Our grant-making policy

We provide grants according to our five strategic priorities. Below sets out in detail what these mean for eligibility criteria for future grantees.

Strategy 1: Raising funds to protect and increase rhino numbers and population distribution in African and Asian range states

Our highest priority strategy is to protect and increase rhino numbers and population distribution in African and Asian range states: Save the Rhino currently supports field programmes in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa and Indonesia.

Our effort is focused on:

  • key 1 & Key 2 Critically Endangered rhino populations
  • those with the capacity to become Key 2 within the next five years
  • those with interesting genetic diversity
  • those with the potential for developing the relevant country’s national rhino strategy


  • Our effort is focused on practical rhino monitoring and protection efforts, together with translocations and other veterinary interventions needed (e.g. emergency treatment, annual rhino operations involving ear-notching, dehorning etc.)


  • Rhino programmes that have non-viable populations, i.e. fewer than 20 unrelated founders, except for the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, which is an essential part of the Conservation strategy for the recovery of the Sumatran rhinoceros in Indonesia 2015-2020
  • Intensively-managed or captive rhino populations, except for the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary
  • The hand-rearing of rhino calves, except for those injured, wounded or orphaned at field programmes already supported by SRI, and which are to be released back into the wild when weaned
  • SRI does not fund research projects unless they are: focused on the specific populations that SRI already supports; and regarded as a priority for funding by the relevant field programme manager
  • Ex situ rhino conservation efforts, including extralimital populations (i.e. managed as an exotic species)
  • Field programmes involving privately owned rhinos
  • Research and development costs for new technology (hard/software) to monitor or protect rhino populations unless the request comes from and is prioritised by one of the field programmes we already support

Please note that SRI is not looking to expand the range of field programmes supported (take a look at the programmes we currently support).

Strategy 2: Facilitating the exchange of technical support and information between rhino conservation stakeholders

An important part of our work is to encourage the exchange of information and expertise between rhino conservation practitioners, state agencies, NGOs etc. We do this by supporting the core activities and meetings of the African Rhino Specialist Group, occasional grants to Pachyderm and the Rhino Resource Center, and other cross-cutting projects, such as a Regional Canine Coordinator, or workshops to look at new technology for rhino monitoring and security.


  • We support organisations or initiatives that share best practice between rhino conservation stakeholders, particularly involving the field programmes that SRI already supports. These may include umbrella organisations, training courses, workshops, conferences, meetings, exchange visits for rhino personnel etc
  • Training courses may include personnel from field programmes not currently supported by SRI.
  • SRI occasionally makes small grants to, or accept restricted donations for, Pachyderm, the Rhino Resource Center, and Stoprhinopoaching.com


  • Umbrella groups or initiatives that do not involve any of the field programmes that we currently support

Strategy 3: Working with programme partners to develop community participation in rhino conservation initiatives

We work with our partners on the ground to incentivise and secure support for rhino conservation by improving livelihoods and empowering local people, living under a variety of land tenure systems, through the promotion of benefits derived from wildlife resources.

This includes the support of black rhino-focused environmental education programmes and grants that help fund community development work that is explicitly based upon the performance of the relevant rhino population.


  • Rhino-focused environmental education programmes that can demonstrate a clear understanding of how the education programme supports the overall conservation goals, and which carry out rigorous annual monitoring and evaluation to assess the programme’s impact on its target audience(s)
  • Community development work based on Key 1 or Key 2 Critically Endangered rhino populations supported by SRI


  • Environmental education programmes that do not focus on the rhino, or which do not have strong monitoring and evaluation in place
  • Community development work that is not explicitly linked to priority rhino conservation initiatives

Please note that SRI is not looking to expand the range of community conservation programmes supported (currently supported programmes are listed on our website).

Strategy 4: Supporting evidence-based demand-reduction work to disrupt and reduce the trafficking of illegal rhino horn into consumer countries

Through our grants, Save the Rhino aims to improve knowledge about trafficking routes, research the markets for rhino horn trade and consumer behaviour in priority consumer countries, identify ways of reducing the demand for illegal rhino horn, and share this knowledge with the wider conservation community.

Our financial and technical support helps to increase the number and capacity of, and promotes, effective demand-reduction initiatives that are evidence-based and targeted.


  • Robust research into further understanding important trafficking routes, the markets within a consumer country and understanding consumer motivations, i.e. research projects that aim to fill an important information gap, and which will, in turn, inform a demand-reduction initiative
  • Evidence-based behaviour change campaigns that follow a recognised social marketing methodology and are targeted at key consumer groups or influencers
  • Tackling corruption and improving enforcement efforts


  • Demand reduction work that is not targeted at a key consumer group or important influencer e.g. school children in Viet Nam or the general public
  • Behaviour-change campaigns that don’t follow a recognised social marketing methodology or conduct monitoring and evaluation of the impact of the campaign
  • Projects that focus on campaigning against issues e.g. sustainable use that conflict with SRI’s position on the issue(s)

Strategy 5: Raising awareness of the challenges facing rhinos, engaging supporters and inspiring positive, urgent action

The Charity Commission for England and Wales’ Statement of Recommended Practice requires that any expenditure on Save the Rhino’s communications be shown as a fundraising cost, rather than a grant.


  • Other organizations’ costs of awareness raising about rhino issues
  • Field trips for students or volunteers
  • Other organizations’ fundraising campaigns