Applying for a Grant

General Guidelines

Grants within the regional programs are 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. Before submitting an online pre-proposal, please read about our programs to determine if your request fits our program priorities.

The application window for all programs is from August 1st to August 31st. During that period, applications are accepted for consideration for the following programs:

African Rift Valley / Central Asia / Northwest Mexico / Melanesia / Global / The San Francisco Bay Area

We are no longer accepting applications for the following programs:

  • The U.S. Southwest and the Northern Australia Programs
  • Our support to Grantmaking Associations is by invitation only.

Grants to Individuals

Currently, we do not support grants to individuals, so we require that all grant-seekers be registered as an incorporated entity either in the USA or in another country. In addition, we cannot consider grants to private non-operating foundations, and certain types of supporting organizations. It is also important to note that we do not fund land and other substantial capital assets acquisition or capital improvements, such as the purchase or the renovation of buildings and other infrastructure.

Our funding cannot be used to support attempts to influence legislation (lobbying).

Application process

Because of the high volume of applications that we receive we plan our grants well in advance through a two-step application process that starts in August when we invite all interested parties to submit their pre-proposals (Letter of Interest).

Step one:

  • Read about our programs to determine if your request falls within our regions and program priorities
  • Use our searchable database to look at the grants we have supported in the past to get a sense of what we have funded
  • Get started by logging into our Grantee Portal. If you do not have a registration, you will need to create one. Please note that you will not be able to register until August 1st when the application window opens. You must be an authorized representative of the organization in order to register. Within 24 hours of registering you will receive an email indicating your login and password to access the Grantee Portal.
  • Complete the Pre-proposal by navigating to “Apply” in the Grantee Portal and following the prompts thereafter. Do not forget to click “Submit” once you are done working on your pre-proposal. At the end of this process you will receive an automated message confirming receipt.

Get Started

Step two:

Upon submission, pre-proposals get reviewed by the Grantmaking teams working on each program. Should your 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 that takes place in December. Pre-proposals that do not advance beyond this stage will generally receive notification by mid-January.

Organizations whose Pre-proposals have been granted approval from the Board will also be contacted by mid-January with a tentative timeline to submit a full proposal. Requests for full proposals (RFP) are sent out throughout the first three quarters of the year (January through September) aiming to collect more in-depth information about the organization and the proposed project. The request to submit a full proposal is not a promise that a grant will be awarded to the applying organization. The Final approval for funding is determined after a complete compliance and programmatic review of the organization and the full proposal.

Typically, the review process (from submitted Full Proposal to Grant award) takes between 10 and 12 weeks.

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.