Our 2024 grant application cycle is open
The Regenerative Fund for Nature invites applicants to submit proposals for the 2024 grant cycle.
The Regenerative Fund for Nature invites project applications related to four raw material supply chains: Cotton, leather (bovine, caprine, ovine), cashmere and wool. Projects must align with the fund's regenerative principles:
Increasing lands’ capacity to sequester carbon, hold and filter water, and improve other elements of soil functionality.
Protecting, restoring and enhancing biodiversity, both on farms and in surrounding lands.
Supporting the livelihoods of farmers and local communities.
Reducing and eliminating the use of synthetic agrochemicals by favoring ecological solutions.
Enhancing the welfare of farmed livestock and surrounding wildlife.
Our funding is open to raw material projects in the following eligible countries: including Argentina, Mexico, Peru, the United States, Turkey, Uganda, India, Tanzania, France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Greece, Morocco, South Africa, New Zealand, Uruguay, China (Inner Mongolia), and Mongolia.
For projects within these supply chains and countries, we offer grants ranging from US$ 120,000 to US$ 620,000 (or EUR€ 100,000 to EUR€ 500,000) with a project duration of 3-5 years. Eligible applicants include micro, small & medium enterprises, farming groups, project developers and raw material aggregators committed to regenerative agriculture.
We invite qualified applicants to submit a short letter of inquiry (LOI) prior to a full application for this grant cycle. The deadline for submitting the letter is 11:59 EST on November 12, 2023. This is required before qualifying for the full application submission. On December 15, 2023, qualifying applicants will be notified and invited to submit a full proposal. Final awards will be announced in March, 2024.
You can access the letter of inquiry (LOI) form here. This link will be live starting on October 23, 2023 and will close on November 12, 2023 at 11:59pm EST.
For inquiries and proposal submission please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Regenerative Fund for Nature is committed to driving positive change in the fashion industry through regenerative agriculture. We look forward to receiving your innovative project proposals and working together to create a more sustainable and regenerative future.
Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the Regenerative Fund for Nature?
The Regenerative Fund for Nature was established in 2021 by Conservation International and global Luxury group Kering, with Inditex joining in 2023, to answer the urgent need for innovative agriculture projects at the intersection of fashion and sustainability. Our mission is to transform fashion’s raw material supply chains by championing regenerative farming practices.
Through grants and partnerships, the fund invests in farming communities, project leaders, and NGOs to implement regenerative approaches that create value and deliver measurable outcomes for nature, climate and livelihoods. With increasing positive impacts and the addition of new investment partners, the Regenerative Fund for Nature is at the forefront of reshaping the fashion industry's relationship with nature.
The Regenerative Fund for Nature’s first grants supported by Kering were awarded to seven projects supporting cotton, wool, leather, and cashmere producers in their efforts to transition to regenerative agriculture across 840,000 hectares of land.
Now, with additional investments from the Fund’s newest partner, Inditex, an expansion is under way and further projects will be supported in new geographies around the world.
What is the governance structure of the Fund?
Secretariat: Conservation International - responsible for day-to-day operations and coordination, financial oversight, grant-making and grant management.
Technical Committee: Experts from Kering, Inditex and Conservation International - charged with the process to select and approve grants, evaluate progress of grants and the Fund overall.
Leadership Council: Composed of senior leaders from business and conservation who provide general strategic advice and direction.
What is meant by “Regenerative Agriculture” under the Fund?
We define regenerative agriculture as the practice of cultivating crops and raising animals in harmony with natural systems, to ensure the long-term resilience of the land to continue to provide for future generations.
The Regenerative Fund for Nature follows five core principles to guide project selection and design:
- Increasing the capacity of soils to sequester carbon, hold and filter water and improve other elements of soil functionality.
- Protecting, restoring, and enhancing biodiversity (including native plant and animal species and their habitats), both on the farm and in the surrounding landscape. This includes avoiding any conversion or degradation of natural ecosystems.
- Supporting the livelihoods of farmers.
- Reducing and eliminating the use of synthetic agrochemical inputs by favouring ecological solutions that promote (not degrade) natural processes.
- Enhancing animal welfare of farmed livestock.
Under these principles, regenerative practices can include rotating crops, carrying out little or no tillage, eliminating synthetic chemicals and integrating crops with managed grazing systems. In addition, the fund ensures high standards for animal welfare. We also acknowledge that many of the approaches underpinning regenerative and sustainable agriculture were invented by and have been practiced within Indigenous communities long before these terms existed.
Do I need to address all of the Regenerative Fund for Nature core principles in my intervention?
Yes. The Fund seeks projects that address multiple areas of regenerative agriculture, although the focus of the proposed program can emphasize specific principles more than others. There are many types of farm-based practices that can address the principles and outcomes of a regenerative system and applications for the Fund should articulate the types of practices being promoted and expected measurable outcomes. For non-livestock materials (cotton), the animal welfare principle may not be relevant or required.
Will the Fund recognize particular certifications?
Potential applicants do not need to have existing certifications in place. Indeed, this is an emerging area with few certifications specifically for regenerative agriculture. Applicants should indicate any third-party sustainability certifications for farm-level production, as this will help us understand existing practices - and how they might relate to regenerative outcomes.
How do you distinguish between organic and regenerative?
Under the 'umbrella' of 'regenerative', there are a suite of best practices, including organic approaches. Yet taken as a whole, regenerative agriculture aims to move beyond organic, and deliver on many outcomes such as restoring soil health, improving carbon sequestration, protecting biodiversity, etc. At the most fundamental level, our approach to promoting regenerative agriculture is focused on outputs and outcomes, not only practices.
Do the grantees need to produce materials that are directly used by Kering or Inditex brands?
No. The purpose of the Fund is to drive a transition to regenerative practices across the wider industry, and to build awareness and support for regenerative agriculture in general, which goes beyond the fashion sector. We do hope to connect selected projects to the fashion and textiles supply chain, as we are committed to sourcing materials that enhance nature.
What are the eligible countries?
Argentina, Australia, China (Inner Mongolia), France, Greece, India, Italy, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, Türkiye, Uganda, Uruguay, and the United States. Please see the full list of applicable geographies
by raw material below.
Note that eligible projects must take place in one or more of these countries.
Will you consider projects outside of the eligible countries?
We regret that we cannot fund activities outside of the eligible countries. It is possible that we might add additional countries in the future based on new analyses of priority interventions.
Can I propose a project that spans multiple countries?
What materials are eligible for the proposal?
Proposed projects must relate to the production and/or provision of cashmere, cotton, leather (bovine/cow, calf, bull; ovine/sheep; goat/caprine) or wool. We regret that we cannot fund interventions for other types of materials.
Do particular materials align with particular eligible countries?
Yes, please use this table, which matches materials to particular countries, as an indicator of key priorities for the Fund:
Bovine (cattle) leather
- United States
- China (Inner Mongolia)
- New Zealand
Ovine / caprine (sheep) leather
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- New Zealand
- South Africa
What is the anticipated application timeline?
We invite qualified applicants to submit a short Letter of Inquiry (LOI) prior to a full application for this grant cycle. The deadline for submitting the LOI is 11:59 EST on November 12, 2023. This is required before qualifying for the full application submission. Qualifying applicants will be notified on December 15, 2023. The deadline for the full application submission is 11:59 EST on January 28, 2024. Notification of advancement of proposals should be delivered from Cl to qualifying applicants in March 2024.
What does the Letter of Inquiry (LOI) require?
The Letter of Inquiry (LOI) is the first step of the project selection process. The LOI is a brief overview of your organization, partners, material, geography, and production volumes. We will also require some brief answers to questions about your project rationale, approach, impact, and scale.
If invited to complete a full application, what does my application need to contain?
If invited to complete a full application, the submission package must contain:
- Completed application form in Word that includes an overview of the applicant, proposed project, KPIs, and workplan.
- Completed budget projections in Excel.
We also welcome the submission of select additional materials, such as photos and videos.
What is the anticipated award size?
Applicants can request funding from €100,000 to €500,000 (for the life of the grant).
What is the tenure of the Fund support for the projects?
Applicants can request funding for 3 – 5 years (not to exceed €500,000 over the five-year period, if requesting the ceiling amount/duration).
Why is the award amount/duration given in ranges?
We understand that different projects will vary in terms of resource needs, timeline for delivery of outcomes, and time to maturation. Therefore, the Fund is set up to provide applicants the flexibility to suggest projects that align best with the timeline and funding needs of the proposed activities. Applicants need to be clear what measurable outcomes will be delivered by the project during the tenure of the grant – even if the project extends beyond the grant period.
If I receive an initial grant for 3 years, can I apply for another grant at the end of this term?
The short answer is yes. However, all ‘phase 2’ opportunities will not be prioritized and will be assessed based on the competitiveness of the proposal and the availability of funding at the time of the request.
What are the eligibility criteria?
All projects must meet the following eligibility criteria. Applicants must fall under one of the following categories:
- MSME companies*: Suppliers, farmers or estates that are categorized as micro, small or medium enterprises.
- Farming groups: Cooperatives or associations, with legal status in the project country.
- Project developers: Not for profit organizations with a mission aligned to the purpose of the Fund. Other raw material aggregators that engage with farmers / farming groups.
* For the purpose of the Fund, CI will use IFC’s definition of a micro, small or medium enterprise. The ranges are shown in the table below.
For the purpose of the Fund, CI will use IFC’s definition of a micro, small or medium enterprise.
How will applications be evaluated?
Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Alignment with Fund Objective: The proposed projects are aligned with the outcomes the Fund is seeking, in the countries that have been prioritized.
- Opportunity to Scale: The concept shows the ability to scale. In this case, scale is taken to mean either spatially to new geographies, and/or scaling into multiple/additional principles of regenerative agriculture using the funding provided. Given that the Fund seeks to transition 1,000,000 hectares towards regenerative agriculture, we are interested in projects that can scale across wide areas.
- Feasibility of Idea: The proposed project with measurable outcomes is achievable within the project timeframe and budget, and there is a high likelihood of success.
- Capacity of Partner: The applicant has the proven capacity to implement, manage, communicate, and report on activities proposed in the project.
- Relevance: The ability to deliver high quality raw materials into fashion and luxury supply chains.
Monitoring and reporting requirements
If I am awarded a grant, what is expected in terms of reporting (financial, technical) and M&E?
Grantees will be expected to provide financial reports on a quarterly basis and technical progress reports on a semi-annual basis, utilizing a standardized reporting template. As part of the technical progress reports, the grantee will provide updates on progress against key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs will be a mix of indicators prioritized by the Fund manager, as well as those proposed by the grantee.
How will you measure the impact of biodiversity projects supported by the fund?
We are interested in understanding biodiversity on the farm in terms of: (1) enhancing soil biodiversity; (2) protecting/restoring plant and animal species on the farm; (3) protecting/restoring habitats on the farm; and 4) as a result of all this, building
back ecosystem functionality (services or nature's contribution to people).
Conservation International will lead when it comes to providing technical support to assess biodiversity outcomes. Conservation International will provide additional information and support to award recipients after assessing biodiversity outcomes.
How will you perceive proposals which propose cost-sharing measures/in-kind contributions?
If you have additional funding sources, please let us know. While this is not a requirement, co-financing may indicate enhanced capacity to implement and deliver outcomes.
Can other companies (brands) join the Fund?
Yes, please get in touch at: email@example.com. We would welcome opportunities to expand the fund - and its impact - by bringing more funding partners to the table.
I have more questions about the grant application procedure and/or activity implementation. Who can I ask?
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
I am not planning to apply but am keen to discuss a collaborative opportunity. Who should I contact?
Please send an email to email@example.com
I have clicked the LOI application link. Now what do I do?
- Step 1: Go to the application system, ConservationGrants.
- Step 2: You will be prompted to the ConservationGrants log in page. If you already have a ConservationGrants account, please introduce your username and password. If not, please create a new user account. You will receive an email
requesting you to confirm the email address, and a prompt to create a new password.
- Step 3: You will be taken to the “Explore Grant Opportunities” page. Select “Regenerative Fund for Nature – LOI.”
- Step 4: Follow the instructions to fill out the LOI application. Qualifying applicants will be notified in December 2023 before be invited to submit a full proposal.
- Step 5: Follow the instructions to fill out the LOI application.
- Step 6: Download and fill in the PDF file named ‘Regenerative Funds for Nature-LOI Application Form’.
- Step 7: Scroll down and click ‘Create Application’. Fill in the Application and at the end, you will be asked to submit the previously filled PDF from Step 5.
- Step 8: Click ‘Submit'. Qualifying applicants will be notified in December 2023 before being invited to submit a full proposal.
Conservation International is working to promote regenerative agriculture as a global solution for people, nature and the climate. By combining science, field programs, corporate partnerships and government engagement, Conservation International is aligning stakeholder commitments and investments in priority landscapes to drive conservation, sustainable production and improved livelihoods at scale. In addition, Conservation International manages the fund and provides technical input into project selection and implementation. Learn More about Conservation International.
A global Luxury group, Kering manages the development of a series of renowned Houses in Fashion, Leather Goods and Jewelry: Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Boucheron, Pomellato, DoDo, Qeelin, Ginori 1735 as well as Kering Eyewear and Kering Beauté. By placing creativity at the heart of its strategy, Kering enables its Houses to set new limits in terms of their creative expression while crafting tomorrow’s Luxury in a sustainable and responsible way. We capture these beliefs in our signature: “Empowering Imagination.” Learn More at Kering.com.
Inditex is one of the world’s largest fashion retailers -with brands as Zara, Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho and Zara Home-, operating in more than 200 markets through its online platform and stores. Its integrated business model is focused on meeting customer demands through a quality fashion proposition and a unique customer experience. The Group is firmly committed to sustainability, with ambitious goals as using only preferred textile fibers by 2030, achieving net zero emissions by 2040 and promoting nature conservation. Learn more at Inditex.com.