Arcus Foundation

Apply for a Grant

Our Four-Step Application Process is designed to be as clear and simple as possible. For applicants who have received funding from Arcus within the past three years, we have streamlined some aspects of Steps 3 and 4. At any point within the process, feel free to call our program staff for guidance.

Grants are awarded four times a year – but you can make an initial funding inquiry at any time.

  1. Step 1 Confirm Eligibility
  2. Step 2 Contact Arcus Foundation Staff
  3. Step 3 Submit a Letter of Inquiry
  4. Step 4 Submit a Full Grant Proposal

Step 1 - Confirm Eligibility

Organizations must be tax-exempt, meet our EEO requirement, and align with our mission, vision and goals. Specifically, your organization must:

  • Be organized for charitable purposes. For example, in the U.S. be recognized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. An organization based outside the U.S. must demonstrate that it is a U.S. 501(c)(3) equivalent through documentation of articles of incorporation and bylaws, which will be requested when a proposal is invited.
  • Have in place a board-approved Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policy that specifically includes and lists sexual orientation and gender identity, and required compliance with all other applicable federal and local EEO laws. Organizations without compliant policies will not be considered for funding.
  • Align with the Foundation’s mission, vision, and specific program goals.

See What We Support >>

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy Requirement

We believe the organizations we fund should share our goals of inclusiveness, diversity and respect. We therefore require our partners to have an official, board approved EEO policy that specifically includes protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

What we fund

  •    General operating support
  •    Project support for specific programs
  •    Public policy advocacy/organizing campaigns
  •    Public policy research/dissemination
  •    Capital projects
  •    Capacity building
  •    Multi-year support

The fine print: Sorry, we do not make grants to individuals, or for scholarships, lobbying purposes, political campaigns, film production or medical research. 

Step 2 - Have a conversation with us.

An initial conversation with one of our program staff is required before submitting a written request. Contact the appropriate Arcus Foundation staff person below to discuss your interest and your ideas for a request. We can help you identify the most appropriate program area for your request, help you craft your letter of inquiry, walk you through the remaining steps, and work with you to develop measurement strategies to track impact. We suggest you contact us four to six months before the project start date.

Program Staff Contact Information

Arcus Great Apes Program
All Great Apes Program inquiries, please call or email

Marie Stevenson, Program Associate and UK Office Manager
+44.1223.451050 (UK office)

Please note: To be eligible for support for the Apes in Captivity program, sanctuaries must adhere to strict policies regarding the treatment of apes. They may not breed rescued apes or engage in any commercial activity (such as using great apes for entertainment or hire, or buying, selling, trading, loaning or donated apes). Public access is allowed only when resident apes are accorded privacy and shelter, and their overall well-being is not compromised. Organizations must accept responsibility for the lifetime care of all apes, which may include rehabilitation and release to native habitat or transfer to another facility that can offer higher quality care.

Step 3 - Letter of Inquiry

All applicants, new or returning, must submit a Letter of Inquiry Form (LOI) upon invitation, in order to be considered for grant support.

Applicants that have not received funding by the Arcus Foundation in the past three years must also submit:
1.    IRS 501(c)3 letter to verify non-profit status.
2.    Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Policy

Click here to download the LOI form.

Email the form and necessary attachments to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

After reviewing your Letter of Inquiry, the Foundation will let you know whether a full proposal is invited, and if so, the deadline for submission. Detailed instructions for submitting a proposal can be found in Step 4. Our Grant Application Checklist will also guide you through the process.

Final decisions on grant awards are made by the Foundation’s Board, which meets to review funding requests four times a year.

Step 4 - Submit a full grant proposal upon invitation.

Please contact your program assistant at any time for assistance in completing your proposal. Each proposal must include the following:

1. Grant Proposal Cover Sheet, completed and signed.

2. Proposal Form

  • Section I: Executive Summary (suggested length is 1/2 page)
  • Section II: Description of Organization Summary (if you have been funded by Arcus in the last three years, you may skip this section)
  • Section III:  Purpose of the Grant (suggested length is 1 to 2 pages)
  • Section IV: Anticipated Results and How They will be Achieved A new addition to our proposal requirements asks you to focus your request on 1 or 2 results.  The form enables you to include 2 results, but if you need to include more than 2, you can append additional results tables at the end of Section IV.  (Examples of results are included at the end of this packet)
  1. We ask you to think about results in two ways:  the ultimate result you hope to achieve (first space in the box) and the result you hope to achieve by the end of the proposed grant period (second space for one-year grants; spaces marked “Year 1, Year 2, Year 3” for multi-year grants);  
  2. The last space asks you to provide the milestones or measures you will use to assess whether you are achieving the result. These should be tied to the result you are reporting on. This section should focus on markers of progress instead of on specific activities in your work plan, which you will have an opportunity to include in the next section.  
  • Section V:  Work Plan and Budget Narrative (Suggested length is 2 pages.)
  • Section VI:  Funding and Sustainability (Complete section only if your total grant requests is greater than $50,000.)  Please provide a funding plan for the grant period beyond Arcus funds and for after the grant period.
  • Section VII: Checklist of Required Attachments  

3. Attachments:
      a.) Board of Directors List with affiliations.
      b.) Financial Information

  1. Organization's current annual operating budget, including expenses and revenue. Attach a list of the organization's main sources of support.
  2. For a request related to Project Support, use the Arcus Project Budget Form to provide the project budget that covers the proposed grant period. In the case of a multi-year request, provide project budgets covering each year of the request period.
  3. For a request related to General Operating Support, provide the organization's annual operating budget for the proposed grant period. In the case of a multi-year request, provide estimated organization budgets for each year of the request period. In addition, if possible, provide a breakdown of how a grant from Arcus will be expended.
  4. Proposals greater than $50,000, please include the most recent annual financial audit (or a financial statement reviewed by an independent third party, if an audit is not required).

4. Submission:
Email or Upload (We prefer you send your proposal electronically.)
   1. Via e-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (files cannot exceed 10 MB)
   2. Via upload:

We look forward to receiving your proposal!


The Arcus Foundation is a private grantmaking foundation that supports organizations around the world working to conserve and protect the great apes.

  1. Apply for a Grant
  2. Grant Forms
  3. Grantee Resources

Awarded Grants

International Wilderness Leadership Foundation
Boulder, Colo. $110,550

Orangutan Appeal UK
Effingham Surrey, U.K. $150,000

See more

A.P.E.S. Portal

The A.P.E.S. Portal is an online tool
that provides real-time, visual representation of information about great apes, their habitats, populations, threats and conservation efforts around the world.

Stories of Impact

ChimpCARE Helps Our Closest Relatives Find a Better Future

An alarming number of chimps live in poor, unregulated conditions in the U.S. But that number is declining, thanks to Project ChimpCARE, whose goal is to locate, assess and advocate for these chimps, and to find them appropriate housing and care. Read more >>

Confiscation in Walikale

Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project works to improve the sustainability of mountain gorillas in the wild. Read Dr. Jan Ramer's blog post recounting a dangerous and heroic rescue in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Read more >>