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The program officially begins on Monday, Mar 01, 2017, so please check back soon to enter.
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Seeds of Change® Grant Program

Program Guidelines ("Guidelines")

Updated 16 Feb 2017



By participating in the Seeds of Change® Grant Program (the “Program”), you agree to be bound by these Guidelines and by the interpretations of these Guidelines and decisions of Seeds of Change®, which are final in all matters relating to the Program. If you do not agree, please do not participate in the Program.

I. PROGRAM OBJECTIVE

At Seeds of Change®, we are passionate about growing deliciously good food, from the seed to ingredients,to your plate. We are growers and care about the way food is grown and the people who grow it. We think it’s important to help people know where their food comes from and how it is grown. We also want to give communities the ingredients to grow a healthier, more sustainable relationship with food by supporting sustainable school- and community-based gardening & farming programs. To support our mission, Seeds of Change® is seeking partners to help grow healthier and more sustainable communities. We will distribute a total of twelve (12) grants to fund school programs: two (2) grants for $25,000; and ten (10) grants for $10,000. We will also distribute a total of twelve (12) grants to fund community programs (not related to school programs): two (2) grants for $25,000; and ten (10) grants for $10,500. Funds will be distributed through this Program to school and community programs that we believe enhance the environmental, economic, and social well-being of gardens, farms, farmers and communities.

II. ELIGIBILITY

A. ELIGIBLE ORGANIZATIONS. Regardless of whether you apply for a school grant or a community grant, your organization must meet all of the following criteria in order to participate:

  1. Be a private for-profit organization, a private non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, or a public non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that focuses on at least one of the following areas:
    • Community-based farming or gardening
    • Public school gardens
    • Food & nutrition education
    • Farming and agriculture education
    • Sustainable farming
  2. Be based in the U.S. and primarily maintained in the U.S.
  3. Be linked to a specific town, township, watershed, county or other delineated area, and be able to engage such community for participation and support.

Applications must be submitted from one (1) organization. Collaborations from multiple organizations will not be considered. Applications must be submitted for either a school grant or a community grant. Organizations may not apply for both.

B. INELIGIBLE ORGANIZATIONS. While we would like to be able to allow all organizations that meet the criteria described in Section IIA to participate, we must limit the eligibility to those organizations that meet the objectives for the Program. Accordingly, the following types of organizations and activities are not eligible to receive grant support, even if they otherwise comply under Section IIA:

  • Organizations who have previously received a Seeds of Change® Grant
  • Fraternal, political, advocacy or labor organizations
  • Organizations that limit membership and services based on race, religion, color, creed, sex, age or national origin
  • Fellowships or research
  • Conventions, conferences or seminars
  • Fund-raising events (dinners, lunches, etc.)
  • Non-US-based organizations
  • Organizations whose program activities are mainly international (i.e., those who use over 50% of their funding to support activities outside of the United States)

Collectively, the above criteria described in Section IIA and IIB are referred to as “Eligibility Criteria,” and organizations that qualify with these two Sections will be called “Eligible Organizations.”

III. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

A. SUBMISSION DATES AND TIMES. Eligible Organizations may apply between 12:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (“EST”) on March 1, 2017 and 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (“EDT”) on March 28, 2017 (“Submission Period”). Any application electronically submitted after the end of the Submission Period will not be accepted. Limit: one (1) entry per Eligible Organization.

B. WHERE TO APPLY, AND THE CONTENT OF THE APPLICATION. To have your organization considered for this Program, you may submit an application by visiting the Seeds of Change® website, located at www.seedsofchangegrant.com (the “Site”) and providing the requested information, including: whether you are applying for a school grant or a community grant, your first and last name, mailing address, contact phone number, email address and the Community Farm/Garden Name, city and location. Please note that the name and contact details that you provide here will be the person assumed to be managing the program (hereto referred to as an “Ambassador”). The Ambassador must be able to accept responsibility for the grant on behalf of the organization, manage the project, and respond to any inquiries. All applications must come from an individual on behalf of a qualified organization, and an authorized official must sign off on the application. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in disqualification.

Next you are required to answer three questions using a maximum of 1,000 characters for each of the three answers. The answer to the question, “How would you use this grant to help your community?” will be made available as part of the public voting phase as discussed in Section V. Your answers to the remaining two questions will be used during the judging evaluation phase as discussed in Section V. The full list of questions is here:

  1. How would you use this grant to help your community?
  2. Please list the ways your program teaches people about sustainability and where their food comes from.
  3. How would you measure success for your program?

All applications submitted online through the Seeds of Change® website at www.seedsofchangegrant.com must be received during the Submission Period to be considered.

Please note: When answering the questions, Eligible Organizations should demonstrate the ways in which their organization educates the community about where food comes from and sustainability, the impact that the Eligible Organization has on the community, the Eligible Organization’s need for additional funding, and a plan for using the funds. It is also beneficial to let the community know that you are applying for a grant through the Program. See Section V for information about what the judges will be considering when evaluating your organization’s application and need for the grant.

All applications will be voted upon and judged as discussed in Section V. Grants are intended to provide a one-time infusion of funds to establish and carry out projects in these areas. Examples of projects that may be viewed as particularly geared toward the goal of the Program are those that increase community access to fresher, more nutritious food supplies and those that incorporate an educational outreach component to their project. For example, the Program is well suited for an organization that may need additional funding to provide training materials, articles, workshops, webinars/web-based programs, pamphlets and other media, generated from the results of the funded projects that can be adapted for use by other communities.

Finally, you may upload a photo to support your entry. Seeds of Change® will only accept the following formats for an image: JPG, PNG or GIF. The image submitted must be a minimum of 500px x 500px, in landscape orientation and cannot exceed 10MB. The photo must support the content of your application.

Seeds of Change® has a right to reject any photo or other application submissions that it deems to be offensive, objectionable, disparaging or otherwise not within the spirit of the Program and its purpose. In addition, photos and other application submissions must meet the following requirements:

  1. Must not violate or infringe the rights of others including, without limitation, patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, publicity, privacy or other proprietary rights (see “Warranty” under Section IV for more details);
  2. Must not be unlawful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, libelous, deceptive, fraudulent, invasive of another's privacy, tortious, or contain explicit or graphic descriptions or accounts of, sexual acts, or otherwise contain any other content that is objectionable;
  3. Must not victimize, harass, degrade, or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on the basis of religion, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, age, or disability;
  4. Must not depict children unless the child’s parent or legal guardian is also depicted;
  5. Must be within the general spirit and guidance of the Program, including meeting the terms of these Guidelines;
  6. Must not contain an advertisement or solicitation not affiliated with Seeds of Change®;
  7. Must not contain any imagery, content or other element that is owned by a third party;
  8. Must be shown using safe cooking practices; Entrant’s Child shall not be left alone close to an open flame, use a sharp knife or practice any other cooking method deemed to be “unsafe”.

Odds of being selected depend on the number of Eligible Organizations, the votes that they receive from the public, and our analysis of their application in accordance with these Guidelines. Machine or computer-generated submissions will be disqualified. Seeds of Change® will not be liable for lost or damaged entries. Proof of transmission does not constitute proof of submission of an application. All federal, state, and local laws apply. All applications become the property of Seeds of Change® and will not be acknowledged or returned.

WARNING: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEB SITE ASSOCIATED WITH THIS PROGRAM OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE PROGRAM MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAW, AND, SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SEEDS OF CHANGE® RESERVES THE RIGHT TO PROSECUTE AND SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Seeds of Change® reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual it finds to be attempting to tamper with or undermine the entry process and/or the legitimate operation of the Program; to violate the Program Guidelines; or to act in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner or with the intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any other person. If, for any reason, the Program is not capable of running as planned, Seeds of Change® may, in its sole discretion, void any suspect entries and modify the Program or suspend the Program to address the impairment and then resume the Program in a manner that best conforms to the spirit of these Program Guidelines.

IV. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

Warranty. By submitting an application into the Program, Eligible Organizations and Ambassadors warrant and represent that the materials submitted by your organization are original work created and recorded by your organization, have not been previously published, have not won a previous prize or award, that your organization owns or otherwise controls all of the rights to the application and the photograph submitted does not violate any law, regulation or any right of any third-party, including but not limited to rights of copyright, trademark, publicity and/or privacy. Please understand that submitting any materials that are owned or copyrighted by another individual, or otherwise subject to the rights of another individual, will make your organization responsible for any legal action that may arise.

License. By submitting an application into the Program, your organization grants to Seeds of Change® the right, without limitation, to display all or part of your application online and in any media now known or hereinafter developed. Further, your organization and Ambassadors agrees to grant to Seeds of Change® all rights of ownership, reproduction, and use of the application, including the photograph, for any purpose whatsoever without compensation or further permission, including but not limited to an irrevocable and perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide right, in all media (now known or later developed) to assign, license, use, publish, edit, adapt, modify, alter, reproduce, distribute, broadcast, display, copyright, create derivative works or otherwise exploit the application, including the photograph, for commercial or non-commercial use, and without compensation to your organization or you.

V. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

There are two (2) rounds to the evaluation process for the submitted applications: (1) public vote and (2) judge evaluation.

Public Voting Phase

First, beginning 12:00 p.m. EDT on March 30, 2017, eligible applications will be displayed on the Site for the public to view and evaluate. The public may then vote on the Eligible Organization that they feel most clearly demonstrates how a grant would help achieve its organizational goals. The voting period will close on April 19, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. EDT and the fifty (50) applications (25 school applications and 25 community applications) that receive the most votes will be passed through to the next phase in the evaluation process.

Please note: Each individual may only vote once per calendar day EDT per entry. Any additional votes beyond one (1) vote per entry per day by an individual will be considered VOID. In addition, Seeds of Change® has a right to disqualify or refuse to count the votes of any application that it believes is tampering or otherwise taking any steps to affect the fairness of the voting process. Seeds of Change® decision is final in all instances. Seeds of Change® has the right, in its sole discretion, to maintain the integrity of the Program, including the right to void votes, including, but not limited to, for the following reasons: (i) multiple votes during the same day from the same user from different IP addresses or from different email addresses; fraudulent entry votes (using a redirect link, a disguised link, a fraudulent link, etc.); (ii) technical malfunction of servers or internet connection; (iii) user(s) recanting their own votes; (iv) technical or content upgrades that render votes incompatible or inconsistent; (v) inappropriate conduct in promoting votes (spam, harassment, etc.); and (vi) any other reason that impacts or appears to impact the fairness or integrity of the voting process.

Judge Evaluation Phase

Second, beginning on or about April 24, 2017, at 12:00 pm EDT a panel of judges made up of Seeds of Change® farmers and brand leaders and strategic partners will evaluate the fifty organizations’ applications that received the most votes to select the twenty four (24) Eligible Organizations – twelve (12) school recipients and twelve (12) community recipients – that they consider to be in the best position to receive and use the grant awards. The judges’ review will be conducted in two parts. First, the judges will evaluate whether the applicants meet the Eligibility Criteria and all other requirements set forth herein. Next, for those that pass the first phase of review, the judges will evaluate each application based on the extent to which the organization does the following:

  1. Food Education – How the organization helps teach people where their food comes from. How the entry effectively builds the connection between the journey from seed to plate. How the organization greater enables and empowers the community to make healthy eating choices. (up to 30 points)
  2. Community Impact – Whether the entry clearly identifies the organization’s mission and measurable goals, and ties its activity, impact and value to its community and to the Seeds of Change® mission. Make it clear what your organization accomplishes, and how it makes a difference. (up to 25 points)
  3. Need based – Whether the entry demonstrates a need for charitable funding. Does your organization have robust, alternate sources of income? Please share how grants offer an opportunity that the project or organization would not have the means to fund otherwise. (up to 20 points)
  4. Leadership and Inspiration – Whether the entry provides sound methods for executing its activity and achieving tangible results for its community. How does it get people excited about gardening and farming? Also whether the project leader, collaborators and partners have the capacity and commitment to see the project through to completion, while engaging the community. (up to 25 points)

After reviewing the applications, the judges will tally the scores and rank the applicants based on their scores. The two (2) top scoring school applicants will be eligible to each receive a $25,000 grant, and the two top scoring (2) community applicants will be eligible to each receive a $30,000 grant. The next top twenty (20) scoring applicants – ten (10) school applicants and ten (10) community applicants – will each be eligible to receive one (1) $10,000 grant. In the event of a tie, the organization with the highest point value in the category of Community Impact will be selected as a potential award recipient. Each potential award recipient will be selected and announced on or about May 8, 2017. All award recipients will be required to complete Award Documentation (defined below). We will contact the Ambassador of the selected organizations. Failure on the part of the Ambassador to respond within forty-eight (48) hours or to return the Award Documentation within ten (10) business days may result in disqualification of the entire organization and the selection of an alternate potential award recipient. If a selected award recipient declines the award, an alternate potential award recipient will be selected.

VI. AWARD INFORMATION

A. AWARD. Seeds of Change® will award two (2) school organizations with a grant for $25,000, and two (2) community organizations with a grant for $30,000, and ten (10) school organizations and ten (10) community organizations with a grant for $10,500. These grants shall be used to fund programs that are selected by the judges, as described above in Section VIB. Checks will be made payable in the name of the organization. Those organizations preferring to receive payment via an Electronic Funds Transfer may arrange to have that done as well. Unless otherwise noted by Seeds of Change®, all awards will be distributed by July 31, 2017. The award is not transferable and may not be substituted. The award is subject to all federal, state, and local taxes and recipient will be responsible for such taxes.

B. PERMISSIBLE USES. Award recipients may use the funds in connection with their organizations and to support their efforts. Examples of permissible ways to use the funds include, but are not limited to:

  • Printing, postage and supplies, including software
  • Small equipment purchases, and equipment rental
  • Travel and per diem necessary for project execution
  • Outreach expenses
  • Event refreshments and working meals
  • Project-specific long distance, fax, and conference calls over land lines
  • Outreach costs associated with hosting an educational event or field day

C. IMPERMISSIBLE USES. Seeds of Change® wants funds to be used in a manner that best supports the goals of an award recipient’s organization and the Program. Therefore, Seeds of Change® does not permit the funds to be used for all purposes. Award recipients may not use the grant for the following impermissible purposes:

  • International travel
  • Full or partial meals that are not working meals
  • Paying off debts
  • Costs incurred before the grant award date are not reimbursable
  • Purchase of passenger carrying vehicles

Use of the award in connection with an Impermissible Use may result in a breach of contract and Seeds of Change® may, in its sole discretion, request a full return of the funds awarded. Award recipients may be required to submit a quarterly report in response to a request on behalf of Seeds of Change® to confirm appropriate use of the funds.

VII. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

A. REQUIREMENTS OF AWARD RECIPIENTS. All award recipients are required to use the award in accordance with the Permissible Uses set forth above at Section VIB. Further, all award recipients will be required to execute and return, within ten (10) days of issuance of notification, tax documentation, an affidavit of eligibility, assignment of rights, liability and (where legal) publicity release (“Award Documentation”), which will include, without limitation, their granting of permission for their names, likenesses, organizations and pictures to be displayed in correlation with all advertising for Seeds of Change® and the Program, and in any manner or in any media, now known or hereinafter developed. If a potential award recipient cannot be contacted, fails to comply with these Guidelines, or fails to sign and return the Award Documentation within the specified time period or is found to be ineligible, that potential recipient shall be deemed disqualified and shall forfeit the award.

B. PUBLICITY. Except where prohibited by law, by accepting any award, the recipient organization consents to permitting Seeds of Change®, and its partners, affiliates, parent company and/or subsidiaries, use of the award recipient organization, Ambassador’s, and members’ likeness, photographs and names for advertising and publicity purposes in any and all media worldwide (including award recipients list) without additional compensation or notification.

C. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY. By participating, applicants and recipients release Seeds of Change® and its affiliates, parent, and subsidiary companies, their employees, agents and officers, judges, advertising and promotion agencies, as well as all individuals and entities associated with the development and execution of the Program (collectively, the “Released Parties”), from and against any and all liability with respect to or in any way arising from the Program, the awards, or in any activities related to the awards. The Released Parties assume no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, or delay in operation or transmission; communications line failure; theft or destruction of or unauthorized access to the Program, Seeds of Change® web site, or any submission, judging or recipient selection. Applicants also agree (a) to be bound by these Guidelines; and (b) that the decisions of Seeds of Change® and the judges are final on all matters relating to the Program.

The Award Documentation will also (i) release the Released Parties from any and all liability for any loss, harm, damages, cost or expense arising out of participation in the Program, or participating in any award-related activity or the acceptance, use or misuse of any award, including without limitation costs, injuries, losses and damages related to personal injuries, death, damage to, loss or destruction of property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation, or portrayal in a false light, or from any and all claims of third parties arising there from, and (ii) grant Seeds of Change® (and its agencies) the unrestricted rights, in their collective or individual discretion, to use the award recipients’ information as set forth in the Publicity section above.

VIII. PRIVACY POLICY

Please note that all information submitted will be treated in accordance with the Mars/Seeds of Change® Privacy Policy, available at http://www.mars.com/global/policies/privacy/pp-english.aspx.

IX. OTHER INFORMATION.

Submission of an application to receive an award constitutes agreement to be bound to these Guidelines and by all decisions of Seeds of Change® and judges, acting in their sole discretion. All issues of interpretation to be decided by Seeds of Change®. Decisions of Seeds of Change® and judges are final and binding in all matters related to this Program. Seeds of Change® reserves the right to modify or terminate this Program and to disqualify any applicant if, in its sole discretion, integrity or fairness of the Program has been compromised. No purchase necessary to submit an application to the Program. A purchase will not increase any applicant’s chances of being selected. Void where prohibited.

X. LAWS, DISPUTES & AGREEMENT TO ARBITRATE.

Except where prohibited, all applicants and award recipients agree thatin the event of any controversy, claim, action, or dispute arising out of or related to this Program, any related award, or the breach, enforcement, interpretation, or validity of these Guidelines or any part of it (“Dispute”), both parties shall first try in good faith to settle such Dispute by providing written notice to the other party describing the facts and circumstances of the Dispute and allowing the receiving party 30 days in which to respond to or settle the Dispute.

Notice shall be sent:

  1. to Seeds of Change® at: P.O. Box 4908, Rancho Dominguez, CA 90220, or
  2. to you at: the contact information on file with Seeds of Change®.

Both you and Seeds of Change® agree that this dispute resolution procedure is a condition precedent that must be satisfied before initiating any litigation or filing any claim against the other party.

IF ANY DISPUTE CANNOT BE RESOLVED BY THE ABOVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCEDURE, YOU AGREE THAT THE SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION FOR SUCH DISPUTE WILL BE DECIDED BY BINDING ARBITRATION ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS. ARBITRATION ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS MEANS THAT YOU WILL NOT HAVE, AND YOU WAIVE, THE RIGHT FOR A JUDGE OR JURY TO DECIDE YOUR CLAIMS, AND THAT YOU MAY NOT PROCEED IN A CLASS, CONSOLIDATED, OR REPRESENTATIVE CAPACITY. Other rights that you and we would have in court will not be available or will be more limited in arbitration, including discovery and appeal rights. All such Disputes shall be exclusively submitted to JAMS (www.jamsadr.com) for binding arbitration under its rules then in effect, before one arbitrator to be mutually agreed upon by both parties. The arbitrator, and not any federal, state, or local court or agency, shall have exclusive authority to resolve any dispute arising under or relating to the interpretation, applicability, enforceability, or formation of these Guidelines, including any claim that all or any part of this Program or these Guidelines is void or voidable.

XI. AWARD RECIPIENTS LIST

To obtain the names of the award recipients, send an email to seedsofchangeus@gmail.com with “Award Recipients” as the subject line. Requests must be received by 12:00 p.m. EDT on September 15, 2017. Award recipients’ lists will be sent after the recipients have been verified.

XII. SPONSOR INFORMATION

The Program is sponsored by Seeds of Change®, P.O. Box 4908, Rancho Dominguez, CA 90220. Please visit www.seedsofchangegrant.com or contact us at seedsofchangeus@gmail.com with any questions.