The Rufford Foundation Small Grant: A Pathway to Nature Conservation Grant

The Rufford Foundation offers a range of grants to support nature conservation projects around the world. These grants are provided through a staged funding process, consisting of five different types of grants.

The first two stages of funding are the 1st and 2nd Rufford Small Grants, each offering up to £6,000 in funding. These grants are designed to support small-scale or pilot projects that focus on nature conservation. Applicants must have a nature conservation focus and be based in a developing country or have their project located in a developing country.

Following the Small Grants, there are two stages of Booster Grants. The 1st Booster Grant provides up to £10,000 in funding, while the 2nd Booster Grant offers the same amount. These grants are intended to provide additional support and resources for projects that have shown promise and potential during the Small Grant stage.

The final stage of funding is the Completion Grant, which provides up to £15,000. Receipt of a Completion Grant signifies that the project has reached a level of financial stability and is supported by larger-scale funders. Once a Completion Grant is received, applicants are not eligible to apply for further funding.

Applicants may only submit one funding application within a 12-month period. If an application is rejected, the applicant must wait for 12 months before submitting another one. Similarly, if a grant is awarded, the applicant must wait for at least 12 months from the date of payment before making another application.

The Rufford Foundation primarily focuses on supporting individuals in the early stages of their conservation careers, such as MSc or PhD students, or those who have graduated from such studies within the past three years. However, applications from others who meet the general criteria are also considered.

Nature Conservation Grant – Grants from The Rufford Foundation are intended to support small-scale or pilot projects, rather than providing a small amount of funding for a large-scale project. Ideally, the foundation aims to cover between 50% and 100% of the project costs. If there are other funders involved, evidence of their support is required.

The foundation considers projects that focus on specific species or have a more general focus, such as threatened habitats or major conservation issues like human-wildlife conflict or community education. While the foundation funds work on a wide range of species, it does not consider projects on species listed as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. However, species listed in all other categories will be considered, as well as those that have yet to be assessed but are thought to be threatened.

Certain types of projects are not eligible for support, including pure research with no conservation benefit, expeditions requiring self-raised funds, attending conferences or seminars, and publishing books.

For more information on the criteria and how to apply for a 1st Rufford Small Grant, please visit the official website of The Rufford Foundation.

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