Program Areas

Regenerative Land Stewardship & Protecting Biocultural Diversity

This program supports organizations working to restore diverse ecosystems and agricultural landscapes, and organizations working to protect and revitalize biological and cultural diversity. Program examples include:

  • Protecting rights to land, territories & resources
  • Advocacy and legal support for land rights
  • Preserving and enhancing diverse ecosystems
  • Documenting, supporting and expanding agroecological farming systems
  • Restoring and preserving wild salmon fisheries
  • Seed saving and exchange
  • Defending against the forced introduction of transgenics
  • Indigenous language revitalization
  • Protection of sacred sites
  • Revival of indigenous crops and wild game
  • Cultural programs for youth
  • Revitalization of indigenous governance and legal approaches

Resilient Local Economies

This program provides support to organizations and social entrepreneurs that accompany visionary investments, and organizations that are working to support alternative economic systems at the local level. Programs may include:

  • Technical assistance to small scale farmers, entrepreneurs and communities for business development
  • Support for organizations using creative integrated capital models to mobilize resources for the sustainable economic wellbeing of marginalized populations
  • Creative thinking and leadership around place-based and decentralized economic models
  • Implementation of economic and environmental resilience at local levels

Global Networks and Collaborations

This program funds networks and associations that enable the exchange of learning and sharing among communities, organizations, foundations and others. The program further supports organizations working to make systemic changes in addressing the root causes of ecological crises such as the impacts of extractive industries. Programs may include:

  • Movement building to increase public participation and awareness around industrialized agriculture and extractive industries
  • Legal support for networks and capacity-building initiatives that empower community participation in land rights and policy development
  • Engagement of Indigenous Peoples in key forums and collaborations
  • Policy, advocacy and/or research focused on a transition to an ecologically sane and socially just economy

Visionaries and Innovations

This program supports visionary ideas and unconventional approaches. These are often one-time grants and vary widely.


Pacific Northwest

Primarily Northwest British Colombia & the Sacred Headwaters Watershed


Ecuador, Peru & Colombia

North America Native Networks

Including but not limited to the Southwest & the Great Plains

Africa-based Food Sovereignty Networks

PanAfrican and regional networks of farmers and research associations

Networks & Collaborations

Bay Area Justice Funders Network
Biodiversity Funders Group
Global Alliance for the Future of Food
International Funders for Indigenous Peoples

Grant Guidelines

Swift Foundation considers inquiries only through recommendations from our Board members, staff, partner organizations and colleagues in the field. We do not accept unsolicited proposals.

The application process is divided into two stages:

  1. Letter of Inquiry (LOI) and
  2. The full application

The Letter of Inquiry can be submitted only after the organization has been invited to apply by the foundation. Swift Foundation reviews LOIs on a rolling basis. Once the initial LOI is submitted, applicants will be notified of the next steps within two weeks after the inquiry. Approximately two weeks after the LOIs deadline, if an organization meets our thematic and regional requirements, the foundation invites organizations to submit full proposals. Full proposals are due three weeks after receiving the invitation. Swift Foundation has recently changed its grantmaking process in order to better serve the community of our partner-grantees, meet their needs and reduce the time between the initial inquiry, proposal and a final board decision on grants. We have moved away from twice a year docket approvals tied to Board meetings to four-five electronic dockets a year. Most first-time grants are between $20,000 and $35,000 with exceptions for a particularly promising, innovative or start-up program, project or organization.

Swift Foundation funds both one-time program grants as well as long term partnerships. The foundation strives to build trust through long term partnerships and alliances with organizations. After a one-year grant Swift may consider a multi-year grant and in most cases a general support grant.