Conservation Policy Grants

The Brainerd Foundation

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Grant amount: US $40,000 - US $75,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, General Operating Expense, Project / Program

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

Location of residency: Canada, United States

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About this funder:




  • Inquiries are accepted on an ongoing basis. Grants are awarded at one of three board meetings held each year. Proposals are accepted by invitation only.
  • The Brainerd Foundation will sunset in 2020

Conservation policy funding

  • Building the power of community leaders and policy-makers to protect our region's air, land, and water.

Policy opportunities vary dramatically across the Northwest and reflect each place’s political environment, conservation history, and local conservation community.

Our strategy invests in two or three critical organizations in each state (or province) that demonstrate the leadership, capacity, and track record to enact, implement, enforce, and defend strong conservation policies.

Measures of Success

By the time the foundation sunsets in 2020, we aim to see:

  • Effective collaboration among organizations to achieve policy goals.
  • Conservation organizations with improved credibility and influence among community and policy leaders.
  • A broader base of stakeholders engaged in conservation advocacy.
  • More public officials and policy-makers who champion conservation priorities.

Typical Conservation Policy Grantees

  • Organizations serving as lead advocates on state-based conservation policies.
  • Issue-based organizations leading collaborative efforts on strategic policy priorities.
  • Organizations advancing voter education and civic engagement efforts for the conservation community.
  • Legal groups that lend their services and policy counsel.

Conservation policy grants typically range from $40,000 to $75,000 and can be awarded for multiple years.

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


  • 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.
  • 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:
    • Washington
    • Oregon
    • Idaho
    • Montana
    • Alaska
    • British Columbia


  • We do not fund projects related to:
    • K-12 school education programs
    • Direct land purchases or easements
    • Structures, capital improvements or campaigns
    • Endowments, debt reduction, or cash flow shortfalls
    • Academic research
    • Books, videos, and television or film projects that are not components of a broader strategy
    • Support or opposition of any candidate for political office.
    • Programs with an exclusive focus on marine conservation
  • 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.