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Sustainable Forests and Communities Guidelines

Please note that the Stage 1 Application submission deadline is
March 1, 2017

Program Goal
The goal of the Sustainable Forests and Communities Initiative is to promote the creation of environmentally and economically sustainable forest communities in the regions of the United States where the Weyerhaeuser Family's business interests originated.

For the past fifteen years the Sustainable Forests and Communities Initiative of the Weyerhaeuser Family Foundation has sought proposals responding to the triple needs in forest communities for forest conservation, economic development, and healing deep rifts that Federal reductions in timber cuts opened. The Initiative supported projects within specific communities that promoted, in an integrated fashion, forest ecology, the creation of jobs or businesses based on sustainable forestry, and public consensus-building on how best to go forward in these areas.

The Foundation notes that there has been real progress in many communities as consensus on integrated approaches to conservation and successful forest-based enterprise has emerged. Multiple benefits from forest restoration and silviculture have been realized. But we also note how a deep U.S. recession, changes in world markets, and continued Federal forest problems have placed obstacles in the paths of forest communities' progress. Communities have found it particularly difficult achieving business growth, new business formation, and job creation. We continue to encourage proposals in these areas.

As part of the Initiative's mission to promote environmental sustainability and financial viability in forest communities, the Foundation is seeking proposals in the area of Forest Ecosystem Services. Many vital public benefits are derived from forests, but their costs and values are either completely ignored or partly underpriced and undervalued in the wider economy and in local forested communities. Thus, we encourage proposals that aim to include forest ecosystem costs and values in market-based pricing in order to improve ecosystem benefits or halt their degradation, thereby leading to greater forest and economic sustainability.

Program Guidelines
The Weyerhaeuser Family Foundation through its Sustainable Forests and Communities Initiative is interested in supporting organizations that work in forested landscapes to enhance the environment, the economy, and community. Implementation of integrated approaches in these areas that also enhance market valuation of forest ecosystem services is favored. Thus, the Foundation is looking for projects that promote vibrant forest-based communities by focusing on the following:

  • Environment: Employing sustainable forest management, conservation, and ecological restoration.
  • Economy: Developing and encouraging enterprise-based sustainable economic activities.
  • Community: Using innovative social and locally-based business processes to meet agreed-upon environmental and economic sustainability goals.
  • Forest Ecosystem Services: Using innovative business or policy models to better establish prices and markets for ecosystem services. (Forest ecosystem services can include, but are not restricted to, carbon sequestration, forests' role in the carbon, nutrient, and water cycles, providing habitat to support biodiversity, and providing aesthetic, educational, and other cultural services.)
Projects of potential interest include the following examples:
  • Creation of local market-based jobs for in-forest activities (such as sustainable forest management, forest restoration, or silviculture).
  • Development of demand for certified wood and for products made with sustainably produced forest resources (e.g., wood, boughs, biomass, and mushrooms).
  • Promoting sustainable forest management alternatives to conversion of private forested land to other uses.
  • Creating value in forests and forest communities through developing, producing, and marketing new forest products or forest ecosystem services.
  • Advancing community-wide long-term planning for monetizing the full range of forest values, including explicit valuation of and creation of markets for forest ecosystem services.
Organizations must be classified by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

Geographic Focus
The Foundation supports activities in the regions in which the family's business interests originated: Idaho, Oregon, Washington, northern California, western Montana, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Locally based organizations within these geographic areas are eligible to apply. Regional and national organizations promoting the integration of ecology, economy, and community, operating within the Initiative's geographic scope, are also eligible to apply. Priority may be given to regional or national organizations that partner with local organizations.

The Foundation may consider funding exceptional projects outside of these regions.

Grant Size
The Foundation will consider grants between $15,000 and $35,000. The average grant size for the Initiative is $25,000 or less.

Multi-Year Funding
The Foundation may support programs for up to three years but will not commit funds for the second or third year without an annual review. It is the Foundation's desire to continue funding successful programs, subject to available funds. Because programs will not be funded for more than three years, you are encouraged to plan for the long-term sustainability of the program.

Organizations requesting second or third year funding for programs approved the previous year must continue to submit a Stage 1 Application by March 1 and Stage 2 Application by August 1 of each year. Organizations seeking second and third year funding from the Foundation and have submitted a Stage 1 Application and a grant report, will automatically be requested to submit a Stage 2 Application.

The Foundation will not consider proposals in the following areas:
  • Ongoing projects or general operating support.
  • Projects whose purpose is to create specific media, film, photography, or books.
  • Capital projects, including land acquisition or the construction of buildings.
  • Grants or scholarships to individuals.
  • Projects that attempt to change behavior by education of the general public.
  • Camps or cultural exchange programs.
  • Lobbying prohibited by the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Conferences.
  • Endowments.
  • Start-up costs for new organizations.
  • Research projects.
Outcome-Based Assessment
The Foundation has a particular interest in measurable outcomes. Applicants are asked to clearly state program goals on the application and include a plan for an outcome-based assessment of the program activities. Applicants will be required to report on the program's success by providing metrics on the qualitative and quantitative outcomes at the end of each grant period.

Application Process
The Foundation has a two-stage application process. The Stage 1 Application, due March 1, requests information about the organization and the program funding is being requested for. The Stage 2 Application, due August 1, asks follow-up questions to the Stage 1 Application. You will be able to view the Stage 1 Application, but not make edits at the Stage 2 phase of the application process. A Stage 1 Application must be submitted to advance to Stage 2 and be considered for funding. Submission of a Stage 2 Application is by invitation only.

Foundation Process for Decision Making
The Foundation will review all Stage 1 Applications at their meeting in June. The Board of Trustees will make their decisions and notify applicants in July of the Board's decision to request a Stage 2 Application. Organizations seeking second and third year funding from the Foundation and have submitted a Stage 1 Application and a grant report, will automatically be requested to submit a Stage 2 Application.

Deadlines - March 1 / August 1
Stage 1 Applications will be accepted through March 1. The Foundation Board will consider your Stage 1 Application in June and will invite a Stage 2 Application to be submitted by August 1 to be considered by the Board in November. Funding will be available in December for the next year. In fairness to all applicants, the Foundation will strictly adhere to its deadlines. Please note that the Stage 1 Application is closed after March 1 and will reopen again on January 1 for the subsequent year funding round.

Getting Started
The Foundation requires that all Stage 1 and Stage 2 Applications be completed via our online application system. The link to the online Stage 1 Application is provided below for this Initiative. If the Foundation invites a Stage 2 Application from your organization, a link to the Stage 2 Application will be provided at that time. Foundation staff are available to assist you with any problems in completing your application. Contact the office at wff@fidcouns.com.

All first time users of the on-line application system must create a login with a user name and password. This is the user name and password for your organization. All users from your organization must use the same log in.

Returning to an Application
Your application does not need to be completed in one session and can be returned to and edited until you formally submit the application. You can access your new application using the link provided in the email you receive upon opening a new application and your organization's user name and password. Saving the link as a "Favorite" provides quick access.

Budget Template
A program budget is a required document and must be submitted with the Stage 1 Application. The required template is available by clicking on the link below.

Uploading Required Documents
There are required documents that you must upload for the Stage 1 and Stage 2 Applications. Only one document can be uploaded per question. Documents will not appear as uploaded until you have hit SAVE.

Submitting an Application
Once you have completed and reviewed your application, you may "submit" the application for funding consideration. Please note that once an application has been submitted you will be able to view the application, but not edit or change it. Also note that submitting your application on the due date may take substantially longer to upload due to high volume. Please plan accordingly.

Start a New Sustainable Forests and Community Initiative Letter of Inquiry
You must have your organization's tax exempt number ready when starting your application. A printer friendly version of the application is available online to allow you to review the application questions prior to starting. Remember to "Save & Finish Later" even if you have not added any new information.

Click here to start a new Sustainable Forests and Communities Application, or copy/ paste into your browser https://www.grantrequest.com/SID_1805?SA=SNA&FID=35007. Please note this link is for all applicants, including those applying for second and third year funding.

For technical support in submitting your application, please feel free to contact the Foundation at wff@fidcouns.com.

Weyerhaeuser Family Foundation Sustainable Forests and Communities Guidelines Printable Version