Liz Claiborne & Art Ortenberg Foundation


Organizational profile:
The Liz Claiborne & Art Ortenberg Foundation is a leading philanthropic supporter of wildlife and community-based conservation work. The Liz Claiborne & Art Ortenberg Foundation is dedicated to the survival of wildlife and wildlands and to the vitality of human communities with which they are inextricably linked. The Foundation concerns itself, particularly with matters of species extinction, habitat destruction and fragmentation, and resource depletion.  It favors solutions that directly benefit local communities and serve as exemplars for saving species and wildlands. It recognizes the imperative to reconcile nature preservation with human needs and aspirations. 

The Foundation supports on-the-ground conservation in selected globally significant wildlife landscapes in North and South America, Africa and Asia. They focus on terrestrial landscapes that support a wide range of biodiversity, and seek conservation solutions that serve the needs of both nature and people. While most of the Foundation’s work is outside North America, they support conservation efforts in the transboundary Rocky Mountains, one of the largest and most intact wildlife landscapes in the United States and Canada.  Other sites and species of long-term interest to the Foundation include Central and East Africa, Madagascar, tiger strongholds in Asia, and jaguar habitats in Central and South America.
The Foundation recognizes that the conservation of endangered species and their habitats requires a long-term commitment by government leaders, local communities, non-profits, the private sector, and funders.  Threats to wildlife and wildlands can rise, ebb, and evolve over time. They work to address the full range of issues that threaten the ability of wildlife and people to co-exist and thrive, with a particular emphasis on strategies that strengthen community-based conservation.  For example, the Foundation’s focus on central and south America shows that maintaining forested corridors between Jaguar Conservation Units is essential not only for jaguars but so many other species that represent the unique biodiversity of the region.


Financing Instrument: Grants


Project scale: International grants generally range from US$10 thousand to US$200 thousand. 


Recipient countries regions/country groups: Africa, America, Asia


Recipient categories:

  • NPOs
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
  • Colleges, universities and academic institutions


Eligibility Criteria:
The Foundation supports NPOs, NGOs and academic institutions’ on-the-ground conservation in selected globally significant wildlife landscapes in North and South America, Africa and Asia.


Application guidelines:
The Foundation believes that the conservation of wildlife and wildlands requires at least five Enabling Conditions to be successful in the long term. In the places where they invest, they evaluate and seek to bolster these key conditions:

  • Sound ecological information. Sufficient and reliable scientific information is essential to understand a species or landscape’s importance and status and to help decision-makers make informed choices.
  • Well-managed protected areas and viable wildlife corridors. Protected areas should have science-based management plans and effective governance, with adequate funding and community support.  In many places, it is also important to have sufficient connectivity to allow species to move between protected areas or along their natural migratory routes.  
  • Supportive government agencies and public policies. Conservation cannot succeed without the support of government agencies and sound public policies that promote the protection and sustainable management of natural habitats and resources.
  • Empowered and supportive local communities. Local communities are critical partners in the protection of wildlife and wildlands.  Long term success requires that all stakeholders are engaged in, support and benefit from the conservation activities.
  • Sustainable and diverse sources of financial support. Conservation requires a long-term commitment, often over generations.  These efforts are most stable and resilient when there are multiple and diverse sources of financial support including public funding, private philanthropy and private sector revenues.

There are very few geographies where all these enabling conditions are in place. In most countries and locales, some or all of these conditions need to be dramatically strengthened. Therefore, the Foundation views the conditions as a guide to understanding what is most needed to ensure long term success at any given site.

The Liz Claiborne & Art Ortenberg Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals. Contact for more information.

Publication Date
Sunday, 27 March 2022
Applicable location
Sustainable land use
Community forestry
Forest landscape restoration
Climate change
Forest conservation and management
Biodiversity conservation
Financing opportunities