OVERVIEW: The Wallace Genetic Foundation invests in wildlife conservation, sustainable agriculture, farmland preservation, biodiversity, reduction of environmental toxins, climate change, and education.
IP TAKE: Wallace's website offers little information regarding its investment strategies, thus preferring a broad approach. It predominantly funds established, large organizations. It accepts, but also discourages, unsolicited proposals.
PROFILE: Established in 1959, the Wallace Genetic Foundation was founded by one-time vice president to Franklin Roosevelt, Henry A. Wallace, and his wife Ilo. He believed that "the greatest private pleasure comes from serving the general welfare of all." Wallace’s grandson, David W. Douglas, and two granddaughters, Ann D. Cornell and Joan D. Murray, now head the grant committee and board of directors. In 1996, the three trustees of the Wallace Genetic Foundation agreed to divide the original foundation into three separate foundations: The Wallace Genetic Foundation, Wallace Global Fund, and Wallace Research Foundation. The Wallace Genetic Foundation prioritizes innovative organizations and individuals whose work "promises to provide long-term national or global benefit." While the foundation does not name specific priorities, its grantee list reveals a concentrated interest in the environment, conservation, animals, health and education.
The foundation's animal and wildlife grantmaking is broad. It offers a handful of grants to wildlife conservation; however, many of the projects relate to agricultural practices in some way. Past grantees include the American Bird Conservancy for its work in protecting birds, wildlife and humans from pesticides and toxins; the Center for Biological Diversity for its national pesticides and endangered species campaign; and to the National Audubon Society for habitat restoration for endangered roseate terns in Maine.
Advocacy and education comprise the other main themes in the foundation’s grantmaking. It has funded the Amazon Conservation Team for its efforts to promote biodiversity conservation and ethno-education in Colombia and the International Fund for Animal Welfare to support its Animal Action Education program. To access a full list of the foundation's grantees, click here.
Wallace grants range from $25,000 to $50,000. The majority of the groups Wallace funds receive multi-year support, which creates less opportunity for new grantees; however, applicants should not be deterred.
As the foundation is currently in transition, it will not accept letters of inquiry or unsolicited proposals, including those from organizations that have been previously funded.
- Patricia M. Lee, Co-Executive Director
- Carolyn H. Sand, Co-Executive Director