Disney Conservation Fund: Annual Conservation Grants

The Walt Disney Company

Grant amount: Up to US $50,000

Next anticipated deadline: Nov 17, 2018 8:59pm PST (Letter of inquiry)

Later anticipated deadlines: Feb 16, 2019 8:59pm PST (Full proposal)

Applicant type: Nonprofit College / University

Funding uses: Conference, Education / Outreach, Research, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Preferred: Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia, South-Eastern Asia, Western Europe, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, Germany, Grenada, India, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Saint Kitts And Nevis, Saint Lucia, Sint Maarten, South Africa, Spain, United Kingdom, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia (US state), Hawaii, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, Virgin Islands, Washington, Brevard County, Florida Other eligible locations: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: United States

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The Disney Conservation Fund, founded in 1995, is a key pillar in Disney’s efforts to protect the planet and help kids develop lifelong conservation values. The fund supports 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.

The wellbeing of people is deeply connected to the health of the planet. That’s why the Disney Conservation Fund grants support projects with a holistic approach to conservation – blending both scientific research and community engagement to protect wildlife and their habitats.

Funding Priorities

The Disney Conservation Fund gives priority consideration to holistic programs addressing a significant conservation need (or projects that are part of a program) which reflect:

  • Education and community engagement, including measuring results 
  • Sustainable development programs directly connected to protecting species and habitat
  • Scientific field studies on species and habitats

The Disney Conservation Fund supports programs and projects around the world, with programs in 115 different countries receiving support thus far.

The fund also seeks to support projects taking place in areas where Disney has a significant business focus, including the regions and priority areas below:

  • Africa: South Africa
  • Asia:  China, India, Indonesia, Japan
  • The Bahamas/ Caribbean: Antigua, Barbados, Castaway Cay, Cayman Islands, Florida (Port Canaveral), Grenada, Jamaica, Mexico, Nassau, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, St. Thomas
  • Central/South America: Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Galapagos Islands
  • Europe/Australia: Australia, France, England, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, United Kingdom/ Ireland, countries in Western Europe
  • Marine: Alaska, Australia, California, China, Eastern Gulf of Mexico (especially in/near Florida), Hawaii, Indo-Pacific, and Western Atlantic; will also consider marine projects occurring near other priority countries/states listed
  • North America: Mexico, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Washington 

We will also consider support for projects focused on species/habitats featured at Disney’s Animal Kingdom or The Seas with Nemo and Friends at Epcot.

If you are interested in applying for conservation funding but your project takes place outside of the above priority areas, please contact the DCF team to share the country where your project takes place and the species you are focused on to see if it may be considered.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Only charitable organizations may apply. 
    • We encourage scientists, students and institutions to work with nonprofit organizations to apply.
    • Colleges and universities may have to apply either through or in conjunction with their school’s foundation or in partnership with another non-profit organization.
    • We accept applications from Ph.D. level  faculty focused on long term conservation programs.
    • We allow AZA institutions to apply only if the researchers conducting the program are involved in field research and  do not hold a curatorial, veterinary or supervisory role related to the captive collection at the accredited institution. 
      • If the facility has a key external  nonprofit or university partner, such organizations may apply directly to the  Disney Conservation Fund, and if the  partner is a foreign nonprofit the AZA facility can act as a U.S.  intermediary for that organization.
  • Organizations must have U.S. nonprofit status.
    • NGOs outside the U.S. can apply in partnership with a U.S. organization.
    • Nonprofit  organizations based outside of the United States may apply for Disney Conservation Fund support if they identify a US 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization willing to act as an intermediary, and is mission-relevant or thematically related to the non-US nonprofit organization .
  • Eligible costs:
    • Small percentage of overhead costs.
      • This includes administrative fees, fringe benefits, manuscript fees, etc. A maximum of 10 percent of the $25,000  grant request can be allocated to overhead.
    • Infrastructure budget items with associated detail and justification where large cost items are concerned. This includes the construction of buildings, enclosures, etc.
    • Field staff including in-country participants.  
      • We will allow benefits for staff if it falls within the 10 percent allotted overhead allowance.
  • Multi-year projects will be considered but only funded on a year-to-year basis, i.e. the amount applied for should  reflect only one year of funding.
  • Each organization is limited to one project application for each of the six (6) following geographic areas: Africa, Asia, Central/South America, Europe/Australia, Marine, and North America. For universities, the same statement above applies to each university department. Large organizations are responsible for self-governing to ensure no more than one proposal per geographic region is submitted.


  • Although  the fund recognizes that basic science is a critical first step in conservation initiatives, preference is  given to projects where there is a significant conservation action component.


  • Disney Conservation Fund will not fund a project if the same project activities are also being funded by the AZA CGF.
  • The Disney Conservation Fund does not fund ex-situ projects/project components.
  • We generally do not provide funding for removal or eradication of invasive/non-native species other than plants.
  • Graduate students can not directly apply but can be included in a Ph.D. level faculty project that is part of an established program or a new initiative that establishes objectives for a long term conservation impact.
  • We do not fund student university tuition or any budget items that support government officials, staff, agencies, etc. that may be working with your organization on a conservation project.
  • Although we do fund salaries and travel expenses, we do not like to see the entire budget directed to staffing or travel.
  • The Disney Conservation Fund does not accept applications directly from government agencies.

About this funder:

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