Catching the Elusive Co-funder

How many grant applications have asked you about how you are seeking co-funding for the project you are proposing?  Funders ask for many reasons.  We want you to succeed in the long-term, we want other donors to align with our priorities, and additional funding helps validate the project and its aims.  Funders don’t like going it alone and would happily let another donor contribute.  A donor might also not want to be a low percentage funder of your project because that funding role comes with less ability to manage risk and less credit and glory when you succeed.

JRS would love to be your co-funder! We’re happy to be a partner funder or a minor funder in a biodiversity conservation project where we support the information technologies that can accelerate your work and your success.  JRS invests in the people and institutions who share biodiversity data and knowledge for conservation and sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa. We fund the information technologies that other funders avoid or overlook and for which you may not want to ask for funds.  We fund data collection, data mobilization, data cleaning and curation, mobile apps, databases, websites and data portals, visualization tools and the supporting hardware like laptops, phones, scanners, servers, and software.

We’ve learned that our goal to support information systems may not be our grantees’ primary goal.  The biodiversity information system is just a tool for many conservation organizations, museums, government agencies, and researchers.  We’ve learned that shared information systems suffer ‘the tragedy of the commons’ in that the systems are in everyone’s shared interest but not a sufficient individual interest to motivate their development.  That is why we are looking for funded projects, particularly partnerships, where our funding of the information system might be a small part of the whole investment. Partnerships and major projects can provide the ‘demand for data’ that is essential information infrastructure. An information system for data storage, analysis, and sharing is a powerful lever for success, sustainability, and future funding. Imagine if all your partners’ biodiversity data was accessible to you and available for global use!

We’re currently seeking projects related to pollinators and freshwater biodiversity for which data and information systems are a central objective.  We will focus most of our technical investment in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Malawi, Botswana, and South Africa. However, we make exceptions for projects that promise extraordinary impact on capacity development for biodiversity information systems.  Being a co-funder of a project might be just that exceptional opportunity!

Catch the much-hunted, often discussed, and elusive co-funder.  Write to