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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  1. Application questions:
    1. Your name: Amanda Reeves

    2. Your organization, if applicable: Food Lifeline

    3. City and state: Seattle, WA

    4. How do you identify your race?: African-American & Caucasian

    5. Are you applying as part of a team or collaboration?: NO
    · Yes/No
    · If yes, please introduce your colleagues and your partnership here.

    6. Describe the activity you are applying for funding for: Farm Tour that will allow us to build relationships with the community and get an on-the-ground look at what farmers are doing to help reduce food insecurity. Combining this relationship opportunity with a Listening Session will allow us to learn from the community in their space.

    7. Why do you want to bring this activity to the FSLN?: I think it is important to build relationships with the community and a couple of ways to do that is through visits and volunteering. There is also a need for the community to have a place to discuss their needs and solutions that our organization can apply to meet those needs.

    8. How would this activity benefit the network?: On-the-ground experience with the community can help inform other networks’ understanding of the best ways to engage and build relationships with the community. For our network listening sessions will provide data/insights that will shape our efforts to be community-driven in our decisions and actions.

    9. How many people do you anticipate being impacted by your idea? 15 -20 Internal Staff members & 3-5 Organizations in our network, 10 Community members

    10. What makes you/your partnership well-positioned to deliver this activity? We currently have built relationships with urban farms and farm workers through our Food Access Specialist, making it easier to organize farm tours with those built relationships. We have previously done a listening session and want to build upon that work to incorporate more community voices. With knowledge from previous listening sessions, we can better understand how to engage the community in this space.

    11. How are you considering racial equity in the development and implementation of your proposed activity? We currently have priority communities that we have identified in our area that are a focus of our work. I also will be running this opportunity through our racial equity filter to make sure we are considering many elements and impacts that these projects could have on the community.
    • People targeted by racist policies and practices
    • Adults discriminated against based on gender and sexuality
    • Vulnerable adults due to complex medical needs
    • Strategically underfunded & underpaid adults

    12. What support do you need from the FSLN backbone team/Wallace Center to be successful? I think having this funding is what is missing from my work currently. Without a budget, I would not be able to provide compensation to the community for the intellectual property they will be providing through listening sessions. It also will allow for collaboration and learning among our different departments and teams.

    13. Activities should be completed by September 2024. What is an estimated timeline for your activity?
    Farm Tour/Listening Session: March, April, or May 2024 – Depending on how busy farmers and farm workers will be during this time of year

    1. What is the budget you are seeking? Please describe how you plan to use the funds. (Upload budget)
    Half of the budget will support a farm tour and half will support a listening session. (Please see attached) –

    Network Activation Grant Budget
    Name: Amanda Reeves Organization: Food Lifeline Date: 10/30/23
    Project Name: Farm Tour to Listening Session
    BUDGET CATEGORY Units Rate Total
    EX. Travel Costs
    25 Passenger Min-Bus $1,500.00
    EX. Professional Services/Contractual
    Facilitator/Translation $600.00
    EX. Other Direct Costs
    Food for Farm Tour $300.00
    Compensation 10 people $1,500.00
    Food for Listening Session $700.00