Turner Foundation: Grants for Animals and Wildlife

OVERVIEW: The Turner Foundation funds land and sea-based conservation projects.

IP TAKE: This is a modest foundation that does not accept unsolicited proposals. 

PROFILE: Established in 1990, the Turner Foundation seeks to "[protect] and [restore] the natural world. While some have questioned his motives, particularly in relation to his massive land holdings, Ted Turner nonetheless takes his conservation work extremely seriously and is considered by many to be a hero in the field. Turner conducts wildlife conservation philanthropy through three endeavors: the Turner Endangered Species Fund, Turner Biodiversity Divisions, and the Turner Foundation.

The Turner Foundation's animal and wildlife grantmaking "invests in select national and priority state level efforts to conserve wildlife and habitat." It does so through its Safeguarding Habitat program, which invests in public and private land conservation, wildlife and fishery conservation, and marine conservation. The program seeks to "protect terrestrial and marine habitats and wildlife critical for the preservation of biodiversity." It focuses on protecting "functioning ecosystems, including core, intact habitats, buffer zones, and wildlife corridors on both private and public lands." A "core habit" refers to multipurpose areas that encompass grounds where species spawn and rear their young, grounds where they forage, and shelter areas for species that migrate or hibernate during the winter. The program prioritizes far-ranging carnivores, fish, migratory birds, and pollinators—it calls these species groups “keystone indicators” of their ecosystems’ state of health.

Grants range from a few thousand to tens of thousands. While the foundation facilitates some grantmaking abroad, it prioritizes the United States, specifically South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Montana, New Mexico, and Alaska. In addition, the foundation prioritizes the following regions for wildlife and habitat conservation grantmaking: the Southeastern Coastal Plain (specifically GA and SC); the Florida Panhandle and the Red Hills Region of north Florida and southwest Georgia; the Sky Islands region of southwestern NM, southeastern Arizona, and northern Mexico; the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem north to the transboundary Flathead; and south central/southeastern Alaska. Internationally, the Turner Foundation supports salmon and marine conservation in the Russian Far East and along the central coast of British Columbia. Past grantees include the Conservation Fund and the International Crane Foundation. 

As an aside, the foundation also funds the Turner Endangered Species Fund and the Turner Biodiversity Divisions, among many other environmental and animal organizations.

Turner does not accept unsolicited applications, but grantseekers are advised to contact one of the program managers and offer to submit a letter of inquiry.

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