Conservation Capacity Grants

The Brainerd Foundation

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Grant amount: US $10,000 - US $50,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: General Operating Expense, Training / Capacity Building

Location of project: Canada, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon Show all

Location of residency: Canada, United States

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About this funder:



Our Conservation Capacity program focuses on three initiatives that build upon the foundation's historic investments.

  • Inspire the next generation of conservation philanthropists.
  • Strengthen emerging conservation leaders and activists.
  • Support the innovation of conservation advocacy organizations.

Measures of Success

By 2020, we aim to see:

  • Increased dollars directed toward conservation organizations.
  • Enhanced donor capacity for making strategic investments in conservation nonprofits.
  • Increased ability of (and opportunity) for emerging leaders to step into leadership roles in conservation organizations.
  • Conservation organizations adopting the cultures, structures, and strategies that will attract the next generation of leaders and advocates.
  • Expanded citizen engagement in conservation issues.

 Typical Conservation Capacity Grantees

  • An organization that trains philanthropists to give with strategic intent
  • A conservation organization that is actively identifying and engaging future leaders to shape its work
  • An advocacy organization pursuing fresh ideas and experimenting to broaden its reach and effectiveness

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


  • To be considered for a Brainerd Foundation grant, applicants must be involved in programs that augment regional conservation efforts within the following geographic funding region:
    • Alaska
    • British Columbia
    • Idaho
    • Montana
    • Oregon
    • Washington
  • The foundation makes grants to nonprofit organizations classified as 501(c)(3) public charities by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or to Canadian organizations deemed equivalent by the foundation.


  • We do not fund projects related to:
    • Academic research
    • Books, videos, and television or film projects that are not components of a broader strategy
    • Direct land purchases or easements
    • Endowments, debt reduction, or cash flow shortfalls
    • K-12 school education programs
    • Programs with an exclusive focus on marine conservation
    • Structures, capital improvements, or campaigns
    • Support or opposition of any candidate for political office
  • We do not make grants to individuals or for-profit organizations. 
  • The foundation cannot earmark any portion of its grants for use in lobbying or influencing legislation.
    •  The foundation may consider funding projects that include both lobbying and nonlobbying activities if a detailed budget that breaks out lobbying and nonlobbying expenses is provided, so long as the amount of a project grant requested does not exceed the nonlobbying expenses.