To achieve our Conservation Mission, our strategies are:
- Raising awareness of the decline in biodiversity and its medium-term and long-term consequences (the David Thomas Conservation Oration)
- Stimulating investment in private terrestrial conservation. This is critical for maintaining habitat and corridors (click here for a map of projects the Foundation has supported).
- Funding advocacy programs, particularly in marine conservation (www.fightforthereefcampaign.org.au and www.marineconservation.org.au ) with reference to our support for projects on the Northern Territory and Kimberley coasts)
- Funding science-based conservation, in particular programs that produce documented, peer-reviewed research to ensure that our funds are actually doing some good
- Funding programs to encourage more young people to pursue careers in environmental science (The Barbara Thomas Fellowship program, the Ecological Science program and the Conservation Taxonomy Award) and
- Supporting only the best-performing conservation organisations and strengthening their effectiveness. We set high standards for recipients of grants, including in recent years mutually agreed and independently assessed KPIs. This ensures that the maximum amount of good is generated for each dollar invested. As a side benefit, this allows us to help other philanthropic bodies to use their funds more effectively. We also invest time and money in improving the managerial performance of organisations that receive Thomas Foundation grants.
To achieve our Non-conservation Mission, our strategies are:
- Around 25% of total grants in 2012/13 went to organisations focusing on health issues. This non-conservation focus will expand in coming years to include investments in the arts sector and refugee support. We expect non-conservation expenditure to account for about one-third of Foundation grants.