This application period for this grant is now closed.
Lots of Compassion Grant
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day and KidsGardening share a belief that the garden has the power to do more than grow flowers and herbs, it can grow people, communities, and even kindness, too. Together, we’re announcing our new Lots of Compassion grant program, designed to support local leaders looking to transform vacant lots into gardens to help grow compassion in their community.
About 15% of land in urban cities is deemed vacant or abandoned which can lead to many negative outcomes for surrounding neighborhoods, including decreases in physical & mental health and diminished feelings of safety & security. Lots of Compassion aims to provide resources to those seeking to transform vacant lots in their neighborhood into gardens for community growth.
In 2023, up to 10 grantees will receive $20,000 each to transform a vacant lot into a garden. A total of $200,000 will be awarded annually.
Nonprofit organizations, school districts, universities, groups, religious organizations, or other tax-exempt organizations in the United States and US Territories are eligible to apply. Applicants must use the funds to build a garden in a vacant lot.
Municipalities, like city, state, or federal government, and politically-funded organizations are not eligible to apply.
Applicants must provide proof of 501(c)(3) status, fiscal sponsorship, or qualify as tax-exempt.
The selection of winners is prioritized based on demonstrated need and program impact. KidsGardening considers a variety of factors when determining need, including
Socioeconomic & Sociodemographic Factors: Does the program exist within or engage a community that has been systematically denied resources, whether physical assets and money or representative leadership and community services? Under-resourced organizations are given priority.
Program Funding and Support: Does a program have access to consistent, substantial monetary support or prior grant funding? Or are pre-existing resources (financial or otherwise) limited? Organizations experiencing the latter are considered higher need. Organizations experiencing the latter are given priority.
Impact: Will grant funding dramatically expand learning opportunities for program participants? Does the intended impact reflect the actual needs of the community? Organizations working with greater than 50 people will be given priority.
Lots of Compassion Award Packages
In 2023, up to 10 grantees will be awarded $20,000 each to transform a vacant lot into a garden.
How to apply
The deadline for application submission is Friday, June 2, 2023, at 11:59 PM PT.
All applications must be submitted online. You can download a copy of the questions as a Word document or PDF file. We strongly advise saving the questions and then pasting the answers into the online application rather than composing your answers directly into the online form. Many browsers time out after 30 minutes of inactivity (or sometimes sooner), so you may lose your work if it takes longer than your browser's setting to complete or save your entry.
Award Notification and Fulfilment
Winners will be announced and contacted by email by July 31, 2023. A list of winners will also be posted on mrsmeyers.com and KidsGardening.org on that date. Awards will be distributed in August 2023.
Grant Recipient Requirements
Grantees are required to complete a year-end report by June 15, 2024, and each year thereafter until 2028. These reports help KidsGardening and Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day determine the overall impact of the grant program. You can download a copy of the year-end report as a Word document or PDF file.
Winners will receive a link via email to the 13-question online form in May 2024 and each year following.
Year-end reporting requirements include:
- 5-10 digital images of the garden
- Photo release forms to accompany pictures of youth and adults
- A narrative about the impact of the garden program
If you do not feel you will comply with these reporting requirements, please do not apply.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are my chances of winning a Lots of Compassion Grant?
As this is the first year of funding, we can not provide an estimate of the number of applications. However, the Lots of Compassion Grant is a competitive funding opportunity, and KidsGardening receives an average of 400-600 applications per grant opportunity per year.
My program has previously been awarded a grant from KidsGardening, am I eligible to apply for and receive a Lots of Compassion Grant?
Yes, organizations that have previously been awarded other grants from KidsGardening are welcome to apply and are eligible to be selected.
What is your definition of a vacant lot?
A vacant lot is defined as an unmaintained area filled with weeds, not cared for, and not welcoming.
Does the garden have to be on a vacant lot, or can we transform another lot from one use into a garden space?
The garden must be built in a vacant lot, not an area that was used for another purpose. Examples of areas used as other spaces include parks, outdoor fields, parking lots, grassy lawns, etc.
Are we required to provide documentation of our 501(c)(3) status?
Yes. You must upload verification documents of your nonprofit status during the application process.
- 501(c)(3) organizations - Submit your IRS Determination Letter.
- Schools - Submit a letter on school district letterhead, signed by a school district official, stating that the school in question falls under the school district's jurisdiction.
- For other tax-exempt organizations, such as universities and religious organizations - Provide a letter on official letterhead stating that you are designated as an automatically tax-exempt organization and thus exempt from needing a 501(c)(3) documentation to claim nonprofit status with the US government. You may also submit an IRS Determination Letter.
- Fiscal Sponsorship - Submit your sponsor's IRS Determination Letter and a signed contract detailing the fiscal sponsorship relationship between your organizations.
What else should we prepare to submit with our application?
We require you to submit a survey or scale map of the vacant lot, proof of vacant land use rights/ownership, and photos/videos. Optionally you can also submit a letter of support or commitment from a community partner.
- Survey or Scale Map of the Vacant Lot (Required). Attach a survey or scale map of the vacant lot. If you do not currently have this information, search for the address of your lot on Google Earth, Google Maps, or request the digital land records or parcel map information from your city; this is often available on your city's website.
- Proof of Vacant Land Use Rights / Ownership (Required). Attach a letter of commitment from the land owner or proof of land ownership. Examples of proof of land ownership include but are not limited to, a land deed, tax bill, etc.
- Photos or Videos (Required). Three to five photos or videos of the proposed garden site.
- Letters of Support (Optional). Attach a one-page letter of support for your project written by a community partner or another organization involved in the project demonstrating their support for your program.
What makes a quality Lots of Compassion Grant application?
The Lots of Compassion Grant is designed to transform vacant lots into gardens to grow compassion in your community. As such, a competitive application will demonstrate a clear picture of how the new garden will grow compassion in your community.
Indicators of compassion include, but are not limited to, belonging, community pride, relationship building, kindness, and mindfulness.
We also encourage you to explore our Grant Application Support page for advice on how to craft a standout grant application.
How do I know if I’ve successfully submitted my application?
You will receive a confirmation email from JotForm following the submission of your application. Occasionally these emails end up flagged as Spam, so we recommend checking your Spam box.
What if I have started my application but still need to finish it? Will it be reviewed?
No, applications that are started but not submitted will not be considered for the award.
What if I need to update my submitted application?
You can email [email protected] to make minor changes to your application. If you need more significant changes, please complete a new application. We only review the last application submitted by an organization.
What if I submit more than one application for the same organization?
The last application submitted will be evaluated.
What can we use the $20,000 in funding on?
You may spend the grant funds on labor, machinery, raised bed materials, soil, plants, seeds, compost materials, tools, fencing, greenhouse or hydro/aquaponic materials, curriculum, watering supplies, observation tools, garden decor, cooking supplies, personnel stipends/salaries, and programming. This is not an exhaustive list but merely an example of how the funds can be used.
A maximum of 10% of the total budget can be used to cover indirect costs or administrative fees.
How do you select grant winners?
We have a team of grant readers that evaluates applications and supporting materials for about a month. A single application typically goes through three rounds of evaluation before being selected as a winner.
In the initial round, a single reader will review an application, using a standardized scoring rubric, judging it on assorted criteria including but not limited to demonstrated need, program sustainability and impact, and clear fit with grant objectives. High-quality applicants are then selected to undergo a second round of evaluations. In this phase of the review process, each grant selection committee member reads all second-round applications before meeting to engage in group deliberation and finalist selection.
I didn't receive an email on July 31, 2023, the day of the winner announcement. Does this mean my program hasn't been awarded a grant?
We send a notification email about winner selection to the primary contact listed on your application. Emails are sent to both the grantees and those that were not selected for this year's grant. Because these emails are sent out en masse, this communication is frequently flagged in the primary contact’s Spam box. We encourage you to check your Spam box if you do not receive a notification email on the announcement day or to visit the KidsGardening website to view a list of Grant Winners.
Grant Application Technical Support
If you have any questions that were not addressed in the above Frequently Asked Questions section, please contact KidsGardening Program Director Sarah Lane at [email protected].
About the Grant Sponsor
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day was inspired by Thelma A. Meyer, a real-life Iowa homemaker and mother of nine, who cherished her backyard garden and believed in a better way to care for her home. Inspired by the down-to-earth values of her mother, her daughter launched Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day products, which not only smell delightful but work hard and clean like the dickens. Mrs. Meyer’s garden-inspired line offers a variety of products for home care to body care; including lotions, soaps, surface cleaners, room sprays, candles and laundry items. Products are made with essential oils, plant-derived and other thoughtfully chosen ingredients that are powerful against dirt and grime while being a pleasure to use. Garden-inspired scents add a little spring to your step while you care for your home. We all have to clean--let's make the very best of it. Find the latest products and scents from Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day at mrsmeyers.com and check us out on Instagram and Facebook @mrsmeyerscleanday, Twitter @MrsMeyersClean and YouTube at Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day.
Lots of Compassion Grant
Application Period: April 14, 2023 - June 2, 2023
Award Announcement: July 31, 2023
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