Garfield Foundation: Grants for Environmental Conservation

OVERVIEW: The Garfield Foundation funds innovative models for change in three program areas: Collaborative Networks, Advancing Systems Change Practices, and Environmental Sustainability.

IP TAKE: The foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals. Reaching out to some of the foundation’s collaborative networks might be a way to get on the foundation’s radar.

PROFILE:  Based in Oakland, the Garfield Foundation was established in 1980 by George and Julius Garfield, brothers who amassed wealth in the cosmetics industry. The foundation initially focused on medical, scientific, and legislative research. George’s son Brian, a writer, and two other trustees took the reins in 1996, and developed new grant guidelines that meet the changing environmental challenges of the times. The Garfield Foundation funds innovative models for change in three program areas: Collaborative Networks, Advancing Systems Change Practices, and Environmental Sustainability.

The Garfield Foundation’s Collaborative Networks program supports the development of highly strategic networks of diverse stakeholders working on complex sustainability issues. The Garfield Foundation’s environmental grants support “solutions-oriented, innovative and collaborative projects addressing: the materials economy, excessive consumption and the waste it produces; rising levels of toxic pollution in our bodies, homes, workplaces and communities; and, America’s disproportionately out-sized contribution to global warming.” The foundation works in collaboration with the RE-AMP Network, which “consists of over 130 nonprofits and foundations across eight Midwestern states working on climate change and energy policy with the goal of reducing global warming pollution economy-wide 80% by 2050”; as well as the Cancer Free Economy Network, which aims to “will lift the burden of cancers and other diseases by driving a dramatic and equitable transition from toxics to effective clean and safe alternatives.”

Conservation grants range $25,000 to $475,000. In a recent fiscal year the foundation gave away around $3.5 million. Past grantees include the Consumers for Dental Choice, Mercury Policy Project, Natural Resources Defense Council, Clean Production Action, and Energy Action Network.

The Garfield Foundation does not accept unsolicited letters of inquiry or proposals.

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