...I don't believe that money makes the world go round, but when it comes to volunteering, it sure does make for a smoother ride.


There are of course your basic sources such as begging your relatives or you previously worked and saved up for your trip, but for such important work and life-changing experiences like volunteer projects I find it's useful to supplement your income with grants.


Grants by definition are given to volunteers

The idea is to provide financial help to those who are trying to make a positive impact on wildlife.

If you're applying for a grant as an individual, you will only be eligible for grants that are offered to individuals. Most grants are available only to groups and organizations. If you're working alone, don't waste your time applying for any of these -- apply only for grants available to individuals.

To find a grant that's right for you, use a governmental web site. These commonly allow you to search a large database of grants that are currently available. Once you've found something that's up your alley, you can work through the application process or contact the funding agency directly to find out how to proceed.

Sure I am aware that nowadays more and more people are raising money for all sorts of important causes, making the application for a grant an arduous and competitive process. It requires a good amount of time and preparation, and it is difficult to convince the people that your personal endeavours are of any value when many people applyfor the same grant as you.

Not to worry, with the right attitude and a little creativity you will have a chance. But in the end, your proposal needs to stand out. One of the most effective ways to do this also happens to be one of the simplest. You need to write concisely and you need to know what you ask for. Know your goals, how you would like to achieve them, how important these achievements are for the environment, and what resources you'll need to do so. Make sure your need is convincing.  The NPGuides can be very useful.

When it comes to writing a grant proposal, the less words you use, the better. State what you want clearly and simply. And best is not to only focus on a single grant, because most likely, there will be a number of available grants that could help your cause. So do some research and apply for everything you can...

Useful Links

  • The Free International Grant Resource Guide lists different international and foreign grant makers and more web sites are found  here.
  • The Conservation Funding board profiles government and foundation grants for restoration, land preservation, stewardship, environmental education, research, fellowshsips, volunteers, outreach, clean-up, training, and more. We also list funding opportunites for work related to birds, fish, forests, oceans, watersheds, wildlife, & wetlands.
  • The Change Ambassadors' program offers grants to subsidize volunteer vacations through designated volunteer travel partners.
  • Directory of European Foundations identifies 301 foundations, representing 15 western European countries. Arranged by country. Additional indexes include: foundations by size, by fields of interest, by persons, and by names of foundations.
  • Directory of Social Change's Grants for Individuals website contains details of over 3,500 trusts operating both nationally and locally. These trusts collectively have 362 million available each year.
  • The German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) provides viable, forward-looking solutions for political, economic, ecological and social development in a globalised world. We support complex reforms and change processes. All our activities are geared to improving people’s living conditions and prospects on a sustainable basis.
  • The Global Greengrants Fund funds grassroots action in some of the world's most despoiled and impoverished places.
  • Terra Viva Grants is an online directory of grant makers for "green" funding in the developing countries.
  • The Vodafone and Conservation Volunteers Ireland (CVI) Nature Fund aims to encourage the appreciation and protection of Ireland’s unique natural environment through the funding of locally-based environmental projects & initiatives. Applications are welcomed from across the community, including schools, businesses, local authorities, residents’ associations, charities and voluntary groups as well as individuals whose projects and initiatives display a practical commitment to understanding, enhancing and protecting our environment

Don't forget to follow up on your proposal.

Don't just wait to hear from the funding agent. It is always a plus to show initiative by checking on the status of your grant proposal.

jak 4