Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation: Grants for Climate Change

OVERVIEW: The late George Mitchell pioneered the controversial procedure of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." The Mitchell Foundation supports sustainability, including research and policy. It limits grantmaking to Texas.

IP TAKE: Mitchell's initiatives have a fairly narrow focus. Grantseeker's proposals proposed initiative needs to be based in or have a significant impact on the state of Texas. In addition, the foundation is currently “undergoing a transition and is in the midst of a vigorous planning process,” and does not anticipate creating new programs until 2019.

PROFILE: Since 1978, the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation has sought "innovative, sustainable solutions for human and environmental problems." While funded by shale gas titan George Mitchell, considered the "grandfather of fracking," the foundation seeks "innovative, sustainable solutions for human and environmental problems" and "works as an engine of change in both policy and practice in Texas, supporting high-impact projects at the nexus of environmental protection, social equity, and economic vibrancy." To reflect his deep dedication to philanthropy, George signed the Giving Pledge sponsored by Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates. The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation invest in Clean EnergyGalvestonLand Conservation, Shale SustainabilitySustainability Education, and Water.

The foundation only funds programs in the state of Texas, or funds organizations based in Texas, which can prove how its work impacts the Lone Star state. It's Clean EnergyLand Conservation, Shale Sustainability, and Sustainability Education programs facilitate the foundation's dedication to climate change issues. 

Mitchell’s Water program funds the conservation, management, and scientific understanding of waters in Texas. In contrast, it's Sustainability Education program primarily supported the National Academy of Sciences from 1996 to 2001 in order to create a network of statewide sustainability science academic programs. The foundation is currently expanding the program to “education a new generation of future leaders about the concept and its application.”

The Clean Energy program focuses on clean energy in Texas. It also funds projects that support policymaking and building a market for alternative energy sources.

Shale Sustainability seeks to shore our understanding of studies on methane leakage, analyze energy markets, and modernize Texas’s regulatory systems.

The foundation is currently undergoing “ a transition and is in the midst of a vigorous planning process that will span the next few years.” The foundation's existing programs will remain in place until that review is complete; however,  Mitchell does “not anticipate creating new programs or funding additional program areas until 2018.” 

The foundation will not review unsolicited proposals, but it accepts a Letter of Inquiry. Proposals should have “an explicit and practical policy application or outcome," but the foundation will “not fund the research, development, commercialization, or demonstration of technology.”

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