Each year, CMG distributes a limited number of $5,000–$10,000 Action Grants to organizations and individuals to help support projects and campaigns that use video to create measurable impact in ocean health or renewable energy solutions.
What is the CMG Action Grant Program?
CMG Action Grants support projects that use video to create measurable impact in ocean health or renewable energy solutions. CMG seeks filmmakers, activists and organizations of all ages and experience levels as potential grantees. Many Action Grants include matching funds from an organization connected to the grantee's project, but matching funds are not required. Included in the Action Grant is funding for production, post-production, distribution and impact measurement. Action Grant proposals may seek to create impact locally, nationally, or internationally and may be based anywhere in the world. All CMG awards are distributed as charitable funds and require that they are used in a responsible, non-profit manner.
What is required for a CMG Action Grant project?
- Projects must utilize video with the goal to create measureable impact in the CMG Focus Areas of ocean health or renewable energy solutions. Proposals that fall outside of CMG's Focus Areas will not be considered.
- Video concepts should be engaging, unique, and part of a strategic campaign to create change that can be tracked through key performance indicators.
- Video total run time must be under 5 minutes, however the project may be comprised of multiple videos with a total run time of under 5 minutes. For example, a project could result in one 5-minute film, two 2-minute films, or five 1-minutes films. Projects may also be less in total run time; an animation project, for example, may only be one minute in length.
- A clearly defined target audience should be associated with a specific call-to-action and distribution plan. Target audiences could include millions of people, or even a single stakeholder, but should be thoughtfully determined with a specific result in mind. Target audience of "everyone" or ages "1-100" will not be considered.
- Projects must include a measurement of resulting impact and push beyond "vanity metrics" such as shares, likes or social media views to measure on-the-ground impact for ocean health and renewable energy solutions.
- The project's distribution plan should specify how the video will reach and engage with the target audience, whether through social media, traditional media or in-person events & networks.
- Partnerships for distribution and impact are required if the applicant is an individual filmmaker or filmmaking team.
Special Considerations for CMG Grants
Creative Freedom. CMG ensures that grantees are allowed full creative freedom for the content of their projects; however, the project subject matter, overall purpose, partners and timeline must remain intact as proposed, unless changes are approved by CMG.
License. Grantees are required to license their projects under the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license. This license allows others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially. This licensing is in place so that all grantee projects are non-commercial and easily shareable while remaining the property of the grantee. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Charitable Funds. CMG Action Grants are disbursed from charitable funds and must be used in compliance with CMG guidelines. Award funds may not be used with the intention of making profit.
More About CMG’s Focus Areas
HEALTHY OCEANS: To positively impact the state of the ocean's health by responding to major challenge areas such as pollution (eg. run-off, oil spills, plastics, trash), climate change (e.g. ocean acidification, rising seas) & lack of protections (e.g. sustainable fisheries, marine protected areas, human-wildlife interaction).
RENEWABLE ENERGY SOLUTIONS: To positively impact the future of the world's energy production & use by encouraging renewable solutions (eg. solar, wind) & decreasing fossil fuel use (eg. coal, oil, natural gas), as well curbing energy consumption.
Proposals that fall outside of CMG's Focus Areas will not be considered.
CMG is especially interested in proposals that are innovative in their use of video, such as utilizing user-generated content, reaching outside of the usual audience for conservation film, and/or working on a different platform such as VR.
The Grant Process
Application & Proposal: There are currently no Action Grant opportunities available.
Grant Offer & Disbursement: CMG will deliver a grant offer letter outlining the proposed project, grant amount, and requirements & expectations. The grantee must then return documentation with official signatures to CMG to accept the award. Upon acceptance of the award, CMG will disburse the first half of the award amount to the grantee. The second half of the award amount is payable upon completion of post-production & final video submission to CMG. Please note that the submission of the final film is not the close of the Action Grant, but rather the beginning of the impact measurement portion of the award timeframe.
Reporting: CMG grantees are required to submit reports throughout the term of the award, including updates on activities, accomplishments, and expenses, as well as media documenting the progress of the project such as photos of production or distribution events.
Grant Close: CMG awards will not be considered closed until a final report is submitted, including a project expense report and detailed impact measurements following distribution & engagement.
Current Action Grant Opportunities: Action Grant open call applications have now closed.
More About Past Grant Opportunities
title photo credit: Christian Pomerleau