Moore Charitable Foundation: Grants for Conservation

OVERVIEW: The Moore Charitable Foundation protects land and water-based ecosystems in the Bahamas, Colorado, New York, North Carolina, and across the United States. It links up with nonprofits and public officials in each locale to launch new forest management initiatives, conserve and restore threatened waterways, and keep tens of thousands of acres of plains and canyons development-free.

IP TAKE: Moore does not accept uninvited proposals. Rather than fund a handful of groups through large grants, it prefers to invest in a variety of grants across the U.S. Moore tends to invest in many land trusts. It only funds work in New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Long Island, New York and North Carolina.

PROFILE: Not to be confused with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Moore Foundation gets its name from Louis Moore Bacon, and his grandfather Louis T. Moore. Bacon is a hedge-fund billionaire, land baron, and conservationist. Since he first purchased a 435-acre island near Long Island for $11 million in 1993, Bacon has made news by investing to protect beloved tracts of land. Bacon also bought a large track of  the wild Southwest, and then donated 90,000 acres of it to the Department of the Interior. The Moore Charitable Foundation was established in 1992 and is committed to "tangible results in environmental conservation, through the protection of our precious land, water and wildlife, for the benefit of future generations." It invests in four areas: LandWater & AirWildlife Habitat, and Marine Research and Conservation

Moore facilitates its conservation-focused grantmaking through three programs: Conserving Open SpacesSafeguarding Marine Areas and Ensuring Clean Air and Water.

The foundation's program, Conserving Open Spaces, protects "critical wetlands, forests and grasslands, as well as local economies and the quality of life in nearby communities." MCF furthers this "open space mandate across the country by partnering with national conservation organizations and local land trusts." This program prioritizes land trusts, conservation education, and conservation easements. In this area, MCF has partnered with Land Trust Alliance and The Nature Conservancy.

Further, MCF's Safeguarding Marine Areas addresses the "health and future of local marine ecosystems, threatened marine species, and global ocean health." The foundation believes that "coastal development, overfishing, illegal fishing practices, marine pollution, and climate change severely endanger marine wildlife, habitats and the communities that rely on these resources." MCF supports projects that "establish lasting protection for the world’s oceans and inspires public investment in marine conservation. Past grantees through its Safeguarding program include the Nature Conservancy Bahamas and Oceana among others.

In contrast, while much of the Ensuring Clean Air and Water program's grantmaking overlaps with Safeguarding Marine Areas, this program supported efforts to "fight the degradation and of important waterways through advocacy, research and education." In other words, it also funds education and research initiatives that address water conservation in our oceans, bays, rivers, and wetlands. 

The Moore foundation prioritizes specific geographic areas, among which are Colorado, Long Island, North Carolina, Panama, Taos, and the Bahamas. However, Moore does not limit its grantmaking to these areas. It has also supported water conservation grants to projects in the Everglades, the Hudson River, South Carolina, and Wyoming, among many others.

Beyond supporting a few established and well-known organizations, Moore provides a plethora of small grants to about 200 groups each year. Past grantees include the Alamosa Riverkeeper, a Colorado nonprofit; to the New York-based Blue Ocean Institute; and to the North Carolina Coastal Federation. In other words, Moore likes good old-fashioned conservation—purchase and preservation of treasured places—but it tries to spread the wealth.

Unfortunately, the Moore Charitable Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals.

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