Our methodology begins with learning as much as we can about a given Ocean challenge and identifying all of the organizations and projects working to solve that challenge (see our focus areas here: Ocean challenges). We segment our research into four quadrants of the US and thereafter international in an attempt to catalog all of the organizations working on a given Ocean challenge. In addition to outbound research, from our website we encourage organizations to apply for inclusion in our directory. Our goal is to know and evaluate all organizations and projects actively working to solve a particular problem.
Once we believe we’ve identified all of the players, we build profiles for each one based on information available from websites, articles and public tax filings as well as third party sites like GuideStar, Charity Navigator, BBB and Charity Watch. Those profiles enable us to determine which organizations are primarily or at least substantially focused on the applicable Ocean challenge, whether they are actively pursuing solutions to the problem, whether they are financially stable, whether they’ve been transparent with third party organizations etc. We then form an Advisory Board for each Ocean challenge we study, comprised of scientists, academics and other third parties knowledgeable about, but working outside of, the focus area, so as to avoid any conflicts of interest. We review our long and short lists with our Advisory Board and, based on their recommendations, send surveys to our short list. Those surveys look something like this:
Are you a current 501c3 public charity organization?
In which of these segments does your work best fit (select focus area)?
How long have you been operational?
How large is your organization/your team?
List, in order, your top 3 sources of funding:
What is your largest challenge funding wise?
Tell us about your current work/project.
How long have you been working on this project?
Why is this work important?
Is your impact easily measured? If so, how?
Is your proposed solution scalable? If so, how?
List your top five accomplishments to date and why/how they matter:
List any awards you've received over the last 3 years:
Please provide contact information for 3 experts in your field who are familiar with your work, whom we can contact:
Please list the top 3 organizations (other than yours) that, in your opinion, are doing good work in this field.
What funding do you need to complete this work and over what timeline?
Based on the survey responses we receive, together with any follow up conversations, emails and/or site visits, we determine our list of Ocean Grants Recommended Organizations. At this point we turn to our selection process.
If you are an Ocean-focused organization that wishes to be considered for recommendation by Ocean Grants, please apply below.