The Christensen Fund provides financial support for Indigenous-led and community-based organizations.

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 is August 1st to August 31st for all programs except Melanesia. The pre-proposal application window for the Melanesia Program is September 1st to September 30th. The application portal will only be visible and open during these dates. This application window is in advance of the final board meeting of the year 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.

*Please note: The application window has been changed from past years. Requests received outside of these dates will likely be declined.

Pre-proposals are accepted for consideration for the following programs:

 African Rift ValleyCentral AsiaNorthwest Mexico, MelanesiaGlobalU.S. Southwest  and SF Bay Area Programs

Please note: The Northern Australia Program is no longer accepting new grant proposals.

Before you apply for a grant from The Christensen Fund we invite you to:

  • Read about Our Programs to determine if your request falls 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.

Stage One

  • Get started by registering for our Grantee Portal. You must be an authorized representative of the organization in order to register.
  • You will receive an online notification confirming receipt of your submission followed by another email indicating your login and password to access our Grantee Portal.
  • Complete the Pre-proposal by navigating to ‘Apply’ in the Grantee Portal

What happens after you submit a pre-proposal?

Stage Two

  • 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. Pre-proposals that do not advance beyond this stage will generally receive notification by mid-January.
  • At any time, staff may request more in-depth information about the organization and the proposed project or program including, but not limited to, a request for full proposal (RFP).
  • Approval for funding is determined after a complete due diligence review of the organization and full proposal.
  • Typically the entire process (from pre-proposal to grant award) takes a minimum of seven months.

Get Started

Questions about online submissions

If you have questions or difficulties in submitting a request for funding, you may contact us on the website. Please see the following resources for general information about our Grantee Portal:

Registration Tutorial
Password Recovery
Grantee Portal Overview
Application Overview
Uploading Documents

Program-Related Investments

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.