Great Ape Conservation Fund: Notice of Funding Opportunity (Africa)

The Great Ape Conservation Fund is a financial assistance program, which supports projects that deliver measurable conservation results for great apes in Africa and Asia. Pursuing an evidence-based approach, we publish strategic geographical and thematic priorities and application guidelines in a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). All proposals go through a rigorous and competitive evaluation process. Once project support is confirmed, we engage in a partnership with the grantee, providing technical support as needed, communicating on a regular basis, and playing an active role in monitoring and evaluating the project's success. This helps ensure that our limited funding is effective and enables us to improve the impact of the Great Ape Conservation Fund through adaptive management.

This FY 2023 NOFO targets the following four African great ape taxa:

  • Cross River gorillas (Gorilla gorilla diehli)
  • Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes ellioti)
  • Grauer’s gorillas (Gorilla beringei graueri)
  • Eastern chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii)


The Great Ape Conservation Fund provides financial and technical assistance to support effectively implemented site-based ape conservation projects, strengthen the evidence base for ape conservation, and further develop ape conservation capacity in great ape range states.


The goal of the Service’s African Great Ape program is to ensure the long-term conservation of great ape populations in the wild. The proposed projects should include one or more of the following themes within the targeted population ranges listed below:  

  • Reduced pressure on wildlife and habitat 
  • Generation of scientific data to guide conservation action
  • Strengthened individual and organizational capacity

This funding opportunity (for Africa) targets two priority areas (the expected award date is January 1, 2024.):

  1. Promoting the long-term conservation of Cross River gorillas and Nigeria-Cameron chimpanzees in their transboundary landscape: The Service seeks to further reduce pressures on already degraded and fragmented habitat, enhance connectivity between gorilla sub-populations, and enhance current understanding of gorilla and chimpanzee status in the landscape.
    The program anticipates issuing one award, for a total budget of up to USD$1.5 million, over a period of three years.
  2. Securing habitat to promote the long-term conservation of Grauer’s gorillas and eastern chimpanzees in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: The Service will consider proposals for projects in the following geographies identified as priority gorilla populations in the 2012-2022 Conservation Action Plan: Maiko South, Kasese, Kahuzi-Biega, Tayna-Usala, and Itombwe. The Service seeks to increase the amount of ape habitat under improved management and strengthen the connectivity between ape strongholds. 
    Activities may include: 
    Effectively managing protected and unprotected ape habitat.
    Engaging and supporting communities in establishing community-managed ape habitat.
    Strengthening habitat connectivity between gorilla sub-populations.
    The program anticipates issuing up to two awards, each for a total budget of up to USD$1.5 million, over a period of three years.


Applicants may be multi-national secretariats, U.S. and foreign non-profits, non-governmental organizations, community and indigenous organizations, and U.S. and foreign public and private institutions of higher education.


See the NOFO and sample budget table for full details on the application requirements and process. The NOFO should be read carefully to ensure that an application meets all eligibility requirements and is complete upon submission.

Applications may be submitted electronically until 11:59 PM EDT, October 4, 2023 through (search for funding opportunity number F23AS00467) or Grants.govApplicants who are unable to submit applications through those channels may seek a waiver.

Please send any queries to

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY 11:59PM EST, October 4, 2023