Environment

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Capacity Building Program

Program Background

The Environment Program is launching a new initiative to support diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) capacity building in U.S. conservation organizations. Our support of these efforts is grounded in a fundamental belief that a conservation field that values and integrates a diversity of voices, perspectives and approaches will lead to more positive outcomes for wildlife, the environment and people. We also recognize conservation's history of racism and inequitable practices and the need to center equity, particularly racial equity, in order for the field to be more responsive to disparities and inequities now and into the future.

We seek to support DEI change at the organizational level and believe DEI learning and growth is important for all types of organizations — from white-led to Black, Indigenous and people of color-led, small to large, and community-based to nationally focused. We understand, however, that DEI change may look different across these different organizational contexts and will be flexible in supporting the needs organizations articulate for themselves.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, we also recognize many non-profit organizations are facing difficult decisions related to staffing, resources, programming and their operations. Many are seeking to understand how to best shift their DEI organizational change efforts to virtual spaces and how to sustain momentum. We further understand that the nationwide protests against anti-Black violence are leading individuals and organizations to take action against systemic racism and white supremacy.

While the DDCF DEI Capacity Building Program is not meant to be a COVID-19 or Black Lives Matter rapid-response fund, we acknowledge the new realities organizations are facing and have tried to create a program that is responsive to emerging needs.

Award Details

A total of $700,000 will be awarded for DEI capacity building in U.S. conservation organizations who have already demonstrated commitment to and action on DEI organizational change. Grants of up to $60,000 over two years will be awarded to approximately 11-12 organizations.

Grantees will also have the opportunity to engage in peer learning with the other funded organizations, and we seek to find ways to share the learnings from these grants with the broader conservation, environment and philanthropic fields. Organizations will be selected through a competitive process that is administered by DDCF's Environment Program; an advisory community will review proposals and make funding recommendations.

For more information on the program, please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document.

Program Timeline

  Informational Webinar

  July 13, 2020 from 2:00-3:00 PM EDT
  Proposal due date   July 31, 2020 at 3:00 PM EDT
  Applicant notified of grant decision   By mid-October
  Grant start date   Dec. 1, 2020


Informational Webinar

To view a recording of the July 13 webinar, please navigate here. Slide materials presented during the webinar are also available here.