EarthWays administers a funding program called “Rainforest Information Centre Small Grants Fund”. Over the last 25 years approximately $600,000 in grants has been made to grass roots groups throughout the world with an average grant size of $5000. Funds are provided by John Seed’s roadshows and workshops in addition to grants from foundations and individual donors.
Much of this money has been provided as “grantor of last resort” (a few thousand dollars at the time have gone to front-line projects in many the countries that John Seed judged would have difficulty in findings funding from conventional sources), or (2) emergency funding which could not wait for the long cycles of most funding agencies.
John Seed has been working full-time in the radical environmental movement since 1979 and has built up an incomparable network of contacts and friendships who feed him information on projects where a small amount of money may make a big difference or where money is needed immediately and cannot wait for normal red tape and funding cycles. Because of his strong reputation with many people in the environmental community, he can often “prime the pump,” i.e. sending $1000 to a group or individual who is doing important work but is not well connected with the granting community. Along with the grant, John Seed includes a list of potential funders and suggests that a copy of his letter be included with their further funding proposals. There is no doubt that many of these projects would not have started up at all without these small grants and the encouragement that came with them. With this support, many projects have grown, and their impact has been substantial.
In Australia, all of RIC’s work is carried out by volunteers like John Seed. In the Global South (third world), RIC provides financial support to their volunteers so the work is able to proceed. RIC’s mission is the protection of the world’s rainforest and other natural areas and the support of the old ways of their indigenous inhabitants.
Rainforest Information Centre Small Grants Fund is a project of EarthWays: For the Earth, working in association with John Seed.