Patagonia: Grants for Marine Conservation

OVERVIEW: Patagonia, the out-door supply company, donates one percent of sales revenue to nonprofits that seek to conserve and protect natural landscapes and wildlife. Patagonia prioritizes small, grassroots, activist organizations that mobilize average citizens and press for public-policy change.

IP TAKE: Patagonia prioritizes groups that seek long-term change and involve strong grassroots support. Patagonia stores take applications year round and store employees review them.

PROFILE: Patagonia, the philanthropic arm of its corporate sister, donates 1% of annual sales goes to charitable causes, which adds up to $55 million given to more than 1,000 organizations in 20 countries. The foundation seeks to "learn more about our reason for being, the struggle to become a responsible company and how [its] business affects global environmental issues like global warming." Aside from a number of company environmental initiatives—such as allowing employees to go on leave to work for environmental nonprofits, and its own clothing—Patagonia generously supports green organizations.

One of nine categories of grants and donations, Patagonia's environmental priority funds organizations working to protect rivers, oceans, wetlands, aquifers and vernal pools. Patagonia offers a wide-variety of environmental grantmaking opportunities, which include international, retail, corporate, and media grants. 

Patagonia also oversees a World Trout grants program, which only funds organizations and "efforts working to restore and protect wild, self-sustainable trout, salmon and other fish species within their native range. This includes both indigenous freshwater and saltwater fish." Patagonia believes the best way to do this is "by ensuring that populations have high-quality habitats and adequate stream flows, can migrate between habitats without human intervention, are not negatively impacted by hatchery and aquaculture operations, have protection from harmful non-native species and disease, and are not over harvested."

Patagonia grants range from a few thousand to about $12,000; however, it occassionaly makes larger grants. Grantseekers can browse Patagonia’s past grantees here. Patagonia seeks organizations with a strong citizen base of support, quantifiable goals, ambitious long-term plans and creative approaches. Patagonia also takes pride in funding small groups that other foundations might not consider, since its money derives from its own profits. Interestingly, if an organization is located near a Patagonia store, it may submit a proposal at the brick and mortar location, and store employees will actually review it. Otherwise, grantseekers may apply online. Submission deadlines and awards vary between grantmaking programs. Regarding grantmaking questions, the foundation may be reached by email.

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