Wallace Global Fund: Grants for Climate Change

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

IP TAKE: The Wallace Global Fund is looking to invest in projects that induce policy changes that mitigate the effects of climate change, and facilitate adaptation to it.

PROFILE: The Wallace Global Fund, a family foundation that evolved from the Wallace Genetic Foundation, and founded by Former U.S. Vice President Henry Wallace in 1959, makes a large number of grants available several environmental areas, including climate change.

Wallace support a variety of activities, programs and initiatives designed to mitigate the effects of natural resource depletion and system collapse, which are known factors contributing to climate change. They offer support at the local, national and international levels, but they don't want simply donate to a cause; they look to invest in programs that create sustainable systems. They are specifically looking for bold, dynamic programs that push the envelope, and they are quite active in trying to shape government policies surrounding climate change. Their goal isn’t just to enhance discussions about climate change, but to see to it that policies actually change the status quo, and have an impact.

For example, several years ago they were major supporters of Friends of the Earth (FOE), as they worked hard at the Climate Summit in Bali, Indonesia, to extend the "road map" produced by the Kyoto Protocol beyond the 2012 expiration date, and to make it even stronger. They also provided support to FOE in their efforts to get the European Parliament to agree to a moratorium on government-backed fossil fuel development funding. This was particularly important because the European Investment Bank (EIB)was responsible for providing 58 percent of public fossil fuel financing globally.

The Fund distributes approximately $15 million in grants every year. Among recent grantees are the Oregon Environmental Council, who received a $40,000 grant in support for their educational work on a state-implemented carbon tax and a new low-carbon fuel standard. They also provided a $40,000 grant to the Air Traffic Control Education Fund to support its climate change work. They also provided a $40,000 grant in support of the Safe Climate Campaign's work to improve vehicle emissions standards, and a $100,000 grant to Climate Solutions to assist with their efforts to stop coal exports. Though most grants tend to be under $100,000, the Wallace Global Fund does dole out a few larger grants annually such as: 

  • $230,000 to the Greenpeace Fund (two grants) to support its efforts to involve organizations such as the Sierra Club in political reform campaigns and in support of its “Clean up the Cloud Campaign,” addressing the increased energy use necessary to support cloud computing.
  • $180,000 to 350.org in support of a campus speaking tour regarding “climate threatening fossil energy investments.”
  • $185,000 to Earth Rights International (two grants) in support promoting environmental protection as well as corporate accountability in development decisions in the US and abroad. 

A searchable grants database is available here.

The Fund will consider grant proposals to support programs or initiatives in any of its core areas, although it won't provide funds for land purchases or capital construction or fundraising drives. They also don't fund scholarships or other forms of personal financial aid. They do not take unsolicited grant proposals. To apply, submit a letter of inquiry less than two pages long, describing the organization making the application, as well as the goals of the initiative(s), specific objectives, and accompanying strategies.