European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) Grant Program

European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA)
European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA)
Non profit organisations can apply to EOCA for grants of up to €30,000 to implement a conservation project in any country around the world except North America (US and Canada – where the Conservation Alliance provides funding for conservation efforts from the North American outdoor industry).

Project applications are shortlisted according to their ability to meet EOCA’s criteria for funding (see below). Using this criteria, the shortlist of projects is drawn up at the sole discretion of the General Managers, the Scientific Advisors and EOCA’s Board of Directors. The General Managers will seek further advice from EOCA’s Scientific Advisors if required. Due to the many diverse nationalities making up the whole panel, all applications must please be written in English.

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The projects to successfully win funding will be chosen from the shortlist via a public vote and an EOCA’s members vote (in March for applications received in November and October for applications received in June). The public vote is held in conjunction with a range of national magazines throughout Europe. In Spring 2017, 60.4 million people were reached through this process!

The public vote involves some effort on the part of the projects involved, to mobilise supporters and generate votes for their project over a two week period. However, the process also gives projects a very valuable opportunity to raise the profile and awareness of their organisation and its work in an international arena.

Members of EOCA can nominate up to three projects (from different, or the same organisations) each year. If you, as a conservation organisation, do not have any personal contacts to our members, please do not worry! Apply directly and if your project gets onto the shortlist, we will help you find a nominator!

Project applications MUST:
– protect a threatened species or habitat;
– have a link to the outdoor enthusiast (see below); AND
– involve hands-on practical conservation work.


Link to the outdoor enthusiast
As EOCA is raising money from the European outdoor industry, we feel that conservation and restoration work should go hand-in-hand with responsible use of the ‘wild’ areas we all enjoy. Projects MUST therefore demonstrate a specific link to the outdoor enthusiast (such as hikers, bikers, kayakers, climbers, bird watchers or explorers etc).

This is intended to be a positive, rather than limiting focus and may include enhancing the visitor’s experience in an area as well as protecting an area from any detrimental impact caused by the visitor. It will make projects very relevant to those that are contributing towards their funding. As a small organisation, we hope that, not only will this give the projects we support a unique and specific focus, but will help other smaller organisations, which may not otherwise be considered for funding elsewhere, attract a grant from EOCA.

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The TWO MAIN areas that MUST be addressed in your application are:

1. Protect, enhance or restore threatened key species, habitats or broader ecosystems in ‘wild’ areas (10 points)
EOCA defines ‘wild’ areas as non-urban environments and ecosystems occurring in as natural a state as possible, given the area’s location and use. This may include for example moorland, hills, mountains, coasts, rivers, forest, grassland, peatland and ocean areas. ‘Key’ species, habitats or ecosystems are defined here as those which are threatened, those which play a ‘keystone’ function, or those which are indicators of broader ecosystem health*. The project must identify and address the key threats to the species, habitats or broader ecosystems, and how it will protect and /or enhance them. Innovative solutions to ‘old’ problems will be especially welcome!

*Is the species an ‘indicator’ of wider habitat and ecosystem health? i.e. by recovering its populations, will it have a beneficial effect on other species and wildlife communities? Can the species be considered a ‘keystone’ species i.e. one that has a disproportionately large effect on its environment relative to its abundance, and may create conditions for other species to thrive?

2. Consider the needs of the outdoor enthusiast (10 points)
As highlighted above, the project must enhance the experience of outdoor enthusiasts as well as protecting the identified species, habitat or broader ecosystem from any negative impact by their visits. Projects may, for example, enhance a visitor’s experience by protecting a threatened species they might then see, or protect an area by ensuring trails / rock faces / waterways and /or associated information / education keeps visitors from damaging fragile habitats or disturbing vulnerable wildlife.

Extra points will be given for innovative solutions to ‘old’ problems, particularly if they can be transferred to other geographical areas!

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To Apply

Download the application form here

From 1st June until 30 June, you will find a ‘Short, Stage 1 Application Form 2020’ under ‘Related Resources’ lower down this page.  This is a very short, downloadable outline application form to fill in, asking only for a very short (250/300 word) description of your project, and an estimate of how much litter you are planning to clean up which you can then email to us.  If your application is to proceed further, we will contact you to complete the usual FULL application form.  You will then have 20 working days in which to complete and return this to us.

EOCA will next be accepting funding applications from 1 – 30 June 2020, for funding in autumn 2020. This time, we will  be looking specifically for PLASTIC CLEAN UP projects; on beaches, rivers, lakes, mountains and trails. Projects must also meet all EOCA’s other criteria for a conservation project.

Please be aware that we received 120 applications for the last funding round and were only able to fund 3 – so please only apply if your project fulfills ALL the criteria we are looking for.

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