Funding conservation on a large scale
12 September 2012 | Article
Since 1994 the MAVA Foundation has supported more than 520 projects geared towards conservation and biodiversity protection. Whether large scale multi-million dollar interventions or small one-year projects, MAVA’s work supports the vision of its founder, Dr. Luc Hoffman.
MAVA focuses its work on the Alpine Arc and Switzerland, the Mediterranean Basin, and Coastal West Africa. According to Lynda Mansson, MAVA’s Director General, “The bulk of our partnerships operate within the boundaries of these three geographical areas, which is a reflection of our history and also the conservation opportunities we’ve seen in these regions.”
MAVA has worked with over 215 different implementing partners since its founding. “There was a time when we could fund whatever we wanted,” says Mansson. “That isn’t the case anymore. Now we receive more proposals than ever and are forced to be more selective.”
While the Foundation would like to be able to support every good project, Mansson estimates that it is only able to fund approximately 20% of the proposals it receives. That means proposals must be very closely aligned with MAVA’s goals, including the regions it focuses on, its funding criteria and organizational strategy.
“We’re looking for projects that are aligned with our strategy,” says Mansson. “Or a very good reason to go outside it.”
Mansson’s advice for organisations seeking to partner with MAVA is to first pick up the phone and talk to the appropriate programme manager. This ensures the project is aligned with MAVA’s strategy and is something the Foundation would consider moving forward with.
Personal relationships are also important. “We pay a lot of attention to the people,” says Mansson. “You have to have a sense of confidence in the team running a project – their passion and evidence that their organization can succeed.”
For more information about MAVA, visit http://en.mava-foundation.org/