About us

The Conservation Collective is a global network of local environment foundations rooted in their communities working to protect the environment, restore nature and safeguard against climate change.

Our mission is to increase the amount of funding available for the most effective front-line nature restoration initiatives.

Our philosophy is built on the principle that human beings are inherently place-based. People care deeply about the places they know and love.

Our goal is to bring new channels of support for environmental protection, and to get it into the hands of the people closest to the problems, and therefore best suited to provide the solutions. People are always amazed that a relatively little bit of money can go a long way in terms of making environmental change!

Our approach is nimble and non-bureaucratic – we “get stuff done”.

To date, over £6.5 million has been raised to protect and restore nature on land and sea and this money has been transformational for some extraordinary projects.

The Conservation Collective charity launches new foundations based on its tried and tested model, supports and strengthens members through its network benefits, and promotes knowledge sharing.

We work with people who share our core values of:

  • Positivity – when life gives you lemons… make lemonade!
  • Collaboration – the whole is greater than the sum of the parts
  • Flexibility – there is no one size fits all.

History

The charity was created by Ben Goldsmith and Jade Brudenell in 2020. Since 2015 they have been working with groups of donors to replicate the successful model of IbizaPreservation (founded by Ben, together with friends Serena Cook and Will Aitken in 2008), in a variety of  contexts around the world. The UK charity formalises the role of the central network and catalyses the opportunity for growth.

The Model

The key ingredients to our model:

Identify at least 10 founding donors

    • Raise a min of 100,000 local currency (10,000 per donor), for three years, to be able to hire a local director and initiate a small grants programme. Target 20% per year growth.

Commission scoping study to inform strategy development

    • A scoping report outlining the key environmental challenges and opportunities for change in a particular location is commissioned. This maps out key civil society players at the grassroots level and serves to inform the future grant strategy.
    • An executive summary version of the longer scoping report is created as a marketing document.

Build a steering committee of actively involved donors

    • Enlist a subset of the founding donors, comprising those willing to contribute with energy, contacts, and time, as well as funding, to drive momentum.
    • Steering Committees meet quarterly to review and approve grant applications proposed by the director, and to brainstorm fundraising ideas.

Recruit local executive director 

    • A well-integrated full-time local executive director with a background in environmental studies or other relevant experience in nonprofit or e.g. marine biology is hired.
    • Their role is to develop and oversee the grant-giving program, raise funds, and spearhead the organisation.
    • They work closely with the local partners, supporting them in whatever way they can.
We have ambitious growth plans, our pipeline ranges from Cayman to Croatia. Get in touch if you would like to work together to create a foundation to protect and restore nature in a place you adore?

Network Benefits

The following network benefits are designed to strengthen the local foundations to ensure they are run effectively, can thrive independently – growing year on year – and follow a high standard of governance. Our central team provides hands-on support.

Financial 

  • Fundraising introductions to private donors, corporate partners, trusts, and foundations.
  • Financial management templates and oversight.
  • A UK charity through which to process UK taxpayer donations, and relationships with other international intermediaries.

Strategic

  • Acting as a knowledge hub, connecting people working on common issues and sharing learnings.
  • A global advisory panel can be called upon to provide additional technical and scientific input alongside local experts.
  • A shared impact evaluation, monitoring and learning tool based on a Theory of Change developed by New Philanthropy Capital will go live in 2022.

Operational and governance

  • An extensive library of useful templates, policies, and guidelines.
  • A CC configured contact and relationships management system (2022) and other shared software deals.
  • Training and continuous professional development for local directors.

Communications

  • A global communications programme aims to amplify the local stories to a global audience via social media, digital marketing and PR.
  • Regular events for awareness and fundraising, networking and information sharing are hosted.
  • Joint campaigns were initiated in 2021 for the first time – there is a huge opportunity as we grow to bringing everyone together to have a stronger voice.

Governance

Local foundations are either:

  • Branches: ‘in-house’ subsidiaries of the charity, governed by a branch constitution. Branches are expected to spin out into independent affiliates within three years. Decision-making is delegated by the CC trustees, to the branch Steering Committee (the CC is represented).
  • Affiliates: independently locally registered charitable entities. An affiliate agreement defines the relationship between the local entity and the CC. The CC can process their UK tax beneficial donations.