FAQ

The Austin Food & Wine Alliance Culinary Grant Program is the nation’s first program to provide funding that supports culinary innovation and contributes to the local community.

About the AFWA Grant Program

The Austin Food & Wine Alliance Culinary Grant Program is the nation’s first program to provide funding that supports culinary innovation and contributes to the local community.

How are AFWA grants funded?

Each year, the AFWA Board of Directors determines the amount of grants to be funded based on the organization’s fundraising efforts from key signature events, community partnerships and beneficiary events. For 2019, AFWA will award $70,000 in grant funding.

What are the AFWA grants?

Launching into its 8th year of supporting culinary innovation and community giveback through its one-of-a-kind grant program, the Austin Food & Wine Alliance will award $70,000 in grants this year to selected organizations/individuals based on culinary innovation that contributes to the Austin and or Central Texas community. The grant amount is the largest in the organization’s history and pushes the cumulative total since 2012 to $322,500 given to local culinary professionals and businesses for innovative projects that give back to the community.

When is the application period?

Applications for 2019 are now closed.

What are the key dates in the grant application process?

  • Grant applications must be received via online submission at AustinFoodWineAlliance.org/grants between September 18 – October 15. The application deadline was midnight, October 15, 2019
  • Applicants will be notified of their status no later than November 25, 2019
  • The Grant Award Ceremony will be held December 9, 2019, at Fairmont Austin

What are the grant eligibility requirements?

  • Eligible applicants: Food and beverage artisan producers, chefs/culinary professionals, farmers, wine-, beer- and spirit-makers, culinary businesses, and food-focused nonprofits serving the Austin and or Central Texas community
  • You must be located in the Central Texas region in one of the following counties:  Bastrop, Bexar, Blanco, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Comal, Gillespie, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hays, Kerr, Kendall, Lampasas, Lee, Llano, Mason, Travis and Williamson
  • Must demonstrate how the grant will be used for culinary innovation
  • Must demonstrate community giveback and/or show the impact the initiative will have on the community
  • Represent fiduciary responsibility and transparency
  • Must follow the reporting and accountability guidelines
  • Agree to participate in PR and social media initiatives to promote AFWA & Grant Program
  • Agree to AFWA website presence and mutual promotion of AFWA & Grant Program
  • Must provide three current written reference letters (dated 2019) as to why you or your organization should receive an AFWA grant and detail the reference’s relationship to you
  • If you’ve previously applied for a grant and you weren’t funded, you can apply again!
  • If you’ve applied previously and have been funded, you can apply again for a new project unrelated to the original project that was funded
  • If you are applying for grant funding to support your operational budget, the applicant must show the business is already operating and support documents must show the business is sustainable

What type of projects/initiatives have won AFWA grants previously?

Since 2012 and through 2018, the AFWA has awarded $252,500 in grants to fund local projects. Some grant recipients include: 

  • Seeding and establishing the state’s first organic apple orchard with Argus Cidery
  • A unique food preservation project for a mobile kitchen and traveling canning museum with Confituras
  • The first USDA-inspected salumi producer in Texas with Salt & Time Butcher Shop & Salumeria
  • The state’s first locally grown and malted barley to support craft beer production with Blacklands Malt
  • A one-of-a-kind volunteer program teaching farming skills to diverse populations and culinary students with New Farm Institute at Green Gate Farms
  • Production of a documentary film to teach students about the process of raising beef in Texas from pasture to plate with Pflugerville’s Connally High School Culinary Arts Department
  • A Georgetown farm producing stress-free, free-range meat while helping wounded veterans with Snodgrass Farm
  • The first flour mill opened Austin for more than 130 years, Barton Springs Mill, is using its grant to become the state’s only processing facility for heirloom grains emmer, einkorn and spelt

For more details on past grant winners and their projects, see austinfoodwinealliance.org/culinary-grant/grant-recipients

Who are the grant judges?

The AFWA 2019 Grant Judging Committee is composed of a private panel of prominent culinary professionals and community members. Because the judges are deeply involved in the community, we do not share their names. The committee makes all decisions on grant awards and are based on the grant criteria, application information, and the goals of each applicant. The judges serve two-year terms.

When will I hear back regarding my application?

Grant winners will be notified by November 25, 2019.

What are the eligible grant categories? How do I know which category to apply for?

Grants are awarded in the categories for Nonprofit and Business. If you’re unsure where you fall, we are happy to help. Please email info@austinfoodwinealliance.org.

If I have previously applied for an AFWA grant, can I apply again?

Yes! And in several cases, grants have been given on a second or third try.

If you’ve applied previously and have been funded, you can apply again for a new project unrelated to the original project that was funded.

What followup is required if I win a grant?

Grantees are required to submit two performance reports at six months and one-year of receiving the grant, updating the AFWA on the progress. The final performance report (due at one year) will serve as a permanent record of the grantee’s accomplishments. These reports will provide information to the AFWA Grant Selection Committee and staff as they evaluate the significance and impact of the AFWA grants.

Do I have to live in Austin to apply?

You must be located in the Central Texas region in order to be eligible. The following counties are eligible: Bastrop, Bexar, Blanco, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Comal, Gillespie, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hays, Kerr, Kendall, Lampasas, Lee, Llano, Mason, Travis and Williamson.

Who can attend the Grant Awards Ceremony?

The Grant Awards Ceremony is invite-only. Attendees include the grant award winners, media, participating restaurants and vendors, and AFWA sponsors and supporters.

How much funding is given out each year?

Grant award funding changes each year based on fundraising efforts and community support. In 2019, the AFWA will be awarding $70,000 in culinary grants.

What are the sizes of the grants?

Grant awards start at $2,500 and vary based on each year’s application pool, with the largest grant awarded so far being $15,000. Check out past grant recipients on the AFWA website at austinfoodwinealliance.org/culinary-grant/grant-recipients/ to understand the type of projects funded and the grant amounts awarded for those projects.

What type of grants are available?

Although the Grant Judging Committee determines which applicants, what type of grant and how much grant funding will be awarded for each grant, all grant winners must show culinary innovation and how they will give back to the Central Texas community in their applications. The 2019 Special Grants are “named” grants which have specific qualifications such as businesses focused on sustainability, or women-led or supporting an educational nonprofit and more. See this year’s 2019 Special Grants at austinfoodwinealliance.org/culinary-grant/support-culinary-grants/.

Is there any way I can see the questions on the application before I start the application process?

Yes! A sample grant application is available for download on the AFWA website at austinfoodwinealliance.org/culinary-grant/application/.

A few tips for applicants:

  • Provide funding options on your application. If the Grant Judging Committee doesn’t award the amount requested, tell them what you could do with a lesser amount to move your project forward.
  • Grant winners are selected from the pool of applications submitted for that year. In some years, that may mean there are more artisan producers or farmers but don’t assume the same type of applicant will be more favored than others.
  • Judges review all materials submitted. Grants are awarded based on meeting the grant criteria, complete application information and goals of each applicant.
  • If any pieces of the grant application are missing, you will not be considered eligible for a grant.

Additional questions? Please contact info@austinfoodwinealliance.org