The receipt of public and private funding is key to allowing organizations and projects thrive, particularly in the current economy. But writing grant applications is the second step in the process; the first step is to identify and prioritize grant opportunities.

BRS has identified grant funding sources and prepared grant applications for numerous clients. One such client was Greensgrow, an urban agriculture organization in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Greensgrow’s business includes many components, including an urban nursery on a former brownfield, a farmer’s market, and community-supported agriculture. Before beginning any research, BRS worked with Greensgrow to discern funding priorities for the organization. In 2009, BRS researched the following funding topics in an effort to identify other potential funding sources for Greensgrow:

  • Education/outreach;
  • General agriculture promotion and development;
  • Small business/farms;
  • Biofuels development;
  • Community revitalization;
  • Brownfields revitalization;
  • Renewable energy and/or energy efficiency;
  • General environmental improvements;
  • Food access; and
  • Operating support.

This research resulted in a list of 40 potential grant and loan sources. For each program, BRS provided:

  • A description of the program and eligible activities;
  • Information on the amount and type of funding available, including details on requisite matches;
  • A description of the funding cycle, if available;
  • Information on eligible program applicants; and
  • Contact information.

This research also resulted in strategies for how to maximize potential funding, including suggestions for additional partnerships that would increase access to funding.