Working Here Fund Grants

Supporting rural America with grants that benefit agriculture education, hunger and nutrition, and rural disaster relief and essential services.

Grant Program Overview

Our grant program has been supporting nonprofit organizations in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming since 2013. Ten years and more than $6.5 million later, we have refreshed our grant program to offer more financial support, sized to meet the needs of small to large projects. We award grants of up to $5,000 each quarter. Twice a year, we award grants of up to $15,000 and up to $25,000. All grants align with our mission to serve agriculture and rural communities.

Focus Areas

Funding Options

We offer three funding options through our Working Here Fund program — each with unique requirements to support our rural communities. Our focus areas include ag education, hunger and nutrition and rural disaster relief / essential services.

Typically, an organization is eligible to receive no more than one Working Here Fund grant within a 12-month period and no more than $25,000 since 2020.

 

Up to $5,000

Current Deadline

March 31, 2024

Recipients Notified

April 2024 via email

Awarded

Quarterly

Application Requirements

  • Formal plan not required
  • Project has short-term goals (e.g., academic school year, hunger needs for current year)

Sample Projects

  • Community gardens
  • Grain bin rescue equipment
  • 4-H and FFA Chapter projects
  • Food bank and pantry needs
  • Ag classroom curriculum and technology
Apply for $5,000

When applying, you will be redirected to FCSAmerica’s secure grant application site, GrantsConnect.

 

Up to $15,000

Current Deadline

June 30, 2024

Recipients Notified

July 2024 via email

Awarded

Semiannually

Application Requirements

  • Formal plan required (business/strategic plan, capital campaign plan, etc.)
  • Project has long-term goals (in years)
  • Project budget is $15,000+

Sample Projects

  • Start-up FFA Chapters
  • Essential services facilities/equipment
  • Greenhouses or high tunnel
  • Community ag facilities
Apply for $15,000

When applying, you will be redirected to FCSAmerica’s secure grant application site, GrantsConnect.

 

Up to $25,000

Current Deadline

June 30, 2024

Recipients Notified

July 2024 via email

Awarded

Semiannually

Application Requirements

  • Formal plan required (business/strategic plan, capital campaign plan, etc.)
  • Project has long-term goals (in years)
  • Project budget is $25,000+ (funding only available for up to 50% of total budget)

Sample Projects

  • Capital campaigns
  • Major agriculture or food distribution facility renovations
  • Rural disaster relief large equipment purchases and updates
  • Agricultural educational facility expansion programs
  • New agriculture education initiatives
Apply for $25,000

When applying, you will be redirected to FCSAmerica’s secure grant application site, GrantsConnect.

Selection Criteria

Grant Requirements and Guidelines

  • Applicants must demonstrate how contributions will be used for purposes that serve agriculture education, hunger and nutrition, or rural disaster relief / essential services.
  • Qualifying programs must benefit communities within the Farm Credit Services of America service area of Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota or Wyoming.
  • Grant requests must be consistent with the values and mission of FCSAmerica. FCSAmerica will not provide critiques of proposals submitted.
  • Grant requests that meet the selection criteria are considered by an FCSAmerica review committee. FCSAmerica gives priority to applications made by nonprofit organizations with an exempt status under IRS section 501(c)(3). Grants will not be awarded to the same or part of the same organization more than one time in a 12-month period or a maximum of $25,000 since 2020.
  • FCSAmerica may choose to fully or partially fund grant requests. Previous grant funding does not guarantee continuing support to any organization. Grants are discretionary and restricted to a specific purpose.

Grant Restrictions

  • Programs and projects of charities that do not support agriculture, agricultural education, hunger and nutrition, or rural disaster relief / essential services.
  • Contributions for political support purposes, scholarships, or memberships in professional societies or trade organizations.
  • Individual or personal endeavors or projects, or individual farm operations.
  • Participation or entrance fees for charitable events or financing of charitable organizations.
  • Religious or sectarian programs or groups that benefit the specific organization.
  • Political campaigns, candidates, lobbying groups, or causes.
  • Sports teams or athletic events and competition, including equipment or uniforms related to sports.
  • School activities or school booster club donations, including bands, choirs or fine arts programs.
  • Private foundations promoting personal hobbies.
  • Organizations or programs that are inconsistent with or do not align with non-discrimination, ethics, or other FCSAmerica policies, values or mission.
  • Organizations that in any way pose a conflict with FCSAmerica goals, programs, services, or employees.
  • Contributions for state annual meetings and regularly scheduled conferences.
 

The FCSAmerica grant program must be consistent with the values and mission of Farm Credit Services of America, which includes FCSAmerica being in compliance with the Employment Opportunities Act.

Ag Education:  Programs that support ag education for students, adults and families to expand their knowledge about agriculture through curriculum, programs, educational events, and other projects.

Hunger and Nutrition: Initiatives focused on food insecurity that serve an immediate need, provide food rescue or help to break the hunger cycle.

Rural Disaster/ Essential Services: Support in the event of natural disasters, assistance for first responders, or initiatives that impact life-and-death-situations.

1. Click Apply for $5,000, Apply for $15,000 or Apply for $25,000.

2. You will be directed to GrantsConnect, our secure grant application site.

3. On the GrantsConnect page, click the Sign-Up tab in the upper right corner of the page.

4. Complete the eligibility questions, then all application fields and required information.

5. Click the Submit button.

Note: Watch for an email from YourCause stating “Application Submitted.” YourCause is the partner that securely provides the GrantsConnect application site.

GrantsConnect is the secure website platform to complete and manage Working Here Fund grant applications. The secure GrantsConnect platform is maintained by our partner, YourCause.
No, you only need to set up one account for your nonprofit organization to apply for either grant, and future grants.
Yes, it does matter which button is clicked when applying. Each Apply button directs you to either the $5,000, $15,000 or $25,000 grant application. You will use the same login for either grant application.
Grant submissions are managed on GrantsConnect. Visit the GrantsConnect website and click the link, "Forgot your password?". Then, you will directed through a process of resetting your password.

Working Here Fund Grants Contact

For eligibility or grant process questions, email us at community@fcsamerica.com.