Rapid Ocean Conservation (ROC) Grant

Waitt Foundation

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Grant amount: Up to US $15,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Nonprofit College / University

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Research

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

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About this funder:



The Rapid Ocean Conservation (ROC) Grants Program is a project of the Waitt Foundation. ROC Grants provide small grants with a quick turnaround time for solutions to emerging conservation issues. This complements the Waitt Foundation’s existing major grants program and is responsive to conservation opportunities, supports higher-risk ideas at a low financial cost, and engages with small, local NGOs on a global scale.

Grants will fund projects related to the Waitt Foundation mission of supporting sustainable fishing and marine protected areas (MPAs). This includes sub-themes of:

  • Scientific Research – Includes natural science or social science projects. For example, collecting baseline data before coastal development or MPA establishment, or studying fishery effects of a natural (e.g. tsunami) or man-made (e.g. oil spill) disaster.
  • Policy – Includes opportunistic projects around unique public policy windows, such as preparation of policy analysis and support of experts’ efforts to inform decision makers on upcoming government actions. For example, a cost-benefit analysis of proposed fishing regulations, or travel expenses for a delegation of scientists to educate elected officials.
  • Management – Includes enforcement and infrastructure support. For example, stop-gap funding to increase enforcement capacity in light of a sudden uptick in illegal dynamite fishing, or training personnel to enforce new regulations about to go into effect.
  • Communications – Includes raising public awareness and engaging stakeholders, including advertising by a 501(c)3 group around a public policy moment. For example, a PR blitz (e.g. billboards or radio adds) to educate the public in advance of government action on an ocean conservation measure, or training local people to become citizen scientists or enforcement tipsters.

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


  • Non-profit status:
    • US applicants - Organizations must have a U.S. tax identification number and be able to provide a current copy of their IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter.
      • A charitable organization may apply through a fiscal sponsor if not currently registered as a 501(c)(3), however, documentation of the fiscal sponsor’s non-profit status is required.
      • Only organizations with federal non-profit agency tax status can receive financial support from the Waitt Foundation.
    • International applicants - Organizations outside the United States may apply for a grant.
      • If your organization would like to apply for a grant and it does not have a U.S. non-profit status or U.S. fiscal sponsor, an affidavit or proof that the organization is the equivalent of a public charity under U.S. tax law is required.
  • Project must support sustainable fishing and/or MPAs as elaborated in the program focus section.
  • Applicants need not hold advanced degrees, but must demonstrate a commensurate level of experience and expertise with respect to the proposed project.
  • Applicants must have and maintain legitimate affiliation with an academic institution or NGO for the duration of the grant project.
  • ROC grants should constitute the sole or primary source of funding for the proposed project, not serve as complementary funding for larger, more costly projects.
  • Spending of grant funds must commence within 1 month of granting, and be completed within 6 months.


  • Generally, the Waitt Foundation does NOT fund the following categories:
    • For-profit organizations
    • Individuals
    • Capital campaigns
    • Endowments
    • Conferences / Meetings / Workshops
    • Lobbying of any kind
  • The Waitt Foundation does not fund indirect costs/administrative feesIndirect costs/administrative fees.