Global Forest Watch (GFW), a new dynamic online forest monitoring and alert system, has pledged an initial $375,000 for grant-making in 2014 to fund innovative, on-the-ground use of the GFW platform. The GFW Small Grants Fund, which offers grants ranging from 10,000 – 40,000 USD, funds civil society organizations to use the platform to improve forest management and rural livelihoods.
GFW was created by the World Resources Institute (WRI) with over 40 partners. For the first time, GFW unites satellite technology, open data, and crowdsourcing to guarantee access to timely and reliable information about forests. The platform contains a trove of forest data, including the most frequently updated information currently available about forest change. At 500 meter resolution, you can get monthly updates on tree cover loss, or you can zoom in to the 30 meter level for annual change. This data can be viewed, analyzed and downloaded for free. GFW is made possible through NASA’s satellite technology, Google’s cloud computing power, and through algorithms developed by GFW partners. For more information, please visit
The GFW Small Grants Fund was created in collaboration with The Access Initiative, the largest network in the world dedicated to ensuring that citizens have the right and ability to influence decisions about the natural resources that sustain their communities.

The purpose of the Small Grants Fund is to promote innovative, tangible uses of GFW around the world. GFW is a global tool, but it has immense potential for on-the-ground implementation with the goal of improving forest management through increased access to quality and timely information on the state of forests. We are seeking applications within the following categories to help meet our goal:
1.    Projects that extend the value of GFW information to forest-dependent communities, grassroots organizations, and other local stakeholders in ways that positively impact their lives (e.g., helping impacted communities use GFW information to monitor local forest resources).
2.   Projects that use information in the GFW platform to conduct research or carry out advocacy to improve forest governance and law enforcement (e.g., through changes in laws, institutions, and/or practices).
3.   Projects that provide new information to or validate existing information on GFW (e.g., creating a new data layer, validating areas of tree cover loss).
4. Other innovative projects that use GFW to empower civil society to better manage forests and sustain or mobilize local communities.

The Small Grants Fund will not support:
-       Undergraduate, graduate, or postgraduate studies
-       Annual fundraising drives
-       Payment for institutional benefits
-       Work that has already occurred

GFW has an open data policy, intended to provide information free of constraints and restrictions on use. We request that all data produced through our Small Grants Fund will be shared using licensing which conforms to open data standards and made available for download whenever possible.

The Small Grants Fund is intended for non-profit, civil society organizations with full-time, paid staff.  The fund is not intended for large, international NGOs, individuals or any for-profit establishments or government agencies.

Applicant eligibility will be further determined through completion of the pre-application, located on the Small Grants Fund website.


Administered by WRI, the Small Grants Fund supports projects ranging from 10,000 USD to 40,000 USD with a completion date of no later than December 31, 2014. Funds will be disbursed upon signing of an agreement with WRI and grant recipients will be required to meet reporting standards during the agreement period.

The amount of funding requested in an application will not affect funding decisions. However, WRI may not be able to support all activities or deliverables within an application.  In such cases, WRI may negotiate with successful applicants to select a smaller number of activities/deliverables for funding.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Organizations are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. 

Submit the pre-application. Visit the GFW Small Grants Fund website and click “APPLY NOW!” to submit the pre-application. The pre-application helps determine whether applicants meet the minimum requirements to receive funding from WRI. Applicants will be notified within two weeks whether or not they are eligible to apply for a small grant.

Submit a full application. Eligible applicants will be asked to submit a full application, which will be included as an attachment to the acceptance email with instructions for submission. Applications will be reviewed by the Small Grants Fund Board on a rolling basis and applicants will be notified of the Board’s decision within two to four weeks. In some cases, the fund Board may express interest in the application, but ask for additional information and/or clarity before offering funds.

File Paperwork and Receive Funds. Accepted applicants will be notified of next steps, including the process for disbursement of funds.

The decision of the Small Grants Fund Board on any matter related to the grants will be final and conclusive.


March 10, 2014: Application is open

June 1, 2014: Deadline to submit pre-application

June, 30, 2014: Deadline to submit full application

December 31, 2014: Project completion deadline

For more information, please visit the Small Grants Fund website

Leida Rijnhout
Director for Global Policies and Sustainability

European Environmental Bureau (EEB), BOULEVARD DE WATERLOO 34, 1000 BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
Tel: +32 (0) 2 790 88 15 | Mobile: +32 (0) 494 89 30 52 | Website: