The International Elephant Foundation is pleased to announce that we will be accepting applications for Asian and African elephant conservation initiatives for funding in 2021. Emergency actions and projects that directly address problems exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis will be given special consideration. A limited number of grants will be available and the average grant size awarded will be approximately $10,000.  Application deadline is September 7, 2020.

During the 2021 grant cycle, the Foundation is requesting proposals that specifically target the following:

Asian Elephant:

  • Human-elephant conflict mitigation and coexistence
  • Reducing habitat fragmentation and loss
  • Action to eliminate illegal killing and trafficking of elephants
  • Community capacity building
  • Conservation education
  • Managing captive range country Asian elephants
    IEF recognizes the priorities and objectives for Asian elephant conservation as determined by the 13 Asian range states countries described in the Asian Elephant Ranges States Meeting Final Report including the Jakarta Declaration. Preference given to projects which address issues described in those documents: AsERSM-2017 Final Report.

African Elephant:

  • Human-elephant conflict mitigation and coexistence
  • Reducing habitat fragmentation and loss
  • Action to eliminate illegal killing and trafficking of elephants
  • Community capacity building
  • Conservation education

Funds will be awarded and available in January 2021.
Awards typically range about US $10,000 per year. Proposals must be submitted in English electronically to Deborah Olson and Sarah Conley.

Criteria for funding:

  • Requests for funds must provide complete information for the project to be justified and evaluated.
  • Projects that designate local/public education/awareness as a significant program outcome must include an evaluation component.
  • Projects must begin in the year for the portion of the project which funds are requested, (but not before funds are to be awarded) and contain a clearly defined beginning and end.
  • Funds will not be awarded for elements of a project that will have already occurred before awards are made.
  • Budget requests that consist primarily of salary or travel will generally not be considered favorably.

Proposals must meet some or all of the following objectives and criteria:

  • Clearly contribute to the in situ or ex situ conservation of African or Asian elephants or their habitats.
  • Be grounded in sound scientific methodology, be logistically feasible, and have a high probability of success.
  • Investigates and validates a new approach for long-term elephant and/or habitat conservation
  • Be action-oriented not purely data collection or survey.
  • Have multi-institutional participation and matching funds.
  • Demonstrate a spirit of cooperation with ex situ elephant facilities and other like-minded conservation institutions.
  • Principal investigators must have a reputation for completing projects, publishing results in an expeditious manner,  and cooperating with funding agencies in providing reports and educational materials. If awarded funding previously by the IEF, satisfactory performance on previous grant awards is essential.
  • Must meet humane standards of care when animals are involved.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the application due?

    The deadline is September 7, 2020. Late proposals cannot be considered out of fairness to others.

Can I submit more than one proposal?

    You may submit more than one proposal.

Who is eligible?

    International individuals and organizations are eligible as are students, scientists and institutions. Students are required to provide faculty advisor approval; the advisor should be a co-investigator on the application and must accept the responsibility of project completion and reporting.

What about overhead costs?

    It is established policy that IEF does not provide miscellaneous expenses, contingency funds or indirect costs (overhead costs) to the recipients of any IEF funded grant or contract.

What size grants do you entertain?

    Requests of $10,000 or less are preferred but larger amounts will be considered.

Do you support multi-year proposals?

    Funding will only be awarded for 2021 with no guarantee of funding for future years. The application must be resubmitted annually demonstrating project progress before each additional year of support. Reports also will be required prior to award and distribution of funds for subsequent years.

How long is the process?

    The review process will be completed in December 2020. Please do not contact IEF any earlier regarding the status of your proposal. It is our policy to notify all applicants at the same time regarding the status of their application. If you have not heard from us by January 31, 2021, please feel free to contact us then. Funds will be awarded and available in January 2021 after signing a Grant Program Contract.

If I am funded, when are reports due?

    Upon signature on the IEF 2021 Grant Program Contract, the 1st installment of funds will be made available to the applicant. A six-month interim report, including digital photos and video, is required prior to receipt of the second installment. A final report and budget, including digital photos and a video, is required at the end of the funding year. Any future requests for funding will not be given consideration unless the six-month interim report, digital photos, and video have been submitted, as well as all other contractual requirements. New applications from the same organization or individual will not be considered if report and contract requirements (as explained above) from funded projects in prior years have not been received.

What is the process if I want to change the project design, allocation of the project budget or extend the project beyond the agreed-upon date in the Grant Program Contract?

    Upon signature on the IEF 2021 Grant Program Contract, the project design and budget cannot be changed unless you request and receive permission to change the design and/or reallocate the funds from IEF prior to any changes being made. If your project will extend beyond the agreed-upon date in the Grant Program Contract, you must request and receive a no-cost extension from IEF.

Please read the application and instructions closely. Reviewers base their evaluations only on the information presented in the application. This makes it very important for applicants to prepare a clear, concise, well-organized document. Proposals must follow the format outlined below.


Proposals must be received at the IEF office by 11:59 pm CST on 7 September 2020.

Preparing Your Submission:
Please combine all elements of the application into one document as Proposals must be submitted electronically as ONE Word or Adobe PDF document (this includes the cover page, narrative, CVs, supporting documents etc.)

Proposals must be saved as:

  • Project Investigator’s Last name
  • Year the project will occur (2021)
  • Country where the project will take place

Example: Olson2021Kenya

For more information and questions contact:

Deborah Olson
Executive Director
Email Deborah Olson

Sarah Conley
Conservation Coordinator
Email Sarah Conley