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The Conservation, Food and Health Foundation Grants

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Organizations for Research
Projects on Public Health, Food Supply, and Natural Resources

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

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GMA (Grantmakers Managers Advisors) Foundations - The Conservation, Food and Health Foundation

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Grants averaging $20,000 to USA, Canada, and International nonprofit organizations and academic insitutions for projects that contribute to research on improving public health, facilitating food distribution, and preserving natural resources. Funding is specifically intended to be used to support lower-income countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.

The Foundation supports projects that demonstrate local leadership and promote professional development in the conservation, agricultural, and health sciences; develop the capacity of local organizations; and address a particular problem or question in the field. It prefers to support projects that address under-funded issues and geographic areas.

The Foundation supports low- and lower-middle-income countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. It prefers to support organizations located in low- and middle-income countries or organizations located in upper-income countries whose activities are of direct benefit low- and middle-income countries.

The Foundation supports special projects and programs of non-governmental organizations in three areas: conservation, food, and health. Examples of areas of interest within these fields follow, but are not meant to be exclusive.

Conservation grants help improve ecological and environmental conditions in low- and middle-income countries. The Foundation supports field research and related research activities, training, and technical assistance efforts that:

-Help conserve ecosystems and protect biodiversity
-Train local leaders in conservation and protection of resources, with an emphasis on technical and scientific training

Food grants help research-based efforts to improve food and nutrition security and improve natural resources and ecosystems.  Areas of interest include projects that:

-Promote or develop specific sustainable agriculture practices with potential to advance science and practice in other countries;
-Test and refine innovative education and training interventions for small scale farmers; and
-Advance new approaches to control pests and diseases affecting important food crops in low-income countries.

The Foundation supports public health programs that focus on populations rather than individuals.  It funds programs that emphasize disease prevention and health promotion over those that emphasize disease diagnosis, treatment, and care.  It supports research, technical assistance, and training projects that:

-Improve public health through community-based efforts that address health promotion, disease prevention, family planning, and reproductive health; and
-Increase the understanding and treatment of neglected tropical diseases

The Foundation favors research, training, and technical assistance projects that:
-Employ and/or train personnel from developing countries
-Are led by organizations with strong records of accomplishments in a particular field and have potential for replication
-Focus on regional or cross-boundary issues and opportunities
-Feature collaborative partnerships embedded in strong networks
-Strengthen local leadership and scientific capacity
-Influence public discourse and policy
-Focus on prevention rather than remediation
-Attract additional support and hold promise for continuation or impact beyond the period of Foundation support

The Foundation prefers to maximize the impact of its grant dollars by supporting local project expenses. The money spent on one plane ticket, for example, could support the salary of a health worker, researcher, or agricultural extension agent for several months. That being said, the Foundation may consider supporting a small portion of travel expenses when costs are an integral and reasonable part of the project budget.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178057

Estimated Size of Grant:

There is no policy concerning a minimum or maximum grant size. The average grant is approximately $20,000. Grants exceeding $30,000 are rarely awarded.

Term of Contract:

The Foundation does not make multi-year grants. Applicants must re-apply through the competitive grants process each year. The Foundation provides continued funding on a case-by-case basis depending on the past success of the project.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Foundation supports most types of non-governmental organizations that can provide evidence of their nongovernmental status or charitable purpose.

In general, the Foundation will support:

-Non-governmental organizations (NGO)
-Nonprofit organizations
-Civil society organizations
-Community-based organizations
-Colleges, universities and academic institutions

The political beliefs of the applicants or the political relations of any state with the United States shall not be taken into account in making or not making any grant, except that the Foundation will comply with any requirements imposed by law.

The Foundation prefers to support projects that have potential for broad applicability to other organizations or communities.  It seldom funds projects that only have a local impact.  One-third of all concept applications reviewed by the Foundation are not considered for funding because they seek support for very general village improvement efforts, basic organic farming, animal husbandry training projects, or for general operating support.

The Foundation does not support the states of the former Soviet Union or former Eastern Bloc countries.

The Foundation rarely ever funds:

Humanitarian aid programs, missionary programs, and social service programs:  Feeding programs, emergency medical care, missionary organizations, and other direct social services to populations in urgent need are not a priority of the foundation.

Projects with primary a local emphasis:   The Foundation prefers to support specific projects and strategies which have potential for broad applicability to other organizations or communities.

Village improvement and basic farmer training programs:  Generalized village improvement efforts, basic organic farming, animal husbandry training projects, or for general operating support for agricultural extension programs are not a top priority.

Capital requests: The Foundation does not fund capital improvement projects, large equipment purchases or funds to build buildings, water systems, pumps, wells, etc.

Limited financial capacity: The Foundation rarely makes grants that exceed 25% of an organization’s total operating budget.  It also rarely funds start-up organizations with limited track records.

Microenterprise, ecotourism, and livelihood projects: The Foundation does not fund economic development, livelihood, or microenterprise projects.  It recognizes the important link between conservation and livelihoods but does not emphasize this dimension in its support of sustainable agriculture or conservation programs.

Publications and media: The Foundation rarely supports publications.

Social science research: The Foundation gives priority to requests that reflect a deep understanding of the social, political, and economic dimensions of its interest areas but channels its limited resources toward applied research projects in the natural and health sciences.

Medical care: The Foundation’s emphasis on prevention over treatment means that it does not make grants for primary medical care service delivery programs at clinics or hospitals.  It favors health promotion and family planning initiatives that are critical of current practice and have the potential to provide fresh insight that can advance the field.

The Conservation, Food & Health Foundation does not provide support for:

-Buildings, vehicles, land purchases or capital improvements
-Direct medical care or treatment at hospitals or clinics
-Medical equipment for hospitals or clinics
-Wells, pumps or water systems
-Emergency relief or humanitarian aid projects
-Microenterprise, tourism, job training or livelihood projects
-Feeding or food distribution programs
-Projects to improve farming for export crops
-Basic farming, beekeeping, chicken, or animal husbandry training projects
-Films, videos, books or websites
-Scholarships, fellowships, tuition or travel grants
-General operating support
-Individuals, businesses, churches, government, orphanages and humanitarian aid agencies, other foundations
-Overhead or indirect costs of projects

Pre-Application Information:

How to Apply:
The foundation has an online, two-phase application system comprised of a short concept application, followed by a limited number of invited full proposals. The foundation does not accept applications via email.

Submit your online concept application by January 1 or July 1 to ask for an invitation to submit a proposal for the foundation’s May or November meetings. The deadline is the next business day if the 1st is on a weekend or holiday. The Foundation will tell you if you got invited within a month.

Concept applications received by January 1 will be considered for eligibility for the March 1 full proposal deadline. Grant payout for this cycle will be in June.

Concept applications received by July 1 will be considered for eligibility for the September 1 full proposal deadline. Grant payout for this cycle will be in December.

Grant Cycle Timeline

Grant Round 1:
Concept Application: January 1
Proposal Invitations: February 1
Proposal Deadline: March 1
Grant Awards: June 1

Grant Round 2:
Concept Application: July 1
Proposal Invitations: August 1
Proposal Deadline: September 3
Grant Awards: December 1

Past grantees may submit a proposal for continued funding if the project substantially continues the work of the currently funded project. In other words, if you need money for a totally new project or a very new direction or phase of the current project, please submit a new concept application.

The directors maintain a part-time staff in Boston, Massachusetts.  Staff provide initial review of applications and meet with applicants when necessary in order to gain an important perspective on a particular request. Requests for meetings will be honored by staff whenever possible.

The foundation is very willing to cooperate with other funding sources with compatible interests to support a joint project or to provide matching funds. From time to time the foundation may also set matching requirements for grantees, particularly in cases where the foundation cannot provide full funding for the project.

How to Apply:



Tips for Submitting Online:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

Prentice A. Zinn, Administrator

Carolyn Rau, Foundation Assistant

GMA Foundations
2 Liberty Square, Suite 500
Boston, Massachusetts 02109 USA

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta   British Columbia   Manitoba   New Brunswick   Newfoundland and Labrador   Northwest Territories   Nova Scotia   Nunavut   Ontario   Prince Edward Island   Quebec   Saskatchewan   Yukon


International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.