Sustainable Forest Initiative


Organizational profile: 
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s mission is to advance sustainability through forest-focused collaboration. We are a sustainability leader through our work in standards, conservation, community, and education and positively influence diversity, equity, and inclusion in the forest sector. We believe that sustainable forests and communities are critical to our collective future and as an independent, non-profit organization, collaborate with our diverse network to provide solutions to local and global sustainability challenges. SFI works with the forest sector, brand owners, conservation groups, resource professionals, landowners, educators, local communities, Indigenous Peoples, governments, and universities. We leverage the collective strengths and efforts of our network while proactively creating space for all communities to meaningfully participate in the journey towards a sustainable future. 

Highlights of the SFI Conservation Grants Program and the SFI Community Grants Program:

  • The SFI Conservation Grants Program supports projects that engage non-profit organizations, SFI-certified organizations, and other stakeholders in SFI’s mission of advancing sustainability through forest-focused collaboration. The SFI Conservation Grants Program strives to quantify and demonstrate the value of SFI-certified forestlands, and lands providing fiber through the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard, toward mitigating climate change impacts, enhancing biodiversity, and protecting water resources.
  • The SFI Community Grants promote collaboration with the SFI Network to support local communities’ understanding of the value and benefits from sustainably managed forests.

Financing Instrument: Grants
Project scale: 

  • SFI Conservation Grant research objectives vary from year to year and may also seek submissions that build upon past conservation grant projects.  Grants typically range from $25,000 to $50,000 per project annually, but more extensive projects may be considered based on merit, up to three years. Since 2010, SFI has awarded 66 SFI Conservation Grants totaling more than $4 million to foster research and pilot efforts to better inform future decisions and best management practices for managing our forests. When leveraged with project partner contributions, total investment exceeds $15 million.
  • Community Grants are awarded in the range of $5,000 to $10,000 dollars per project. Since the SFI Grants started in 2010, SFI has awarded 96 Community Grants totaling more than $900,000 to foster community-building projects.

Recipient countries regions/country groups: USA, Canada
Recipient categories: NGOs, Communities, Universities, Indigenous organizations 

Eligibility Criteria: 
Conservation Grants:
1.    Lead applicants must fit into one or more of the following categories:

  • Registered tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization (e.g., a 501(c) (3) in the U.S. or registered with the Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency in Canada)
  • Indigenous organization and/or association
  • Research, academic, or educational institution
  • Conservation, environmental, or community organization
  • SFI Implementation Committee (i.e., groups at state, provincial, and regional levels that work with local organizations to promote SFI standards to broaden the practice of responsible forestry and achieve on-the-ground progress.)

2.    Projects must be located within the United States and/or Canada, demonstrate direct relevancy to the stated research objectives and requirements, ensure the engagement of one or more SFI-certified organizations, and inform understanding of conservation outcomes on lands affected by SFI sustainable forestry certification.

Community Grants:
1.    The Lead Organization in the Project must be one of the following:

  • SFI Implementation Committee 
  • Registered, tax-exempt non-profit, and/or charitable organization (for example, a 501(c) (3) in the US or registered with the Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency in Canada). Applicants must submit a tax identification number as proof of tax-exempt status within the Online Application Form. 
  • Indigenous Organization/Community
  • College/University

2.    If an SFI Implementation Committee is not the lead organization, projects must include an SFI Implementation Committee or SFI-certified organization as a Project Partner. 

  • Letters of support from an SFI Implementation Committee or SFI-certified organization should be included with the application. 
  • The applicant is encouraged to reach out to the SFI Implementation Committee or SFI-certified organization with whom they intend to partner AT LEAST two weeks prior to the proposal deadline to ensure sufficient time to collaborate on the proposal.

3.    Projects must be located within Canada or the United States. 

Application guidelines: 

  • SFI Conservation Grants: Request for Proposals are usually circulated annually in August – September. Go to for the latest information.    
  • Successful grantees and all other applicants would be notified of the status of their request by end of the calendar year. Grant recipients would commence their projects in the next calendar year.

Any additional inquiries related to SFI’s Conservation Grant RFP can be directed to:
Leonardo Viana (
Vice President, Conservation Collaboration
Sustainable Forestry Initiative

Community Grants:

Any additional inquiries related to SFI’s Community Grant RFP can be directed to:
Nadine Block (
Sr. Vice President, Community and Government
Sustainable Forestry Initiative

Publication Date
Saturday, 26 March 2022
Applicable location
United States of America (the)
Forest management certification
Forest conservation and management
Community forestry
Climate change
Biodiversity conservation
Financing opportunities