OVERVIEW: The Environmental program of the Max & Anna Levinson Foundation focuses on fighting climate change by supporting groups that move the country away from an oil economy, largely by implementing the development of alternative fuel sources.
IP TAKE: Though the Foundation seeks to show that fighting climate change can be good for the wallet, it is not an exclusive climate change funder. It also awards grants relating to social and Jewish/Israeli causes.
PROFILE: The Levinson Foundation, a private family foundation established in 1955, looks to make grants to those groups that are committed to a more rewarding and humane society, with greater opportunities to succeed. While the foundation acknowledges that there are a number of benefits to the emerging global economy, there are still a few things they find concerning, and they focus on those areas.
The Foundation's approach to grant making takes into account the economic realities of transitioning to a sustainable world. They recognize that climate change is a serious problem, but that there are aspects of our economic lifestyle that serve to exacerbate the problem. They seek to close the continued gap between political reality and environmental reality, by working to save and protect functional ecosystems, clean air and water.
The Levinson Foundation is interested in supporting those groups that promote strong communities and social justice, in addition to their concern for climate change and the environment. They want to invest in organizations that promote a sustainable economy, with innovative alternatives to the status quo, and which modify existing systems to make them more environmentally friendly.
The Foundation gives away an average of around $500,000 every year, and their average grant is about $30,000. Because of this limited giving, they tend to look for smaller, bolder organizations with great ideas rather than large global organizations. Their giving is national, not regional, in scope. They don't accept any unsolicited grants, nor is it clear if they are welcome to letters of inquiry at present. You can contact the foundation by email for more information.
Past grants have generally gone to a variety of organizations including the Appalachian Health Community to stop health issues related to mountaintop removal, the WildEarth Guardians for a "Coal:Keep it in the Ground" campaign, the American Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel to support an Arab-Jewish Green Forum of Jaffa, and the EarthWays Foundation to support small climate change grants. One notable exception to the average grant sum of $30,000, was a $1 million grant to the International Forum on Globalization for their Peak Oil Campaign.
- Charlotte Levinson, President