The proposal must be submitted via SFI’s Online Application Form by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on Monday, September 30, 2019.

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) announces its annual request for proposals (RFP) for the SFI Conservation Grants Program in early fall of each year. Grants from SFI contribute to understanding the critical linkage between forests and communities across the range of American and Canadian forests, and represent SFI’s long-standing commitment to forest research. These projects provide the science-based data needed by resource professionals to improve forest management and to assess conservation values. You can find details on the 2019 RFP below. To request inclusion on the RFP distribution list and for general inquiries, please contact Rocco Saracina, Manager, Conservation Partnerships at Rocco.Saracina@sfiprogram.org, or by phone at 202-596-3459.



The proposal must be submitted via SFI’s Online Application Form by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on Monday, September 30, 2019.  Applicants will be notified via email that their application was received. Late proposals will not be considered.

SFI’s online application imposes text limits within requested fields. However, you are welcome to upload supporting documents as needed. To help you prepare for submission, you can view a sample of the application attached to the 2019 SFI Conservation Grants Instructions and Criteria as Appendix I. You can save progress while working on the online application, and do not need to complete the entire process in one sitting. Applications are preferred in English, but applications for projects in Canada may be submitted in French.  If you have any difficulty with the online application process, SFI staff would be happy to assist you, or to provide alternative application options. Please contact us at grants@sfiprogram.org.


  • Request for Proposals issued – July 29, 2019
  • Proposals due to SFI, Inc. – September 30, 2019 by 11:59 pm Eastern Time (no exceptions)
  • Lead Organizations advised of results – By December 16, 2019

Conservation Grants Criteria

For SFI Conservation Grants applications in this grant cycle, SFI Inc. is placing a priority on projects which measure, demonstrate, or establish methodologies to demonstrate, the conservation-related values of SFI-certified forestlands, or such values which result from application of the SFI Fiber Sourcing standard. Ideally such projects will be scalable to a regional, or bio-regional scale (e.g., Ponderosa Pine forests, Boreal Plains, Longleaf Pine ecosystem, the central hardwood forest, etc.). Particular attention will be paid to applications focused on conservation values in the areas of water, climate change (including both carbon attributes and forest resiliency), and biodiversity. Projects which advance communication of these values through the supply chain, and with relevant stakeholders, are also desirable.

Examples of priority projects which may serve to demonstrate the conservation-related values of SFI certified lands, or SFI Fiber Sourcing activities, may include:

  • Studies that calculate ecosystem service values (e.g., carbon sequestration, water filtration and/or quantity control) by adapting established methods to quantify the impact of SFI Program Participant activities.
  • Studies that quantify the relationship between diversity of age-classes and structure in well-managed forests, and forest ecosystem water storage, and filtering. A related component could include quantifying the value of reforestation in promoting water quality and regulating flow.
  • Studies that quantify the contribution of SFI-certified forests, or SFI Fiber Sourcing, toward the attainment of broadly accepted conservation goals in landscapes of conservation interest.
  • Studies that increase understanding of conservation values in managed forests, that build from previously established methodologies, including those resulting from past or current SFI Conservation Grants, especially as they may be applied in new landscapes, and/or in refinement of metrics, or explore cross cutting conservation values (e.g. utilizing established spatial data or analytical methods previously applied to water quality to calculate biodiversity or carbon values).
  • Pilot efforts or studies which help fulfill sustainability data gaps associated with corporate responsibility commitments. (e.g. research that illustrates forest carbon values relative to a specific product line – projects that feature collaboration with consumer-facing brands would be highly desirable in this category)
  • Studies that assess conservation values associated with the footprint of mills or facilities certified to the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard.
  • Other focal topics as noted in the RFP.
Community Grant Timing:

Please note that the SFI Community Grants RFP will be released later this year, with more details coming soon. To learn more or ensure you are on the Community Grant distribution list, contact us at grants@sfiprogram.org.

Inquiries regarding the Conservation Grants Program are to be directed to the persons identified below. Information obtained from any other source is not official and should not be relied upon.

Request for inclusion on the RFP distribution list and general inquiries:
Rocco Saracina
Manager, Conservation Partnerships

Conservation Grants: USA
Paul Trianosky
Chief Conservation Officer

Conservation Grants: Canada
Darren Sleep
Senior Director, Conservation Science and Strategies