Annenberg Foundation: Grants for Climate Change

OVERVIEW: The Annenberg Foundation is a family foundation based in California, and awards grants in several different categories including animal welfare. It prioritizes organizations that serve Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura Counties. Agencies beyond the Greater LA region can also apply for a grant. Its climate change grantmaking supports energy and sustainability.  

IP TAKE: Annenberg's grantmaking concentrates on Greater Los Angeles, and nonprofits operating in this area should take advantage of opportunities to partner with this funder and community visionary. Grantmaking is very competitive. 

PROFILE: The Annenberg Foundation was founded in 1989 by Walter Annenberg with about $1.2 billion of wealth from his media enterprise, based in Pennsylvania. While it was primarily an East Coast funder at first, it gradually began to focus more on the West Coast. Walter Anneberg, former Ambassador to the Court of St. James from 1969 to 1974, enjoyed a distinguished career as a publisher, broadcaster, diplomat and philanthropist. He was President and Chairman of the Board for Triangle Publications, which included TV Guide and Seventeen magazine, as well as radio and TV stations nationwide. Following the death of wife Leonore in 2009 (Walter passed in 2002), the new head of the foundation Wallis Annenberg relocated it to the Los Angeles area. The foundation supports several initiativesarts and culture, community, education, health and wellness, global issues, military veterans, and nonprofit development. 

The foundation broadly supports climate change grantmaking through an emphasis on the environment. The majority of its climate change investments involve building sustainable communities, as well as how climate and energy extraction affect the wellbeing of the Los Angeles region. Annenberg tends to fund education programs and research that address climate change. For example, it provided considerable financial support to create a learning course entitled "The Habitable Planet: A Systems Approach to Environmental Science” which is designed to assist teachers and undergraduate college students in environmental science, and give them more and better content in their classrooms. The Annenberg Space for Photography has also chronicled the effects of climate change all over the world through pictures. Past climate change grantees include the UCLA Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences to study climate change in the Sierra Nevada region and the Natural Resources Defense Council. 

Annenberg's grants range from $10,000 to a maximum of $100,000, and they give equal consideration to applications for awards for general operations and program support. It supports both small and large organizations. 

When awarding grants, the foundation seeks applicants with visionary leadership, impact, sustainability, innovation, organizational strength, network of partnerships, and the population served. General operating support grants are limited to ten percent or less of an organization's total budget. Organizations with budgets larger than $10 million are not eligible for general operating support, but may apply for project support. It accepts applications on a rolling basis, and grantseekers can further familiarize themselves with the Annenberg grant process here. The foundation may be reached at requests@annenberg.org or (213) 403-3110.

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