Important Grant Program Information

Weyerhaeuser Family Foundation is among the few foundations that accept unsolicited grant applications. As such, we receive a very high volume of funding requests. In an effort to be transparent and respectful of the time you invest in this process, we want to share the following information:

Each year WFF awards approximately four new grants for each of our three initiatives. Last year we received the following number of grant requests:

  • International Initiative: 73
  • Youth Initiative: 52
  • Sustainable Forestry and Communities Initiative: 13

Because we received so many requests, organizations and programs that are not well-aligned with our guidelines are immediately disqualified from consideration. In order to help you decide whether or not to invest your time and effort in completing a grant application please carefully review our Guidelines and consider whether your organization is a strong fit with WFF’s requirements and restrictions.

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.

Program History

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 sustainable 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. Projects that Implement integrated approaches in these areas and enhance market valuation of forest ecosystem services are favored.

Program Priorities

The Foundation gives priority to projects that promote vibrant forest-based communities that address one or more of the following outcome areas:

  • Environment: Employ sustainable forest management, conservation, and ecological restoration.
  • Economy: Develop and encourage enterprise-based sustainable economic activities.
  • Community: Use 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 sustainable 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.

Geographic Focus

The Foundation focuses on supporting activities in the regions in which the family’s business interests originated: Idaho, Oregon, Washington, northern California, western Montana, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Organizations operating within these geographic areas are 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 geographic regions.

Multi-Year Funding

The Foundation intends to support new programs for up to three years. While the Foundation will not commit funds for the second or third year without an annual review, it is the Foundation's intent to continue funding successful programs. 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 an abbreviated Stage 1 Application by March 1. Organizations seeking second- or third-year funding and have submitted a Stage 1 Application, will automatically be requested to submit a Stage 2 Application. Organizations seeking third-year funding must also have submitted a grant report for the first year of funding by the required due date stated in the Grant Agreement to be considered for funding.

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.

Organization Eligibility

  • Organizations must be classified by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.
  • Applications from an organization acting as a fiscal sponsor will be considered when a Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement has been signed by both parties and submitted with the application. Fiscal Sponsor's must be able to demonstrate substantial and direct fiscal and program oversight. The foundation does not accept applications from fiscal agents.

Grant Size

The average grant size for the Sustainable Forests and Communities Initiative is $25,000 or less.


The Foundation will not consider proposals in the following areas:

  • Relief and rescue programs.
  • Ongoing programs 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.
  • Programs 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.

Get Started Today

The Foundation has a two-stage application process. The Stage 1 Application requests information about the organization and the program that funding is being requested for. The Stage 2 Application 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. 

2023 Program Guidelines PDF  How to Apply Contact Us