Georgia-Pacific Foundation: Grants for Conservation

OVERVIEW: The Georgia-Pacific Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the U.S.-based papermaking company, has a directive to “improve life in the communities where we live and work.” It seeks this improvement by giving in four areas: education, the environment, community enrichment and entrepreneurship.

IP TAKE: Funding for environmental issues is one of the four bedrocks for this foundation, and "conservation" is its biggest watchword. The catch is that your environmental program must take place within 30 miles of a Georgia-Pacific facility. The good news is that those facilities are spread across 32 states.

PROFILE: The Georgia-Pacific Foundation was established in 1958 by the papermaking and manufacturing company now headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Supporting the environment is pretty standard for manufacturers, and Georgia-Pacific is no exception. The Environemnt is one of  four areas of “investment” for this foundation (the other three are Education, Enrichment and Entrepreneurship).

Also like many foundations with manufacturing corporate arms, support of environmental programs is most focused on conservation. The foundation also lists clean air, clean water, recycling, and environmental education as its other areas of environmental focus--so much the better if your conservation program interrelates among these.

How the Georgia-Pacific Foundation does distinguish itself from other environmental funders is that its funding always comes as general operating support. But even though it generalizes its funding, this foundation has rigorous expectations for your conservation program's impact, with an application that asks you to discuss how you will be able to tangibly measure improvement in the community you serve as a result of it. Rest assured, the foundation has a lofty vision of purpose, too (it likes to use the word “potential”) so do not be deterred from pitching a project that aspires as much as it provides measurable, results-oriented outcomes—just be sure not to forsake the latter.

In terms of those communities in which the Georgia-Pacific Foundation seeks environmental conservation: your program must be located within 30 miles of one of Georgia-Pacific’s facilities. The company has a presence in 32 states, with multiple locations in many (10 in Texas, nine in Oregon, seven in California, four in Virginia, and four in Michigan, for example) so this geographic restriction still allows for a lot of eligibility for a foundation grant.

The Georgia-Pacific Foundation places no strict parameters on grant amounts, instead stating "when deciding what or if we will contribute, we consider the value of the program to our communities and the amount we have available to donate." But you will be required to put a specific ask amount into your application. For environmental giving, the basic range is $1,000 to $10,000 (with outliers on both sides).

Recent environmental conservation grantees include:

The Georgia-Pacific Foundation has an open application process with a recently revised application. It's a rolling application, and the foundation states you'll receive notification within 60 days.

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