Robertson Foundation: Grants for Climate Change

OVERVIEW: The Robertson Foundation supports “game changing medical research” work.

IP TAKE: This foundation takes a business-like approach to its grantmaking and expects measurable results in the immediate and long terms. It tends to prioritize larger establishments. 

PROFILE: Julian Robertson, his late wife Josie, and the Robertson family established the Robertson Foundation in 1996 to “utilize a proactive, disciplined grantmaking approach to measurably affect significant social change. The foundation funds education, environment, and medical research. Its other grants supports projects beyond its primary funding interests.

The Robertson Foundation's environmental grantmaking prioritizes climate change. However, it does not state specific climate change issues toward which it directs funding. The foundation funds activities that it believes will "lead to comprehensive federal regulation of greenhouse gases"; "improve public understanding of human-caused climate change"; and "reduce near-term emissions from coal." While it supports work that has global impact, the Park Foundation funds work based in the United States. 

Grant amounts range from $1,000 to over $3 million; however, most range between $5,000 and $50,000. According to the foundation’s latest tax filings, past grantees include EarthJustice, the World Resources Institute, the Energy Foundation, the Nature Conservancy, and the Environmental Defense Fund. Awards generally support large, established organizations. 

The Robertson Foundation does not accept unsolicited applications or requests for funding. Foundation staffers are known to conduct data-intensive studies on applicants to quantify how much social and environmental good a grant to that applicant will achieve. The team then monitors the grantee’s project to see if it is delivering expected results. 


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