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2015 SFI Community Grant Process


The proposal must be submitted via email in either MS Word or plain text format (please, no hard copies) to grants@sfiprogram.org by Midnight Eastern Time on October 2, 2015. Email subject line should state “SFI Community Partnerships Grant Application.” Applicants will be notified via email upon receipt of the application. Proposals submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

Proposals are limited to 5 pages total, must address all components of the Request for Proposals, and must be in the format outlined in the application section of the RFP below. Applications not following this format will not be considered. Any text beyond 5 pages or any supplemental materials not within the 5 pages will not be considered. Applicants should use a True Type font in 10 pt. or larger. All applications must be submitted in English. 



Request for Proposals issued August 11, 2015
Proposals due to SFI, Inc. October 2, 2015 by 11:59 pm Eastern Time (no exceptions)
Lead Organizations advised of results By December 18, 2015


Directions and Community Grant Application Form

Click here to download the MS Word document form: Directions and Grant Application for 2015 Community Grant Projects.


Central to our work in North America is our connection and commitment to the communities we serve. This is a distinction we hold proudly and demonstrate through SFI’s Community Partners Grant Program. SFI has awarded community-based grants to support youth initiatives and engage underserved communities, honor and protect Tribal and Aboriginal values, advance professional development in the forestry sector, and promote the use of products certified to the SFI Standards, among others.

The purpose of SFI’s Community Partners Grant Program is to elevate and enrich the link between people and forests. We award grants to collaborative community-based programs, to include projects, activities or events, of non-profit and/or charitable organizations, SFI program participants and other stakeholders who support SFI’s core mission to connect communities to forests and to educate the next generation of future forest leaders.

For the SFI Community Partners Grant cycle, SFI seeks requests in the following six areas, with further information on each provided below.

  1. Connect youth to forests.
  2. Train and educate current and future practitioners and professionals including, but not limited to:
  • Loggers
  • Resource Managers
  • Estate Planners
  • Architects
  1. Support and promote Aboriginal, Tribal and Heritage values.
  2. Support underserved communities through forestry, with a focus on urban forestry, rural communities and/or minority landowners.
  3. Promote best practices for using forest products certified to SFI standards, including programs such as “It Starts at Home” and partnerships with Habitat for Humanity.
  4. Demonstrate the conservation values of SFI-certified forests through community-related projects.


SFI is seeking creative approaches to the following topical categories. The below example are intended to provide Grant applicants with potential ideas, but creative interpretations are highly encouraged. Proposals that show high degrees of creativity and leverage are preferred.

1. Connect Youth to Forests

We all know that too many of today’s children are disconnected from the natural world. At SFI we want to partner with organizations that will join with us in getting children to appreciate the natural world and get outside and in the woods, or as we like to say, to help them go “from screen time to tree time.”

One grantee in this category, Project Learning Tree (PLT), a program of the American Forest Foundation, received a grant to partner with the Michigan PLT and the Grand Traverse Conservation District to sponsor a conference for PLT Coordinators and education to provide hands-on environmental education to Michigan students, which served as a model for other PLT state programs.

2. Train and Educate Current and Future Practitioners and Professionals

Sustainable forestry and the future of our forests depend on the commitment and expertise of a wide range of future practitioners and professionals. For example, SFI Implementation Committee-recognized logger training programs train thousands of loggers a year. Close to 10,000 individuals participated in training in 2014, to promote the understanding of water quality, biodiversity and other sustainable forestry practice requirements.

Our community grant program seeks to support these efforts as well as trainings for current and future practitioners and other professional groups including university students, estate planners, resource managers and architects – all of whom have a role to play in advancing sustainable forestry and promoting wood products from certified forests. We encourage grant proposals that broaden the opportunity to elevate the importance of sustainable forestry and the use of SFI- certified wood products to other professional groups impacting the future of forests. Examples of this could be presentations to architectural societies, taking professional builders to certified facilities to encourage them to use new products, or funding a scholarship at an architecture school for green building innovation.

3. Support and promote Aboriginal, Tribal and Heritage Values

Across North America, native peoples were the first stewards of our forests. SFI is committed to ensuring that the traditional knowledge that resides in these communities continues to be shared and appreciated. One such project is a collaboration with the Centre for Native Peoples and the Environment, at the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and the Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force. SFI awarded a grant to implement an educational program at the Native Earth Environmental Camp (NEEYC). The program focused on the sustainability of ecologically and culturally significant tree species and aligns with the commitment of NEEYC to “draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge in support of our shared goals of environmental sustainability.”

4. Support Underserved Communities

One example of a grant supporting underserved communities is the Greening of Detroit program. Urban forests improve the quality of life for city dwellers and for many, urban forests are their only “green” experience. SFI recognizes the importance of improving urban forestry as a way to elevate the importance of trees for millions of people living in cities.

A second example is an SFI grant (to the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities) that is helping African-American landowners in the U.S. South keep their land productive and retain ownership across multiple generations through better understanding and management.

5. Promote Best Practices for Using Forest Products Certified to the SFI Standard.

Grants in this area should help tell the story of the impact of SFI’s forest certification program from landowner to brand owner to consumer. For example, in partnership with landowners, industry, state agencies, foresters, loggers and others, the Georgia SFI Implementation Committee received a grant toward a Habitat for Humanity home build in Macon, Georgia. The home build, using SFI certified wood products, is part of a video story educating others about the forestry cycle from seedling to forest to mill to products to replanting.

6. Demonstrate the Conservation Values of SFI-certified Forests through Community-Related Projects.

Forests and the forest sector provide a wide range of values from clean air and water to wildlife habitat to wood products that improve our quality of life. They also provide equally important recreational and educational opportunities. The Manitoba Forestry Association, a 2014 grantee, implemented a project to repair and improve three interpretive educational trails in the Sandilands Forest Discovery Centre. The new trail system will also be used in the Manitoba Envirothon, an annual hands-on environmental education competition for high school students. Other examples of this might include a project that helps a school system, hospital or municipal government, adopt wholesale strategies to improve their environmental footprint by expanding the procurement of SFI products (e.g. promoting the Starts at Home program).


Grant Criteria

SFI desires to support grants that will elevate and enrich the link between people and forests through measurable results. We recognize these grant projects can have substantial impact in a small community, and/or be a critical factor in bringing a community project to the next level of impact. We seek proposals for up to $10,000 that will be completed in the 2016 calendar year. For exceptional proposals that may require a longer timeframe, up to $10,000 per year for a maximum of three years will be considered. Winning programs will meet one or more of the following desirable elements:

  • Provide tangible, interactive, hands-on opportunities for participants to be part of solution-focused programs.
  • Are scalable and replicable.
  • Combine conservation and community-related objectives.
  • Offer opportunities for matching funds.  Project Lead Organization and Project Partners are strongly encouraged to secure matching or in-kind funds for the Project from other organizations and/or other outside funding sources.
  • Offer high-value and broad communications potential.

SFI will also give preference to grant requests that demonstrate a strong collaborative approach between community partners, SFI Program Participants and those supporting the principles inherent in the SFI 2015-2019 Standards and Rules.

Grantees will be required to provide quantitative and measurable impacts and outputs. Examples of such metrics might include (but are in no way limited to) the number of youth reached, the number of education materials produced and distributed, the number of building professionals incorporating products certified to SFI, the number of organizations committed to the SFI program as a result of a particular project, the amount in tons of lumber contributed to Habitat house builds, the number of miles of nature trails cut, etc.



The following terminology applies to this Request for Proposal:

  • “Must” or “Mandatory” means a requirement that shall to be met in order for a proposal to receive consideration.
  • The “Grant Agreement” will be developed collaboratively by SFI Inc. and the Lead Organization once the proposal is accepted. The Grant Agreement will stipulate reporting deadlines, payment schedules and milestones consistent with the project proposal.
  • “Lead Organization” is a community organization, conservation group, college or university, aboriginal or tribal group or other non-profit that submits this application, oversees the project funding and is responsible for reporting to SFI Inc. on the project progress.
  • “Program Participant” is an organization certified by an accredited certification body to be in conformance with the SFI 2015-2019 Forest Management Standard or SFI 2015-2019 Fiber Sourcing Standard (or SFI 2010-2014 Standard if appropriate).
  • “Project Partner” means an individual, partnership, government agency, corporation, non-profit, or other entity that is named in the Proposal as one of the entities in addition to the Lead Organization that has agreed to be involved in the implementation of the Project.
  • “Project” means the work described in the proposal.
  • “Proposal” means a response prepared and submitted in response to this Request for Proposal.
  • “Should” or “Desirable” means a requirement having significant degree of importance to the objectives of this Request for Proposal, and will be taken into account in the evaluation of the Project.



The RFP and supporting documentation below should provide most of the information potential applicants may need.  Any additional inquiries related to this Request for Proposals are to be directed to the person identified below.  Information obtained from any other source is not official and should not be relied upon. 

For Community Projects:

Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc.
2121 K St. NW, Suite 750
Washington, DC 20037
Attention: Amy Doty
Manager, Community Outreach
Phone:   (202) 596-3458
E-mail:   grants@sfiprogram.org



    Related Documents:

    In preparation for your submission, you may want to review the following documents:



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