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.

Merging for Impact: Radically rethinking how we deliver impact

September 2022

In 2015, the MAVA Foundation merged with FIBA, becoming just one legal entity under the name of MAVA Foundation, or simply MAVA. But what does a merger entail? What are the keys to success?

In this report we share what we have learnt from this merger through feedback from the field.

Read the news here.

Download the publication here.

Collecting and sharing our foundation’s experience

August 2022

Over the last year, we have taken a step back, reflecting on our experience as a funder and gathering lessons learnt to be shared with others in the philanthropic and conservation community.
Simon Mériaux runs through our Learning products published so far in this new blog.

Care for Those Who Care for the Planet: Grant-making for staff development

May 2022

People are the wealth of an organisation. At MAVA, we believe our engagement includes taking care of the partner organisations we work with, by providing them the means to take care of their staff.

But how do we keep them in the organisation and maintain their dedication at work?

Read the news here.

Download the publication here.

Using core values to honor the founder’s vision while not creating a mausoleum

May 2022

At MAVA we took our set of values seriously as a way of building on our authentic roots and are still living our values today.

But how did we get there? Lynda Mansson shares our journey in setting and living our core values in a blog.


Why investing in leadership development matters

April 2022

Through the MAVA Leaders for Nature Academy, we sought to complement our partners’ natural passion with leadership know-how, emotional intelligence, and resilience. The MAVA, Common Purpose and Mowgli Mentoring teams, in collaboration with the Academy Alumni, share their learnings in a blog.

A fruitful OD partnership! Our retrospective of the long collaboration between MedPAN & MAVA

April 2022

How did the OD support provided by MAVA to MedPAN instigate a new dynamic and thought process on network’s financing? Our colleague Simon Mériaux and former colleague Julien Semelin exchanged with Marie Romani from MedPAN on their collaborative OD efforts in a blog.

Tips of the Triangle – Exploring three-way partnerships for Organisational Development

March 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 explores our approach to strengthening the autonomy and resilience of selected partners through Organisational Development support and highlights the lessons learnt from the triangular relationship donor–partner–consultant.

Read the news here.

Download the publication here.

Not if but how – troubleshooting in projects

February 2022

Trouble is normal and problems are part of any project. But how engaged should the donor be in troubleshooting of projects and partners? Our colleague Luís Costa exchanged with a few colleagues, consultants, donors and partners and shares his reflection in a blog.

Learning to Let Go: Decision-making for foundations

February 2022

At MAVA, we have adapted our decision-making model throughout our evolution to align with changes to our level of ambition, amount of funds to allocate and shifting context. Based on our experience, do you wonder what a new phase of allocation decision at MAVA would look like if we were not closing? 

Read the news here.

Download the publication here.

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 summary report here and the full publication here.

Still in the making

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.