Lots of Compassion Grant

Together, Mrs. Meyers Clean Day and KidsGardening designed the Lots of Compassion Grant program to support local leaders looking to transform vacant lots into gardens to help grow compassion in their community. In 2024, 10 grantees will receive $20,000 each to transform a vacant lot into a garden. A total of $200,000 will be awarded annually.

The words Lots of Compassion in different colors, written vertically

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 designed the Lots of Compassion Grant program 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 and mental health and diminished feelings of safety & security[1]. Lots of Compassion aims to provide resources to those seeking to transform vacant lots in their neighborhood into gardens for community growth.

Through the Lots of Compassion initiative, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day is pledging to provide up to $1 million from Compassion Flower product sales to support community garden transformations over the next five years. Now in its second year, ten grantees will receive $20,000 each to transform a vacant lot into a garden. A total of $200,000 will be awarded in 2024.

¡Pueden aplicar a los programas en español!


Nonprofit organizations, school districts, universities, religious organizations, or other tax-exempt organizations in the United States and US Territories are eligible to apply.
Groups and individuals are also eligible to apply by partnering with a fiscal sponsor who has achieved tax-exempt status.

Municipalities, like city, state, or federal government, and politically-funded organizations are not eligible to apply. Previous Lots of Compassion Grant winners are ineligible.

Organizations must:

  • Provide proof of 501(c)(3) status, fiscal sponsorship, or qualify as tax-exempt.
  • Support, work with, or serve communities with a majority of individuals that are under-resourced (systematically denied resources and opportunities based on race, gender, ethnicity, income level, abilities, geographic location, etc., or currently experiencing hardship such as a natural disaster, etc.)
  • Have fifteen or more people participate in the garden program.
  • Use the funds to build a garden in a vacant lot.

Funding Priorities

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 2024, 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 Sunday, June 30, 2024, 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 Fulfillment

Winners will be announced and contacted by email by August 23, 2024. On that date, a list of winners will also be posted on mrsmeyers.com and KidsGardening.org.

Award funds will be distributed in two payments, September 2024 and January 2025, based on the grantee’s budget.

Grant Recipient Requirements

Grantees are required to complete a brief year-end report by June 15, 2025, 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 2025 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 short 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 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.

What are my chances of winning a Lots of Compassion Grant?

The Lots of Compassion Grant is a competitive funding opportunity. We typically receive between 150 - 300 applications each grant cycle.

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. However, previous Lots of Compassion Grant winners are ineligible.

What is your definition of a vacant lot?

A vacant lot is defined as a piece of land that is not being used currently. Examples include, but are not limited to, unmaintained areas filled with weeds, areas not cared for, and areas that are not welcoming.

What if we have already started on our vacant lot transformation?

Vacant lot transformation projects that have started within the last year, after April 2023 are eligible to apply for this grant funding opportunity.

Are we required to provide documentation of our tax-exempt 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 proof of vacant land use rights/ownership, a video of the lot, and photos. Optionally, you can submit a scale map or sketch of the space and a letter of support or commitment from a community partner. 

  • 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.
  • Video (Required). Please attach 1 video quickly showing the vacant lot space (1-minute maximum).
  • Photos (Required). Please attach 3-5 photos of the vacant lot or provide a link to the files below.
  • Survey or Scale Map of the Vacant Lot (Optional). 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.
  • 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.
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 August 23, 2024, the day of the winner announcement. Does this mean my organization wasn’t 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. If you have unsubscribed from our newsletter list, there may be a delay in receiving grant communication. 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].

Data sources

[1]  AO Bowman, MA Pagano Terra Incognita: Vacant Land and Urban Strategies (Georgetown Univ Press, Washington, DC, 2010).

C Nickerson, R Ebel, A Borchers, F Carriazo, Major uses of land in the United States, 2007 (USDA Economic Research Service, Washington, DC), EIB-89. (2011).

About the Grant Sponsor

Mrs Meyer's Clean Day logo

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, 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, X @MrsMeyersClean and YouTube at Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day.

Lots of Compassion Grant

Application Period: April 12, 2024 - June 30, 2024

Award Announcement: August 23, 2024

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