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The Shed aims to increase production, consumption and awareness of local food through their Plant the Seed Innovation Grant program. The purpose of the grant program is to provide seed money for small projects that increase sustainable production, consumption and awareness of local foods in Boulder County. Housed on The Shed Boulder County’s website, the Plant the Seed Innovation Grant application will be open to Boulder County entities for projects up to $5,000. The Shed plans to award 2-3 grants.

We started this grant program to increase the impact and capacity of local initiatives on our foodshed. Our grant is designed to support passionate, committed people with a social change vision. We want to support small projects, where a little money will go a long way.


Eligibility Requirements

Applicants for the Plant the Seed  grants must be based in Boulder County, and the proposals must reach and/or serve members of the Boulder County community. Applicants may be small nonprofits, coalitions, community groups, co-ops. Ideal projects should directly impact community and outlast the grant term. People of color, indigenous people and working class folks will be given priority and are encouraged to apply. 


Funding Categories

  1. Local Food Access: Decreasing barriers to  local, nutritious food to food-challenged people in Boulder County.

  2. Local Food Innovation: Creating or utilizing a tool or programming in an innovative way to foster the sustainable production, consumption, access or awareness of local food.

  3. Agricultural Practices: Utilizing regenerative agriculture practices that progressively lead to a healthier agroecosystem.


Application Timeline

Launch:                                          April 2, 2018

Applications Open:                        May 1, 2018

Applications Due                            June 29,  2018 at 5:00pm

Award Announcement:                   August 1, 2018

Mid-term Report Due:                    February 15 2019

Final Report Due:                           August 15 2019



NOTE:  Dates may be subject to change for applicants working with the growing season. Those applicants will work directly with the Shed to identify any necessary schedule changes.



Application Instruction and Procedures

Applicants are advised to review this information packet prior to submitting a proposal. Please contact Messa at with any questions. Final proposals are due 5:00 pm on June 29th, 2018. Applications will only be accepted through the web form.


Proposal Evaluation Criteria:

Project Idea - The proposed project should be concise and comprehensive with a realistic timeline, with well-defined and technically feasible goals. The project must: fit within one of the identified categories; not duplicate existing services; and innovatively respond to an identified need.

Impact - The project must directly impact the Boulder County community and foodshed. 

Outcomes - Objectives of the project should be specific and measurable. Project monitoring and evaluation strategies can be qualitative, quantitative, flexible and/or innovative, but must be clearly stated and relevant to the project goals.

Organizational Capacity - The applicant should have an appropriately sized team equipped to implement the project and evaluate the outcomes.

Financial Viability - The project budget should be realistic and cost-effective.

Additional Factors - Assessment of proposals may also include considerations of such issues such as geographic distribution of services, environmental impact, demographic diversity, degree of collaborative effort, community support, power, and privilege. The project proposal must support equal treatment, inclusion and respect for all people regardless of age, race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, disability status or religion.


As a recipient of the Plant the Seed grant program, you will be asked to submit both Mid-term and Final Reports of your work. A report template will be provided at least one month before the report is due.

Applicant Information
Applicant *
Phone *
Please list the best way to reach you by phone
Organizational Information
Address *
Type of Organization *
Brief Project Summary
Please Choose One
Project Details
Briefly describe the purpose and primary activities or your organization or coalition, your geographic area, and your primary source(s) of funding.
Identify the issue or need your project seeks to address
Describe the project in which funds are requested, including program design, relevant tasks and activities
Describe project goals, target audience and projected outcome
Feasibility *
Will this project be feasible if it is not funded?
If we cannot fully fund this project, what are the minimum funds needed to move forward with this project?
Please propose an implementation schedule for this project. Indicate start and end dates, with significant milestones noted.
Indicate how program performance will be monitored and measured, and how you will measure success
Please note why this project is an appropriate use of funding.
Please note other groups working in the scope of your project, and how you will avoid duplicate efforts.
Discuss how this project will be sustained after the Plant the Seed grant funds expire
Please describe the relevant experiences the applicant has on the topic of the proposal.
Please describe your relationship the community or organization your project will affect.
Please list the grants your organization or group has been awarded and their amounts within the past year.
Please read and agree to the following
In order for us to make payment of these funds, we require formal acceptance of the terms that follow, as well as completion of the attached documents: (a) An authorized representative of your group must sign this contract (b) Grantees must prove that their project will operate and benefit Boulder County (c) Funds not used for the purposes described in section I(b) must be returned to The Shed, unless a written request to use such funds for a different purpose is submitted and approved in writing by The Shed in advance. (d) By signing this contract, you acknowledge that you have not received funding for the proposed activities from another source. If you have received such funding, you will notify The Shed. (e) Your group agrees to maintain an accurate record of all expenditures made under this grant, including copies of purchase receipts. Your group also agrees to retain such records for a period of 4 years following closure of the grant. Access to these records will be provided The Shed or its designated representative upon request. (f) Within 12 months of the date that the payment is made, you agree to provide us with a narrative and financial report using The Shed’s reporting template on the use of grant funds. (g) If your group needs more than 12 months to make full use of the funds, an extension should be requested. (h) During the grant period, The Shed may conduct evaluations of your organization and its programs. Your group agrees to participate in these activities. (i) During the course of the funding period, your organization should notify The Shed of any significant developments, which affect your organization or the purposes for which this grant is given, including leadership, governing structure, staffing, mission, and objectives. (j) The Shed will not be held liable for any legal issues that arise through the use of these funds.
The Shed may terminate this Agreement immediately and cancel any unpaid disbursements if The Shed determines, in its sole discretion, that: (a) your organizations programs and objectives and/or program approach are not aligned to The Shed’s programmatic objectives; (b) that your group is not making satisfactory progress toward the goals of the program or has violated the terms of this agreement, or (c) your group uses any portion of the grant funds for purposes not included in the terms of this Agreement. Within 30 days after receiving notice from The Shed of such termination, the grantee shall return any funds not used for the purposes described in this Agreement to The Shed or, at The Shed’s election, transfer the funds over to a charitable organization designated by The Shed. The Shed will notify the relevant local authorities if funds are not returned within the 30-day period.
We look forward to learning more about your programs and sharing those lessons with our partners and the public. Please note that The Shed will include information on this grant in its publications. We value and honor your work. I have read and understood the terms of the grant contract as stated in the foregoing letter, verify all the information to be true and accurate and agree to the terms as stated.
Signature *
Printed name of Officer or Person Legally Responsible for the Funds.