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Erick Danzer on assignment in Indonesia. Kate Tillery-Danzer

As a globe-trotting freelance photographer, Erick Danzer MA’04 has used his lens to expose illegal logging, record endangered species and shed light on corners of the world that few people get to see. Now, he’s backing up the social power of photography with cash. Danzer, who operates the Photocrati.com camera-gear blog, has launched the Photocrati Fund to aid non-professional photographers with projects that advance humanitarian goals.

“Very few newspapers or magazines are willing to send photographers on assignment any more,” Danzer explains. “So in the future, major photographic projects are going to depend more on philanthropy. That’s the role we see for the Photocrati Fund—to provide funding for photographers to cover important stories that might otherwise go untold.”

The winner of the fund’s first $5,000 grant will be selected by a panel of esteemed shooters, including Steve McCurry, Art Wolfe and Michael Nichols, and announced in June. Check the Photocrati.com site for updates.

Know a CALS alum doing good things in your neighborhood? Send it to grow@cals.wisc.edu.