RFP for new Innovative Solutions Grants funding posted

We are pleased to share our new RFP for the second round of the Innovative Solutions Grants+ program! Click here to view the RFP, we'll be posting the application form shortly. Proposal deadline is September 5, 2014.

With thanks to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for helping us establish our Innovative Solutions Grants+ program, this second round of funding will provide $100,000 for AZA-accredited aquariums and zoos that are based in the US. (We are trying to raise funding to expand this opportunity to all our partner zoos, aquariums, and museums (ZAMs) in all parts of the world, so please let us know if you have any ideas for potential funding sponsors.)

The Grants+ program is an evolution of The Ocean Project’s efforts to help our partner ZAMs do more to advance conservation action in measurable ways and create a healthier, more sustainable society. It allows us to invest in supporting innovators in the community by providing not only financial resources, but also free strategic communications services and evaluation help for stronger conservation impact.

We’re referring to this program as the Grants+ Program because it involves much more than just financial resources. With each grant, The Ocean Project provides financial resources for our partner aquariums to develop innovative local and regional ocean conservation solutions and stewardship initiatives, specifically targeting youth and minorities. We plan to maximize the benefit of each grant by including strategic communications capacity building opportunities for the awardees, including strategic and technical resources and expertise to more effectively engage their visitors. We will also work with each grantee to help accelerate peer-to-peer learning and widely share resulting new strategies and successes with the wider community, especially our growing partner network of 2,000 ZAMs and other conservation and education organizations in all 50 states and worldwide.

You can read here on our blog about what the current three Grants+ awardees — North Carolina Aquariums, New England Aquarium and Oregon Coast Aquarium — are doing to bring about positive change.

If you’ve got an innovative project or an idea for a twist on an existing project, program or activity that helps shift the paradigm on communicating to inspire conservation action, we want to hear from you! The Grants+ program was created so we can help you succeed in your role as trusted messengers for conservation solutions to ocean and climate issues.