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Selecting the Right Grant: A Strategic Approach for Conservation Projects

To learn more about Grant Writing for Wildlife Conservation, take a look at our expert led course by clicking here.

Securing funding for wildlife conservation projects can be a daunting task. With a plethora of grants available, each with its own set of criteria and requirements, selecting the right grant is crucial. A strategic approach to identifying and choosing the most suitable grants can significantly enhance your chances of success. This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to select the right grant for your conservation project.

The Importance of Selecting the Right Grant

Choosing the right grant is the foundation of a successful application. Applying for grants that align closely with your conservation goals and capabilities not only increases your chances of receiving funding but also ensures that the grant supports meaningful and impactful work. Selecting the wrong grant can lead to wasted time and resources, and may even compel your team to undertake activities that are not in line with your primary conservation objectives.

Identifying Potential Grants

The first step in the grant selection process is identifying potential grants. Start by compiling a list of available conservation grants using resources such as grant databases, donor websites, and conservation networks. Engage with colleagues and peers to gather recommendations and insights into grants they have successfully secured. Review annual reports and websites of other conservation organisations to see which grants they have utilised.

Additionally, subscribe to donor newsletters and email notifications to stay informed about new and upcoming grant opportunities. Keeping an updated list of potential grants will help you stay organised and ensure that you do not miss any relevant opportunities.

A Camel in the desert

Making a Shortlist

Once you have identified potential grants, the next step is to create a shortlist based on specific criteria that align with your project needs. Consider the following factors when shortlisting grants:

  • Geographic Focus: Ensure that the grant is available for projects in your target geographic area.

  • Conservation Priorities: Match the grant’s focus areas with your conservation targets, whether they are specific species, ecosystems, or threats.

  • Funding Levels: Evaluate whether the grant provides sufficient funding to cover your project’s budget or if you need to combine multiple grants to meet your financial needs.

  • Eligibility: Verify that your organisation meets the eligibility criteria, which may include being a registered charity or having a specific type of organisational structure.

  • Application Deadlines: Assess if you have enough time to prepare a high-quality application before the submission deadline.

  • Administrative Capacity: Consider the effort required to apply for and manage the grant. Ensure that the administrative burden is proportional to the funding amount.

Conducting Due Diligence

After creating a shortlist, it is essential to conduct due diligence on the donors providing these grants. This step ensures that the donors’ ethical standards align with your organisation’s values. Review the donor’s environmental, animal welfare, and human rights policies. Investigate any media reports or public records that may highlight issues related to the donor’s practices.

Document your findings and use them to eliminate any grants from your shortlist that do not meet your ethical standards. This thorough vetting process helps protect your organisation’s reputation and ensures that you are partnering with like-minded donors.

Making the Final Decision

With a refined shortlist, you can now make the final selection of grants to apply for. Prioritize grants based on factors such as application deadlines, the scale of funding available, and the relative ease of preparing the application. Consider starting with grants that have the highest alignment with your project’s goals and the least administrative burden.

Prepare a detailed plan for each grant application, outlining the steps and resources needed to complete the application process. Ensure that your team is clear on their roles and responsibilities and set internal deadlines to keep the application on track.


Selecting the right grant for your conservation project requires careful consideration and strategic planning. By identifying potential grants, creating a focused shortlist, conducting thorough due diligence, and making informed decisions, you can enhance your chances of securing the funding needed to achieve your conservation goals. A strategic approach to grant selection not only increases the likelihood of success but also ensures that the grants you pursue align with your mission and values, ultimately contributing to more impactful and sustainable conservation efforts.

To learn more about Grant Writing for Wildlife Conservation, take a look at our expert led course by clicking here.

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