Land Trust Bird Conservation Initiative: Small Grants Program

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Grant amount: Up to US $5,000

Anticipated deadline: Mar 1, 2019

Applicant type: Nonprofit

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

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: United States

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Land trusts are an increasingly popular mechanism to protect private lands and potentially conserve birds and their habitats. Through fee acquisitions, voluntary conservation easements, and stewardship, land trusts have become powerful agents of land conservation and their reach continues to expand. From 2005 to 2010, more than 1,700 state, local, and national land trusts in the U.S. have more than doubled their land holdings to 47 million acres – an area larger than all New England states combined and 90% of the land area protected by National Parks.

At the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (Cornell Lab), we believe land trusts can help birds, and birds can benefit land trusts. To develop mutually beneficial collaborations between land trusts and the bird conservation community, the Cornell Lab’s Conservation Science program launched our Land Trust Bird Conservation Initiative in 2013. This initiative provides bird-related resources, tools, partnership, and funding opportunities to advance the pace and impact of land trusts’ protection and stewardship efforts through birds. We aim to build the capacity of land trusts to meet their own goals and to achieve strategic bird conservation on private lands. We support land trusts in prioritizing lands for bird conservation, developing and implementing bird monitoring projects, managing habitats, developing successful funding proposals, and increasing their community support. 

One objective of the Cornell Land Trust Bird Conservation Initiative is to provide funding to facilitate high priority, bird-focused conservation projects. Partners are encouraged to use the awarded funds to leverage additional dollars from community groups and other funding agencies, as well as create capacity to accomplish conservation goals. To meet this objective, we are launching a Land Trust Bird Conservation Initiative Small Grants Program.


To support land trusts and their partners in accomplishing bird conservation on private lands through acquisition/easements, habitat planning, outreach, and research.

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


  • Land trusts across the U.S. 
  • Awarded funds can cover no more than 10% of indirect costs and can be used for administrative and legal fees associated with land acquisitions.
  • Recipients must be able to justify and demonstrate conservation objectives, outcomes, and clear measures of success stemming directly from the awarded funds.
  • All bird data collected with awarded funds must be entered in eBird.


  • Priority will be given to the formation of new regional or state based land trust collaboratives with multiple partners. 
  • Matching funds are not required, however, it will be advantageous for an applicant to show that these funds will be supplemented by partner dollars or leveraged for future funding.

About this funder:

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