The Central Illinois office of Faith in Place is pleased to announce a competitive grants program to support community gardens in Central Illinois. These small grants are intended to help new community gardens get established in the counties of Champaign,

Vermilion, Douglas, Coles, Edgar, Piatt, Moultrie, Macon, DeWitt and Sangamon. Grants may be used to cover start-up costs such as seeds, tools, and related supplies, program outreach needs such as copying, food and small amounts of travel, and related budget items. Small amounts of labor such as stipends for young people to work in the gardens in the summer may also be covered. Grants may not be used to purchase land – sites should already be in the control of the applicant.

The Small Garden Grant program is designed to build relationships among community members.

Proposals should demonstrate how the garden will be used to create relationships and to increase social cohesion in the community where the garden will be located. Examples could include plans to hold community events at the garden site, provision of some produce from the garden to the local food pantry, youth programming, and workshops on canning or other methods of longterm food preservation. Grant funds are provided through the generous support of the Lumpkin Family Foundation and the J.R. Albert Foundation. Faith in Place is serving as a regranting organization and providing some technical assistance for these grants. Grants may cover a one year period, April 1, 2012-March 30, 2013. Shorter time periods are also acceptable.

Grant Amount

Grants amounts between $1,000 and $5000 will be considered, but the award amounts will likely be lower depending on the total number of applications received. Please note that higher awards are unlikely to be funded, although in special circumstances, with sufficient documentation of need and value of the project, they may be considered.


Faith in Place works specifically with religious congregations of all faiths throughout Illinois, and faith communities are encouraged to apply, but other organizations may also qualify for these grants. While organizations need not have formal 501(c)(3) status from the IRS, they must have the ability to keep track of the specific expenses from this grant and report these expenses to Faith in Place. Both the organization applying and the garden site must be located in the aforementioned counties (Champaign, Vermilion, Douglas, Coles, Edgar, Piatt, Moultrie, Macon, DeWitt and Sangamon).


Grants will be awarded based on the merit of the proposal in the areas listed below: Appropriateness of proposal to the goal of building community through community gardens. Does the proposal describe and document the relationship of the proposed community garden to the goal of building greater social cohesion in the community where the garden is located?

Quality of proposal

Is the proposal well written and does it include all the required elements (listed below)? Does the proposal explain the background of the proposed garden and include enough information to help evaluators make an informed judgment about the likelihood that the garden will succeed? Are there enough projected uses of the garden to increase social cohesion? Is the project imaginative and creative in some way? Does it meet a particular need in the community?

Soundness of approach

Does the plan for the garden seem likely to generate long-term consistent support from the local community, Will the garden be a success over the long-term with the initial assistance from the start-up grant? What is the plan for long-term success?

Cost/Benefit Analysis

How does the amount requested yield a discernible benefit to the community? Particularly where larger requests are being made, explain how this expenditure of funds is justified by a larger benefit to the community, and a greater potential for long-term building of relationships. What does success look like for your garden and how will you measure it?

Dissemination and Assessment

Is there a thoughtful and well described means to assess the impact of the end product(s) on a target audience and is there an appropriate description of how results will be disseminated?

Proposal format

Proposals are limited to 3 single-spaced pages (8.5″ x 11″, 1” margins, 12 pt. Times New Roman type) excluding the budget and citations. Any tables and/or figures should be integrated into the proposal as part of the three pages. The budget should be submitted on a separate page in addition to the 3 pages, using the format provided. Each proposal must include subheadings of the following:

  1. Project title
  2. Contact information for leaders: name, position, organization address, phone number(s) and email address. Resume for each person should be submitted on separate pages at the end of the proposal.
  3. Executive Summary (300 words or less)
  4. Background on organization
  5. Why a Garden? Explain the problem you are trying to solve through your garden and why it’s important to your vision.
  6. Project plan (tell us specifically what you plan to do, why you’ve chosen this approach, who will be involved, how you plan and how you intend to execute your plan, what you hope to accomplish and what your measurements are for knowing that you’ve done so)
  7. Project schedule (starting and completion dates and estimated completion dates for major tasks)
  8. Budget. Provide a 1 page, itemized budget for the project including labor costs, supplies(including seeds), travel, and equipment costs. If possible, provide a minimum awardamount that could be used effectively, should the entire amount requested not be able to be funded.

Application Deadline Wednesday, February 29 at 5 p.m.

Submit one electronic copy of the proposal to Brian Sauder at the Central Illinois office of Faith in Place (brian@faithinplace.org). Awards will be announced by the end of March.

Questions can be directed to Brian Sauder, Faith in Place, Phone: 217-649-1898,brian@faithinplace.org.

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