Merck Family Fund: Grants for Climate Change

OVERVIEW: The Merck Family Fund focuses its climate change grantmaking on reducing CO2 emissions through the promotion and implementation of energy efficiency policies and carbon pricing mechanisms.  

IP TAKE: This funder prioritizes the southeastern United States including the Southern Appalachians, Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia.

PROFILE: Established in 1954 by George W. Merck, then president of Merck & Co., Inc., the Merck Family Fund (MFF) broadly aims to “[t]o do good with resources acquired through the company’s success.” The fund supports organizations that restore and protect natural environments as well as organizations that strengthen urban communities. MFF works toward these goals through its grant programs: Conserving Ecologically Valuable Land, Reducing CO2 Emissions through Energy Efficiency and Carbon Pricing, Urban Farming and Youth Leadership and Making Paper Production Sustainable.

According to the foundation, “Without a price on carbon emissions, the cheapest and fastest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in through energy efficiency.” MFF supports the development of energy efficiency policymaking on the state and local levels to “[e]stablish or expand carbon pricing mechanisms.” Other areas of interested include sustainable financial models for capital investments, utility-based efficiencies programs, carbon pricing alternatives, residential and commercial codes and standards for energy efficiency.

Grants typically range from $10,000 to $100,000. To learn about the types of climate change organizations MFF supports and at what level, download its annual report.

MFF accepts letters of inquiry on a rolling basis. Submissions are typically due around the middle of January and July for decisions made in the following grant cycles.


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