Colcom Foundation: Grants for Environmental Conservation

OVERVIEW: Colcom supports many environmental organizations, mainly in Pennsylvania and the Pittsburgh area. 

IP TAKE: Despite its low profile, Colcom is an active environmental funder. Grantseekers must keep in mind that in order to apply for a grant, they must first submit a letter of interest. 

PROFILE: Established in 1996, the Colcom Foundation works to “provide a forum for the examination and discussion of the major causes and consequences of overpopulation and its impact on environmental sustainability.” Founded by a conservationist, Cordelia May, whose overriding concern was overpopulation’s impact on the environment, Colcom seeks to curb human population growth and to "foster a sustainable environment to ensure quality of life for all Americans by addressing major causes and consequences of overpopulation and its adverse effects on natural resources." The foundation prioritizes environmental sustainability, natural resource preservation, land and water conservation, and efforts to establish a sustainable population.

Nationally, Colcom supports conservation work that acknowledges the “impact of human population growth on U.S. environmental sustainability, natural resource depletion, and land and watershed degradation. Regionally, Colcom prioritizes projects that "aggressively" address "watershed remediation, natural resource preservation, air and water quality, and farmland and wildlife habitat conservation." Locally, as a Pittsburgh-based organization, Colcom prioritizes Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania.

Grants average $50,000. Grantseekers must consider that Colcom's development grantmaking does not extend beyond the United States. Past grantees include Californians for Population Stabilization, Inc., the Environmental Integrity Project, and the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Inc. among many others. To see a full list of grantees, click here.

Colcom awards all of its grants by invitation only. In order to secure a Colcom grant, grantseekers must first submit a one- or two-page letter of inquiry John F. Rohe, Colcom’s vice-president of philanthropy, and await further word prior to sending a proposal.


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