NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL

FOOD MATTERS FUNDING

CITY OF BALTIMORE

WHAT WE'RE FUNDING

With support from the Rockefeller Foundation, the NRDC Food Matters project is working with the Baltimore Office of Sustainability to develop and implement strategies that will drive dramatic, innovative, and systems-wide food waste reduction and diversion.

A critical element of the Food Matters project is a commitment to equitable, transparent, and mutually beneficial partnerships with local partners in Baltimore City. To that end, NRDC has funding available through this project for local partner support intended to provide resources to local groups and increase their capacity to drive sustained action.

​We will be awarding up to $10,000 each to schools, nonprofit organizations, and/or small businesses that do work in support of Baltimore’s goal to reduce commercial food waste in Baltimore City by 50 percent by 2030 (an action in the 2019 Sustainability Plan) and residential food waste by 80 percent by 2040 (as laid out in Baltimore’s Food Waste and Recovery Strategy).

Priority will be given to groups who are advancing food waste prevention, food rescue, and/or food scrap recycling, including:

 

  • Starting or expanding food waste prevention efforts, including food waste awareness and education

  • Maintaining, expanding, or improving food rescue operations or capacity. This includes but is not limited to:

    • Expanding donation of nutritious foods

    • Making rescued foods more accessible in the most underserved neighborhoods and/or to people with disabilities

  • Expanding or improving existing composting operations to increase or improve their capacity to process food scraps

  • Establishing a community composting location to increase access to composting services

  • Developing or creating a composting training program for city residents

  • Using food waste prevention, food rescue, or food scrap recycling to invest in your community, create jobs, or otherwise address root causes around food insecurity issues

 

Grants for 501c3 nonprofits, groups with fiscal sponsors, and schools will be unrestricted, meaning that groups that receive a grant will be able to spend funds on whatever they believe will drive their work forward, provided their work is aligned with Baltimore’s Food Waste and Recovery Strategy. As part of NRDC’s ongoing work in Baltimore City, we are also interested in collaborating with fund recipients on defining success metrics and collecting data related to food waste prevention, food rescue, and food scrap recycling. It should be noted that your current ability or efforts to track and collect data will not impact your chance of receiving funds.

 

If you are a community group that is not a recognized 501c3 and does not have a fiscal sponsor, you can find a list of Maryland-based fiscal sponsors here. For more information about fiscal sponsorship, check out the Council of Nonprofits resource guide here.

 

Funds for small businesses will be tied to specific deliverables and key performance indicators (KPIs) agreed upon by NRDC and fund recipients. Small businesses will have a chance to propose KPIs in their application and must include a budget for the proposed scope of work. Priority funding will be given to those who are able to demonstrate they are a disadvantaged- or minority- and/or woman-owned business.

 

​Organizations may apply on their own or submit joint applications for collaborative partnerships. Applicants are encouraged to make a case for the use of funds across—but not limited to—the following areas:

 

501c3 nonprofits, groups with fiscal sponsors, and schools

  • ​Operational expenses such as rent, utilities, salaries, etc.

  • Capacity-building initiatives such as professional development for staff, strategy consultants, development consultants, etc.

 

All applicants

  • Project-specific funding either to support an existing project or to help kick off a new project idea.

  • New or existing collaborative organizing efforts that work toward de-siloing shareable resources and strategic knowledge including coalitions and partnerships.

 

Please note that the proposed project to be funded by the requested grant may not include any activities related to lobbying (including state or local ballot initiatives) or electoral campaign intervention.

 

DEADLINES & SCORING CRITERIA

The application deadline is Tuesday, May 7, 2019. All applicants will be notified whether they have been selected for funding during the week of May 27.

 

The selection committee will be comprised of members of the NRDC Food Matters team as well as representatives from Baltimore Office of Sustainability and Baltimore City-based organizations working in food waste reduction.

 

​Criteria used to score each grant application can be found here and in our Application Information Packet. All applicants will be scored across three main areas:

 

  • Alignment with Baltimore’s Food Waste and Recovery Strategy (40 percent)

  • Demonstrated need of funds (30 percent)

  • Diversity-, Equity-, and Inclusion-Centered (30 percent)

 

We have included diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as a key part of our scoring criteria because we are firmly and unequivocally committed to the advancement of DEI in our own work and within the environmental movement as a whole. As part of our commitment to operationalizing equity, we seek to build and support partnerships with those dedicated to working toward DEI in their work and community relationships.

 

For small business applicants, priority funding will be given to those who are able to demonstrate they are a disadvantaged- or minority- and/or woman-owned business.

 
 

WHAT TO EXPECT

RECEIPT OF FUNDS

Applicants who are selected to receive funds will be notified the week of May 27 and will be asked to sign a grant agreement (nonprofits and schools) or a contract agreement (small businesses) and submit a W-9 for payment.

 

Nonprofits, fiscally sponsored groups, and schools will receive the full amount of funds within 45 days of finalizing the grant agreement.


Small businesses: Due to NRDC’s 501c3 status, there are more restrictions on disbursing funds to for-profits, and the disbursement timeline might differ. There are also strict obligations on intellectual property rights; if you think your project might be affected by this, please reach out to foodmatters@nrdc.org for clarification.

FUNDING PERIOD

The funding period will end on January 31, 2020. NRDC will check in with fund recipients at least twice throughout the funding period to stay updated on grantees’ progress toward stated goals.

 

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

​Funding recipients will be required to track and retain receipts and expenditures for the funding award. Narrative reporting requirements will be minimal. At the beginning of the funding period, a representative from the Baltimore Office of Sustainability will meet with each funding recipient to collaboratively determine reporting criteria and metrics. At the end of the funding period, funding recipients will provide a summary report on these individual criteria.

 

As part of NRDC’s ongoing work in Baltimore City, we are also interested in working with fund recipients on defining success metrics and collecting data related to food waste prevention, food rescue, and food scrap recycling. It should be noted that your current ability or efforts to track and collect data will not impact your chance of receiving funds.

 

Small businesses will be expected to meet the following additional reporting requirements:

  • Specific deliverables and KPIs agreed upon at the beginning of the fund period must be met.

HOW TO APPLY

check eligibility.png
download packet.png
review and apply.png
 

ELIGIBILITY

All applicants must be located in and serve Baltimore City.

 

Nonprofits, fiscally-sponsored groups, and schools

  • Must have 501(c)3, tax-exempt status or a 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor

  • Must be do work in food waste prevention, food rescue, and/or food scrap recycling in Baltimore City.

 

Small businesses

  • Small businesses must meet small business requirements but are not required to be certified as a small business. (Businesses where 51 percent of company ownership is under the Personal Net Worth standard of less than $1.32 million [this amount excludes a primary residence and ownership interest in the company applying for certification] qualify as small businesses.)

  • Must be mission-driven

  • Must do work in food waste prevention, food rescue, and/or food scrap recycling in Baltimore City