Why did MAVA close?
MAVA was founded by Dr Luc Hoffmann in 1994 as an expression of his life-long commitment to conservation. Luc Hoffmann planned MAVA’s closing many years ahead. His wish was to give his heirs the freedom to pursue their own philanthropic activities.
How much did MAVA grant out during its lifetime?
MAVA’s grant-making totalled CHF 1.14 billion, covering 1,500 grants implemented by over 500 partners.
What were MAVA’s experiences and learnings from its 28 years of grant-making?
There were some inherent challenges any sunsetting foundation would face (e.g. ensuring impact and dealing with partners’ dependency). But there were also some benefits such as sharpened strategic focus and sense of urgency.
We published a series of learning products with the aim to further amplify positive impacts in the nature conservation and philanthropy sectors. Read more here.
How was MAVA replaced?
MAVA was not replaced. We are thrilled that many fellow funders have engaged to support our partners, projects and programmes going forward. At the time of closing we estimated that CHF 100 million was raised from other funders for the continuation of work on the outcome action plans.
What was MAVA’s strategy for its last phase of funding?
MAVA’s strategy for 2016-2022 placed a strong emphasis on close collaboration between partners to achieve concrete results. To know more about how we defined a successful collaboration, read this blog .
The long-term sustainability of MAVA’s partners was also a key component our strategy. During our last phase, we invested in leadership development (MAVA Leaders for Nature Academy), organisational development and fundraising support, and leadership/communications forums.
In addition, convinced that the strategic partnership approach we embarked on with our partners in 2016 was transformative and could help the global conservation community to increase its impact, we focused our support on reinforcing the partnerships so that they could continue their work post-MAVA.
Finally, we were able to put many MAVA partners in touch with other funders or helped create new collaboratives, which was also key in ensuring the sustainability of many of our partners.
Bijagos, Guinea Bissau © ORCA Production
The foundation ceased all grant-making at the end of 2022
and closed its doors in June 2023.
After 28 years of activity, the foundation closed its doors as had been planned by our founder Luc Hoffmann.
Below are answers to some of the questions we were asked most about the closing. At the bottom of the page are also interviews of André Hoffmann and Lynda Mansson with more details.