apply for grants and scholarships
The Foresters Fund was established to promote forestry education and enhance public understanding of forest management. Grants are awarded to SAF local units to financially support projects and activities at the grassroots level that increase our impact and grow our organization.
Give to the Foresters Fund
Grant project proposals that address key themes across SAF’s work will be considered for funding. Key themes for 2023-24 are:
Education and Outreach: Promote forestry education and outreach to a wide range of audiences and stakeholders to enhance understanding of sustainable forest management on all lands, create awareness about the forestry profession, and encourage opportunities for youth natural resources career exploration.
Professional Growth: Bolster opportunities to promote personal and professional development to cultivate future leaders of all backgrounds through leadership trainings, experiences, and mentoring opportunities.
The Foresters Fund offers regular and special grants.
Regular grants of up to $2,000 are available to chapters, divisions, and state societies. Grant proposals are accepted three times a year; deadlines are February 15, June 15, and September 15.
Special grants up to $5,000 are available to state societies and divisions. Special grant proposals are accepted one time per year on June 15.
Project Proposal Requirements
- All proposal submissions must include an information form and budget worksheet (see “Forms” section), along with the proposal. For the proposal, please create and submit a Word document or PDF file that includes the necessary proposal elements outlined below.
- Proposals must align with at least one of the key themes.
- Regular grants must include proposal elements 1-6 and Special grants must include elements 1-9 (see Proposal Elements section below).
- Proposals must be received by the deadline.
- State society executive committees must approve all grant proposals before submission to national SAF.
- State societies, divisions, and chapters are eligible for regular grants. Only state societies and divisions may apply for special grants.
- A state society is eligible to receive up to two regular grants per deadline, and no more than $6,000 per year (this total does not include any special grants that may be awarded).
- A specific SAF unit project can receive funding for up to three consecutive years. After three consecutive years, a specific unit project is not eligible for one year.
- Projects that have already been completed are not eligible for Foresters Fund grants.
- State society executive committees must approve all grant proposals before submission to the national office.
Regular grant projects must be completed within one year of approval; special grants must be completed within two years of approval. Any unused funds must be returned to SAF National when the project is completed or if the project was not completed.
Grant proposals will be evaluated against a variety of criteria, including:
- Degree of alignment and relevancy to key themes.
- Clarity and adequate context of proposal to establish importance of project.
- Objectives are realistic and attainable.
- Target audience or collaborations are clearly defined.
- Involvement of other partners both internal (student chapters, working groups, etc.) and external to SAF are described.
- Degree to which the project engages and leverages resources beyond Foresters Fund funding.
- Engagement level of SAF members.
- Communications plan captures stakeholders, methods of communication, and general timeline of project.
- Budget clearly supports project goals and reasonably allocated.
- Scalability of project (for special grants).
Use of Funding
Funds can be used for delivery of a project or event including, but not limited to:
- Facility costs
- Audio-visual needs
- Marketing and promotion
- Supplies and materials
- Support of innovative and new ideas.
The Foresters Fund is not designed to fund:
- Professional continuing education programs with primary audience of forester and natural resources professionals that are typically supported by a participation fee and have CFEs available.
- USDA Forest Service and other federal speaker expenses.
- Student, retired, or other participation fees and expenses for annual meetings, national convention, and other programs.
- SAF member dues.
- Individual attendance to a meeting or leadership program.
- Equipment and software for general local unit operations (Zoom licenses, website development, camera, computer, etc.).
- General overhead, such as professional salaries or faculty and administrative (F&A) costs.
- Volunteer prep and administration time, transportation, meals, or other costs to attend planning meetings.
- SAF Board member or SAF staff expenses to attend an event (these costs come out of the SAF national budget).
Decisions and Fund Dispersal
Project managers will be notified of award decisions no later than four weeks after the deadline. Upon approval, 80% of the award amount will be sent to the state society treasurer for distribution to the project manager. The 20% hold back will be transferred to the state society treasurer upon completion of the grant and submission of a project evaluation within 60 days of project completion (see Forms section for evaluation).