Crowder-Messersmith Conservation Fund

The Fund honors Orville Crowder and Don Messersmith, two leaders in nature tourism, as a means to further global nature conservation. The Crowder-Messersmith Conservation Fund, together with the Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) nature travel program, allows ANS members to experience and promote other cultures and environments and to help promote conservation awareness and protection beyond the United States. The fund helps small, local conservation and/or education projects in developing countries. Its grants provide seed money to communities and individuals whose projects have not attracted major support from other sources.

Grants have provided more than 75 projects with start-up costs since 1974. ANS has administered the Fund since 1999. In 2011, the Fund supported projects to help protect and preserve endangered species in Oceania, Africa, and Asia. Two of the species that benefited from the grants are listed by the IUCN as near-threatened; the third is critically endangered.

Preference is given to projects that will benefit human, plant and animal communities of a particular habitat in an ecologically sustainable manner. Projects must  have:
1. a benefit to the human, plant and animal populations of a particular habitat in an ecological sustainable manner
2. a lasting significance to local residents
3. protect threatened or endangered species or habitats
4. a public education component.

The Project must:
1. be outside the United States or other developed country
2. involve the local population
3. if research, just be for conservation purposes rather than to obtain scientific data
4. funds must go for salaries, material and publication development, meeting and training costs, field trip costs and not international travel or overhead expenses, taxes, utilities or insurance.
Preference is given to applicants who have a record of prior conservation action relevant to the proposed project. Applicants from countries other than the United States are especially encouraged to apply. United States researchers planning work in foreign countries must have at least one local collaborator and consider how the project will benefit the local communities.

Application Time Frame
Applications are accepted beginning Septemeber 1, 2016. Deadline for receipt is December 15, 2016. Decisions will be announced in March, 2017.

Maximum Grant Amount
The maximum grant for 1 year is $2000.

Grant Acceptance
Upon Notification of a grant award, the Grantee must provide bank information for an international bank transfer. The Grantee must also agree to provide a project status report half way through the project. Upon completion of the project, but no later than November 30 of the same year, a full project report is required. This report must include an accounting of funds, a description of activities and populations receiving education and/or training, copies of any materials or publications that have been developed, and photos of project activities.

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