The Biodiversity Funders Group was founded as the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity (CGBD) in 1987, to get funders to work together to protect the web of life. The same forces of development and resource extraction that have led to a catastrophic temperature rise also threaten forests, rivers, oceans, grass- and marshlands, the air we breathe, and the survival of all kinds of communities from wildlife to indigenous to inner city. Pope Francis’s Encyclical underscored the conjoined challenges facing all life on Earth. He wrote, “We have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”

The Biodiversity Funders Group, is the organization for grantmakers that zeroes in on these interconnected issues. In a 2016 membership survey and follow-up interviews, Spitfire Communications reported that members found the Biodiversity Funders Group to be “a distinctive place for leading environmental funders to learn together, establish strong relationships and engage in deep, productive and sustained collaboration that strengthens grantees.”

The 2016 survey also found the Biodiversity Funders Group to be “trustworthy, collaborative, insightful and lively” among other attributes. The “focused approach to collaboration allows funders to build productive, long-lasting relationships

[with staff’s] guided support to share expertise and perspective.” The Group serves the staff and trustees of small-, large-, and medium-sized foundations and by extension their grantees.

We have an estimable professional staff of 9, most of whom members hold advanced degrees, subject-matter expertise, as well as rich experience in the field and in association management.

How We Work

This membership organization’s substantive, in-depth professional work seeks to achieve on­the-ground outcomes by fostering cooperative and collaborative grantmaking, and is undertaken by a series of Programs: The Climate and Energy Funders Group (CEFG), Marine Conservation, Conservation Science, Land and Freshwater Conservation, International Connections, and two special programs wholly supported by funders collaborating to protect conservation and communities in and around the Gulf of California and Mexico, and the Andes-Amazon Basin.

The Biodiversity Funders Group is an intensely member-driven organization. With a carefully planned Annual Meeting, at least six other multi-day annual funder convenings each year, and through an array of programs, webinars, surveys and research as well as a special Horizon Committee, opportunities for learning and cooperation abound. Members are active leaders as they co-chair programs, working closely with planning or steering committees and staff.

What We Do

Biodiversity Funders Group organizes Programs to target attention on selected topics and to explore the process of strategic, collaborative grantmaking. Programs of 25 interested funders convene on a regular basis through conference calls and meetings.

Biodiversity Funders Group staff meets with NGO representatives at their request, at staff invitation, or Biodiversity Funders Group member request. The staff do not recommend proposals or projects to members.