Making grants that have meaningful impact in the complex area of Environment & Conservation is a challenging but important aspect of the Foundation’s philanthropy. We focus our efforts on supporting urban and rural communities to better manage our natural resources and preserve biodiversity in the face of challenges such as land degradation, limited water resources and climate change.
Historically, the Foundation was committed to working across landscapes and within agriculture to promote sustainable management practices, an interest that was cemented back in the 1980s with the Potter Farmland Plan.
The Potter Farmland Plan was a new approach to land management, which aimed to demonstrate that both ecologically and economically sustainable agriculture could be achieved. Undertaken from 1984 to 1988 in Western Victoria, this project resulted in the development of a series of demonstration sites that illustrated a variety of resource protection work on fifteen working farms in the Hamilton region. The project helped create the Landcare movement in Australia and has been the subject of ongoing research and evaluation to examine the long term outcomes of the approach.
Our Environment & Conservation program area aims to support Australian urban and rural communities to better manage our natural resources and preserve biodiversity in the face of challenges such as land degradation, limited water resources and climate change.
The Program considers large grants ($100,000 and over) within two themes:
- fostering biodiversity
- water and/or land management.
We aim to support the development and promotion of frameworks and strategies to preserve and foster Australia’s future biodiversity and water/land management.
Projects that have a strong volunteer component, work with multiple stakeholders, promote sustainable approaches to agriculture and/or incorporate a strong science underpinning will be viewed more favourably.
The Ian Potter Foundation rarely awards the full amount of any project. Please ensure that you have alternative providers of funding, and that your application clearly considers any possible grant from the Foundation in this context. We are unlikely to fund 100% of a project cost.
Applicants must speak to the Program Manager prior to submitting their Expression of Interest (EOI). We strongly recommend you discuss your project with the Program Manager before you start your application.
Please note: Universities seeking funding for pure research projects will normally not be considered.
The Ian Potter Foundation can only make grants to organisations with BOTH Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Item 1 and Tax Concession Charity (TCC) status.
It is important that you check the Eligibility section to ensure your organisation meets these Australian Tax Office requirements.
Under the terms of the deed of The Ian Potter Foundation and Australian taxation laws, The Ian Potter Foundation can only make grants to organisations with BOTH Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Item 1 and Tax Concession Charity (TCC) status.
Please make sure you read the funding objectives and specific exclusions for the Environment & Conservation program area before applying.
The Foundation will not consider applications below $100k in the Environment & Conservation program area.
The Foundation does not fund pure research in this area.
Projects that fall into any of the following categories will not be considered for funding:
- Retrospective funding – projects which are already underway or which will commence prior to the date indicated in our online application information are not eligible for consideration
- Recurrent expenditure for which there is no future provision
- Capital or endowment funds established to fund a chair or to provide a corpus for institutions
- Auspicing* is not permitted – the organisation applying must be the one that will run the program or project
- Applications for public charitable purposes outside the Commonwealth of Australia**
- Applications for projects that have previously been declined by the Foundation cannot be resubmitted
- Applications will not be accepted from organisations that have not successfully acquitted previous grants from the Foundation.
Auspicing refers to the practice of an ineligible organisation (one that does not have DGR and TCC status) applying to the Foundation via an eligible organisation. Auspicing arrangements are excluded under the Foundation's guidelines. The organisation applying to the Foundation must be the organisation that will run the project or program for which a grant is being sought.
** Geographical constraints on grants
The Foundation is limited to providing money, property or benefits for public charitable purposes in the Commonwealth of Australia. However, the Foundation is able to provide a grant for activities outside the Commonwealth if the grant is made for a public charitable purpose in the Commonwealth. For example, a grant might be made to an Australian university to enable it to fund an overseas study tour by an Australian researcher engaged by the university.
Outcomes & Metrics
It is the aim of the Foundation that the projects that it funds will have long-term impact beyond immediate Key Performance Indicators and outputs. In your Environment and Conservation application, you will be asked to select up to three long-term goals.
The Ian Potter Foundation also recognises that we all can play a small part in broader global movements and adopts a collaborative approach, both in our grant-making and our outcomes measurement. As such, we are beginning to offer relevant indicators from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as options for outcomes measurement.
Technical long-term outcomes are:
- Fostering biodiversity
- Water and/or land management
- Increased adoption of sustainable industry practices
Strategic long-term outcomes are:
- Mobilise and significantly increase financial resources from all sources to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems (SDG)
- Promotion/dissemination of best practice/new knowledge
- Increased knowledge base
- Improved quality of policy dialogue and development
- Improved community capacity/engagement
In your final report, you will be asked how you progressed on your long-term outcomes. It’s helpful to select your metrics early on, so you can begin to collect information about your success as soon as your project begins. Some suggested metrics can be found in the Environment & Conservation Outcomes & Metrics guide.
Grant requests in Environment & Conservation are considered via a two-step Expression of Interest process. You can preview the EoI information you will be required to submit.
The online application can only be accessed when a funding round is open.
Step 1: Read ALL the information on this program area page to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria and program area objectives before you begin.
Step 2: Select 'Apply for a Grant' tab below. This tab will only appear when applications are open.
Step 3: You will then need to login by entering your username and password or create an account by clicking New Applicant?.
Step 4: Complete the Eligibility Quiz. If you meet eligibility requirements, you will proceed to the Expression of Interest online form.
After you save and close you can re-access your Expression of Interest via the My Account link using your username and password.
Step 5: If your Expression of Interest is approved by the Program Manager, you will be invited to submit a full application.
Step 6: Complete your application (Stage 2). Ensure your application is submitted by 5pm EST on the closing date.
We require a hard copy including all supporting documents as well as the online application. Both must be received by the 5pm EST deadline on the closing date. Applications may be sent by courier or hand-delivered. Applications postmarked with the closing date will not be accepted.
We require a hard copy including all supporting documents as well as the online application. Both must be received by the 5.00pm EST deadline on the closing date. Applications may be sent by courier or hand-delivered. Applications postmarked with the closing date will not be accepted.
What happens next?
All grant applications are considered by the Board of Governors at the Foundation’s board meetings, which are held three times a year in April, August & December.
You will be advised of the outcome of your application by phone or email.