Oak Foundation: Grants for Animals and Wildlife

OVERVIEW: Oak directs its grants for animals and wildlife to organizations that address illegal wildlife trade.

IP TAKE: The Oak Foundation does not award grants under $25,000 except under special circumstances or for organizations located in Zimbabwe.

PROFILE: Duty Free billionaire Alan Parker established the Oak Foundation in 1983 “to address issues of global, social, and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged.” Oak currently operates 10 grantmaking programs, which include child abuse, environment, housing and homelessness, international human rights, issues affecting women, learning differences, special interest, and the joint India, Denmark, and Zimbabwe programs.

The foundation’s illegal wildlife trade strategy, part of Oak’s larger environment program, prioritizes organizations that “address the root causes of the illegal wildlife trade rather than just the symptoms.” The foundation is “committed to conserving wild rhinoceros and elephants from the threat of illegal wildlife trade.” Oak’s strategy centers on trafficking, governance, and global capacity building.

Oak Foundation grants range from $50,000 to $6.5 million. However, most grants range from $50,000 to $650,000. Past grantees include the Elephant Action League and the Zoological Society of London. To learn more about Oak grantees and for a sense of the kinds of organizations this funder supports, explore its excellent grant database.

The foundation accepts unsolicited letters of inquiry throughout the year. Selected organizations receive an invitation to submit a “concept note” to the foundation.

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