With our closing in mind, the desire to share MAVA’s experiences and learnings has grown with the aim to further amplify positive impacts in the nature conservation and philanthropy sectors by sharing our lessons as a funder.

The idea behind these learning products is to reflect on and share our learnings about institution processes and ways of working at foundation level, including challenges faced in carrying our conservation actions – to inspire donor strategies and best practices. Via articles, reports, infographics and videos, amongst others, written collectively or individually by MAVA staff and with the contribution of key partners, we aimed for practical insights of value to the community of grant‐makers as well as to the larger conservation community.

Be an Octopus: Reflections from an Engaged Donor

November 2021

We are used to saying that MAVA is “an engaged donor”. After more than 25 years of activity, a small group of MAVA staff reflected on what it really means to be an engaged donor. What added value do we bring to our partners and funded projects, beyond just signing a check? 

Read the news here.

Download the publication here.

Strategic Partnerships: MAVA’s approach to scaling up conservation impact

July 2021

We are convinced that the Strategic Partnership approach we embarked on with our partners in 2016 is transformative and can help the global conservation community to increase its impact.

We share our learnings on this approach in a publication collectively written by MAVA and FOS Europe staff, with inputs from our partners.

Read the news here.

Download the publication here.

Still in the making

Learning to let go (to come in 2022)

Like many foundations, we have adapted our decision-making model throughout our evolution to align with changes to our levels of ambition, amount of funds to allocate and shifting context. This short article will outline the different models we have used along with the pros, cons and thoughts on what it takes to make it work.


Merging foundations (to come in 2022)

While mergers are well known in the private sector, they are still rare in the association sector, and even more so in foundations. The merger of Fondation Internationale du Banc d’Arguin (FIBA) and MAVA is a unique example. The lessons we learnt could be useful to the foundation community as well as to the sometimes cautious non-profit sector when it comes to making radical organisational decisions.


Tripartite partnerships for Organisational Development Support (to come in 2022)

The long-term sustainability of our partners is a key component of the work we have done together over many years. This learning product will explore our approach to strengthening the autonomy and resilience of selected partners through Organisational Development support and will highlight the lessons learnt from the triangular relationship donor – partner – consultant.


Conservation Strategies (to come in 2022)

What lessons can be learned from 25 years of conservation experience across diverse organisation, broad thematic and geographic scope? This learning product will allow us to capitalise on MAVA’s experience of what worked and what didn’t in the implementation of these conservation strategies and to share our findings to the conservation community and to other foundations in particular.