More Funders, Climate Change

11th HOUR PROJECT

The 11th Hour Project’s climate and energy program seeks to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and accelerate the use of renewable energy, focusing on activity in the United States. Most of its climate grants go to nonprofits that are building cross-sector coalitions and mobilizing them to press for long-term policy and market-based reforms.

ANNENBERG FOUNDATION

The Annenberg Foundation makes a significant number of grants for environmental work in the Los Angeles area. Annenberg’s environmental priorities are not specifically focused on climate, so most of the giving in this realm is connected to city sustainability, and protecting resources in its geographic focus of Southern California.

BARR FOUNDATION

The Barr Foundation is a big fish in the pond of Massachusetts-based environmental organizations, particularly regarding the issue of climate change. Making Boston and Massachusetts more environmentally sustainable is the Barr Foundation's number-one environmental goal. But some regional and national efforts get Barr's support as well.

BLUE MOON FUND

The Blue Moon Fund invests in a range of strategies to combat climate change, but is particularly keen on slowing the rise of greenhouse gas emissions from China.

CHARLES STEWART MOTT FOUNDATION 

Charles Stewart Mott divides its environmental funding into three parts—freshwater ecosystem conservation, international finance for sustainability and its special initiatives. The foundation mainly addresses climate change through its finance program.  

COMPTON FOUNDATION

The Compton Foundation is a progressive funder committing to protecting the environment and curbing climate change, among other causes. It takes a unique approach to giving, making grants to groups based on two categories of work—leadership and storytelling. 

CROWN FAMILY PHILANTHROPIES

Makes grants for work on environmental issues, including climate change, in the Chicago area.  The award amounts are large, but relatively few, and an organization must meet numerous criteria to get them. 

DORIS DUKE CHARITABLE FOUNDATION 

Supports organizations who work toward preserving and restoring biodiversity to wildlife habitats, flora and fauna that have been depleted or otherwise destroyed due to the effects of climate change or the industrial pursuits of man. 

FORD FOUNDATION

Ford’s Sustainable Development Initiative veers from the norm a bit. It supports organizations that work toward the development of natural resources policies to ensure that the international response to pressing climate change issues respect the needs of those living in poor rural communities who rely on these natural resources for their livelihoods.  

GEORGE AND AMANDA HANLEY FOUNDATION

The foundation of a Chicago trader and his eco-blogger wife gives to sustainability and clean energy projects, focused in the Midwest, particularly when it comes to schools.

GRANTHAM FOUNDATION

Founded in 1997 by a hedge fund manager with a knack for predicting disaster, the Grantham Foundation gives millions toward cultivating environmentally sustainable economies and climate-adapted communities. While all types of organizations receive funding from Grantham, those that excel at communicating with the public and working collaboratively with other groups will be its biggest winners.  

GEORGE GUND FOUNDATION

Gund is interested in using cities to address climate change, giving to support clean energy, green business, smart growth and city sustainability. The foundation has a very strong focus on Cleveland, but still gives quite a bit to national or regional projects that share its interests. Groups in the region should take definitely note, but those outside shouldn't necessarily rule it out. 

KENDEDA FUND 

The Kendeda Fund started as a donor-advised fund with the Tides Foundation, but has since become an independent private foundation, acting on behalf of one anonymous donor. Unlike many of the big environmental funders, Kendeda flies way under the radar. It funds a mix of conservation, climate change and sustainable living projects, with an emphasis on building broad support.  

HENRY P. KENDALL FOUNDATION

Kendall is a regional foundation based in Boston that isn't quite what you'd call a climate funder, as its sole focus is sustainable food systems. But its focus on food is driven by goals of improving health, coupled with sustainability and reducing greenhouse gas produced in agriculture. 

MAX AND ANNA LEVINSON FOUNDATION 

The Levinson Foundation’s Environment program supports organizations that are working toward their goal of converting from an oil economy and moving toward the development and implementation of alternative fuel sources. 

MACARTHUR FOUNDATION

One of its MacArthur's main programs is concerned with the environment, and while international conservation is its main wheelhouse, in the past five years or so climate and energy have become a larger priority, and could see a big increase in the future. Giving is tied to its geographic priorities internationally, and to climate adaptation in the U.S. 

MCKNIGHT FOUNDATION  

Within its Environment Program, McKnight’s grant making focuses on mitigating “catastrophic global climate change.” The Foundation does support global carbon pollution reduction efforts, but it has a soft spot for the Upper Midwest region when it comes to funding organizations working on renewable energy technologies. 

MERTZ GILMORE FOUNDATION 

The Foundation’s Climate Change Solutions program awards grants to those who are promoting clean energy usage, developing renewable energy sources and to those organizations that are researching and studying climate change issues. 

PARK FOUNDATION

Since 2009, Park has gradually shifted more of its funding to fighting fracking, and they don’t equivocate on goals—they want it banned. Park spreads anti-fracking grants across grassroots organizing and advocacy, research, and public education. It's media funding has supported a number of reporting projects related to climate change. 

PISCES FOUNDATION

While this funder’s signature program is water, it also has a separate climate focus, and funds groups working in climate across programs. A handful of grantees receive most support in the form of large grants, but Pisces makes dozens of small grants a year too.

ROCKEFELLER BROTHERS FUND 

RBF takes a broad approach to climate change, funding a variety of approaches to this challenge. And it's not afraid of getting involved in a political fight. 

ROCKEFELLER FAMILY FUND

Recently, RFF's environmental program has focused almost exclusively on climate change. That said, other environmental projects have received support as well. This funder is often drawn to smaller groups doing policy and advocacy work that has national implications. 

ROBERTSON FOUNDATION 

The Robertson Foundation was founded by a retired hedge-fund manager, and it brings an investment-like approach to environmental action—it looks for grant seekers with the resources and capacity to achieve the greatest possible results with funding they receive. The organizations that meet its high bar for admission are few, and tend to be heavy hitters. 

SKOLL FOUNDATION 

Skoll seeks to harnesses the power of business for the good of the planet. It’s one of the main practitioners of philanthrocapitalism, or using entrepreneurship to create positive change, with programs devoted to sustainable markets and stopping deforestation. The foundation also supports the Skoll Global Threats Fund, which includes climate change as one of five priorities. 

SURDNA FOUNDATION  

Surdna’s Sustainable Environments Program goals are to give the country’s infrastructure a complete makeover by supporting organizations working on energy efficiency buildings, improved water system management and improved transit systems. 

STARR FOUNDATION

Offers both national and international environmental and conservation grants. The Starr Foundation seeks out the organizations in which it has interest and request that any unsolicited material not be sent. 

THRESHOLD FOUNDATION

Threshold is actually a large collaborative of wealthy progressive donors. One of its ongoing programs is Sustainable Planet, which has a big focus on climate change these days. 

TOMKAT CHARITABLE TRUST

This is the foundation of Tom Steyer and Kathryn Taylor, the philanthropic power couple who have jumped into the deep end of the climate change fight. It focuses heavily on clean energy, but also funds a mix of movement building, policy work, and public education. 

WALLACE GLOBAL FUND 

The Wallace Global Fund awards climate change grants to organizations that are working on mitigating environmental resource depletion due to climate change. Grant seekers can submit a letter of inquiry through the Fund’s website. 

WELLS FARGO

The bank made commitment to give $100 million for environmental issues by 2020. Giving is on the rise, with grants going to dozens of nonprofits in annual bundles. One of two priorities is clean technology and innovation, and the corporate foundation just launched its own cleantech incubator.

WESTWIND FOUNDATION

WestWind is a small, Virginia-based funder. Grants nearly all go toward fighting climate change, with emphases on the American South and stopping new coal plants.  While somewhat regional, this funder actually gives to groups all over the place.

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