With Earth Day events and activities last weekend, sustainability is on the brain. Through a recent suite of case studies we released for FundingtheOcean.org, I’ve done some digging specifically into how funders are playing critical roles in marine conservation efforts, and the vaquita stole my heart.
The vaquita is the most endangered cetacean in the world. The Marisla Foundation focuses largely on marine conservation, and has been actively leading efforts to save the vaquita since the 1980s, when their population started to rapidly decline. Because vaquita echolocate, they can’t see fishing nets, so they swim into them and drown. And there are other connected threats, such as the illegal fishing of totoaba, a fish that also exists where they live. Through traditional funding and policy advocacy, capacity building, and convening stakeholders on and offline, this is a terrific example of how philanthropy has supported this fight in a way that other sectors might not be able to (read more here). Although the fight to save the vaquita continues to be an uphill battle, Marisla’s example shows the importance of funders taking on multiple roles when faced with critical sustainability challenges.
On another note about a different kind of sustainability: We’re looking for funding to upgrade the platform behind GrantCraft’s website. We’re proud to provide a large library of free resources that share the practical know-how of your peers and elevate diverse perspectives across issues, funder types, and geographies. We’re committed to helping you make change more effectively—in new, innovative ways—and we need a platform that keeps pace with the rapidly evolving content that we provide the sector. We are looking for a $75,000 grant to support this effort, which we will leverage into learning and infrastructure for Foundation Center’s other web properties as well. Will you help us through a grant or co-funding opportunity? Let me know if we can chat further about possibilities.
Sustainability – with respect to resources in the world and for programs we care about – matters. How is your foundation thinking about and supporting sustainability?
P.S. Check out a podcast from our archive, "Managing a Funder Collaborative: From GrantCraft's Reflection on Practice Series." From GrantCraft's Reflection on Practice series, this podcast looks at how a long-term commitment to sustainable, collaborative efforts can be a powerful lever for change.
P.P.S. Connect with Foundation Center staff at the upcoming events below, we’d love to say hello and learn more about your work in the sector!