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2015 SFI Conservation Grant Process


The proposal must be submitted via email in MS Word format (please, no hard copies) to grants@sfiprogram.org by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on Friday, October 2, 2015.  Applicants will be notified via email that their application was received.  Late proposals will not be considered. 

Proposals are limited to 8 pages total, must address all components of the Request for Proposals, and must follow the template provided in the application section of the RFP below.  Applications that do not follow this template, or which exceed 8 pages in length may not be considered.  Applicants should use 12 point or larger font.  Applications are preferred in English, but applications for projects in Canada may be submitted in French. 



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


Directions and Conservation Grant Application Form

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



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 conservation group, college or university, community, 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.


Mandatory Requirements for All Proposals

All proposals must contain the following elements.  Projects that do not contain these core requirements will not be considered:

  • Projects must be collaborative and involve at least one Project Partner, in addition to the Lead Organization. Additional Project Partners may strengthen the proposal.
  • Projects must include a SFI Program Participant or a SFI Implementation Committee (SIC) as a Project Partner, and where applicable must take place in part or in whole on lands/sources certified to the SFI 2015-2019 Forest Management Standard or lands providing fiber through the SFI 2015-2019 Fiber Sourcing Standard.” (or 2010-2014 Standard if appropriate).  To search for SFI Program Participants, click here: 


A map of SFI Implementation Committees can be found here:


  • The project results must have implications or benefits that are applicable to other sites, or which may be adaptable to a larger scale.
  • The Project Lead Organization (i.e. the Applicant) must be a tax exempt, non-profit organization (e.g., a 501(c)(3) in the US or registered with the Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency in Canada) whose scope encompasses expertise in improved forest management, forest conservation, wildlife habitat, water resources, or other areas that would support a project related to one or more of the topics outlined in the RFP.
    • Note: Colleges, universities and schools qualify as non-profit organizations; however additional non-profit conservation partners will increase the strength of the application. 
    • Applicants must submit current proof of non-profit status with this application.
  • The Project must relate to or support one or more elements of the SFI 2015-2019 Standards.  You can download a copy of the SFI Standards and supporting documents from the SFI website here.  
  • All Project Partners involved in the Project must agree to authorize SFI Inc. to publicize the Project and to use their names, images, logos and information about the Project in such publicity.  All Organizations listed in the application will be required to sign an agreement to this effect and submit it with this application – a copy of this agreement is included at the end of the application template below.  If additional Project Partners join the Project after an application is accepted by SFI Inc., they will also be required to sign the agreement.  To the extent possible, SFI Inc. will work cooperatively with Project Partners on any publicity associated with the project.


Additional Desirable Considerations:

These elements are not mandatory, but SFI Inc. will give preference to Proposals that contain one or more of the following desirable elements:

  • The Project demonstrates how SFI certification complements or engages existing cooperative or government initiatives (including, but not limited to, landscape-scale collaborations) that advance conservation objectives in managed forests, and includes involvement from decision-makers associated with relevant initiatives. 
  • 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.  Applications without matching or in-kind funds may still be considered, however those demonstrating matching or in-kind funds of at least 1:1 match will be given stronger consideration, and greater proportions of match are desirable. 
  • Organizations are strongly encouraged to speak about the Project in public venues, including the SFI Annual Conference, or other venues identified by SFI Inc. and the Project partners. 


Successful Applications

  • Successful applicants will be required to sign an agreement (the “Grant Agreement”) with SFI Inc. specifying reporting timelines, project deliverables, payment schedules and other specifics surrounding the project.  Successful applicants will be expected to work closely with SFI Inc. to complete such agreement as expeditiously as possible following notification of acceptance.
  • The Lead Organization will be expected to work with SFI Inc. to schedule a “kickoff” meeting to discuss details of the project, deliverables, plans for engagement of SFI program participants (or SIC’s), plans for external communications, and other relevant aspects of the project as soon as practical after notification of acceptance.
  • Lead Organizations will be required to submit progress reports to SFI Inc. at least twice annually (or more if stipulated in the Grant Agreement), and hold quarterly briefing calls with SFI staff.
  • Projects payments will be tied to attainment of project milestones and will generally be made on a six-month payment schedule, subject to the specific circumstances of the project.  SFI Inc. will receive and process invoices during a brief window each quarter (e.g., in March, June, September and December).  The specific timeline for each project will dictate the schedule of reports and payments, and will be spelled out in the Grant Agreement.
  • Funding will be disbursed based upon receipt of scheduled progress reports that demonstrate that deliverables and timelines have been met.  If the project meets any unexpected difficulty which could disrupt the scheduled deliverables, it is essential to communicate this swiftly to SFI Inc.  SFI staff will work closely with project partners to get the project back on track or redefine project expectations.
  • SFI Inc. anticipates that the results of grant projects will aid in the advancement of the conservation and community outreach goals of the SFI Program, and thus be useful to SFI Program Participants or the conservation objectives of SFI Inc.  Some projects may additionally lend themselves to more public reporting and publicity.  SFIstaff will work closely with project partners to identify such opportunities and work cooperatively to craft messages and outreach strategies appropriate to each specific 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 Conservation Projects in Canada:    

Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc.
1306 Wellington Street, Suite 400
Ottawa, ON  K1Y 3B2
Attention: Andrew de Vries
Vice President, Conservation and Indigenous Relations
Phone:   (613) 424-8734
E-mail:   Andrew.Devries@sfiprogram.org

For Conservation Projects in the United States:

Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc.
2121 K St. NW, Suite 750
Washington, DC 20037
Attention: Paul Trianosky
Vice President of Conservation and External Affairs
Phone:   (423) 571-2562
E-mail:   Paul.Trianosky@sfiprogram.org



    Related Documents:

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



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