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Grants to USA Nonprofits, For-Profits, Agencies, IHEs, and Tribes for Projects to Benefit National Forests

Innovative Finance for National Forests (IFNF) Grant Program

GrantWatch ID# 195955
Agency: Foundation

Funding Source
U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment)
USFS National Partnership Office (NPO) and National Forest Foundation (NFF)
Array ( )

Geographic Focus

Important Dates
Conference Date: 12/07/22
Deadline: 03/06/23 8:00 PM EST Save

Grant Description
Grants to USA nonprofit organizations, for-profit companies, agencies, IHEs, and tribes for projects to benefit national forests. Eligible project types include feasibility, pilot, and scaling. The goal of the program is to support the development and implementation of innovative finance models that leverage private and public capital other than U.S. Forest Service (USFS) appropriations to support the resilience of the National Forest System and deliver commensurate returns to stakeholders. Project activities may take place on a National Forest, on adjacent state, private or tribal lands, or across boundaries as long as project outcomes contribute to the health of Forest Service ownership.

The IFNF grant program seeks to:

  • Leverage private and public capital other than USFS appropriations to support agency priorities.
  • Deliver measurable social, ecological, and financial outcomes to multiple stakeholders.
  • Demonstrate solutions that promise improved financial sustainability for land management.
  • Chart a path to scale in addressing landscape-level challenges on and near National Forests.
  • Generate lessons learned to incorporate in agency management and decision making.

IFNF grants could, but are not limited to, support of innovative finance models that:

  • Enable debt or equity financing from public or private sources to pay for upfront project costs that will be paid back over time by project beneficiaries (payors).
  • Access new or existing markets for environmental goods or services.
  • Access user-based fees or contributions.
  • Increase pace and scale of implementation by blending multiple sources of funding or finance.
  • Employ any combination of the approaches listed above. 

The 2023 IFNF grant program emphasizes three Focus Areas:

  1. Watershed health
  2. Sustainable recreation infrastructure and access
  3. Wildfire resilience and recovery

For more information on focus areas, see p. 4 of the RFP in Supporting Documents below.

For information on project types, see p. 5 of the RFP in Supporting Documents below.


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria
Eligible Applicants: Not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organizations; for-profit companies; tribes; intertribal consortia; state and local government agencies, and colleges and universities. A single organization or a consortia/team of organizations may apply.

Current grantees can apply for funding for a new project proposal. If you wish to apply for additional funding for an ongoing project, please discuss your approach with the IFNF program contacts before submitting an application.

Unincorporated individuals are not eligible. Forest Service units and programs cannot receive funding directly.

Ineligible Activities and Limitations on Activities:
• Operations/administration beyond recovered indirect costs.
• Lobbying, litigation, or political advocacy. Other limitations may be found at 2 CFR Part 200.
• Match for any other federal program.
• Total project costs in the following areas may not exceed 15% of request: education, interpretation, land management planning (NEPA), convening, natural science research, monitoring.
• Implement if on-the-ground project activities such as forest restoration or infrastructure improvements (e.g., forest thinning, tree planting, trail repair).

Pre-Proposal Conference
Informational webinars will be hosted by the IFNF team on November 30, 2022 (3pm EST/12pm PST) and December 7, 2022 (1pm EST/10am PST).

Register at:

Pre-Application Information
Timeframe and Funding:
• Program Announcement: November 21, 2022
• Online Application portal opens: November 21, 2022
• Proposal submissions due: March 6, 2023 8 p.m. EST.(late applications will not be considered)
• Tentative funding decisions: April 2023

Applicants must provide a current UEI number and have an active registration in, the federal government’s system for award management. Applicants should start this registration process early to avoid delays in contracting.

Applicants may submit multiple proposals if projects or geographic areas are distinct.

The IFNF application process should be interactive. IFNF staff look forward to working with applicants to develop concepts and proposals. Interested parties are encouraged to contact IFNF team members from the USFS National Partnership Office with general program questions, for help determining the right Project Type fit, and for assistance.

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant
Grant award sizes vary by project type:
- Pilot Projects: Maximum award size is $300,000.
- Scaling Projects: Maximum award size is $500,000.
- Feasibility Projects: Maximum award size $150,000.

Term of Contract
Applicants must complete proposed objectives and milestones within a maximum three-year contract period; shorter contracts are acceptable. If a multi-year grant is awarded, funds will be renewable annually based on grantee performance determined by a yearly review.

Contact Information
Apply Online:

Points of Contact:
• Sophie Beavin, Conservation Finance Resource Assistant (
• Nathalie Woolworth, Conservation Finance Program Manager (

For portal assistance please contact

U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities
908 East North Street
Greenville SC 29601

Tel: (864) 233-7646
Fax: (864) 235-3842

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