Funding Opportunity: Crowder-Messersmith Fund by Nature Forward

About the Organization

During their October 20, 2022 Annual Meeting, members enthusiastically approved Nature Forward as the new name of the former Audubon Naturalist Society.

Our 125-year-old organization remains committed to our mission to inspire people across our region to appreciate, understand and protect their natural environment. Our vision, to create a larger and more diverse community of people who treasure the natural world and work to preserve it, remains the same.

Nature Forward inspires residents of the greater Washington, DC region to appreciate, understand, and protect their natural environment through outdoor experiences, education, and advocacy.

About the Grant

The Fund honors Orville Crowder and Don and Sherry Messersmith, leaders in nature tourism, as a means to further global nature conservation. The Crowder-Messersmith Conservation Fund, together with the Nature Forward, helps fund small, local conservation and education projects in developing countries by providing seed money to communities and individuals whose projects have not attracted major support from other sources.

Grants have provided more than 160 projects in over 55 countries with start-up costs since 1974. NF has administered the Fund since 1999.

The Crowder-Messersmith Fund provides startup funding for nature conservation projects in developing countries.

Projects must:

  • Focus on nature conservation and education.
  • Benefit endangered or threatened species or habitat.
  • Include a public education component.
  • Involve the local population.
  • Have lasting significance for local residents.
  • Be completed within a year

Grant Size

The maximum grant for 1 year is $3000 USD.

How to Apply

Applications are accepted beginning September 1, 2023. Deadline for receipt is January 6, 2024. Decisions will be announced in April 2024. Projects may begin in May and must be completed within twelve months of start date.

Email your application as an attachment to: or mail to: Crowder-Messersmith Conservation Fund, Nature Forward 8940 Jones Mill Road Chevy Chase, MD 20815 USA On the subject line of the email transmitting your application use a title that is a concise version of your project title. The transmittal email is a good place to describe your relationship with the organization requesting the funds.

You can apply by visiting: Link

For more information, visit: Link

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