December 31, 2014| Working Farms Fund


The Working Farms Fund will support a new and diverse generation of ambitious farmers who aim to expand food production, while permanently protecting significant farmland in critical locations across the United States that produce the highest return of food for people.We are actively fundraising for the Working Farms Fund program. Find out how you can help.

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Curtis-Branch-c-Bill-Bamberger-390x260Farmer Curtis Branch. Photo by Bill Bamberger
Natural Capital Investment Fund’s Accounting Assistance for Disadvantaged Farmers program helps farmers of color and limited resource farmers in Eastern North Carolina establish good recordkeeping and build financial stability.  The program enables disadvantaged farmers to contract with qualified CPAs at a reduced rate. 

NCTTF sponsoredThe Accounting Assistance Program is supported by a grant from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission.  


Farmers can download an overview and application HERE (Word) or HERE (PDF).
Accountants can download an overview and application HERE (Word) or HERE (PDF).


Farming is hard work, and even harder for small farmers.  Farmers of color face additional challenges– discrimination, difficulty accessing capital, and the loss of family lands.   NCIF is committed to helping disadvantaged farmers – who lack access to financial resources -- diversify their enterprises and build greater financial stability.  Raising vegetables or beef for the local market, for example, or developing a CSA, can provide more revenue streams and reduce risk. 

Of course, branching out into new crop or animal production requires more than just agricultural knowledge. Farmers need good financial recordkeeping, tax returns and careful planning to access debt capital and take advantage of federal and state grant opportunities.  That’s where the Accounting Assistance project comes in.  

How It Works

Through this pilot program, farmers who aren’t currently working with Certified Public Accountants will be able to do so at a fraction of the usual cost.  They’ll get help filing their 2015 tax return and will develop a financial recordkeeping system to help keep track of their costs and be ready for future tax years.  

In addition, The Conservation Fund’s Resourceful Communities program will help participating farmers with crop planning and cost management. Learn more.

Farmer Eligibility

To be eligible for the program, farmers must:

  • Be able to show at least $10,000 in farm revenue for the previous year.  You may submit receipts of transactions of commodity sales, contracts, W-9s, Schedule F’s, etc.
  • Have NOT have used an accountant for the previous two years.
  • Agree to pay 20% of the cost of accounting services, up to $250.
  • Be located in Eastern NC or the Sandhills region: Beaufort, Bertie, Columbus, Craven, Duplin, Edgecombe, Greene, Halifax, Hertford, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, Pitt, Sampson, Warren, Wayne, and Wilson counties.
  • Agree to complete a survey and interview at the end of the program period to help assess this program.
  • Agree to utilize an accountant from a pre-approved list, OR an accountant of their choice who has experience working with farmers and is current on all certifications and licenses.  


Accountant Eligibility

To be eligible for the program, accountants must:

  • Have substantial experience working with agricultural enterprises and preparing their tax returns;
  • Be current on all licenses and certifications;
  • Have no overdue tax debts, as defined by N.C.G.S. 105-243.1, at the federal, state, or local level; and have no personal and/or professional relationships with the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission or Natural Capital Investment Fund (state requirement).   

December 31, 2014| Resourceful Communities


2021 COVID Emergency Relief Grant Application

Deadline:  Must be submitted by Wednesday, June 30, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Please be sure your responses are as specific and thorough as possible. We encourage you to contact us if you have questions before you submit your application.

Click here to download the application.

Grant Information: 
 We are humbled and encouraged by the resourceful relief and recovery work happening across rural NC.  Grants up to $25,000 are available to support the rapid/ongoing response efforts of rural, grassroots organizations addressing both the new and exacerbated challenges their communities face due to the COVID-19 crisis. The grant will be for a period of nine (9) months. In total, $1.35 million in funding is available.

Approximately 70% of awards must support food access, with emphasis on healthy and local foods. Eligible expenses related to food access may include: food purchasing and distribution, cold storage for food distribution, transportation and staffing directly related to food access. The remaining 30% of available funding will address other relief efforts related to the COVID-19 crisis, such as childcare, mental health, or other COVID-related operating expenses.

Who Can Apply

Eligible Organizations Include:

  • Existing Resourceful Communities partners, including former and current Creating New Economies Fund grantees.
  • Nonprofits, town and county governments, churches and other faith-based groups.
  • If your organization is not a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, you can still apply for a grant in partnership with a nonprofit fiscal agent.
  • Location:  Applicants must be located in rural communities.

 Ineligible Applicants:

  • Organizations in urban counties are not eligible to apply.  These counties include:  Buncombe, Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg, New Hanover, Orange, and Wake.
  • Statewide and regional agencies are not eligible to apply.  PLEASE NOTE:  Funding will prioritize small community- and faith-based organizations with limited support.

Funding Priorities include:

  • 70% of awards must support food access, with emphasis on healthy and local foods (eligible expenses can include food purchasing and distribution, cold storage for food distribution, transportation and staffing directly related to food access).
  • Organizations led-by and -serving communities of color and/or low-income communities
  • Organizations active in the Resourceful Communities network
  • Organizations not receiving, or with limited access to, COVID-19 relief funding
  • Organizations currently doing COVID-19 relief work
  • Limited budget organizations

Grant Amount:  Up to $25,000.

Final Reports: 
A short final report detailing how funds were used will be required at the end of the grant period, April 2022.

Requirements:  All applicants will be required to submit an IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter and W-9.  If awarded funding, a signed grant agreement and organizational budget will be required.



If you have additional questions, email or contact anyone on our team. Please reach out before you submit your application.


We are able to provide these relief funds thanks to the generosity of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.

December 31, 2014| Business Partnerships
We practice conservation to achieve environmental and economic outcomes. Every Fund program places conservation at its center to effectively implement innovative, practical solutions to benefit the natural world and the well-being of Americans from every walk of life.

Return to Business Partnerships › 
December 31, 2014| Conservation Acquisition
Our experienced team consists of some of the most skilled and creative conservation real estate experts in the field including knowledgeable practitioners, attorneys, lenders, and foresters.  Many work in small offices across the country, living in the communities they help conserve.

December 31, 2014| Conservation Acquisition
Since 1985, The Conservation Fund has  conserved more than 7 million acres. We have protected national parks, natural areas, storied battlefields, popular getaways and more.  Our partners and transactions are national, regional, state-level and local in scope, from thousands of acres of wilderness to one-acre urban parks.  In completing over 2,000 real estate projects over three decades, we bring original and informed solutions to every transaction, often resolving unusual challenges. 

We work to fulfill top public priorities.  Our projects often begin when government or community leaders want to save a special outdoor place. To act swiftly, they turn to us for bridge financing and a full suite of conservation services, from real estate negotiation and land acquisition to strategic planning, conservation training and community outreach. 

In addition to helping public partners save land, we work with interested private landowners to secure conservation easements on lands with high conservation value.

We place particular importance on “working lands,” or forests, farms and ranches being sustainably, actively managed. A growing part of our work involves helping corporate partners and regulatory agencies achieve good conservation outcomes through mitigation.
December 31, 2014| Conservation Acquisition
By the Numbers:
We have protected more than 8 million acres of land and water in all 50 states.

Every dollar invested in our Revolving Fund goes directly to protecting land, over and over. By recycling these dollars, we have saved lands valued at more than $7.2 billion. 
Protecting land and water with high conservation value is essential for America's environmental health and its economic vitality.  The Fund enables conservationists, government agencies, community leaders and land trusts to swiftly protect properties for wildlife, recreation and/or historic significance.  Often a landowner's timetable to sell does not align with available funding from private and public sources.  Our capital  supplies the timely bridge financing that is critical to help our partners save important properties. 

We offer rapid and nimble action, along with deep expertise in a wide array of complex transactions.  By continually re-investing our funds into new conservation projects once others are completed, we’ve helped permanently protect over 8 million acres in all 50 states. 

December 31, 2014| Conservation Acquisition
Our Revolving Fund, established in 1986, provides ready capital for acquisition of lands and waters of high conservation value. Funds are continually in use for conservation: upon repayment, we “revolve” the money back into the fund. Every dollar in the Revolving Fund is used to acquire property—no overhead, no administrative expenses.  

Revolving Fund Model V3 blog

Since its establishment, an average of over 90% of this Fund has been invested and continually re-invested in communities throughout America.

We use our Revolving Fund to help our federal, state and local partners by acting quickly to save priority lands vulnerable to development or fragmentation. As immediate conservation opportunities arise, our conservation partners turn to us to deploy the ready capital of our Revolving Fund. When public and/or private funding later becomes available to secure long-term protection, the Revolving Fund is fully repaid so it can continue to serve future conservation investments.

Dollar for dollar, our Revolving Fund has protected more land than any other land conservation vehicle. Every $1 million invested in our Revolving Fund has leveraged more than $40 million for the conservation of land—a return on investment that cannot be matched.
December 31, 2014| Conservation Loans
By the Numbers:
Conservation groups in 40 states and 5 Canadian provinces have used nearly 400 loans to conserve more than 155,000 acres.

Our partners have borrowed over $235 million dollars to acquire land valued at more than $450 million dollars.
The urgency and pace of conservation can be impeded by a lack of timely funding.  Our Conservation Loans program offers flexible financing as well as sustained and expert technical assistance to land trusts and other organizations aiming to protect key properties in their communities, increase access to green and open-space, recover natural habitats, provide conservation education programs, and help people connect with nature. Since our first loan in 1993, we’ve helped our partners achieve their conservation goals, providing more than $235 million in nearly 400 loans to 190 partners. Local conservationists have protected more than 155,000 acres across 40 states—lands valued at more than $450 million—with funds from our continually revolving pool of loan capital.  We are a land trust as well as a lender, investing in our shared conservation goals. Contact us today to learn more. 



Featured Partner

Our friends at Land Trust Alliance have highlighted our partners at Kent Land Trust for excelling at community conservation. We provided Kent Land Trust with a $350,000 loan to help acquire Camp Francis—a former Girl Scout camp, treasured by the community. The loan came at a critical time, allowing the land trust to purchase the property quickly while additional funding from state and federal grants were processed. You can watch the video below:


Learn More About Conservation Loans

December 31, 2014| Conservation Loans
We are a Conservation Leader, not just a Lender

We work with each of our partners to help them achieve their conservation goals in a way that meets their unique needs. Unlike commercial lenders, whose services are limited, we offer a wide range of assistance to help your organization with financial support and project management in a timely and effective manner. We invest in your success. Think of us as partners, mentors and trusted advisors.

Through our years of work on a broad array of land conservation transactions and loans across the United States, we’re able to evaluate potential projects and counsel land trust and nonprofit staff on real estate transactions and project management, including fundraising and marketing. 

With our backing, local conservationists have protected parks, wildlife havens, forests, farms, historic sites, trails, open space areas, nature centers and much more.

Our Services

We offer:
  • Experience: We offer technical assistance throughout your real estate transaction.
  • Flexibility: We provide a practical payment schedule, collateral requests and rates. 
  • Momentum: We’re committed to moving swiftly, keeping you on schedule.
December 31, 2014| Resourceful Communities
By signing up for our e-news updates, you agree to receive periodic communication from The Conservation Fund/ Resourceful Communities. You can easily unsubscribe at any time, and we commit to only contacting you with pertinent, timely information. (See our Privacy Policy for details.) Our workshops and other network events are for nonprofits, community and faith-based organizations. Our e-news updates provide information and resources for community partners.