At Young Farmers, our Chapters are at the heart of our grassroots work, led by farmers around the country working on the ground to build the farming future that we envision. Chapter leaders bring a wide array of skills and experience to their organizing work and are deeply rooted in their farming communities. Resourcing the work our Chapters engage in is crucial for their sustainability and viability, which is why we were pleased to once again partner with Muck Boots to offer grants to our Chapters to support their organizing efforts.
This year, we offered in-kind development services to Chapters selected for the 2023 Chapter Capacity Grant Program. In the non-profit sector, development is essentially another way to talk about fundraising, with the goal of working towards long-term financial sustainability. The 2023 Chapter Capacity Grants are supporting Chapters with direct grant writing support and grant prospecting support. Our intention is that this will allow Chapters to move away from responding to grant opportunities at the last minute and towards a strategic and proactive fundraising approach.
We are excited to share that 10 Chapters are recipients of the 2023 grant program. Congratulations to the Central Illinois, Hoosier, Hudson Valley, Southeast New England, Southeast Tennessee, Washington, South Florida, and West Michigan Chapters for receiving direct development services through this grant! The West Michigan and Hudson Valley Chapters were also recipients of last year’s grant program, and this grant cycle will build on the first year’s grant support to continue the Chapter’s growth.
Eight of the ten Chapters received individual training by a development consultant, which focused on grant prospecting, or how to look for grants to apply to. Our consultant is also creating a guide that Chapters can use to support their individual prospecting efforts. In addition to this training, the Southeast New England and West Michigan Chapters also received direct grant writing support.
In addition to the above eight Chapters receiving direct development support, Young Farmers is creating two workshops that will be open to all ten Chapter awardees to attend. These workshops will focus on the basics of development and the basics of how to create a budget. We hope that these resources will support all ten Chapters in their development goals!
Over the next few months, we’ll be sharing a more detailed look at how these Chapters are using the Muck Boot Chapter Capacity Grant to support their work. Stay tuned!
Chapters of the National Young Farmers Coalition are the purpose for and partners in our mission to shift power and change policy to equitably resource our new generation of working farmers. Check out our website to see existing Chapters in your area and email us at Chapters@youngfarmers.org to discuss starting a Chapter.