2023 FSLN Activation Grants

Funds for catalyzing member-to-member collaborations in service of the broader network.

 Applications Open September 2023

We’re excited to announce the return of our FSLN Activation Grants! For the second consecutive year, these grants will help fuel member collaborations and provide financial resources for members to create and lead activities, workshops, and other network services.

Whether you are looking to create something new, share program innovations, or bring your unique ideas for weaving together the FSLN community – we want to hear from you!

Goals of the Activation Grants

The Activation Grants Program aims to advance the 2023-2025 FSLN Priorities and Activities, honor and amplify the creativity and innovation within the FSLN, and deliver impactful opportunities to FSLN members. Specific goals of the program are to:

  • Provide a platform to enhance and amplify the expertise, skills, and creativity of network members
  • Advance racial equity and anti-racism throughout the network  
  • Provide opportunities for FSLN members to participate in community care
  • Build relationships between network members

The application deadline is Tuesday, October 31.

Register for the informational call on Tuesday, August 29, 2023 at 1pm PT / 4pm ET to learn more and meet potential collaborators. Follow up office hours will take place in September and October to answer any questions and workshop possible ideas.

Grant size:

The FSLN Activation Grants will support proposals up to $5,000; a total of $20,000 is available. Grant activities must take place between December 1, 2023 – August 31, 2024.

Questions to inspire your proposal:

  • Have you overcome a food systems challenge? Let others know about it!
  • Have you wanted to collaborate with a fellow member to advance systems change but haven’t had the funding to do so?
  • Are you feeling inspired to create a space for others to connect and develop relationships?

Potential Activities:

The Activation Grants are a great opportunity to get creative in how you might bring your ideas to life. We encourage you to think outside of the box and approach these grants with an open and curious mind! 2022 Activation Grantees here.

Examples of potential projects that FSLN Activation Grants support include:

  • Regional in-person or virtual convenings
  • Panel-style conversation
  • Networking opportunity
  • Community care opportunities
  • Creation and/or sharing of a tool, template, or framework
  • Webinar or topical call (coffee chat, open-space, etc.)
  • Virtual short course or training
  • Arts and culture activity
  • [your idea here!]

How to Apply

  • Utilize this template for creating your budget, which should be uploaded along with the application.
  • Submit your application and budget here.
  • Please exercise patience as we carefully review all submissions.
  • Preview the application questions here – applications open in September

Eligibility Requirements

  • This opportunity is available to staff of nonprofit 501 (c)3 organizations, fiscally sponsored projects under a 501 (c)3’s. We are unable to fund applications from individuals or for profit companies.
  • Applicants must be verified members of the FSLN (sign up here).
  • Proposals should meet one or more of the above stated grant goals; evaluation criteria are below.
  • Past grant recipients will be considered, however priority will be given to first time applicants. 
  • Examples of eligible expenses include but are not limited to: staff time, meeting expenses, travel
  • Examples of unallowable expenses include but are not limited to: purchase of software or hardware, direct lobbying

Evaluation Criteria

Alignment with Activation Grant goals

  • Does the project align with two or more of the stated program goals?

Impact / benefit to FSLN

  • Does the project help advance the FSLN’s strategic priorities?
  • How does the proposal benefit or give back to the Food Systems Leadership Network?
  • Does the proposal advance racial equity and/or elevate the leadership of BIPOC food systems leaders?


  • Does the proposal take a creative approach to delivery/implementation and/or amplify a creative approach to systems change?
  • Does the proposed activity offer an engaging way to involve participants?


  • Is this person well positioned to deliver the proposed activity?
  • Is this activity feasible based on the proposed budget, timeframe, and personnel?
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