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Working Here Fund
Grant Program Information and Application

Program Information Application Process Selection Criteria

Current Grant Period Runs through September 30, 2016

Through our Working Here Fund, Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica) has set aside grant funds for projects and organizations that make a positive impact in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota or Wyoming.

There are two options of funding available through our Working Here Fund. Both funding options are designed to impact Agriculture Education, Young and Beginning Producers, Hunger and Nutrition and Essential Services/Disaster Relief needs.

  • The first option provides grant funding of up to $2,000 each.
  • A second option of grant funding of up to $10,000 each is available for larger, more long-term community projects. This is being offered in celebration of Farm Credit’s 2016 Centennial.

Requests must meet the selection criteria detailed below. Typically, one Working Here Fund grant is awarded to an organization within a 12-month period.

Application Process

Grant applications are completed online at FCSAmerica.com. Applications for the $2,000 grants are evaluated quarterly and applications for the $10,000 grants are evaluated biannually. The deadline for applying for the current FCSAmerica grant fund cycle is September 30, 2016 for both grant options. Results will be communicated in October 2016, following the corresponding grant period.

To help determine which grant might better fit your project:

$2,000 Grant Option $10,000 Grant Option
Grant Description The option of up to $2,000 in grant funds is available for projects that address short-term goals, and could include projects such as, but not limited to, community gardens, 4-H and FFA chapter projects, foodbank needs, backpack summer programs, grain bin rescue equipment, CASE curricula, and drone technology for the classroom.
The Working Here Fund grants of up to $10,000 each are available for larger, more long-term community projects focused in smaller rural communities (population 5,000 or less). This includes projects such as, but not limited to, campaigns for a new fire hall or community building, geodesic domes, larger community greenhouses or high tunnels, or other capital campaign fundraising for community projects. A documented long-term plan is required in the application process for this grant.
Sample Projects
  • Community gardens
  • Grain bin rescue equipment
  • 4-H and FFA Chapter projects
  • Food bank and pantry needs
  • Ag classroom curriculum and technology
  • Capital campaign for community project
  • Essential services facilities/equipment
  • Larger greenhouses or high tunnel
  • Community facilities
  • Foodbank capital campaign
Application Requirements
  • 12 questions
  • Formal plan not required
  • Project has short-term goals(e.g., academic school year, hunger needs for current year)
  • 17 questions
  • Formal plan required (business/strategic plan, capital campaign plan, etc.)
  • Project has long-term goals (in years)
  • Project budget is $10,000+ (funding only available for up to 50% of total budget)
  • Smaller communities (population of 5,000 or less)
Application Link

Selection Criteria

Applicants must demonstrate how contributions will be used for purposes that serve Agriculture Education, Young and Beginning Producers, or Hunger and Nutrition programs as described above.

Qualifying programs must benefit communities within the Farm Credit Services of America service area of Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota or Wyoming.

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 are not awarded more than once within a 12-month period.

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 requests must be consistent with the values and mission of FCSAmerica. FCSAmerica will not provide critiques of proposals submitted.

Outlined below is a guide for the types of activities not supported by the FCSAmerica Working Here Fund:

  • Programs and projects of charities that do not support agriculture, young and beginning producers, agricultural education, or hunger and nutrition
  • 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.


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