Conserving Species by Empowering the Heroes and Sheroes of the Planet

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Biodiversity is the variety of species on Earth (including all plants, animals, fungi, and micro-organisms) and is the very foundation of human existence. Biodiversity has provided humankind with healthy ecosystems, food, fiber, pharmaceuticals, pollination, and peace of mind for thousands of years.

IDEA WILD seeks to minimize the loss of biodiversity by empowering people on the front lines of conservation by awarding small equipment grants to conservation professionals around the world. These equipment grants advance biological research, conservation education, community outreach, conservation management, field training, and professional development in areas where it is needed most. By empowering both aspiring and veteran conservation professionals, IDEA WILD has been instrumental in establishing new protected areas, reversing the decline of species through innovative management plans, restoring damaged and critical habitat, and improving how local communities support and sustain their immediate natural resources.

Each year, IDEA WILD distributes over $300,000 worth of equipment – including digital cameras, spotting scopes, mist nets, tents, binoculars, and GPS units – to over 400 conservation projects worldwide. IDEA WILD receives equipment requests daily and prioritizes these requests based on conservation impact, recipient need, and project location. Additional consideration is given to projects in areas identified as critical biodiversity hotspots. IDEA WILD focuses its support on professionals working in developing countries where other sources of support are limited or nonexistent, and where a $750 equipment grant is often equivalent to several months’ salary.

In over twenty years, IDEA WILD has developed a unique and effective model for empowering conservation and has successfully implemented it in areas of the world where it will have the most impact. IDEA WILD originally initiated equipment grants for conservation relief efforts in Mexico, Central America, Colombia, and Venezuela. Subsequently, IDEA WILD expanded its scope to include the Caribbean, Madagascar, Southeast Asia and numerous countries throughout Africa and South America. Since its inception in 1991, IDEA WILD has successfully supported over 4,500 conservation projects in over 100 countries. Because recipients pass on their equipment to at least two other conservation efforts, it is estimated that IDEA WILD has effectively served over 13,500 conservation projects around the globe.

IDEA WILD:

Provides Equipment and Supplies – In over 20 years IDEA WILD has provided binoculars, mist nets, climbing equipment, computers, printers, global positioning systems, LCD projectors, video and digital cameras, and other equipment, directly to more than 4,500 conservation projects in over 100 countries.
Promotes Recycling – IDEA WILD encourages equipment transfer from one project to another when the first is completed. On average, the equipment cycles through at least three projects. Consequently, over 13,500 projects have used, or are currently using, equipment provided by IDEA WILD.
Collects Data – Hundreds of theses, management plans, technical reports, scientific papers, videos and educational materials for children have been created with the enormous amount of data collected with IDEA WILD equipment donations.
Facilitates Training – Professors, graduate and undergraduate students, non-profit staff, and other nationals have all gained experience and skills using equipment donated by IDEA WILD.
Fills Professional Positions - IDEA WILD recipients have moved up to fill positions in national parks, eco-tourism operations, zoos, universities, non-profit organizations, and government agencies with individuals experienced in biodiversity conservation.
Builds Symbiotic Relationships - IDEA WILD has created mutually beneficial relationships with numerous equipment suppliers resulting in discounted equipment, and consequently, more projects funded per dollar donated.
Creates Protected Areas & Saves Species - IDEA WILD equipment recipients create new reserves and parks, manage and monitor already existing nature reserves, study threatened and endangered species, promote sustainable harvest of natural resources, and conduct public education.

IDEA WILD receives funding from direct mailings, power point presentations, merchandising, benefit auctions, individuals, corporations, and private foundations and has increased funding every year since 1991. IDEA WILD is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible. Our Tax ID number is 83-0299770.