Big Cats Initiative Grant

National Geographic Society

Grant amount: Up to US $100,000

Next deadline: Apr 4, 2018 8:59pm PDT

Later deadlines: Jul 4, 2018 8:59pm PDT, Oct 3, 2018 8:59pm PDT, Jan 3, 2019 8:59pm PST

Applicant type: Individuals Nonprofit College / University Indigenous Group

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

Location of project: Africa; Americas; Antarctica; Europe; Oceania Expand all

Location of residency: Africa; Americas; Antarctica; Europe; Oceania Expand all

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The National Geographic Big Cats Initiative seeks to advance conservation efforts benefitting big cat populations, protecting and restoring them and their habitats via field-based, action-oriented, direct, and quantifiable strategic programs. The goal of this RFP is to identify projects that will help halt the decline of big cats worldwide. Projects may be based in any of a broad spectrum of conservation, education, development, and scientific ventures, but projects with direct, quantifiable methods for saving big cats in their native landscapes will be most successful.

The Big Cats Conservation RFP covers the following species:

  • Lion
  • Cheetah
  • Leopard
  • Tiger
  • Snow Leopard
  • Clouded Leopard
  • Sunda Clouded Leopard
  • Jaguar
  • Puma


Priority will be given to projects that aim to do one or more of the following:   

  • run anti-poaching programs;
  • perform interventions to reduce big cat mortalities;
  • Build and maintain livestock enclosures that protect livestock from predation and cats from retaliatory killings;
  • Provide educational opportunities that increase knowledge of the threats to big cats and promote participation in big cat conservation efforts;
  • test new technology;
  • establish economic incentives for local people to ensure long-term survival of big cats; or
  • For cheetahs, conservation proposals that seek to fulfill the recommendations from formal regional strategies and national action plans

Typical proposal requests should be less than $50,000; applicants may request up to $100,000, of which up to 20 percent of the total can be used as a stipend for the applicant or team members (please see the How to Apply page regarding stipend eligibility), and up to 15 percent of which can be used for institutional overhead (applicable only for awarded grants of at least $50,000). All applications should explicitly state the plan for evaluating the impact of the work.

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


  • We specifically encourage applicants from around the world. 
  • An organization can apply for a grant, but the person within the organization who will lead the project should be the applicant and will be expected to meet the requirements of the grant program.
  • A local collaborator is required for your project: If you are planning to work outside of your home country, you must include the name and contact information for at least one local collaborator as a project team member in the application.


  • As a result of changes in Chinese law effective January 1, 2017, the National Geographic Society is unable to support new grantee work in mainland China.
    • This applies to any projects conducted by mainland Chinese citizens anywhere and also applies to non-Chinese individuals or organizations proposing work in mainland China.
    • We will still accept applications from residents of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau as long as the proposed work is outside of mainland China.

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