New England Biolabs Foundation accepting LOIs to Support Grassroots Organizations & NGOs

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Deadline: 9 August 2019

The New England Biolabs Foundation is accepting letters of inquiry for its December 2019 grant program to support grassroots organizations and other NGOs in selected countries in Central America, Andean South America, and West Africa and also provide grants for community-based conservation and cultural projects in coastal communities on the North Shore of Massachusetts.

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The Foundation’s mission is to foster community-based conservation of landscapes and seascapes and the bio-cultural diversity found in these places.

Thematic Areas

The Foundation support communities in the stewardship of their landscapes and seascapes and the associated bio-cultural diversity, ecosystem services, and food-ways. They welcome inquiries from community-based nonprofit organizations working toward:

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  • Conserving biological diversity (terrestrial and marine).
  • Sustaining cultural diversity (linguistic diversity, as well as traditional knowledge systems and practices).
  • Maintaining ecosystem services (water, soil, and carbon sequestration).
  • Supporting food sovereignty and economic vitality of local communities.
  • In the marine environment, sustaining healthy reefs and fisheries.

In addition, in coastal communities along the North Shore of Massachusetts, they support projects in the area of artistic expression, with an emphasis on those focusing on the environment and social change.

Grant Information

  • The maximum international grant size is now $12,000, with past grants ranging from $3,000 to $9,000.
  • The maximum size for local grants is now $8,000, with past grants ranging from $2,500 to $5,000.


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The Foundation support community-based projects that seek to meet their objectives in a variety of ways. Among the kinds of approaches they support are those concerned with:

  • Creating and/or ensuring effective management and governance of protected areas, including Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), in particular where governance is led by communities (e.g., Indigenous Peoples’ and Community-Conserved Areas and Territories [ICCAs]).
  • Ecological restoration involving native species. Priority will be given to those efforts linked to existing conservation areas already valued by communities (for example, a project to re-establish a forested buffer zone near a sacred grove).
  • Providing enhanced and alternative local livelihoods, including sustainable agriculture and value-added products to support local economies.
  • Environmental education that draws on indigenous and local traditions and language to address present-day problems.
  • Use of the arts and other innovative methods to convey social and environmental messages.
  • Fostering civic engagement of communities through creative facilitation and other methods of stakeholder involvement (such as, public meetings and community-mapping exercises).

Geographic Focus

  • Central America
    • In Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras:
      • Coastal landscapes/seascapes within the Gulf of Honduras and the Bay Islands
    • In Nicaragua:
      • Southern Pacific coast of Nicaragua, including Lake Nicaragua
      • Northern Caribbean coast within Nicaragua’s North Atlantic Autonomous Region
  • Andean South America
    • Sacred Valley of the Incas, extending from Ollantaytambo to Pisac in the Southern Andes of Peru
    • In Bolivia, that portion of the Altiplano extending from Lake Titicaca to Lake Poopó, and beyond to Sucre
    • Andes-Amazon Basin of Ecuador and Peru (with specific landscapes within that region to be identified in 2019)
  • West Africa
    • In Ghana:
      • Weto Landscape/Togo Plateau in the southern part of the Togo-Atakora Mountains in Ghana
      • Black Volta Basin in the Upper West region of Ghana
    • In Cameroon:
      • Highland landscapes of Southwest Cameroon
  • U.S. Grants
    • While the foundation’s emphasis is on working internationally, they do fund a limited number of local projects in coastal communities along the North Shore of Massachusetts.

Eligibility Criteria

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  • New England Biolabs Foundation grants are limited to organizations that hold charitable status in their country.
  • Eligible organizations must operate on a not-for-profit basis and stand by a mission to benefit local communities.

They do not typically fund:

  • Art projects beyond the North Shore of Massachusetts
  • Capital endowments, renovations, or building funds
  • Conferences or travel grants
  • Disease-specific initiatives or medical research
  • Private schools
  • Production of videos, movies, or books
  • Religious activities
  • Routine operating cost of institutions
  • Scholarships, fellowships, and internships
  • Services concerning the elderly, the needy, or the handicapped
  • Species-specific projects

How to Apply

Applicants should submit their letters of inquiry online via given website.

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