The Adams Legacy Foundation: Grants for Conservation

OVERVIEW: The Adams Legacy Foundation invests in the intersection between nature and education, art and architecture, and conservation. Strictly funds organizations based in California or Ohio.

IP TAKE: Expect fierce competition if you apply, given how few grants this funder offers each year. Adams only funds organizations in California or Ohio. Its 2016-2020 grant cycle focuses on projects which work to "address the potential for the solace and lessons of nature to be applied to solving specific local problems."

PROFILE: A California-based family operation established in 2006, the Adams Legacy Foundation seeks “foster a commitment to philanthropy in the founders’ heirs and succeeding generations.” The foundation invests in the intersection between nature and education, the arts, wildlife and land conservation, food and clean water systems, and re-integration of military personnel into civilian life. 

The Adams Legacy Foundation funds causes related to the natural world through all of its priority areas; its dedicated conservation program maintains an equally broad approach and does not name specific areas of grantmaking interest. Conservation grantmaking prioritizes facilities expansion, and ongoing program and operation expenses. Program-related investments, endowments and matching grants, and leadership-development and organization-improvement efforts are also eligible for funding.

Grants range from $5,000 to $20,000. In the past, Adams has also funded larger scale initiatives for sustainable farming and ranching across a whole state or region, and also works with large land trusts to help them acquire land and conservation easements. The foundation does not fund environmental or ecological education (i.e. technical, structured, classroom type experiences), environmental advocac, or structured / classroom-type experiences.

Adams welcomes unsolicited applications, as long as they are submitted between April 1 and November 1, via the website. This involves creating an online account and following the prompts to post an online letter of inquiry. If the letter of inquiry is approved, the grant seeker then adds the complete application.


  • Blair Carty, Executive Director