​Bald Eagle | Credit: USFWS

IDEA Services

Strategic planning of conservation funding programs

Together with NFWF’s Finance Department, the IDEA team works closely with existing and prospective partners, both public and private, to help them plan and design effective conservation funding programs.  This often involves engaging at the outset of a potential program to assist our partners in thinking though the purpose, objectives, and logistics of the program at hand.  Time spent up-front on program design can significantly improve both its efficiency and overall chances for success.

 Management and investment of dedicated funds  

Through the IDEA program, NFWF serves as a fiduciary to man­age conservation funds for the benefit of government or private sector stakeholders. NFWF works collaboratively with these partners to invest and grow designated monies, while at the same time helping to ensure that the funds are applied as intended to the most effective conservation projects.  Funds held by IDEA are maintained in uniquely distinguishable accounts and invested in a variety of investment platforms administered by NFWF’s outside investment advisors.

Coordination of stakeholder panels

As a neutral third party, NFWF’s IDEA department is ideally positioned to convene and coordinate partners and stakeholders involved in or impacted by legal and regulatory actions. IDEA staff are well-versed in organizing and facilitating stakeholder panels to gather and disseminate information, identify and prioritize conservation actions, review proposals, and evaluate ongoing and completed work.

Project identification and selection, including Requests for Proposals (RFPs)

NFWF’s wealth of scientific expertise, knowledge of conservation trends, and extensive network of contacts in the private, nonprofit and public sector can all be brought to bear on the development of programs and projects to fit an identified conservation need.  NFWF’s IDEA department specifically brings decades of conservation grant experience to the table in project identification and selection, including through Requests for Proposals (RFPs).  Our RFP services include:

  • Convening and coordinating stakeholders

  • Drafting RFP notices and outreach materials

  • Distributing and publicizing active RFPs

  • Managing and tracking proposal submissions

  • Facilitating project selection 

  • Providing evaluation resources

  • Communicating with prospective contractors and grantees

  • Facilitating award announcements

Please check “Announcements” on the IDEA homepage for information regarding upcoming or active RFPs funded through our department.

Negotiation and administration of contracts and grant agreements

IDEA Managers are skilled in developing and administering contracts for services and grant agreements funded through IDEA accounts. NFWF’s online grants and contracts management system, Easygrants, provides a streamlined and centralized setting for recipients to review and execute contracts and grants, access project information, and submit required reports.

Invoicing and disbursement of funds

Funds held by the IDEA department are disbursed consistent with relevant governing documents, including both the underlying legal and regulatory documents giving rise to the funds as well as the resulting contracts and grant agreements.  Disbursements are made in strict compliance with applicable terms such as pre-approval by third-party partners. Invoices and payment requests may be submitted at any time electronically or via hard copy; are processed bimonthly; and can be made through wire or check. Payment to contractors is contingent on appropriate use of funds, project progress, and submission of required reports, and may also be subject to approval from NFWF program staff and/or project partners.

Programmatic and financial reporting

IDEA Managers supply semiannual or quarterly reports to stakeholders according to applicable governing documents for each account held by IDEA.  Financial reports provide detail on deposits, disbursements, fees and investment income, with reconciliation of the remaining balance.  Programmatic reports, where relevant, follow specifications from governing documents to document the progress and milestones of funded projects.


 Staff Representatives


 Conservation Programs