The Bobolink Foundation: Grants for Animals and Wildlife

OVERVIEW: Bobolink is a family foundation created by the Hank and Wendy Paulson. It largely devotes itself to the environment. 

IP TAKE: Bobolink is a relatively quiet funder that grantseekers are encouraged to contact in order to introduce themselves to the Chief Conservation Officer and board. It funds both small and large organizations. 

PROFILE: Established in 1986 in Chicago, the Bobolink Foundation is the brainchild of Hank and Wendy Paulson. Hank, who served as assistant secretary of defense from 1970 to 1972 and worked in the Nixon administration, is the former CEO of Goldman Sachs. After serving as Treasury Secretary under Bush, he started the Paulson Institute, an organization devoted to sustainable economic growth and the environment. His wife, Wendy Paulson (nee Judge) remains more deeply involved in the foundation. Formerly a Boston Public School teacher, she is an avid conservationist. The former chairwoman of the Illinois and New York chapters of the Nature Conservancy, Wendy now chairs Bobolink, which seeks to "advance conservation and stewardship of biodiversity through the protection of natural areas, education, and building local constituencies for nature." The foundation supports projects in its key areas of focus: coastal conservation, community-based conservation, American grasslands, and American wildlife.

Bobolink is particularly interested in bird conservation. One of the biggest grantees is Rare, a global conservation group formerly chaired by Wendy Paulson, which started in the 1980s to save the Saint Lucia Parrot. The group uses a combination of establishing protected areas and engaging local constituencies. However, the foundation has also supported grants to smaller and grassroots organizations, such as the Owl Research Institute and the Vermont Center for Eco Studies. 

While Bobolink maintains a website, it does not indicate how grantseekers may secure funding. Tax information suggests the foundation supports a variety of projects through both small and mid-sized grants. Grantseekers should contact the board to introduce themselves and establish a relationship.


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(formerly Henry M. & Wendy J. Paulson, Jr. Foundation)

P.O. Box 81294

Chicago, IL United States 60681