search tool, FDO Quick Start, providing free, public access to essential information about over 100,000 foundations and over 250,000 IRS Forms 990-PF.
SAFSF is not a grantmaking organization but does provide some resources aimed at helping NGOs.
Sample of Foundations That Have Funded Food and Agriculture Projects
The mission of the Ben & Jerry's Foundation is to engage Ben & Jerry's employees in philanthropy and social change work; to give back to our Vermont communities; and to support grassroots activism and community organizing for social and environmental justice around the country.
The Foundation looks for high-risk, high potential payoff opportunities to exert unusual leverage. It has a special interest in demonstrating innovative approaches that promise to solve multiple problems simultaneously. It searches the world for successful projects and policies that can be adapted to the Pacific Northwest. It strives to build the intellectual foundations and political support needed for sweeping innovation.
Castanea Foundation was established to conserve and protect agriculturally productive and environmentally significant land and water resources in select areas of Vermont and New York. Castanea develops and supports projects designed to conserve the environment and the working landscape by protecting land and fostering economically viable, environmentally sustainable agricultural practices.
The Cedar Tree Foundation is a U.S.-focused family foundation created by the late pediatrician and entrepreneur Dr. David H. Smith. Its grant-making focuses on the following areas of concern: Children's Environmental Health Initiative, Sustainable Grazing Initiative, Environmental Idea Center, and others.
Most interested in funding university partnerships, rural youth leadership development, cooperative education, returning value to rural communities, and farm and agriculture safety.
Founded in 1968, the Claneil Foundation is a private foundation in the Philadelphia region that seeks to improve the health of families and communities through advancements in health and human services, a sustainable food system, education and the protection of the environment. It provides general operating and program support grants locally, and awards seed funding to emerging projects and organizations that have the potential for significant impact in the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions. The Claneil Foundation's mission is to support effective individuals and organizations committed to improving the health of families and communities through advancements in health and human services, a sustainable food system, education and the protection of our environment. The foundation supports nonprofits through four competitive grant programs: Community Fund, Emerging Leaders Fund, Critical Issue Fund, and the Partnership Fund
The mission of the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation is to protect and improve the quality of life through support of programs in the environment, human health, education and the arts. The foundation accepts grant applications in three program areas: Environment and Health, Education, and Music.
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation supports leaders and institutions working on issues their founders cared about most, which include fighting climate change, providing access to health and early learning, advancing reproductive health and rights, ensuring a better future for the ocean, empowering the next generation of scientists and engineers, supporting local communities, protecting and conserving the North American West, gaining knowledge through science, and helping farmers protect our planet and nourish the world.
Each year, proceeds from Farm Aid’s annual concert and donations are granted to IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations working to strengthen family farm agriculture in the United States. Since the first concert in 1985, it has granted more than US$22 million to over 300 organizations nationwide. Farm Aid’s grantees are critical on-the-ground partners in the movement to keep family farmers on the land, producing good food for all.
Farm Foundation, NFP, a 501(c)(3) public charity, serves as a catalyst for sound public policy by providing objective information to foster deeper understanding of issues shaping the future for agriculture, food systems and rural regions. Farm Foundation, NFP, does not lobby or advocate. Its 76-year reputation for objectivity allows it to bring together diverse stakeholders for discussions on issues and public policies.
The Lumpkin Family Foundation has established programs to carry out its mission of supporting people pursuing innovation and long-lasting improvements in the environment, health, education, and community access to the arts.
The Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation's mission is to support grassroots organizations and movements in the United States working to change environmental, social, economic, and political conditions to bring about a more just, equitable, and sustainable world. Its current funding priorities are Environmental Justice, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, Reproductive Rights, and an Environmentally Sustainable New York City. The foundation makes a particular effort to include in its funding portfolio a significant percentage of organizations led by people of color.
The Kresge Foundation works to advance opportunity and improve the quality of life for underserved and marginalized populations by supporting work to strengthen the social and economic fabric in American cities. This foundation invests through the following focus areas: accelerating community-centered approaches to health and developing healthy places.
The Valentine Foundation is committed to funding organizations and programs that produce significant change in the social, economic, and political systems and institutions that affect the lives of women and girls in order to make those lives more equitable.
Oxfam is a global organization working to end the injustice of poverty. It helps people build better futures for themselves, hold the powerful accountable, and save lives in disasters. Its mission is to tackle the root causes of poverty and create lasting solutions.
RSF Social Finance’s current borrowers and grantees are a diverse group of entrepreneurs with one thing in common: a social mission that, at their core, drives what they do and how they do it. RSF Social Finance ensures that whether they’re preserving farmland or creating new opportunities for youth, all of their organizations are working toward social, economic, and ecological benefit.
The Solidago Foundation's mission is to promote justice, equity, sustainability, and enfranchisement for all through charitable grant-making to, and work with, progressive, empowering, community-based organizations and collaborations.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation supports children, families, and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society.
The Woodcock foundation supports community development, especially when there is an opportunity to improve the educational, economic, and environmental circumstances of communities in need. Particular attention is given to programs that encourage and reward leadership, foster entrepreneurship, and enhance the quality of life.