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NC State Extension

Community Gardens Funding Opportunities

Greensboro Garden

Image by Lucy Bradley

There are lots of ways to raise money to support your garden: grants, special events, sales, fees, donations, sponsorship and many more. There are also a myriad of ways to market the garden: Health, Nutrition, Excercise, Community Development, Stormwater Management, Education, Science, Art, etc. Below are some ideas to get you started.

Learn About Fundraising

Fundraising for Community Gardens by Gary Goosman, ACGA

Funding Sources


Foster partnerships between businesses, service organizations, universities or community colleges, etc. Contact the local Chamber of Commerce to identify potential partners. Look to the parents of the children who garden for support from their businesses.

America the Beautiful Fund

Operation Green Plant is offering FREE SEEDS!

They are offering between 100 and 1000 seed packets on the basis of availability and relative need for volunteer efforts to grow food for the needy, elderly, handicapped and confined; for charitable plant sales; to beautify neighborhoods; to start new educational programs; and to show that growing plants can give people and communities new hope as they help to beautify and nourish America. These seeds were packaged to sell last year and have germination rates of 85% to 90%.

To request a Free Seed Grant, simply request an application, then:

  • Attach a short letter describing your project
  • Enclose a check for Shipping & Handling
  • Mail it to the following address:

America the Beautiful Fund
1730 K Street NW Suite 1002
Washington, DC, 20006
Phone: 800.522.3557


Details: Annie’s grants for gardens
Deadline: December 15

These funds can be used to buy gardening tools, seeds or other needed supplies.
Eligibility: K-12 School in the US focused on connecting kids to real food.
Funds: $500 start-up; $1,500 Digging Deeper to expand an existing garden.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthy Active Communities

Separate Grants for Physical Activity (due Oct) and for Healthy Eating (due Feb)
Equipment-only grants are small (up to $5000) one-time, one-year grants,
Eligibility – Target populations must either be located in a rural county or be a high-risk, low-income population in an urban county.

Captain Planet Foundation

Details: Captain Planet Foundation grants
Deadlines: March 31, June 30 September 30, December 31

Committed to supporting hands-on environmental projects for young people, the foundation provides grants from $250 to $2,500 to school and community groups.

Common Ground Garden Program

Ricardo Gomez, Manager, Agriculture and Environmental Programs
Burpee/USDA Partnership
USDA Extension Service
South building, Room 3347
Washington, DC 20250-0900
Phone: 202.720.2471
Donations for groups servicing the most needy and neglected urban areas.

Community Development Block Grants

Federal funds are given to the cities to use to meet local priorities and needs. $500 – $50,000 available for one program. Contact your local Mayor’s office for information and application procedures. Involve the children in the process of securing funds. They can attend council meetings and write letters to successfully lobby for city block grant money for their gardening program.

Community Foundations

Contact The Foundation Center, 79 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003, 800.424.9836 or visit the reference section of your local library to identify potential funders. The Foundation Directory lists corporate and private foundations. Call for locations and phone numbers of regional offices.


Develop a budget and a specific wish list. Form a plan for raising the money including a list of potential donors, what you will request, who will do the asking, how donors will be recognized and involved in the project, and how you will express your appreciation.

Donors Choose

Details: Donors Choose grants
Eligible: Schools
Teachers all over the U.S. need your help to bring their classroom dreams to life. Choose a project that inspires you and give any amount.

Dunspaugh-Dalton Foundation

Details: Dunspaugh-Dalton Foundation grant
Eligible: 501(c)3 in CA, FL or NC
Amount: $5,000 to $50,000
Priorities: civic affairs, youth, education, social services
Contact: 1533 Sunset Dr., Suite 150, Coral Gables, FL 33143
Phone: 305.668.4192
Fax: 305.668.4247

Environmental Protection Agency

Details: Grants and Environmental Education Grants
Office of Public Affairs (E2)
75 Hawthorne St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: 415.744.1581
$5,000 to $250,000 awards

Environmental Support Center
Strengthen non-profit environmental organizations in areas of fundraising, organizational development, and planning.
1500 Massachusetts Ave., N. W. Suite 25
Washington, D.C. 20005
Phone: 202.331.9700
Fax: 202.331.8592

Garden Clubs
National Garden Clubs has attained its status as the largest volunteer 501(c)(3) organization of its type in the world by the excellence of its programs and its focus on effectively addressing current issues and trends.

General Mills

Champions for Healthy Kids Grant Program
50 grants of $10,000 each to community-based groups that develop creative ways to help youth adopt a balanced diet and physically active lifestyle.
Application Deadline: December

The Grantsmanship Center
Training Opportunities, Free Magazine, Nonprofit Resources, Publications, and more.

Home Depot

Community Impact Grants
Team Depot, employees volunteer to meet community needs through hands-on service. Team Depot Captains at retail locations actively seek great nonprofit partners to work with throughout the year.

Support youth education with a specific focus on the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects in addition to the environment.
Who: 501(c)(3), Public or Private School (must have 2 years of audited financial records)
Amount: $20,000 to $60,000
Deadline: Feb 1, May 1, Aug 1, and Nov 1

Housing and Urban Development:

Supports metropolitan and multijurisdictional planning efforts that integrate housing, land use, economic and workforce development, transportation, and infrastructure investments in a manner that empowers jurisdictions to consider the interdependent challenges of:

  1. economic competitiveness and revitalization;
  2. social equity, inclusion, and access to opportunity;
  3. energy use and climate change; and
  4.  public health and environmental impact.

The Program places a priority on investing in partnerships, including nontraditional partnerships (e.g., arts and culture, recreation, public health, food systems, regional planning agencies and public education entities) that translate the Federal Livability Principles into strategies that direct long-term development and reinvestment, demonstrate a commitment to addressing issues of regional significance, use data to set and monitor progress toward performance goals, and engage stakeholders and residents in meaningful decision-making roles.
The Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program is being initiated in close coordination with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), co-leaders with HUD in the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.
Who: 501(c)(3), Public or Private School (must have 2 years of audited financial records)
Amount: $450,000 to $5,000,000

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Details: Grants from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
A national foundation with local roots seeking opportunities that can transform both communities and journalism, and help them reach their highest potential. Funding priorities include: Education; Well-being of children and families; Housing and community development; Economic development; Civic engagement/positive human relations; Vitality of cultural life
Deadline: None; Eligible: Government or 501(c)(3)
Contact: Suite 3300, 200 South Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33131;
Phone: 305.908.2600

John Rex Endowment

Details: John Rex Endowment
Focus Areas:

  • Physical Health (which includes the Healthy Weight Initiative)
  • Access to Health Care
  • Social, Emotional and Behavioral Health

Cycle:: RFPs 3 times per year: Winter, Spring/Summer, Fall
Eligible: Government Agencies, 501(c)(3) nonprofits
Contact: Kate Shirah
Phone: 919.781.5852

Kroger Co. Foundation

Details: Submitting a foundation grant request
Eligible: 501(c)(3)s in communities where Kroger customers and associates live and work.
Priorities: Hunger relief; Grassroots organizations, Education.
Amount: Up to $50,000 Contact: 1014 Vine Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202,
Phone: 513.762.4449, ext. 3

Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Grant Program

Details: Wild Ones Native Plants, Natural Landscapes
Eligible: Schools, non-profits and not-for-profit places of learning in the United States with a site available for a stewardship project. Successful non-school applicants often are a partnership between a youth group (scouts, 4-H, etc.) and a site owner. Libraries, government agencies, and houses of worship are eligible subject to youth participation.
Priorities: Wildflower pollinator gardens, rain gardens, wildlife habitat.
Amount: Up to $500
Due: October 15

Lowes Toolbox for Education
Amount: Up to $5,000
Due: February
Eligible: Schools

The National Education Association
A variety of grants programs to support teachers doing innovative work

National Environmental Education and Training Foundation
Eligible: 501(c)(3) serving children in the US, Must not discriminate, Preference to those with a budget under $1 million.
Priorities: Creating Awareness, Education, and Action in Support of the Environment, Connecting Youth with Public Lands as places for recreating, learning and volunteering. Hands-On, Outdoor engagement, Environmental Stewardship.
Funding: $5.000 to $40,000 for Specific Program or Operations
Match: 1:1
Deadline: July 15
Contact: 915 Fifteenth Street, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202.628.8200

National Gardening Association
Offer a variety of grants changes year to year depending on sponsors. Check their website for current offers.
Youth Garden Grants Program
1100 Dorset St.
So. Burlington, VT 05403

National Science Foundation
Attention Grants and Agreements
1800 G Street N. W.
Washington, DC 20550
Phone: 202.357.9859

North Carolina Office of Environmental Education
List of grants for gardens, physical activity, and outdoor projects

Peter F. Drucker

Details: Drucker Institute
Award for Nonprofit Innovation
Eligible: US 501(c)(3)
Amount:  1st Place $35,000, 2 Runner-ups of $7,500 & $5,000
Deadline:  Usually due in July, Awarded in November
Contact:  GSM, CGU, 1021 North Dartmouth Ave, Claremont, CA 91711;
Phone: 909.607.9212;

Project Learning Tree Green Works!

Details: Greenworks Grants for environmental education
Eligible: Must have attended a PLT workshop, involve service-learning have a community partner
Priorities: school/community native plant garden, forest improvement project, streamside restoration plan, recycling program, or energy conservation project for students
Amount:  up to $1,000 or up to $3,000 if registered PLT School (free on-line registration)
Match:  50%
Deadline: September
Contact:  Jackie Stallard,
Phone: 202.463.2754

Public Welfare Foundation

The Public Welfare Foundation supports efforts to ensure fundamental rights and opportunities for people in need. They look for carefully defined points where their funds can make a difference in bringing about systemic changes that can improve the lives of countless people.
Contact: 1200 U Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20009,
Phone: 202.965.1800
Fax 202.266.8851

Southern Region IPM Center

Details: Grant programs

Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education

Details: Southern SARE Grants
Eligible: Any person or organization with an idea that will link sustainable agriculture activities to healthy rural community development.
Amount: Up to $10,000, can be spread over two years.
Contact: Paige Patton
Phone: 770.412.4787
Call for Proposals

USDA: National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Details: Community Food Projects (CFP) Competitive Grants Program
Eligible: Private Non-Profit Entities Meeting specific requirements as listed in the Request for Applications
Amount: $10,000 – $300,000
Matching: 1:1
Priorities: Community Food Projects should be designed to

  1. (A) meet the food needs of low-income people; (B) increase the self-reliance of communities in providing for their own food needs; and (C) promote comprehensive responses to local food, farm, and nutrition issues; and/or
  2. meet specific state, local, or neighborhood food and agriculture needs for (A) infrastructure improvement and development; (B) planning for long-term solutions; (C) the creation of innovative marketing activities that mutually benefit agricultural producers and low-income consumers or (D) Food Security Learning Center to support a grant to a non-governmental organization (NGO) to establish and operate a national information and education clearinghouse on community food security.

Due Dates: May

Walt Disney Youth Service America

Minnie-Grants for Child-Led service projects
Eligible: Students, Teachers, and Organizations around the world
Amount: Up to $500
Matching: None required
Priorities: Youth applicants ages 5-14 take a leading role in the planning and implementing service projects focusing on the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals, environmental issues, and other pressing priorities.
Due Dates: Two rounds of awards each year. Proposals are reviewed once in the months leading up to Global Youth Service Day and then again in the summer for projects taking place in October.

Wells Fargo Environmental Solutions for Communities

Details: Environmental Grant Programs
Eligible: 501(c)(3) organizations, governmental agencies, public schools
Amount: $25,000 – $250,000
Matching: 1:1 match preferred
Priorities: Projects that positively impact the environment. Sustainable agriculture and forestry, water quality, land conservation, and healthy urban eco-systems.
Due Dates: Varies – usually July and December
Contact: Carrie Clingan,
Phone: 202.595.2471

Whole Foods – Whole Kids Foundation

Details: School Garden Grant Program
Garden Resource Center, Salad Bars in Schools, Nutrition Education for Teachers,

Youth Service America

Details: Youth Service America programs
Eligible: Schools and Organizations planning service projects to be implemented by 5-18-year-old youth.
Amount: 150 $500 grants
Matching: None required
Priorities: The goal of each grant is to inspire children to work with their families, friends, schools, and communities to address critical environmental needs in their local, national, and global communities.
Due Dates: Two rounds of awards each year. Proposals are reviewed once in the months leading up to GYSD and then again in the summer for projects taking place in October.

Z Smith Reynolds

Details: Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation grants
Eligible: 501 (c)(3) organizations and government entities for programs and projects serving the people of North Carolina
Amount: Up to $35,000 per year for one or two years, larger amounts available
Matching: None required
Priorities: The Foundation focuses its grantmaking on five Focus AreasCommunity Economic Development, the EnvironmentSocial Justice and EquityDemocracy and Civic Engagement, and Public Education.
Due Dates: February and August
Phone: 336.725.7541


Please help us expand this list by sending information on other awards and opportunities for recognition to

Written By

Lucy Bradley, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDr. Lucy BradleyUrban Horticulture Professor and Extension Specialist Call Dr. Lucy E-mail Dr. Lucy Horticultural Science
NC State Extension, NC State University
Page Last Updated: 1 month ago
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