The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, a nonprofit private charitable foundation created by Anheuser-Busch Adventure Parks, supports wildlife research, habitat protection, animal rescue, and conservation education in the United States and more than sixty countries around the world. Since its inception in 2003, the fund has awarded more than $7 million in total support, including animal crisis grants to fund rapid response efforts when animals or their habitats are in peril due to either natural or human-caused events and catastrophes.

The fund’s annual grant program accepts online applications from 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations based in the U.S., non-U.S. based nonprofit organizations and NGOs, governmental entities, accredited universities and research centers, and AZA- or AMMPA-accredited institutions. Applications from individuals not affiliated with an eligible applicant entity will not be accepted.

As with all proposals receiving fund support, the project must have broad community/constituency support and be based on legitimate scientific and conservation principles.

While the fund recognizes and supports the critical importance of ex-situ efforts such as endangered species breeding programs and conservation awareness/education, its primary focus is to support conservation efforts directly benefiting wildlife in their native ranges (in situ). For this reason, the fund is unable to help underwrite the captive breeding efforts of other animal management facilities. However, the fund will consider ex-situ conservation education proposals that demonstrate significant positive and sustainable impact.

The fund has no set minimum or maximum grant amount. In the past, the fund has awarded grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 each for a one-year term. The fund will consider multi-year proposals.

All grant applications for each year’s granting session are due by December 1 of the prior year. Only applications submitted via the fund’s online application system will be accepted. Visit the Conservation Fund’s Web site for complete grant policies, information on previously funded projects, and the complete application.

For more information: http://www.swbg-conservationfund.org/grantInfoA.htm

Wildlife Conservation Society Accepting Applications for Research Fellowship Program

The Wildlife Conservation Society Research Fellowship Program is a small grants program administered by the Wildlife Conservation Society Institute that aims to build capacity for the next generation of conservationists by supporting individual field research projects with a clear application to the conservation of threatened wildlife and wild places.

The program helps train applied conservation scientists from developing countries. Since the RFP’s establishment in 1993, over 2,000 proposals totaling over $23 million have been submitted to WCS for funding, of which 300 proposals totaling more than $3 million have been funded. Over 60 percent of the total funded proposals have come from national conservationists (citizens of the country in which they are conducting their research). All grantees are graduate-level students pursuing masters, doctoral, or veterinary degrees (or equivalents). Collectively, these professionals will help to apply field-tested conservation science to the challenges facing conservation today.

In 2010, the WCS Institute re-established the RFP with a focus on supporting projects that directly address WCS conservation priorities. WCS seeks projects that are based on sound and innovative conservation science and that encourage conservation practices that can contribute to sustainable development. Applicants must be citizens of developing countries. An exception is made for applicants who are Native American (United States) or First Nations, M├ętis, or Inuit (Canada).

The maximum award amount is $20,000.

Visit the WCS Web site for complete program guidelines and eligibility requirements: http://programs.wcs.org/Default.aspx?alias=programs.wcs.org/grants

Chase, the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co., has announced the launch of its Chase Community Giving Summer 2010 program on Facebook. The program will award a total of more than $5 million to be shared among two hundred charities.

Chase Community Giving is a program that allows users to vote online for the local charities that matter most to them. By participating, users will help Chase direct corporate philanthropy dollars to eligible small and local organizations working in the focus areas of primary and secondary education, youth development, healthcare, housing, community development, the environment, combating hunger, arts and culture, human services, and animal welfare.

The first Chase Community Giving program, held earlier this year, was the most popular corporate philanthropy crowdsourcing campaign of its type. More than two million Facebook users became fans of the program and helped decide which of the more than 500,000 charities that participated should receive a share of $5 million. More than a hundred winners from thirty-one states were selected.

For the summer 2010 program, the number of charities eligible to receive awards has doubled and several new tools have been introduced. Charities will be able to edit their charity profiles and add meaningful media to help tell their stories in the form of videos and photos. In addition, badges, which users earn to indicate their commitment to their community, have been introduced. And a Gift Vote feature that lets users earn the right to give additional votes to a friend has been added.

To underscore the program’s focus on small and local organizations, 501(c)(3) public nonprofits with operating expenses of $1 million or less are eligible to receive funding. The top vote-receiving charities meeting the eligibility and other requirements of the program rules will receive the top grants. The eligible charity with the most votes will receive $250,000; the top four runners-up will receive $100,000 each; and the remaining eligible charities in the top two hundred will each receive $20,000. There will be one round of voting. Voting begins June 15 and ends July 12, 2010.

For more information and program requirements: http://apps.facebook.com/chasecommunitygiving/