Small Grants Program
The Monarch Butterfly Fund welcomes proposals from organizations or individuals for activities that support conservation of monarch butterflies or their habitat. Most of our funding supports activities focused on protecting the oyamel fir forests in which monarch butterflies overwinter in central Mexico, and grants are awarded to Mexican organizations and individuals. We may provide limited support to projects in the United States and Canada. Projects must address one of the strategic initiatives of MBF: forest conservation, scientific research and monitoring, outreach and education, or sustainable development.
Request for Proposals
Projects must address one of the strategic initiatives of MBF as described below. Current funding priorities are marked with a double asterisk (**), but we will consider proposals that address any of the initiatives listed below. We also encourage potential applicants to contact Monica Missrie at MBF for input during proposal development (firstname.lastname@example.org). Download the RFP here or see below.
- Forest Conservation. Forest restoration in the monarchs `Mexican overwintering sites and surrounding areas are important for the well being of the local residents and for monarch butterflies. MBF supports projects that:
- recover and restore critical monarch forest habitat;
- ** assess natural regeneration as an alternative to traditional reforestation;
- promote stewardship, management, and sustainable use of areas that have been reforested;
- build the skills and capacity of local communities to restore forests and provide stewardship;
- ** evaluate the risks and benefits of the removal of trees that have died by storms or disease;
- ** evaluate water quality, quantity and availability within the MBBR;
- foster greater understanding, appreciation, and awareness of the need for and value of establishing and maintaining forested areas within the MBBR.
- Scientific Research and Monitoring. MBF supports scientific research and the exchange and distribution of scientific information that has direct relevance to conservation in the overwintering sites. Collaborative projects are encouraged. Research funds will be available to graduate or advanced undergraduate students who are from Mexico or are studying at a Mexican university. Experience in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve increases the likelihood that a researcher’s proposal will be funded. Research may address a wide range of subjects related directly to forest or monarch conservation. Any proposed assessment or monitoring activities must have direct relevance to monarch conservation. MBF supports projects that:
- conduct forest inventories;
- study fire regimes in the forest;
- assess past reforestation efforts;
- examine conditions required for successful forest restoration;
- ** investigate the effects of climate change on the MBBR;
- provide monitoring of monarchs (including the condition, movement, location, and timing of monarchs in the forests);
- develop methods to assess monarch habitat quality or monarch distribution and abundance;
- Outreach and Education. MBF supports the engagement of local communities in education and other activities that encourage greater understanding, appreciation, and support of monarch conservation. We encourage proposals that address public awareness. In the past, MBF has supported environmental education in schools and communities near the monarch overwintering sites, workshops for local ejidatarios and Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve Guides, signage, and support for educational displays directed toward tourists in the Reserve.
- Sustainable Development. MBF supports projects that address the improvement of the livelihood of residents of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, including those that involve local non-profit organizations, artisan projects, and activities that increase tourism-related income.
Proposals should be for projects that can be completed in one year, with a strong possibility of renewal following successful completion of the first year. While larger amounts will be considered, most grants will be for a maximum of $2500 (USD) grants. Funds may cover supplies, travel, room and board during research, education, and stipends for field assistants; grants will rarely cover salaries. We encourage the hiring of field assistants from local Reserve communities. Refunding will depend upon the quality and thoroughness of the final report.
How to Apply
Proposals should include the following:
- A cover page that includes the name, address, and e-mail address (if available) of the person responsible for the work; the category from the above list that the project addresses (Forest Conservation, Scientific Research and Monitoring, Outreach and Education, Sustainable Development), the title of the proposed project, an abstract of 150 words or fewer, and the total amount requested.
- A summary of previous work by the organization, including, if relevant, websites and names of individuals who are involved with the work of the organization (~1 page). If the proposal is being submitted by a student, it should include a summary of relevant previous work by the student or advisor.
- A summary of proposed work, including a project description and time-line. This section MUST address how this work contributes to forest or monarch conservation. The time-line should include details for the first year, with some description of the researcher’s plans for the work after the initial funding period (~3 pages).
- A detailed budget (~1 page).
Applications may be submitted electronically as a PDF or a Microsoft Word document to Monica Missrie at email@example.com. Application deadlines are January 5 and July 5 of every year, with funding for successful proposals available by February 15 and August 15, respectively.