Grants for botany or plant conservation
Looking to fund botany research, native plant conservation or botanical gardens? The Instrumentl team has compiled this list of plant grants to get you headed in the right direction.
Read more about each grant below or start a 14-day free trial to see all plant-related grants for your institution's specific programs or mission.
The Oak Foundation
NOTE: Although we operate an invitation-only application process, we want to hear about ideas and work that fit within our programme strategies. Therefore, if an organisation believes that strong alignment exists with Oak Foundation’s funding priorities, we encourage the organisation to submit an unsolicited letter of enquiry. We will invite the organisation to apply for a grant if we also find alignment with our funding priorities and if there is available budget.
Environment Program: Climate Change Strategy
We envision a future free of pollution. To this end, we support organisations in Brazil, Canada, China, Europe, India and the United States.
In December 2015, world leaders signed the historic Paris Agreement on climate change. Their pledge is to keep global average temperatures well below 2 degrees Celsius. It is an ambitious target and we will play a role alongside civil society groups, businesses and policy makers in finding ways to meet it.
Our grants between 2016 and 2020 are helping to guide economic, social and environmental development policies towards clean energy and an equitable future
Our Four Key Areas
Clean and efficient energy systems
We believe that clean and efficient energy systems will help reduce pollution, improve health and lift millions out of poverty.
To achieve the vision of a low-carbon future, financial and political support must end for the most heavily polluting projects, including tar sands expansion, new and existing coal power plants and deep-sea oil drilling.
We believe in building cleaner, safer and healthier cities. Sustainable cities have people-friendly urban planning and promote the use of low-carbon public transport to reduce car use and slash CO2 emissions.
To this end, we support organisations that champion better public health and quality of life through: better-funded transport systems; the promotion of cycling and walking; and the active involvement of women, young people and the elderly in public transit design. This will help make city living more attractive and accessible for everyone.
Fuel efficiency and electric vehicles
We believe that laws which regulate vehicle efficiency, encourage the use of electric vehicles and implement driverless cars will help create a cleaner, low-carbon world.
To this end we support organisations that: protect progressive vehicle efficiency standards; promote the benefits of fossil-free transport; and shape policies that make roads safer and cities healthier.
An enabling environment
We believe that creating jobs and economic benefits that encourage cleaner, smarter ways of powering homes and economies will:
- enable groups to mobilise public pressure for action;
- raise awareness of opportunities for climate action; and
- work with institutions that invest in clean energy solutions.
For programme officers to make the best possible recommendation for funding, they strive to gain the most comprehensive view of the organisation, its board members, the project and finances. Therefore, we have a rigorous due diligence and selection process, which includes extensive discussions, financial reviews and site visits.
Funding decisions are made by the Board of Trustees, either individually or as a group. While the Board of Trustees meets twice annually, grants are considered on a rolling basis throughout the calendar year.
This process does not have a set time frame. It can take from two months to more than a year from the submission of a concept note to final approval, as indicated in the chart on this page. The formal application process begins only when an organisation is invited to submit an application.
Timing depends on a number of factors, but we work to ensure the most efficient process possible. After the initial approval of a concept note, organisations are encouraged to reach out to programme officers to learn about the grant-making process and the stages of the application.
The lines of communication between the programme officer and the organisations are always open once the organisation has been invited to apply – it is a collaborative effort.
In all of our work, we are committed to social justice. To this end, we pursue rights-based approaches, gender equality and partnership with the organisations we fund. We seek to support innovation, visionary leaders and organisations. We seek to be inclusive, flexible and to learn from different points of view. We believe that the best grant-making reflects both careful due diligence and the willingness to take risks.
We encourage our partners to work together – we believe that together we are stronger. As a whole we fund initiatives that:
- target the root causes of problems;
- are replicable either within a sector or across geographical locations;
- include plans for long-term sustainability, such as co-funding;
- strive to collaborate with like-minded organisations;
- demonstrate good financial and organisational management; and
- value the participation of people (including children) and communities.
Open Philanthropy Project
NOTE: We expect to fund very few proposals that come to us via unsolicited contact. As such, we have no formal process for accepting such proposals and may not respond to inquiries. In general, we expect to identify most giving opportunities via proactive searching and networking. If you would like to suggest that we consider a grant — whether for your project or someone else’s — please contact us.
Open Philanthropy Project Focus Areas
So far, the focus areas we have selected fall into one of two broad categories: Global Health and Wellbeing and Longtermism, led by Open Philanthropy co-CEOs Alexander Berger and Holden Karnofsky, respectively. We summarize the key differences between these portfolios as follows:
- While Longtermism grants tend to be evaluated based on something like “How much this grant raises the probability of a very long-lasting, positive future” (including by reducing global catastrophic risks), Global Health and Wellbeing grants tend to be evaluated based on something like “How much this grant increases health (denominated in e.g. life-years) and/or wellbeing, worldwide.”
- The Global Health and Wellbeing team places greater weight on evidence, precedent, and track record in its giving; the Longtermism team tends to focus on problems and interventions where evidence and track records are often comparatively thin. (That said, the Global Health and Wellbeing team does support a significant amount of low-probability but high-upside work like policy advocacy and scientific research.)
- The Longtermism team’s work could be hugely important, but it’s very hard to answer questions like “How will we know whether this work is on track to have an impact?” We can track intermediate impacts and learn to some degree, but some key premises likely won’t become very clear for decades or more. By contrast, we generally expect the work of the Global Health and Wellbeing team to be more likely to result in recognizable impact on a given ~10-year time frame, and to be more amenable to learning and changing course as we go.
Focus Area: Global Health and Wellbeing
- Farm Animal Welfare - We seek to improve the lives of the billions of animals confined on factory farms.
- We believe that phasing out the worst factory farm practices and working to promote alternatives could significantly reduce animal suffering.
- We are particularly interested in advocating for reforms that would improve the lives of the greatest number of animals. Especially when directed at chicken and fish — the two most numerous vertebrate farmed animals — we think that these reforms could potentially impact a large share of the animals confined on farms today.
- Successfully developing animal-free foods that are taste- and cost-competitive with animal-based foods might also prevent much of this suffering. We have accordingly worked to accelerate the development and commercialization of plant-based foods and other alternatives to animal products.
- Global Aid Policy - We hope to contribute to a future where wealthy countries’ foreign aid improves the well-being of more people.
- Many high-income countries spend less than 0.7% of their GNP on official development assistance each year. We believe there could be ways to increase aid levels and to increase the impact of current aid spending. We’re interested in funding effective strategies for doing so.
- We are open to any approach that could substantially increase the quantity and/or quality of aid and other forms of development finance. We do not have sector or geographic restrictions, and we may support a range of tactics, from advocacy to technical assistance to research.
- Below are preliminary areas of interest, which we developed largely based on conversations with leading practitioners and funders. We look forward to talking to a wide range of people to refine and shape this list.
- Using policy research and/or advocacy to help expand high-return programs and investments within existing aid institutions.
- Advocating for new, cost-effective global health programs (e.g. PEPFAR for other areas).
- Developing strategies to increase high-level political support for aid investments.
- Building and strengthening aid policy & advocacy fields in high-income countries.
- Supporting investments to improve the cost-effectiveness or quality of existing aid programs.
- Expanding access to capital or helping to reduce debt burdens, e.g. by supporting governments in negotiating more favorable terms from development finance loans.
- We launched our Global Aid Policy program in April 2022. We expect to spend at least $15 million in 2022, and hope to grow the program substantially in future years. Below are several related grants we made prior to launching the program.
- Global Health & Development - We believe that every life has value — and that philanthropic dollars can go particularly far by helping those who are living in poverty by global standards.
- Most of our giving in this category is to organizations recommended by GiveWell, with whom we have a close relationship. We are excited to support cost-effective interventions to save and improve lives in low- and middle-income countries. An additional subset of our giving supports scientific research we believe can help address diseases that disproportionately afflict the global poor.
- Scientific Research - We are interested in research that could affect a large number of people.
- We primarily support biomedical research but our interests are not limited to any particular field, disease, condition, or population. Instead, we seek to identify scientific research that has the potential for high impact and is under-supported by other funders. We are excited to support high-risk and unconventional science when the potential impact is sufficiently large.
- We are broadly interested in research that may lead to improved understanding of topics related to human health. We are most interested in research that could affect a large number of people. We typically start by looking for metrics related to the number of lives affected (often starting with the World Health Organization’s Global Health Estimates and IHME’s Global Burden of Disease Study). We begin with landscaping exercises to identify important research topics that could have the greatest impact in a given area.
- Once we understand the research gaps in these fields, we assess which gaps are underfunded and seem most amenable to progress if funded. Often as part of this process, we will attend scientific conferences and interview scientists as advisors, peer reviewers, or potential grantees. For more information, see our Guide for Grant Seekers.
- Some aspects of the following topics are currently of particular interest: broad spectrum antiviral drugs, vaccine development, basic immunology, some aspects of cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, predicting mouse to human translation, control of inflammation, epigenetics, novel scientific tools and methods, malaria, and research on how biomedical research may be improved.
- South Asian Air Quality - We are working to improve health by reducing air pollution in South Asia.
- South Asia experiences some of the world’s highest air pollution levels. Our understanding is that poor air quality contributes significantly to negative health outcomes for more than 1.8 billion people in the region, and that reducing the levels of particulate matter present in the air could save millions of lives. We have seen relatively little philanthropic attention on this issue.
- We have identified a number of activities that could significantly improve South Asia’s air pollution levels, including implementing more widespread and accurate air quality monitoring programs, conducting research to better understand the sources and effects of air pollution in the region, and increasing the salience of air quality among stakeholders. We believe that supporting these activities, and potentially others, could help inform the design, implementation, and enforcement of more effective air pollution abatement policies.
The Pollination Project
The Pollination Project seeks to unleash the goodness in every person. Through a daily practice of generosity and giving, we make seed grants- 365 days a year- to social change agents who seek to spread compassion in their communities and in the world for the benefit of all.
The Pollination Project values “compassion consciousness.”
Compassion consciousness means we think through and acknowledge the impact of our choices and our work: from the food we eat, to the questions we ask, to the office supplies we use, to the projects we fund and, ultimately, to the institutions and systems we challenge.
As we are deeply interconnected to all life, we play an integral role in supporting or obstructing its ability to thrive, through our thoughts, words, and deeds. Every person has the potential and power to transform our world, and that change starts with ourselves. How we show up is like the soil in which we plant our intentions, vision and hope for the world. If we are fearful, anxious, angry and resentful, what we plant will reflect this. If our soil is rich with love, compassion, beauty and joy, what we plant will be loving, compassionate, beautiful and joyful. As we are, so our work is.
As Dr. Cornel West says, “Justice is what love looks like in public.” Compassion consciousness includes lifting up the oppressed, the unseen and the voiceless. Expanding compassion towards ALL life: human and non-human, is our highest intention.
We seek to fund at the very grassroots. We are interested in projects that are created by and with those who are most impacted. We look to fund people and teams who have considered the many ways their project impacts life, directly and indirectly, all over the world and who have made thoughtful choices about how to achieve their goals.
Project Funding Areas
- Animal Rights & Welfare
- Arts & Culture
- Economic Empowerment
- Environmental Sustainability
- Health & Wellness
- Human Rights & Dignity
- Kindness & Generosity
- Leadership Development
- Schools & Education
Pollination Project Seed Grant
The Purpose of a Pollination Project Seed Grant is to support passionate, committed people with an early-stage social change vision.
Our Grants are designed to:
- Support passionate, committed people with a social change vision.
- Support projects in their early stage of development and where a small amount of money will go a very long way – we want to kick start your dreams for a better world.
- Help ensure sustainability of your work – during review, we often ask: “what happens once the grant runs out?”
- Cover costs such as supplies, program materials, direct travel expenses, website fees, discounted professional services, printing, copying, promotional costs, technical support.
- Pay for 501(c)(3) filing fees and expenses only if your project meets our specific conditions.
- Support projects with a clear target audience, and a compelling plan to reach and impact that target audience in a positive way.
- If your project involves video or other media production, then this element of your plan will receive particularly careful attention from our team.
- Support projects that do not expect to earn profit, or where any income will be used for a purely charitable effort. We do also offer Pay it forward loans to support for-profit social benefit projects.
- The goal of our funding is to provide the means for individuals and small, not yet established, organizations to really kick start their work. If you currently pay any full time staff members on a regular basis, then you likely do not qualify for a grant with The Pollination Project.
We consider ongoing expenses to be things like paying rent on an existing lease, paying utility bills, or other costs that generally keep the lights on for an already established organization but do not directly lead to the future sustainability or expansion of a project.
Park Foundation, Inc.
The Park Foundation was formed in 1966. Its original focus was on education and grant-making in communities where Park Communications had interests. When he died in 1993, Mr. Park bequeathed more than 70 percent of his holdings to the Foundation.
The Foundation is dedicated to the aid and support of education, public broadcasting, environment, and other selected areas of interest to the Park family. Scholarship programs have been established in Mr. Park’s name at the two institutions with which he was so close — Ithaca College and North Carolina State University. The two scholarship programs emphasize academic excellence, leadership, and community service — in keeping with Mr. Park’s values. Public broadcasting is a particularly meaningful recipient of funding because the Foundation had its origin in the world of communications. More recently, the Foundation’s interest in environmental causes has been refined to focus on issues of freshwater, particularly in the eastern United States.
The Foundation supports public interest media that raises awareness of critical environmental, political and social issues to promote a better informed citizenry in the U.S. It supports quality, non-commercial media that is substantive, fair, and accurate. Program priorities include investigative journalism, media policy and public broadcasting.
Supports excellence in reporting on nationally-significant public affairs issues in the U.S. Competitive proposals will show evidence of groundbreaking content employing multi-platform media tools with potential to achieve broad distribution and social impact.
Supports nationally-significant initiatives that promote fair and open media systems and policies in the U.S. The Foundation supports projects that advance universal access to communications, a "neutral" Internet, diverse and independent ownership, public interest media and the future of journalism.
Supports nationally distributed and aired television and radio programming. Preference is given to in-depth, investigative reporting projects that include diverse, public interest voices and perspectives.
Supports a very limited number of small grants to individual documentary projects related to civil society and democracy, environment and animal welfare. Requests for funding greatly exceed available resources and preference is given to projects with wide distribution and community engagement. Prior to submitting a proposal, prospective applicants should contact the Foundation via phone or e-mail to determine appropriate fit. Please be prepared to provide information regarding content and treatment, distribution, outreach, budget, funding sources (and fiscal sponsorship as appropriate).
Media projects are also funded in the Foundation's Environment program.
The Foundation’s Environment Program has two major interests:
- To ensure drinking water is clean, affordable, and accessible, protected and managed as a public necessity; and
- To challenge continued shale gas extraction and infrastructure expansion.
The Foundation supports efforts on a national scale or in New York State that promote: strong and enforced water policies; increased investment in publicly owned and operated water infrastructure; empowerment of communities and individuals to exercise their rights to protect drinking water resources; and reduced consumption of bottled water.
On a limited basis, the Foundation is exploring opportunities to support organizing and advocacy at the national scale to address lead in drinking water.
The Foundation supports statewide efforts in New York that decrease reliance on fossil fuels, particularly natural gas, by challenging the expansion of its infrastructure, including pipelines, compressor stations and new natural gas power plants. The Foundation will also consider requests that will help shift the state’s energy needs away from conventional fossil fuel sources and toward a clean energy system that is accessible, affordable and protective of citizens’ health.
Types of Activities Funded
The Foundation is interested in catalyzing action and is willing to consider diverse approaches that raise awareness and offer solutions to drinking water and energy concerns, including, but not limited to, policy development, advocacy, organizing, and corporate responsibility.
Additionally, the Foundation will consider support for investigative reporting outlets that raise awareness and provide new information on drinking water and shale gas energy issues. Stories may be national in scope, but funding is generally targeted to coverage of issues that are relevant to New York State.
Other environmental grants that cover additional geographic and issue areas are made at the Foundation's initiative and the scope of these interests is separate from these guidelines. Please contact the Foundation for more information.
The Foundation supports nationally-significant efforts to ensure the humane treatment, care and well-being of domestic animals and the protection and conservation of endangered wildlife and wildlife in captivity in the U.S. The program supports innovative, comprehensive, solution-oriented models that lead to systemic change, reduce suffering, and foster a more compassionate society.
- Domestic Animals Support national efforts to reduce the number of homeless companion animals through the development of model high-quality, low-cost spay/neuter services and corresponding public education initiatives. The Foundation also supports public education and advocacy efforts to eradicate animal fighting practices.
- Wildlife supports nationally-significant efforts to advance the protection and conservation of wildlife with an emphasis on policy and advocacy work related to threatened and endangered species. Another specific area of interest is the lifelong care of primates rescued from research laboratories, entertainment and/or the pet trade.
NOTE: Grants for domestic animal shelters and wildlife rescue organizations are made only at the initiative of the Foundation. Unsolicited requests for domestic animal shelters will not be considered.
National Forest Foundation (NFF)
The National Forest Foundation (NFF) Matching Awards Program (MAP) provides funding for results-oriented on-the-ground projects that enhance forest health and outdoor experiences on National Forests and Grasslands.
MAP supports the implementation of on-the-ground conservation and restoration projects that have an immediate, quantifiable impact on the National Forest System. These projects provide a lasting impact to the lands, waters, and wildlife of the National Forest System through the alteration of the physical environment.
The current NFF strategic plan focuses on the Program Areas of Outdoor Experiences and Forest Health. Organizations may self-select into one of the Program Areas defined below, or choose to submit a proposal that cohesively integrates the two Program Areas. Projects that strongly integrate the program areas are highly encouraged. The NFF does not have funding targets for the Program Areas, and strongly encourages applicants to integrate the programs areas cohesively in their proposals.
The NFF supports results-oriented, on-the-ground, projects that improve the quality, condition, and care of Outdoor Experiences on National Forests by:
- Improving, or maintaining recreation resource connectivity including, and similar to: trail maintenance, bridge and crossing construction or repair, and installation of trail drainage structures; and/or
- Engaging youth, volunteers, or diverse, underserved or under-engaged populations in hands-on stewardship activities; and/or
- Employing youth and/or veterans crews to implement on-the-ground conservation, stewardship and/or restoration work.
Projects should generate tangible conservation outcomes or enhance high quality recreational experiences for the users of the National Forest System.
The NFF supports results-oriented, on-the-ground, citizen-involved projects that maintain and/or restore ecosystem resiliency on National Forests by:
- Promoting forest structural complexity, function and diversity over time; and/or
- Promoting forest health through the removal or control of non-native invasive species, and/or reintroduction of native plants and trees.
Projects should be consistent with or supportive of identified large-scale conservation initiatives. The NFF will only consider monitoring projects focused on determining the long-term effectiveness of previous NFF-funded on-the-ground work.
The NFF encourages projects that cohesively integrate Outdoor Experiences and Forest Health program areas. Ideal projects will have a strong connection to each of the individual program areas, and effectively integrate both in a clear, direct manner.
Examples of integrated projects include, but are not limited to the following:
- Engaging community volunteers to complete riparian plantings as part of a watershed-scale restoration project;
- Utilizing youth crews from underserved communities to complete habitat stewardship work and forest stand treatments.
The most compelling projects will strongly integrate the Outdoor Experiences and Forest Health program areas, and will receive a weighted advantage in evaluation. A project will not be eligible for full weighted advantage if it does not cohesively integrate the two program areas, or only does so nominally.
Civic Engagement & Community Involvement
In addition to focusing on the above Program Areas, MAP requires projects show a strong commitment to civic engagement and community involvement through direct public involvement. In order to be eligible for MAP funding, projects must contain significant, legitimate community involvement or civic engagement in the pre-implementation, implementation, or post-implementation phase. Typically, this involves the use of volunteers in project implementation, or the implementation of projects selected as an outcome of a formal collaborative-planning process. Note that the community engagement portion of the project does not necessarily have to occur in the portion of the project receiving MAP funding, although the project narrative must clearly describe the community engagement component. The standard public involvement component of the NEPA process is insufficient to meet this requirement.
Education, Interpretation, Inventory, and Monitoring Projects
Education, interpretation, inventory, and monitoring are not priorities for the use of MAP funds.
- Education and interpretation may only receive consideration as minor components of otherwise well-aligned larger projects.
- Projects with inventory or monitoring components may only receive consideration if those components focus on determining the long-term effectiveness of previous NFF funded on-the-ground work.
The NFF encourages applicants to use funding from other sources (including project match) for any portion of a project focused on education, interpretation, inventory, or monitoring.
William H. and Mattie Wattis Harris Foundation
The Harris Foundation envisions making the world a better place for the well-being and safety of plants, animals and human beings.
Areas of Support
The William H. and Mattie Wattis Harris Foundation funds organizations that qualify for 501(c)(3) status in five areas:
- Animal Welfare: sanctuaries, no-kill animal shelters, rescue, adoption and population control.
- The Arts: children’s theater, documentaries, videos, and Community outreach.
- Conservation: animal field research, protection of natural resources including conservation education programs, documentaries, videos, and community outreach.
- Educational Camps: environmental, health and special needs camps.
- Preventative Health: animals for the physically challenged, children’s health, global populations, women’s health.
The geographical focus for giving is concentrated in the western United States including the Rocky Mountains and intermountain regions. International Conservation & Global Population programs are also of interest.
The Directors consider projects for funding which identify root causes and develop innovative solutions.
Other criteria for funding are as follows:
- That the project be unique and have a far reaching impact with lasting benefits.
- That the organization be able to fulfill the goals set, and
- That there are specific plans for continuing the work started by this project.