Learn more about the goals of the site along with its data and content.

Alex Blăjan

FundingtheOcean.org is an online knowledge hub designed to track, inform and inspire ocean conservation philanthropy.

The goal: to centralize and provide access to critical information needed by ocean funders and conservationists grappling with an increasingly complex landscape while working to improve the condition of the ocean, its inhabitants, and the livelihoods that depend on it.

This site provides public access to:

  • the most current and complete interactive funding map of global ocean conservation efforts
  • a searchable library of curated events, publications, case studies, affinity groups, news, and data and report repositories on ocean conservation
  • information on how ocean funders are working toward the Sustainable Development Goals framework
  • a private online community for sharing knowledge and building relationships
  • an opportunity to share your knowledge

Who is FundingtheOcean.org for? From global to grassroots, the site is a resource designed to help funders, NGOs, and support organizations working to protect the ocean. 

How can I use the site and get involved?

  • Discover: map the funding landscape. Explore the interactive Funding Map to see who is funding what, and where in ocean conservation. Go below the surface to discover needs and opportunities to make a difference for our ocean and the communities that depend on it.
  • Learn: find out what’s working—and what’s not. Dive into the Resource Collection of curated research, reports, case studies, and more. Learn from others and discover best practices in ocean conservation funding strategies, policies, and partnerships.
  • Engage: reach beyond your personal network. Join conversations in the Online Community and get to know your peers working in the field. Seek and give advice, and discuss emerging issues. Share your Knowledge to make it available to colleagues who need it around the world.

About the Funding Map

The funding map is built on the Foundation Maps platform, which is developed in-house by Foundation Center staff. The map displays four data streams:

  1. Institutional philanthropic grantmaking from Foundation Center’s database which are comprised of grants information directly reported  by foundations,  or collected from IRS Forms 990 and 990-PF, foundation web sites, and other public sources. (2009-present, where available)
  2. Bi- and multi-lateral aid funding from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Development Assistance Committee members (2009-2015)
  3. U.S. government agency grants from USAspending.gov (2015-2016)
  4. Global Grassroots NGO profiles from Marine Watch International

The inclusion criteria for the first three data streams is defined by Foundation Center’s Philanthropy Classification System (PCS). Grants or recipients that receive a taxonomic code for Oceans and Coastal Waters, Coral Reefs, Aquatic Wildlife Protection, Aquaculture and Fisheries, or Marine Science are included in the set. Data from OECD and USAspending.gov was coded using grant descriptions to Foundation Center’s PCS before being considered for inclusion.

For more information on the Funding Map, please see the FAQs in the mapping platform.

About the Resource Center

The resources in this collection come from a variety of sources:

  • Events have been culled from organization websites working on ocean conservation and are relevant to funder, nonprofit, and government efforts.
  • Reports are part of a special collection on IssueLab and represent all publicly available documents from the top funders supporting the ocean according to Foundation Center’s data, and reports from the members of the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity’s Marine Conservation Program and Ocean 5 collaboratives.
  • Case Studies include GrantCraft case studies developed by Foundation Centerfor the FundingtheOcean.org site, as well as case studies from the Reports collection.
  • Affinity Groups show funder groups providing services and organizing ocean-related events and activities for their members.
  • News show ocean-related stories from Foundation Center’s Philanthropy News Digest website.
  • Data & Report Repositories link to sites with robust collections of data or reports on ocean conservation that may be relevant to broader audiences and may have a more technical, science, or academic focus.


Foundation Center thanks The Campbell Foundation, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, the Oak Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, and the SunLight Time Foundation for their generous support of this project.

Foundation Center

Established in 1956, Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Through data, analysis, and training, it connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed. The Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants — a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Thousands of people visit the Center’s website each day and are served in its five library/learning centers and at more than 450 Funding Information Network locations nationwide and around the world.