The Rockefeller Brothers Fund (see IP’s Profile) has given New York City a lot of money over the years and considers the city a “pivotal place” in its programming. But environmental grants in the big city are not made under the New York City program and are considered instead under the fund’s Sustainable Development program. Lately, the Sustainable Development grants for the city have endowed greening the city’s buildings. Energy efficiency is a trending category, and quite a few grants have funded greening the City’s buildings in the past few years.
New York is known for its skyline and its towering skyscrapers. However, those buildings are getting old and aren’t quite up to the efficiency standards of the modern age. There has been a big push by the New York State and City governments to update infrastructure, and foundations like the Rockefeller Brothers Fund are paying attention. The fund has awarded several grants in 2012 for greening up the city.
In 2012, the Pratt Center received $200,000 over two years for its Retrofit Block by Block program. The program focuses on energy upgrades for existing housing in residential areas. Working with communities, the Pratt Center hopes to show urbanites the various benefits of retrofits including reduced pollution, reduced energy costs, and more durable housing.
Also in 2012, the U.S. Green Building Council (New York Chapter) received two grants for general support. The Council is a non-profit that educates and brings together the green building community to conduct research and advocate for change. Other grants awarded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in 2012 include $84,000 to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for its Building Energy Efficiency Initiative, $ $167,459 to the Institute for Market Transformation for its work on the Greener Greater Buildings Plan, and $250,000 to the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation.
Most of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s grants for energy efficiency and green buildings programs in New York have gone to well-established organizations. However, smaller grantees should note that the fund does accept grant inquiries throughout the year. Organizational capacity matters, but so does having an amazing idea.