Volunteer and Help Save a Farm

The FruitGuys knows that small grants can have big impacts on independent farms. That’s why in 2012 we founded The FruitGuys Community Fund, a non-profit that provides grant awards of up to $5,000 to support small farms and agricultural nonprofits as they strive for greater economic and environmental sustainability. To date, we have awarded $275,000 to fund projects at more than 70 farms.

The FruitGuys Community Fund Volunteer

In 2019, we were able to support our largest and most diverse class of grantees so far—15 farms from 12 states across the U.S. We’re proud to see this year’s grantees’ sustainability projects coming to fruition, including the installation of water catchment systems, the creation of community compost programs, the construction of high tunnels and insect hotels, and the conversion of traditional fuel tractors to electric.

Tell a Small Farm

The FruitGuys Community Fund is now accepting Letters of Intent for the 2020 grant cycle from farms with projects that are aligned with its Farming Manifesto. The Farming Manifesto outlines ecologically-sustainable farm management practices that preserve and enhance farmland, as well as support the surrounding landscape and communities while respecting farmers’ autonomy and economic needs. For more details, please read the grant eligibility requirements.

The deadline to submit a letter of intent is Friday, January 10, 2020, 11:59 p.m. PST. All applicants will be notified whether their application has been accepted or declined by Monday, February 10, 2020. Finalists will be asked to provide a full application by Friday, February 28, 2020, 11:59 p.m. PST. The 2020 grantees will be notified by Friday, April 10, 2020. Apply now.

How to Help a Small Farm

If you’re not a farmer but want to help a small farm, you can donate to the Community Fund and help fund more grants, become a volunteer grant reviewer and decide who gets them—or both!

Give: 100% of your tax-deductible donation goes directly to farms, not to overhead or administrative costs. Donate now.

Volunteer: Community participation in grantmaking is one of the core building blocks of the movement that connects people with their food system, communities, and the land. Apply to volunteer now.

The FruitGuys Community Fund grant reviewers are made up of people who love farms: food systems and farming advocates; The FruitGuys’ clients and employees; The FruitGuys Community Fund alumni grantees; and the public. Want to be part of this exciting process? We’re currently seeking up to twenty volunteers to join our 2020 grant review, for January to March of 2020. It’s about a 15-20 hour total commitment, and all participation is virtual via conference calls. Volunteers help by:

  • reviewing project proposals via an online portal
  • scoring them according to our criteria
  • collaborating with other review committee members
  • finalizing the award recommendations sent to our advisory board for approval

The grant review process is completed in two stages that require conference calls and deadlines for completing reviews of assigned applications.

Stage 1: LOI Review

  • Thursday, January 23rd, 1-2pm PST; Orientation/Reviewer training
  • Tuesday, January 28, LOI reviews due from reviewers
  • Thursday, January 30th, 12–2pm PST; to share and discuss finalist recommendations
  • Thursday, February 6th, 1–2pm PST; to make finalist selections

Stage 2: Finalist Application Review

  • Wednesday, March 4th, 1–2pm PST; Orientation finalist phase
  • Wednesday, March 11, Finalist reviews due from reviewers
  • Wednesday, March 18th, 1–2pm PST; Presenting data & beginning discussion
  • Wednesday, March 25th, 1–2pm PST; Closing discussions & final recommendations

Reviewers will send final suggestions of grantees to The FruitGuys Community Fund Advisory Board by Friday, March 27th. The 2020 grantees will be announced by Friday, April 10th.

To apply to be a 2020 grant reviewer, please fill out the volunteer questionnaire. Contact volunteer@fruitguyscommunityfund.org with any questions.

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