Audubon Naturalist Society


Organizational profile:
Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) is the oldest independent environmental organization in the Washington, DC region and a pioneer in linking conservation activities with environmental education. ANS works with a network of civic and environmental groups on conservation issues, such as transportation, watershed and rural lands protection, and climate change. ANS seeks to create a larger and more diverse community of people who treasure the natural world and work to preserve it.

ANS has administered Crowder-Messersmith Fund since 1999. The Fund helps fund small, local conservation and education projects in developing countries by providing seed money to communities and individuals whose projects have not attracted major support from other sources. Grants have provided more than 160 projects in over 55 countries with start-up costs since 1974. And, Green Governance Nepal with their project of responsible forest management focusing on the endangered East Himalayan Yew is one of the 2020 grantees.

Financing Instrument: Grants
Project scale: The maximum grant for 1 year is $3000.
Recipient countries regions/country groups: developing countries
Recipient categories: all 
Eligibility Criteria:
Preference is given to projects that will benefit human, plant and animal communities of a particular habitat in an ecologically sustainable manner. Projects must have:

  • a benefit to the human, plant and animal populations of a particular habitat in an ecologically sustainable manner
  • a lasting significance to local residents
  • protect threatened or endangered species or habitats
  • a public education component.

The Project must:

  • be outside the United States or another developed country
  • involve the local population
  • if research, just be for conservation purposes rather than to obtain scientific data
  • funds must go for salaries, material and publication development, meeting and training costs, field trip costs and not international travel or overhead expenses, taxes, utilities or insurance.

Preference is given to applicants who have a record of prior conservation action relevant to the proposed project. Applicants from countries other than the United States are especially encouraged to apply. United States researchers planning work in foreign countries must have at least one local collaborator and consider how the project will benefit the local communities.


Application guidelines: 

Where to Send
Email application as an attachment to:

or mail to:
Crowder-Messersmith Conservation Fund
Audubon Naturalist Society
8940 Jones Mill Road
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

On the subject line of the email transmitting application use a title that is a concise version of the applicant’s project title. The transmittal email is a good place to describe the applicant’s relationship with the organization requesting the funds.

Document Format and Length
The entire application must fit on four pages or less. There are no limitations on the space devoted to individual sections. The application should be in Times Roman 12 pt. type. The document may be in MS Word (*.doc or *.docx), pdf or rtf formats.

Name and Email of Requester
This should be the person responsible for preparing and transmitting the proposal, not the local field manager carrying out the work. ANS will communicate only this email. Applicants may include a mailing address and phone number if they wish.

The title should include the specific activity being proposed "conservation", "training", etc. are too vague. Please include the species or habitat that the effort is directed towards (use common name), also include the location – country and area.

It is not necessary to go into a lengthy discussion of the location and species. The selection committee is primarily interested in the specific details of what applicants are proposing to do with the funds applicants are requesting. Please state the school/education program, community and populations that will be served. If you are trying to educate local communities, perhaps to stop hunting/ poaching, how specifically are applicants going to do it? If applicants are doing plant/animal surveys, how are they involving the local community and how will they benefit from the applicants’ activities?

The more detail applicants provide the better. If applicants are also receiving funds from other sources for this work, please state what they will be providing.

Relation to Previous Work
ANS website states that "Preference is given to applicants who have a record of prior conservation action relevant to their proposed project." This is the place to concisely discuss applicants’ record and how it relates to the proposed project. Remember there is a four-page limit on the total application length. Some applicants have been submitting a resume or curriculum vitae as a separate attachment. This is not necessary.

Publication Date
Monday, 28 March 2022
Applicable location
Sustainable land use
Climate change
Forest conservation and management
Forest landscape restoration
Biodiversity conservation
Financing opportunities