Passport Foundation: Grants for the Environment

OVERVIEW:  The Passport Foundation’s environmental grantmaking focuses on environmental health and the impacts of environmental contaminants. The foundation is associated with hedge fund Passport Capital.

 IP TAKE: The foundation keeps a low profile and does not accept unsolicited proposals.

PROFILE:  In 2000, John H. Burbank founded hedge fund Passport Capital. The Passport Foundation, a philanthropy associated with the hedge fund, was established later in the decade and in a recent year gave away around $1.2 million.

The foundation keeps a low public profile and does not accept unsolicited proposals. Because of the foundation’s limited web presence, it’s also tough to get a handle on exactly what the foundation’s trustees look for in its grantees.

The environment is a particular interest of this funder, especially environmental health. In 2009, the foundation launched its Science Innovation Fund to “expand knowledge of the impacts of environmental contaminants on human health to inform and advance, first and foremost, chemicals regulation and risk assessment reform; and secondarily, public health and clinical care policies and practices.”

Passport has funded studies like “Estrogen and Androgen Receptor Activities of Hydraulic Fracturing Chemicals and Surface and Ground Water in a Drilling-Dense Region” which examined whether chemicals used in fracking can disrupt human sex hormones.

Other grantees have included Bluegreen Alliance Foundation; Earthjustice; Environmental Defense Fund; NRDC; Washington Toxics Coalition; Clean Production Action; Environmental Health Strategy Center; Sustainable Purchasing Council, which aims to harness “market demand to advance human and environmental health”; and Forsythia Foundation, whose mission is to promote “healthier people and environments by reducing harmful chemicals in our lives.”  Forsythia was founded by Passport Foundation cofounder Alison Carlson.


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The Passport Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is an address:

Passport Foundation
1 Market St., Ste. 2200, Steuart Tower
San Francisco, CA 94105