Europe and Central Asia
27 Jun 2013

Innovative projects for conservation funding

By BirdLife Europe

Delivering creative proposals for funding projects aiming at building relationships and aligning interests were some of the main conclusions of the workshop “Impact at the Core: The perfect core-project funding mix for successful nature conservation”, held on June 20 at the BirdLife World Congress. Participants discussed on how to develop strategic and effective ways of obtaining funding and shared examples and best practices of working with donors.

“We don’t need core funding as a way to subsidise our organisation, but we would like core funding increased to boost the actual delivery and the impact of our activities”, said Marco Lambertini, CEO at BirdLife International.

BirdLife Partners provided several examples of how and core funding has been received and what it has been used for, such as the BirdLife Partnership with Arcadia, which has provided $5 million in funding during five years to increase Partners’ capacity, as well as funding that has been provided to BirdLife Kazakhstan for the designation of 9000 hectares of protected land.

Innovation is becoming more and more pertinent to obtain funding and in particular crowdfunding was one method of fundraising that was discussed at the event. Crowdfunding refers to the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. Luis Costa, from SPEA (BirdLife in Portugal), talked about a crowdfunding campaign to support the conservation of the Azores Bullfinch. “We raised $13000 through crowdfunding, and also achieved visibility through the media coverage that the campaign attracted”.

Alberto Yanosky, from Guyra (BirdLife in Paraguay) revealed a carbon funding project in his country: “We are aiming to protect 10,000 hectares of forest to compensate up to 800,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. With $400,000 invested, the companies are helping us to reduce carbon emissions for years”, Yanosky stated.

Creative approaches for raising funds for projects linking conservation work and economy, such as ecotourism and marketing projects were also pointed out.

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The European Commission was represented by Karl Falkenberg, Director-General for the environment, who said “We appreciate NGOs and BirdLife’s expertise in many issues related to the environment. We rely on your expertise, feedback and management capacity to implement nature projects to ensure EU biodiversity is defended and put back in a healthy state. Your role is important and deserves budgetary support”.

Lynda Mansson, General Director of the MAVA Foundation, also provided some tips for how to better take advantage of funding opportunities: “Be creative with the range of possibilities, state clearly and truly the reason of asking for funds, have a clear idea of measuring success, build confidence, be careful about eroding trust, plan ahead before emergency arrives, and involve the donor in the conversation about what is happening”.

For more information: please contact Stefania Macchioni, Grant Writing & Donor Management Officer at BirdLife Europe.

Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.