Bird Conservation Funding Opportunities

Lawrence's Warbler. Photo credit: Corey Hayes via Birdshare.

Birds and bird conservation projects are great centerpieces around which to raise funds. From a biological perspective, birds can play important roles in planning and assessment by serving as indicator and umbrella species. Indicator species are good barometers of ecosystem condition; umbrella species require resources or use large areas that encompass the needs and space requirements of many other wildlife species, thus supporting broader ecosystem conservation. From a social perspective, the bright colors, beautiful songs, and interesting behaviors of birds make them easy for humans to connect with, as is evidenced by the existence of large and well organized bird watching communities. For these reasons, birds can be strategic and versatile focal points for fundraising – whether from agencies, organizations, donors, members, or other sources.

We’ve compiled a list of national funding sources that are focused on bird conservation. These sources represent opportunities to help facilitate the use of birds in fundraising plans, outreach programs, and land acquisitions/easements, or in leveraging other funding sources.

Many land trusts have turned to bird conservation initiatives to successfully secure funding for their projects, all the while drawing in more supporters and donors who want to see the continued perseverance of their favorite local species, or expanding partnerships with other land trusts, bird conservation organizations, and governmental agencies. One example of a land trust that has successfully secured funding is the Teton Regional Land Trust, who has used the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, featured in our directory, to successfully secure millions of dollars of grant funds for bird conservation. Check out their full success story where they give a personal account on the ins and outs of applying for grants, and other land trust’s success stories that describe how bird conservation has helped them find and secure funding.

If you’re interested in regional funding sources, check out the Joint Venture that covers your region here. If you’re interested in a list of bird-related funding opportunities, check out the Ornithology Exchange here. (More information on Joint Ventures and the Ornithology Exchange can be found in the Funding Source Directory.) If you’re interested in state-level funding sources, visit your state wildlife agency here. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, we recommend checking with your state Department of Natural Resources or the Land Trust Alliance.