Matching Awards Program

Connecting People to Forests

Program Update​ | April 4, 2023

The National Forest Foundation (NFF) is excited to announce changes to its flagship competitive grant program, the Matching Awards Program (MAP). The adjustments are a result of over two years of work to collect feedback to align the program with current National Forest System needs, and the NFF strategic plan.

Read more about the reasons and process behind the program update in this NFF News Release and read about the feedback received and subsequent adjustments made before the program was finalized in this document.

The resulting program, MAP: Connecting People to Forests, focuses primarily on in-person community engagement and completion of appropriate stewardship activities. Program goals are to create lasting change that will allow all communities, especially underserved communities, opportunities to benefit from activities on National Forest System lands or adjacent public lands.

Refer to the summary below and the Request for Proposals (RFP) linked below for full information.

Key Dates

  • April 25, 2023: Informational Webinar on MAP (recording below)
  • June 7, 2023: Deadline for Round 2 MAP Applications
  • Fall 2023: Application period opens for Round 1 2024 projects

Summary of MAP Program Requirements

  • Geographic Scope: National, must take place on US National Forests and Grasslands or adjacent public lands, and demonstrate benefit to National Forest System lands
  • Funding Source: Federal funds via the US Forest Service
  • Eligible Applicants: Nonprofit organizations, Tribal governments and organizations, and universities
  • Match Requirements: 1:1 nonfederal cash match
  • Program Areas: All MAP applications must focus on in-person community engagement, and have a stewardship component.
  • Project Timing: Eligible projects are no more than 18 months in duration, and start between August 15-September 15, 2023
  • Letters of Support: All applications must include a letter of support from the District Ranger of each National Forest or Grassland unit included in a proposal.
  • Environmental Compliance: All permitting and environmental compliance work (including but not limited to NEPA) must be complete before submitting a MAP application.
  • Administrative: Applicant must have or be able to obtain a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) if selected for funding.

Request for Proposals - Full Program Details

Click below for the MAP Round 2 2023 Request for Proposals (RFP), which contains full program requirements and instructions for how to apply.

Informational Webinar

The NFF held an informational webinar about the Matching Awards Program on Tuesday, April 25, 2023. Click on the link below to view the recording.

Applicant Resources

If you have reviewed the RFP and still have questions about program eligibility, feel free to contact the NFF. Requesting feedback from NFF staff about eligibility is encouraged to ensure you are submitting a proposal that will not be disqualified. Be sure to reach out well in advance of the deadline to ensure there is time to answer your questions. Contact information is provided below.

Additional resources include:


If you have questions about the NFF's Matching Awards Program that are not answered on this webpage or in the MAP Request for Proposals, please contact:

Kerry Morse, Conservation Awards Manager, at 406.830.3358 or