Funding Opportunity: 2024 Whitley Award by Whitley Fund for Nature

About the Organization

Define the term National Income?Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN) is a UK fundraising and grant-giving charity, which supports conservation leaders working in their home countries across the Global South. Over 29 years we have channelled £20 million to more than 200 conservationists in 80 countries.

We offer long term, laddered support to courageous changemakers leading local solutions to the global biodiversity and climate crises; they are acting on the latest science and igniting projects with passion. Through these award winners we support work rooted in communities that creates lasting benefits for wildlife, landscapes and people.

About the Award

Whitley Awards fund grassroots conservation leaders in the Global South and put an international spotlight on winners’ work.

The Whitley Awards are our flagship prizes, presented by our Patron HRH The Princess Royal at a ceremony in London each spring. They are won competitively following assessment by an expert academic panel and worth £40,000 in project funding over one year.

Winning a Whitley Award is not just about receiving financial support. WFN also accelerates the careers of conservationists by welcoming them to the world stage.

Increased visibility builds local pride for, and participation in, projects on-the-ground. It helps winners inspire more philanthropic support from new sources, and connect with other conservationists to share successes, failures and resources. In turn, with greater credibility, conservationists are in a better position to influence environmental policy on a regional, national and international scale.

Whitley Award winners are celebrated through a global PR campaign, tailor-made films narrated by Ambassador, Sir David Attenborough, and endorsement from high profile supporters such as Ambassadors, Tom Heap and Kate Humble.


  • Not High Income Economy countries – Wildlife conservation projects led by local leaders based in countries that are not defined as a High Income Economy by the World Bank. Exceptions to this criterion include Equatorial Guinea and certain island nations in the Caribbean. If you have any questions about eligible countries, please contact WFN.
  • Nationals with local support – The Whitley Awards support nationals of the country in which they are working (i.e. you were born there or have lived there a long time and achieved national status.) If you are not a national but believe you have an exceptional case based on long term residency (15+ years) and a demonstrable commitment to that country/region, then please contact WFN.
  • We seek grassroots conservationists who are embedded in and/or from the communities where they work. Applicants should work for or lead locally incorporated NGOs in the Global South, rather than be in-country staff employed by NGOs headquartered in the Global North.
  • Good communicators and passionate people – people who will inspire others and importantly, who will collaborate and share results. Please note applicants must be able to communicate in English.
  • Leadership and teamwork – Whitley Awards are won by individuals backed by an appropriate team/organisation. Individuals working in isolation and team/joint entries are not eligible.
  • Projects that are based on scientific evidence and understanding – this can be in the leader, expertise on the team, or via partners/collaboration.
  • Work involving (and benefitting) the local community and stakeholders is essential.
  • Ecosystem / landscape level projects are preferred. Genuine flagships are accepted, but not if results are purely species-specific.
  • Projects must be able to demonstrate past success and an evidence-based approach. We do not fund pilot projects or work that is at the start-up stage.
  • Grassroots, pragmatic work that is realistic, but ambitious too. We look for applicants on the cusp of ‘something big’ and work that is replicable or scalable.
  • Actions that will have clear, measurable outcomes – we look for applications that have given careful thought to what indicators can be measured to evidence impact.
  • Sustainable projects – we want the work to continue into the future, well past the Whitley Award. Successful proposals will demonstrate long-term planning.
  • Projects that demonstrate value for money and ability to manage funding at the Whitley Award level (£40,000). Organisations with Audited Accounts are preferred.
  • Projects for which an Award will make a big difference. Priority will be given to those that can demonstrate need.
  • Work that needs publicity – ones that will do well if ‘doors can be opened’ via the media and enhanced recognition.

How to Apply

Applications for the 2024 Whitley Awards are now open!

Deadline: 31 October 2023

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