Incubating New Approaches in the Sea Turtle Community
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Here at SEE Turtles, we have a history of taking fresh approaches to protecting sea turtles around the world. Our award-winning programs have helped save millions of hatchlings on 50 beaches, created the first AI app to identify illegal wildlife products, invested in recycling infrastructure to benefit turtle conservation and communities, launched a week-long online celebration of sea turtles that reaches millions each year, and funded work in conservation for coastal residents.
We’re now taking our collective decades of experience and large network to encourage others in our community to take risks and find new solutions to the most pressing problems that sea turtles and coastal communities face. We will offer our experienced staff, board, and network, our fundraising connections, and expertise in fundraising, social media, project design & implementation, and other assets to push forward innovation in our field. We will help these ideas grow into reality and then step back and help them become independent projects or organizations.
The Hatchery: An Incubator For Sea Turtle Conservation
We are launching The Hatchery, a conservation-focused incubator, with the aim to help new ideas and efforts in ways that support conservation and communities by providing mentoring, expertise, funding, and more. We will leverage the expertise and experience of our accomplished staff and board of directors and build a network of leading innovators in our community as well as new voices from the business community. We will start with a small cohort of projects for a 3-month intensive program that will include coaching, an organizational structure (if needed), and a seed funding to get started. The initial plan is for 4-5 projects for the first cohort though that may change depending on availability.
2023 Timeline & Application Process:
Jan 25th: Application process opens.
March 31st: Deadline for pre-applications.
April 7th: Applicants will be notified of the decisions. Finalists will be required to submit additional information as well as an interview. Those attending the International Sea Turtle Symposium will be able to conduct in-person interviews (attending ISTS is not required).
April 21st: Finalist applications are due.
May 1st: Finalist applicants will be notified of decisions.
June 1st: Program begins and will run through the end of August.
Each member of the cohort will receive:
Personalized mentoring from our staff and advisors including weekly meetings with staff and cohort members.
Fiscal sponsorship through our 501c3 to receive funds and other benefits (if needed.) This will include using the SEE Turtles IRS nonprofit designation, bookkeeping, and other tools.
Promotion to the SEE Turtles audience of more than 100,000 people on social media, our website, and email lists.
Selected projects will also receive a seed grant of US $1,000 or $5,000 to get started on their project, which can be used as a match to leverage additional funds. We may offer additional slots in the cohort without seed grants depending on space and availability.
Projects will be required to provide regular updates for two years following the program.
We will offer the following areas of guidance for the initial cohort:
Project design and planning
Fundraising including grant application development, prospect research
Marketing including social media promotion
Budgeting and financial planning
Scientific research planning and implementation
Media outreach and press release creation
Feedback from a diverse group of experts in the sea turtle community and beyond
Networking with the larger sea turtle community
At the end of the program, the cohort will each have completed:
A detailed project plan and implementation timeline
A fundraising plan including a strong grant application template
Project budget and timeline
Seed grant of $1,000 or $5,000 to start the project which can be used as a match to draw additional support
An option to start their project under SEE Turtles as a fiscally-sponsored project
Prospective projects and ideas will be judged on the following criteria:
The idea will be new and innovative and in an early stage of development. New and innovative can be interpreted broadly; it can mean applying a new technique or technology to turtle conservation, creating a new project or organization in an underserved area, creating new tools for sea turtle research or management, or other outside of the box ideas. Projects can also be existing programs with plans to scale up impact to a broader region or issue.
Any project being started in an underserved area must either be led by local community members or have significant inclusion of and buy-in from members of the local community.
Have concrete potential for significant impact on sea turtle conservation and management around the world and a clear link to local or global threats to sea turtles.
Avoid causing negative impacts communities and residents around sea turtle habitats and ideally provide benefits these communities.
Projects based in and working on issues or programs based in developing countries will receive priority but all applications will be accepted regardless of where the staff are based.
Research projects are eligible but must have a significant, real world impact on conservation and management. Academic scholarships will not be considered.
Our goal will be to have an initial cohort that is inclusive and diverse and represent different regions of the world.
Trainings will be provided in English though we will provide translations and meetings can be in Spanish or French where possible.