Grow Ahead focuses on funding small farmer organizations in the Global South. We believe this helps build organizational capacity which enables organizations to multiply their impact. We also exclusively fund regenerative organic agriculture and resiliency efforts. We do not fund initiatives that use chemicals or synthetic fertilizers or who do not adhere to fair trade principles, for example.
100% of donations made for farmer-to-farmer trainings and agroecology scholarships go directly to small farmer organizations in the Global South. Grants cover a variety of administrative costs, including web hosting, bank fees, staffing, etc.
Grow Ahead is primarily seeking to partner with small-scale family farmer organizations committed to regenerative organic agriculture and resiliency efforts.
Organizations in the Global South may submit applications to qualify for the loan, farmer to farmer training or scholarship programs via the Apply for Funding page.
Grow Ahead’s mission was inspired by Fair World Project (FWP) and the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Fair Trade Small Producers (CLAC)’s contest soliciting small-scale farmer groups to share their experiences and best practices in confronting climate change in their communities. The report revealed that there is a significant funding gap for regenerative and agroecological solutions being implemented by small farmers in Latin America, and more broadly in the Global South. Grow Ahead seeks to overcome this gap by enabling consumers and organizations (like churches, nonprofits and retailers) to lend, or make a direct donation, to support agroecological solutions and farmer-led trainings.
We are fully supportive of initiatives that seek to support small farmers in the Global North. There are existing options for farmers in the North to reach capital, more information can be found here.
Absolutely! You can support producer organizations’ quest for sustainability from wherever you are on the planet.
Organizations of all sizes can participate. We invite you to raise money from your colleagues and friends. Learn more about how to get involved here.
We love partnering with local organizations to spread the word about Grow Ahead. If you’d like to partner with us, please contact us we’ll follow up! You can also explore ways to support on our Take Action page.
Tree Planting Program
85% of funds donated go directly to our local partners. Grow Ahead relies on a 15% overhead to help support the administrative costs of running the program.
Trees will be planted once the campaign is fully funded during an appropriate time for the region. Planting usually happens during the rainy season, when the soil provides optimum conditions for tree survival.
Lending is easy. By visiting our Lend page, you can make a loan right away through our secure website. Grow Ahead will provide regular updates on the progress of your loan.
You’ll have a choice of what you do with your money. You can reinvest in the next lending cycle, donate to Grow Ahead’s capacity building programs, or withdraw your funds. If you decide not to finance another project, just note that you can only withdraw your money once a cycle has been completed. Withdrawals cannot be processed in the middle of the cycle. You can find information about the status of your loan on your profile page.
The minimum amount you can lend is $25 (USD).
Stripe charges a transaction fee that Grow Ahead, at this moment, cannot cover. The fee is equal to 2.9% of your loan plus $0.30 (for example, a $25 loan will come to $26.08). This fee will be charged in addition to your loan, so that the full loan amount will go to support the farmers.
All loan transactions are made in USD to avoid currency risks.
Unfortunately, laws governing this type of financial activity in the US do not allow you to earn interest on your loan. The funds returned to you at the end of the term will equal funds loaned minus possible transaction fees.
We understand that producer organizations cannot control many factors at the local level. We stand on the side of the producer organizations and we will patiently await repayment. While it is possible for the unforeseen to occur, defaults by established producer organizations are rare.
The cycle lasts between 6 to 18 months, and depends on the weather, local capacity, harvest, available infrastructure, etc. When we finance a project, we will inform all lenders of that project what the expected cycle time will be.
Yes. To help cover operating expenses, Grow Ahead will charge producer organizations a fee for money loaned. This fee is negotiated with each producer organization and lenders will be able to see the fees charged for the project they helped to finance; we aim to charge approximately 6-8% on an annual basis. These fees are a necessary part of a sustainable financial model: not only do they defray Grow Ahead's operating expenses, they prevent our loans from being unfairly competitive and disrupting local financial markets.
Fees paid by producers are used to cover Grow Ahead’s operational costs, to execute some marketing activities, and to expand Grow Ahead in order to reach more and more lenders and farmers around the world.