(OPEN) Limited Submission: Disney Conservation Fund – Annual Conservation Grants

Please note that the internal deadline for this competition has passed. However, due to the broad submission limitation, there are still submission slots available. To check if your department is still able to submit for this program, please contact Lauren Sisko at limsub@uga.edu.

The DCF, founded in 1995, is a key pillar in Disney’s efforts to protect the planet and help kids develop lifelong conservation values. The fund supports the study of wildlife; the protection of habitats; the development of community conservation and education programs in critical ecosystems; and experiences that connect kids to nature across the globe.

The following criteria are used to evaluate each proposal.

  • The proposal should be cooperative in nature and may have matching funds.
  • The proposal should clearly contribute to the conservation of endangered or threatened species in the wild, their habitats and engage the communities that surround them through community-based education programs or support sustainable community development projects that assist communities in protecting nature.
  • The proposal should build on previous work including an established commitment to a conservation program or is well suited to become or contribute to a long-term conservation program.
  • The principle investigator affirms that the welfare of the animals identified in this study is not compromised. Specifically, the principle investigator affirms that: (1) capture/restraint techniques minimize stress and the potential for physical injury or psychological harm; (2) immobilization/anesthesia is done under the direct supervision of a veterinarian or other trained professional; and (3) exposure to noxious stimuli and presumptive negative effects are minimized with administration of anesthetic and/or analgesic agents where appropriate.

The DCF gives priority consideration to holistic programs addressing a significant conservation need (or projects that are part of a program) which reflect:

  • education and community engagement, including measuring results;
  • sustainable development programs directly connected to protecting species and habitat;
  • scientific field studies on species and habitats (the DCF does not fund ex-situ projects/project components).
  • Although DCF recognizes that basic science is a critical first step in conservation initiatives, preference is given to projects where there is a significant conservation action component.

The DCF supports programs and projects around the world, with programs in 115 different countries receiving support thus far. The fund also seeks to support projects taking place in areas where Disney has a significant business focus, including the regions below:

  • Africa: South Africa
  • Asia: China, India, Indonesia, Japan
  • The Bahamas/ Caribbean: Antigua, Barbados, Castaway Cay, Cayman Islands, Florida (Port Canaveral), Grenada, Jamaica, Mexico, Nassau, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, St. Thomas
  • Central/South America: Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Galapagos Islands
  • Europe/Australia: Australia, France, England, Germany, Italy, Spain , Portugal, Poland, United Kingdom/ Ireland, countries in Western Europe
  • Marine: Alaska, Australia, California , China, Eastern Gulf of Mexico (especially in/near Florida), Hawaii, Indo-Pacific, and Western Atlantic; will also consider marine projects occurring near other priority countries /states listed
  • North America: Mexico, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Washington

*Note this list is subject to change. The DCF will also consider support for projects focused on species/habitats featured at Disney’s Animal Kingdom or The Seas with Nemo and Friends at Epcot.

Read the full announcement before preparing your internal application.

Award Amount

  • Upper $50,000 USD
  • Lower $5,000 USD

The DCF will consider requests for a maximum of $50,000 to be provided over a grant period of two years. Overall budget may be larger and incorporate several financial partners. The DCF will not award funds at less than 80 percent of the amount requested. For example, if the requested amount is $50,000, the awarded amount would be no less than $40,000. Most grants are able to be funded at the full amount requested.

Rapid Response Fund: Grants are generally between $5,000 and $10,000 but may be larger depending on the scale of the emergency/response.

The DCF allows a small percentage of overhead costs to be included in the proposed budget. This includes administrative fees, fringe benefits, manuscript fees, etc. A maximum of 10 percent of the grant request can be allocated to overhead.

The DCF allows infrastructure budget items with associated detail and justification where large cost items are concerned. This includes the construction of buildings, enclosures, etc. and the DCF asks that the grantees provide detail in the budget for these items to understand the specific cost breakdown within each component.

The DCF will fund field staff including in-country participants. Although the DCF does fund salaries and travel expenses, it does not like to see the entire budget directed to staffing or travel. The DCF will allow benefits for staff if it falls within the 10 percent allotted overhead allowance. The DCF does not fund student university tuition or any budget items that support government officials, staff, agencies, etc. that may be working with an organization on a conservation project.


  • The DWCF encourages scientists, students and institutions to work with nonprofit organizations to apply. Organizations must have U.S. nonprofit status. NGOs outside the USA can apply in partnership with a U.S. organization. The U.S. organization accepts accounting responsibility.
  • Only charitable organizations may apply. The DWCF does not accept applications directly from government agencies. Colleges and universities may have to apply either through or in conjunction with their school’s foundation or in partnership with another nonprofit organization. The DWCF accepts applications from from Ph.D. level faculty focused on long term conservation programs. Graduate students can be involved in the project but cannot be the primary investigator.

Limitation Details

Each organization is limited to one project application for each of the following geographic areas: Africa, Asia, Central/South America, Europe/Australia, Marine, and North America.

For universities, the same statement above applies to each university department. Large organizations are responsible for self-governing to ensure no more than one proposal per geographic region is submitted.

If you are interested in submitting for this program, you must submit an internal application to limsub@uga.edu according to the required instructions below.

Internal Applications must include the following:

  • A cover page listing
    • The name of this funding opportunity and title of your proposal
    • Your name, UGA position, home department, email, and UGA contact information
    • Collaborator names, positions, and institutions (if any)
    • Your geographic area of focus (Africa, Asia, Central/South America, Europe/Australia, Marine, or North America)
  • A (maximum two-page) proposal summary
  • One paragraph describing why this proposal should be UGA’s submission (i.e., why it will be the most competitive for this program)
  • PI’s curriculum vitae

Internal Submission Instructions

The above internal application materials should be submitted via email as a single .PDF file to limsub@uga.edu by the internal deadline listed above.


Please submit questions regarding the internal competition to Lauren Sisko at limsub@uga.edu.

For questions directly related to this program, please contact the following contact person:

Leslie Wells
Corporate Citizenship-Strategic Philanthropy
The Walt Disney Company
P.O. Box 10000
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Phone: (407) 938-2795
Fax: (407) 560-4558


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