Merck Family Fund: Grants for Environmental Conservation

OVERVIEW: The Merck Family Fund focuses its conservation efforts on ecologically valuable land.

IP TAKE: This funder gives grantmaking priority to the southeastern United States including the Southern Appalachians, Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia.

PROFILE: Established in 1954 by George W. Merck, then president of Merck & Co., Inc., the Merck Family Fund (MFF) broadly aims to “[t]o do good with resources acquired through the company’s success.” Specially, the fund supports organizations restoring and protecting the natural environment and those strengthening urban communities. MFF works toward these goals through its grant programs of Conserving Ecologically Valuable Land, Reducing CO2 Emissions through Energy Efficiency and Carbon Pricing, Urban Farming and Youth Leadership and Making Paper Production Sustainable.

MFF’s conservation-related grants focus on urban sprawl, resource extraction, environmental protections, clean air, clean water, land conservation, land protections and sustainable forestry and farming management.

Grants typically range from $10,000 to $100,000. Past conservation grantees include the Land Trust for Tennessee, which received support for its southeast/south Cumberland Project; and the Wilderness Society, which received a grant for tis Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Partnership. To learn more about the types of conservation organizations MFF supports and at what level, download its annual report.

MFF accepts letters of inquiry on a rolling basis. Submissions are typically due around the middle of January and July for decisions made in the following grant cycles.


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