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NANPA Foundation Grants

Notice: The deadline for Philip Hyde grant submissions has been extended to November 30, 2013.

Philip Hyde Grant: Information for Applicants and Award Criteria

This $2,500 grant, provided by Fine Print Imaging through its Art for Conservation program, the NANPA Environment Committee and individual donations, is awarded annually by the NANPA Foundation to an individual NANPA member who is actively pursuing completion of a peer-reviewed environmental project that is consistent with the missions of NANPA and the NANPA Foundation.

NANPA Foundation Mission: To advance awareness of and appreciation for nature through photography.

NANPA Mission: NANPA promotes the art and science of nature photography as a medium of communication, nature appreciation, and environmental protection.

NANPA provides information, education, inspiration and opportunity for all persons interested in nature photography.

NANPA fosters excellence and ethical conduct in all aspects of our endeavors and especially encourages responsible photography in the wild.

For more information on Phillip Hyde, please see the website at

The application deadline for each year's grant is August 31.

Notice: The deadline for Philip Hyde grant submissions has been extended to November 30, 2013.

A link to the application forms is provided below.

Criteria for receipt of the Philip Hyde Grant are as follows:

  1. The grant will be awarded to an individual who is working on an existing project designed to improve, protect or preserve the condition of the environment.
  2. Recipient must be a NANPA member.
  3. Still photography must be an integral component in the environmental project. Projects which incorporate multimedia (video, film, time-lapse stills and audio) are eligible for the grant. But still photography must be at the core of the project.
  4. The environmental project may involve either wildlife or habitat protection or conservation.
  5. The environmental significance and the viability of the project will be the major selection criteria in awarding the grant. The grant applications are reviewed and scored by a panel of reviewers. A total of 100 points are available on each review sheet. These two criteria account for 80 of those points.
  6. The grant is not to be used as seed money for research or to purchase basic photography or computer equipment.
  7. The environmental project must already be underway.
  8. The environmental project need not occur in North America, but North American projects will be given 5 bonus points on each panelists review sheet.
  9. All elements of the project must be performed within the legal parameters of local, regional, state and federal governments.
  10. The application must be accompanied by an original and three copies of a completed Philip Hyde Grant Application form, a completed Statement of Assurances form and any supporting documents.
  11. A grant recipient may apply for the following year's grant, whether for a new project or a project which previously was awarded the Philip Hyde Grant. Preference will be given to applicants who have not yet received the Philip Hyde Grant.
  12. An annual report outlining the use of the grant must be furnished to the NANPA Foundation no later than March 31. Such annual reports must be provided until all of the grant funding has been allocated towards expenses, at which time a closing report will be furnished to the NANPA Foundation no later than 90 days from the time the grant money has been completely allocated towards expenses.
  13. We strongly encourage recipients to attend the NANPA Summit to accept the grant award and if feasible, present their project at the Environment Committee meeting. Because attendance would be at the recipient's expense, it is not mandatory.
  14. Should the grant not be awarded in a given year, due to a lack of qualifying grant proposals, the grant money may either be awarded as an additional grant in the following year or be used by the NANPA Foundation for an environmental education project of its choosing.
  15. The NANPA Foundation may alter the Philip Hyde Grant qualifications and/or award criteria in any way which enhances the NANPA Foundation's mission.

Additional Guidance to Applicants:

The two factors which tend to create the greatest variability in scores are "Environmental Significance" and "Project Viability." (See Grant Criteria 5.)

Environmental Significance refers to the proposed project, not the significance of the issue or cause being addressed. We evaluate the scope of the project, the project impact on the environment and the immediacy and timing of the project.

Project Viability refers to the likelihood of success of the project with consideration given to the accomplishments to date, future impact, the asset base to accomplish the goals of the project and the effective use of photography.

These two factors represent 80% of the score (split evenly.)

The information we request in applications is meant to allow us to score these factors.

We do not score what we believe to be the general merits or environmental significance of the "cause" the applicant is addressing, nor do we score the potential of the project as we imagine it. All applicants tend to pick worthy causes with great potential. The significance of the proposed project is what's scored, not the "cause." And we evaluate the application ONLY and what is presented therein.

There are several recurring, general flaws in applications.

  1. Applicants who apply too early in the development and execution of their project. Too early to tell a compelling or convincing story. The grant is for a work in progress not a future project... and projects in their infancy are unlikely to score well.
  2. Photographers who give themselves self-assignments and then go looking for organizations and collaborators to work with or to buy-in to their project. Yet those buy-ins and collaborations are not well-evidenced in the application. Applications that say "I've talked to so and so..." but they offer no commitment from "so and so" to support the project in a specific way.
  3. Vague or incomplete project plans without well articulated, realistic schedules, budgets or awareness of how to achieve success. For example, a claim that they will mount a high quality print exhibit in the Spring of the following year at a museum or public facility, yet they haven't even identified or contacted any facilities as of late summer of the current year. All this, while concurrently proposing many weeks of field activity, photo editing and presentations. Project management skills must be evident in the application. Another flaw along these lines is "the project that never ends." Projects must have clear end points.
  4. Lack of awareness of the best target audience and a plan to reach them. Many applications show a lack of awareness of critical decision-makers and decisions related to the subject of their project. Many applicants propose to use the project photographs in general education or conservation organization presentations that basically "preach to the choir." General public education is good but successful applicants often go beyond that to communicate with and persuade decision makers, on specific upcoming decisions, in a timely fashion.

As a result of these flaws, the overall "environmental significance" of the project and "project viability or likelihood of success" is not convincing to the reviewers.

Application forms for the Philip Hyde Grant are available online (Grant Application PDF file) or from the NANPA office (address below).

Past recipients include:
1999 - Gary Braasch, Gary Braasch Photography
2000 - Thomas Mark Szelog, Save Our Seals
2001 - Rich Reid, Gaviota Coast
2002 - Rich Reid, Gaviota Coast, California
2004 - Ned Therrien, Monadnock Conservancy
           Wendy Shattil/Robert Rozinski, Jewels of Colorado
2005 - C.C. Lockwood, The Vanishing Marsh: Two Views
2006 - Florian Schulz, Yellowstone to Yukon: Freedom to Roam
           Stan Buman, Loess Hills: Restoring the Image
2007 - Jenny Ross, The Salton Sea
2008 - Amy Gulick, The Tongass National Forest, Alaska
2009 - Joe Riis, Pronghorn Passage
2010 - Paul Colangelo, Sacred Headwaters, Sacred Journey
2011 - Beth Huning, Your Turning the Tide - San Francisco Bay Area Wetland Restoration
2012 - Jaime Rojo, San Pedro Mezquital River, Mexico
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