Weeden Foundation: Domestic & International Biodiversity Programs

Funding Sources: Private Foundation
Deadline: August 15, 2017
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Amount: Approximately US $20,000

Next deadline: Aug 15, 2017 (Full proposal)

Later deadlines: Jan 15, 2018 (Full proposal), Apr 14, 2018 (Full proposal)

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program, Education / Outreach

Location of project: Chile, Russian Federation, Counties in California: Trinity County, Humboldt County, Siskiyou County Expand all

Location of residency: Chile, Russian Federation, United States

Overview:

Note: The Foundation requires that new applicants (not current grantees) submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) via email.  We will respond to such emails within a few weeks of receipt. Letters of Inquiry are accepted at any time. The deadlines above are for full proposals. 

Returning applicants (who received a grant the previous year) do not need to submit a letter of inquiry.

Domestic Biodiversity Program

Foundation grantmaking in the U.S. has historically concentrated on the Pacific Northwest, that is Northern California, Oregon, and Washington, and up to British Columbia and Southeast Alaska. This reflects a longstanding interest in coastal temperate forests, which also extends into the Southern Hemisphere of the Americas. Currently, our grantmaking in the region is focused on the California half of the Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion. Program activities include new wilderness protections, improving the ecological integrity of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, and restoring the Klamath River watershed.

Additionally, some grants have been awarded to projects in the intermountain west, notably the northern Rockies. Currently, the Foundation has narrowed its work in this region to Montana’s High Divide, a critical wildlife connector between the greater Yellowstone ecosystem and core wilderness areas to the west and northwest.

Targeted habitats include mature forest ecosystems, riparian corridors, and riverine/aquatic environments of demonstrated ecological significance. Target recipients are frequently those groups that (a) have a strong base of activist support, (b) provide unique services or information (legal, scientific, technological, or skills-based), or (c) serve as organizational models by providing genuinely unusual and effective approaches to wildlands conservation.

International Biodiversity Program

Since its inception, the Weeden Foundation has had a strong interest in conservation work internationally. Roughly 30% – 40% of total annual grant expenditure goes to projects outside of the United States, a percentage range that has not changed significantly over the past two decades. This global perspective came about partly through a recognition that most of the planet’s biodiversity is found elsewhere, coupled with an understanding that an American conservation dollar goes much further when spent on the ground in Chile or Russia. To the Weeden trustees, these opportunistic conditions far outweigh the risks typically associated with international grantmaking.

General approaches and targeted natural systems for international grantmaking are not substantially different from those in the domestic program and include mature forest ecosystems, riparian corridors, and riverine/aquatic environments of demonstrated ecological significance. There is also a strong orientation towards facilitating the designation – and enhanced management – of protected areas, including national parks and private reserves.

Chilean Patagonia

Within Latin America, the Foundation is focused on supporting groups in Chilean Patagonia, where threats to native forests and wild rivers are substantial. Most grants are made directly to Chilean non-profits, but where appropriate or necessary the Foundation supports cross-fertilizing partnerships with U.S. environmental groups. Major industrial threats to Chilean wildlands come from U.S.-based wood fiber corporations, international aluminum and mining companies, and multinational hydroelectric consortiums.

Until recently, the Foundation has provided grants in Bolivia, where in 1987 in partnership with Conservation International, the Foundation financed the first debt-for-nature swap giving protection to approximately 3.7 million acres of tropical forests and grasslands, creating the Beni Biosphere Reserve. In addition, since 1993 the Foundation has owned El Refugio Huanchaca, a private conservation holding comprising 125,000 acres of dry tropical forest and savanna adjacent to Noel Kempff Mercado National Park. The site is currently a base for arboreal, mammal, and ornithological research. Currently, the Foundation only entertains Bolivian proposals related directly to El Refugio Huanchaca.

Altai, Russia

Lastly, since the late 1980’s, the Weeden Foundation has had a strong regional interest in Russia, particularly central Siberia. At the time it was created and on into the early 1990’s, the program supported a number of natural resource planning and capacity building efforts in the Lake Baikal region and the Amur River Basin. Currently this program focuses on the Altai region of south central Siberia. The small, semi-autonomous Altai Republic boasts Russia’s second highest mountain range (home to several Red Book species), headwaters of its longest river, and extensive pine forests that are the genetic precursor to Siberia’s massive expanse of related softwood species. Funding in the Altai region is currently restricted to organizations working closely with U.S. partners.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder’s website.

Eligibility:

  • Grant seeking organization must be an small environmental organizations.
  • Organizations must have an IRS tax exemption 501(c)(3) certification letter or an equivalency form for non-U.S.based organizations.

Preferences:

  • Please note: The Weeden Foundation’s current level of grantmaking has been reduced as compared to that of several years ago, a consequence of the Foundation’s diminished investment portfolio. Thus, priority is given to returning grant recipients.

Ineligibility:

  • Domestic Biodiversity Program: Given the Foundation’s diverse interests and notwithstanding the above, it is sometimes easier to state what is of little interest to the trustees. These include:
    • marine conservation issues,
    • large national environmental groups,
    • preservation of what is frequently called the “working landscape”,
    • museums,
    • capital construction,
    • animal rights,
    • growth management,
    • toxic contamination,
    • films and videos,
    • wildlife rehabilitation,
    • government-based projects,
    • faith-based organizations,
    • solid waste,
    • energy (with the exception of dams),
    • universities,
    • student fellowships, and
    • basic scientific research.
  • Exclusions from Weeden Foundation international grantmaking include:
    • marine conservation issues,
    • large international groups,
    • agroforestry,
    • museums,
    • capital construction,
    • growth management,
    • toxic contamination,
    • films and videos,
    • wildlife rehabilitation,
    • faith-based organizations,
    • government-based projects,
    • solid waste,
    • energy (with the exception of dams),
    • universities,
    • student fellowships, and
    • basic scientific research.
    • It should be noted that funding outside the two priority regions of Chilean Patagonia and the Altai Republic is rare.
  • The Foundation does not currently entertain multi-year support requests.