One of the wealthiest and most powerful funders in California has a relatively small (but still pretty big) interest in wildlife protection. They just stepped up their support for threatened primates in Asia with a grant for work in Borneo.
Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, surprised the philanthropy community last year with his tight-lipped end to biomedical giving. Although the Ellison Medical Foundation is shutting down, it seems Larry Ellison hasn’t given up on philanthropy. Instead, he’s shifting focus to put funds into new pursuits, and it looks like wildlife and conservation issues have caught his eye.
Up till now, Paul Allen's philanthropy has focused on brain research, health, education, and science. But recently the Microsoft co-founder has been gotten interested in taking on African poachers, with grants to protect elephants and gorillas.
The National Geographic Society has been around since 1888, and is one of the largest nonprofit science and education organizations in the world. The society gives out grants in a handful of areas, including for conservation, exploration, and research awards. But its main wildlife grant program is the Big Cats Initiative.
While green-minded Americans generally applaud the expansion of renewable energy, there are conservationists reminding us that even clean energy development is still development. The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation's wildlife program is explicitly designed to make sure clean energy facilities are built carefully and thoughtfully, and not at the great expense of surrounding animals.
Ted Turner has taken an unusual, Noah-like approach to saving endangered wildlife — he gives them a home in his yard. Of course, that strategy only works if you have a very, very large yard, so in Turner's case, it's a good thing he owns about two million acres of land.
What's an atheist, libertarian millionaire with no heirs to do with his fortune, now that he's long retired and well into his golden years?
If that millionaire is Robert W. Wilson, he writes checks — huge checks — to a select list of charitable causes. Wilson can't take it with him, and he's not interested in pawning the job off on a bunch of foundation types, so he's giving it away now in big chunks. Fortunately for endangered species, a huge beneficiary has been the Wildlife Conservation Society, which has seen Wilson skyrocket to the top of the their list of donors, with no close second.