Our Mission

The Christensen Fund believes in the power of biological and cultural diversity to sustain and enrich a world faced with great change and uncertainty. We focus on the biocultural – the rich but neglected adaptive interweave of people and place, culture and ecology. Our mission is to buttress the efforts of people and institutions who believe in a biodiverse world infused with artistic expression and work to secure ways of life and landscapes that are beautiful, bountiful and resilient.

We pursue this mission through place-based work in regions chosen for their potential to withstand and recover from the global erosion of diversity. We focus on backing the efforts of locally-recognized community custodians of this heritage, and their alliances with scholars, artists, advocates and others. We also fund international efforts to build global understanding of these issues, and seek out imaginative, thoughtful and occasionally odd partners to learn with. Christensen works primarily through grant making, as well as through capacity and network building, knowledge generation, collaboration and mission-related investments.

About the Foundation

The Christensen Fund is a private foundation founded in 1957. We are a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization governed by an independent Board of Trustees.

Since 2003, the focus of our work has been biocultural diversity. Under this complex, holistic approach, we seek to support the resilience of living diversity at landscape and community level around the world in partnerships with Indigenous Peoples and others. Our grantmaking is currently focused around special geographic priority regions, our global program, and some work in our local San Francisco Bay Area community.

Throughout our Programs and relationships, we give special attention to realizing the aspirations and enhancing the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. UNDRIP is also foundational to our grantmaking processes, in particular in relation to self-representation and Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) for all activities, and for issues of the use and control of intellectual property arising from the work we fund.