Community Seed Grants

Community Seed Grants

Supporting educational, food security, and community development projects in the Greater Southwest through targeted donations of seeds.

Native Seeds/SEARCH is pleased to offer small donations of our seeds to eligible organizations in the Greater Southwest region. These Community Seed Grants are designed to support the work of educators and those working to enhance the nutritional, social, economic, or environmental health of underprivileged groups in the region, while simultaneously keeping locally-adapted crop varieties alive and in active use in farms and gardens. See below for requirements and instructions for applying to this donation program.

Who Is Eligible?

Seed Grant eligibility is restricted solely to organizations operating in the Native Seeds/SEARCH region of focus: the southwestern U.S. and northwestern Mexico. Our seeds are not only best adapted to this region, but they are most meaningful to the people who have inhabited, or whose descendants continue to inhabit, this region. Donations are open to organizations working on educational, food security, or community development projects. Priority is given to projects that will clearly benefit underprivileged groups. Seed Grants are not available to individuals. (Note that Native American individuals living in the Greater Southwest or belonging to tribes in the region are automatically eligible for free seeds under our Native American Free Seed Program, though Native American organizations should apply for seed donations through this Community Seed Grants program.)

Examples of successful seed grants include school gardens, demonstration gardens for seed libraries, community therapy or rehabilitation gardens, senior center gardens, and other community oriented gardens.

What Can I Request?

Due to limited resources, Seed Grants are typically on the order of 10 to 30 standard seed packets, with no more than 3 packets of a single variety. Exceptions may be made under special circumstances, and quantities may be limited if demand is high. Refer to our online catalog to select the varieties that you would like to receive. We will do our best to match requests but may make substitutions if availability of requested varieties is limited. Donated seeds are from the current year's catalog stock and are guaranteed to meet minimum state and federal germination requirements for commercially sold seeds. Select wildflower varieties are included in the program but Seed Buckets and Collections are not included in this donation program.

What Are the Requirements?

Organizations applying for Seed Grants must agree to the following requirements:

  • Seeds donated through this program will not be sold.
  • All reasonable attempts will be made to save viable seeds resulting from the project and to distribute them to individuals or organizations in need.
  • A brief report on the outcome of the project, including photographs (if possible) and information about how the seeds fared, will be sent to Native Seeds/SEARCH upon completion of the project. Report guidelines will be emailed with a report deadline reminder.
  • Native Seeds/SEARCH may include information about how the seeds are used in Native Seeds/SEARCH publications. Grantees may be highlighted in the Native Seeds/SEARCH newsletter, The Seedhead News, or online, including the Native Seeds/SEARCH website.

How Do I Apply?

Interested parties should download and submit a fully completed application to the address given on the application form. Applications are reviewed every four months, with deadlines designed to provide time for review and seed shipment prior to planting time. Applications will be reviewed soon after each deadline and all applicants will be notified of a decision within a few weeks. Seeds will be shipped as soon as possible afterward. Applications received after the deadline will considered for the following application cycle.

Applications are due by 5:00 PM MST on the following dates:

  • Spring Planting: January 2, 2015
  • Summer Planting: May 1, 2015
  • Fall/Winter Planting: September 4, 2015

Please contact Melissa at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any further questions.