The Lawrence Foundation: Grants for Marine and Rivers

OVERVIEW: The Lawrence Foundation is a family foundation that invests in the environment, youth development and human services.

IP TAKE: The foundation permits operating grants and does not impose geographic restrictions. Due to the high volume of applications, competition is stiff. 

PROFILE: Established in 1988, The Lawrence Foundation seeks to "support organizations that are working to solve pressing environmental, educational, human services and other issues.” The foundation was established by Jeff Lawrence and his wife, Diane Troth, with funds accrued when Lawrence sold his Trillium Digital Systems to Intel. While the foundation does not maintain specific grantmaking program, it regularly invests in environment, education, health, and disaster relief among others. 

Lawrence conducts its marine conservation related grantmaking through a broad approach. In other words, while it does not maintain a dedicated marine conservation program, its giving history reflects a deep interest in the field. Grants range from about $2,000 to $10,000. The foundation’s application is fairly straightforward and uses the Common Grant Application (which leadership of The Lawrence Foundation helped to create). While the foundation does not impose geographic restrictions, giving both domestically or internationally (so long as the international project is operated by a U.S. nonprofit), marine and river grantees unquestionably trend towards California groups. Recent grantees include the Coral Reef Alliance and the California Water Impact Network among others. Most of its marine conservation grants prioritize coastal conservation, protecting against overfishing, creating marine protected areas, marine restoration, advocacy and policy work.

The foundation “does not typically” provide funding for computers/software, audio/video equipment, music or theater programs/equipment, gardening programs/equipment, physical education or recreational programs/equipment, or hospice/"old age home" programs.

The Lawrence Foundation’s grant application is open to all, and has two grant cycles each year, with deadlines in April and November. 

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