Applying for a grant
Because of the high volume of applications that we receive we plan our grants well in advance. Submitting a request within the timeframes listed below is recommended. If you are considering applying for a grant, here are some guidelines to keep in mind:
- Grants within the regional programs are generally directed to organizations based within those regions or, where appropriate, to international organizations working in support of the efforts of people and institutions on the ground.
- Grant-seeking organizations need to be US 501(c)(3) or a similar not-for-profit organization, government unit, university or museum either in the USA or in another country.
- Grant size is typically in the $50,000 to $100,000 range over one year or two years, with larger grants for longer periods being available generally by invitation only and to previous grantees.
Before submitting an online pre-proposal, we highly encourage applicants to read about our programs to determine if your request fits our program priorities.
The application window to submit pre-proposals for grants to be awarded in the next calendar year are as follows:
For the African Rift Valley, Central Asia, Southwest U.S. and Northern Mexico and SF Bay Area Programs: August 1st to August 31st. Please note that requests received outside these dates will likely be declined.
For the Melanesia Program: September 1st to September 30th. Please note that requests received outside the noted dates will likely be declined.
The application windows above are in advance of the December Board meeting when annual grant plans for the following year are reviewed. Applicants are generally informed by mid-January if further exploration of a grant proposal will occur.
Global Program: Please note that grant funds for this program are by invitation only. We are unable to consider unsolicited requests at this time. Thank you for your understanding, we will let you know if and when this changes.
Northern Australia Program: Christensen is currently consolidating our support around several major Indigenous-run organizations in the region, and we are not seeking or accepting requests for new grants in Northern Australia.
Before you apply for a grant from The Christensen Fund we invite you to:
- Read about Our Programs, to determine if your request is within our regions and program priorities.
- Take a look at our past grantees in our searchable database to get a sense of what we have funded.
If you are unable to apply online you can download text versions of our pre-proposal applications, below. Please answer all of the questions and email the completed document to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can fax your pre-proposal application to: +1 415 644 1671.
What happens after you submit a pre-proposal?
- You will receive an online notification confirming receipt of your submission.
- Staff will review your pre-proposal within eight weeks and inform you of the status of your request.
- Should the request fit within the program priorities and available resources; staff may present it to the Board for review at the end-of-year Board meeting.
- Once the request has been reviewed by the Board, applicants will be informed of the status of their request.
- Should the request move forward, staff will initiate a full review process.
- Staff will communicate with applicants when to complete a full proposal (RFP). The programmatic and due diligence review requires more in-depth information about the organization and the proposed project or program.
- Approval for funding is determined after the full review of the proposal.
- Typically the entire process (from pre-proposal to grant award) takes a minimum of five months.
Questions about online submissions:
Many common questions can be answered by viewing our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you have other questions or difficulties in submitting a request for funding, you may contact us on the website, or call +1 (415) 644-1630.
Program-Related Investments (PRIs)
As a foundation, we recognize that the investments we make with our endowment have an impact on the world. We are taking steps to ensure that our financial investments support, rather than contradict, our mission. As an alternative to traditional grants, The Christensen Fund is exploring program-related investments to bring capital and long-term financial stability to organizations and businesses that strengthen biocultural diversity in our regions, and around the world. At this time, we are unable to respond to unsolicited requests for PRIs.