Walt Disney Company: Grants for Environmental Conservation

OVERVIEW: Disney has made more than 1,000 grants since 1995. The the fund dedicates itself to the “study of wildlife; the protection of habitats; the development of community conservation and education programs in critical ecosystems; and experiences that connect kids to nature across the globe."

IP TAKE: Despite its size and iconic stature, Disney funds both large and modest organizations across the world. It’s also open to inquiries.

PROFILE: Walt Disney believed it was humankind’s responsibility to preserve its natural resources; the company still cites the environment as a priority regarding its corporate citizenship program. Disney seeks to promote the happiness and well-being of kids and families. One of six commitments in Disney’s ethical business goals remains environmental stewardship

On Earth Day in 1995, Disney started its main giving program, called the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. The fund is committed to “saving wildlife, inspiring action and protecting the planet. The fund pairs philanthropic grants with contributions of expertise from many Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment professionals and other employees who work together to make an impact for people, wildlife and wild places.” Disney’s philanthropy supports iconic mammals featured in its films, such as apes, butterflies, coral reefs, cranes, elephants, monkeys, rhinos, sea turtles, sharks & rays, and tigers. It also funds general conservation work for which it does not name specific strategies.

Grants are often medium-sized, around $25,000 a year, meaning there are quite a few grantees. Disney’s philanthropic efforts sources funding from a mix of cash directly from the company, and proceeds from guests and revenue from Disney’s nature-related theme parks and films.

Aside from the main grants program, the DWCF has a Rapid Response fund that is set aside to help with conservation efforts following disasters such as tsunami or political unrest. 

Finally, the company has a program that is built around carbon offset, but involves land management. The Climate Solutions Fund charges Disney subsidiaries for their carbon footprints, and reinvests the money into reforestation and forest management projects. Since 2009, the program has invested $48 million in such carbon offset programs.  

Read about how to apply for all Disney conservation funding at the links below. 


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