FAQ

Creative Commons: Elias Levy

What is the Shark Conservation Fund? 

The Shark Conservation Fund (SCF) is a collaboration of leading philanthropists dedicated to solving the global shark and ray crisis and safeguarding the health and sustainability of our oceans. The SCF seeks to halt the overexploitation of the world’s sharks and rays, prevent extinctions, reverse declines and restore populations through strategic and catalytic grantmaking.

Who manages the SCF? 

Overall direction for the SCF is provided by an Advisory Board consisting of representatives from Paul G. Allen Philanthropies, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, and Oceans 5. Day to day operations are overseen by the SCF Director. The SCF also receives input and guidance from an Expert Advisory Panel consisting of leading shark and ray experts from around the world. 

What is the goal of the SCF? 

Nearly one quarter of all shark and ray species are threatened with extinction, and scientists estimate that more than 100 million sharks are killed each year. The goal of the SCF is to halt the overexploitation of the world’s sharks and rays, prevent extinctions, reverse declines and restore populations. 

What are the strategies that the SCF will employ? 

The SCF believes that major investments in the form of grants to non-profits and academic institutions are needed in policy development, outreach and advocacy, conservation science, communications and media, capacity-building, and long-term monitoring.

Who funds the SCF? 

Start-up and ongoing support for the SCF has been provided by its founding members. The Fund is also working to build a coalition of donors and conservationists who together will double the investment of its founding members in support of shark and ray conservation across the globe.

What proportion of SCF funding is used for overhead and admin? 

Less than 10% of the funds available each year are used for overhead and administrative costs.

What kind of conservation projects does the SCF support? 

The SCF believes that major investments are needed in policy development, outreach and advocacy, conservation science, communications and media, capacity-building, and long-term monitoring.

What kind of partners and organizations are typically funded? 

In general, we work with known partners with an established track record of financial efficiency and accountability and strong reputation for achievements in the field. Prospective grantees must have a legal presence and have permissions in the country where work is proposed. In general, we prefer to give grants to NGOs working within an established framework such as 501(c)3 or equivalent status. 

What kind of projects are considered priorities for SCF funding? 

The priority areas of investment for the SCF are:
· Protecting the most endangered sharks and rays by enhancing legal protections in priority countries and through international forums;
· Combating unsustainable trade in shark and ray products through listing the top species of sharks and rays in global trade and that meet CITES listing criteria on Appendix I or II of CITES and implementing those listings; and
· Combating unsustainable shark and ray fishing through the adoption and implementation of conservation and management measures through international forums and in priority countries.

What kind of projects are not eligible for SCF funding? 

Support will not be provided for: 

· Direct grants to governments;
· Research that is not directly connected management;
· Conference attendance if not part of a larger project; and
· Projects that are not consistent with SCF’s Investment Strategy. 

What size of grants does the SCF issue? 

SCF’s larger grants range from 1 to 3 years in duration and from $50,000 to $500,000 per year. Twice a year, the SCF solicits proposals for its Small Grants Program which do not exceed $25,000 or one year in duration. 

Does SCF issue repeat funding? 

The SCF will consider requests for multi-year support. 

What is the process for applying for funding from the SCF? 

Applications for SCF’s larger grants are by invitation only. If you are interested in discussing potential large grant funding, send an email to [email protected] with a short description of the proposed project and how it would help SCF implement its Investment Strategy. Small Grant applications are solicited twice a year, usually in March and August, through an announcement on the SCF website. Applicants must complete an on-line Letter of Intent form and those applications that best meet the SCF Small Grant Fund criteria will be requested to submit an on-line proposal. 

Who makes decisions about which projects are supported? 

The SCF Advisory Board makes decisions on whether proposals will be funded, usually by consensus. The SCF director and its Expert Advisory Panel (for small grant proposals) make recommendations on which projects to fund. 

What are the deadlines for applications? 

The SCF board meets in person twice a year, usually in May and November, to consider large grant concept notes and proposals that it has requested. If you are interested in discussing potential large grant funding, send an email to [email protected] with a short description of the proposed project and how it would help SCF implement its Investment Strategy. Small Grant proposals are solicited in March and August each year. The exact dates are noticed on SCF’s website along with application procedures.

Does the SCF seek financial support from governments or from foundations? 

The SCF focuses on driving private sector support (foundations, individuals and corporations) into the Fund to catalyze support for global shark and ray conservation.  

What is the Fundraising Goal of the Shark Conservation Fund? 

The SCF, starting with an initial investment of $5 million over 3 years, seeks to double that investment to allow it to better address the global shark and ray crisis.