A Bank’s Gifts for Solar Power in Native Communities Raise Hard Questions

A Bank’s Gifts for Solar Power in Native Communities Raise Hard Questions

Wells Fargo is one of the most scandal-ridden banks in the U.S. It also funds environmental work and Native American communities, among other causes. Its recent gifts for renewable energy underscore major tensions in corporate philanthropy.

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New Funding at the Intersection of the Environment and Disability Rights

New Funding at the Intersection of the Environment and Disability Rights

Disability rights is an important component of environmental justice, but one that funders can overlook. Some are paying increasing attention to this intersection, including a collaboration between Ford and Global Greengrants Fund.

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Behind a New Green Alliance is a Trio of Powerful—and Deeply Alarmed—Donors

Behind a New Green Alliance is a Trio of Powerful—and Deeply Alarmed—Donors

The founding of the Earth Alliance by Leonardo DiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs, and Brian Sheth reflects a mounting sense of urgency about ecological threats. It also shows how big new money is flowing to environmental causes.

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A Northwest Funder Takes a Local Focus to Protect Threatened Ecosystems

A Northwest Funder Takes a Local Focus to Protect Threatened Ecosystems

Regional grantmakers are working to hold the line on environmental issues as the Trump administration undercuts protections for the natural world. A case in point is the Russell Family Foundation in Washington State.

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Some Climate Donors, Fed Up with “Gradualism,” Are Getting Behind Protest Movements

Some Climate Donors, Fed Up with “Gradualism,” Are Getting Behind Protest Movements

Philanthropy plays an important support role in climate action, but tends to favor moderate, incremental progress. A new pool of donors says it’s time to raise hell, backing disruptive activism, and hopes others will follow.

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Inside Vulcan, a New Model for Solving Some of the World’s Biggest Problems

Inside Vulcan, a New Model for Solving Some of the World’s Biggest Problems

Before he died last fall, the billionaire Paul Allen built up a powerful in-house capacity at his company, Vulcan Inc., to tackle urgent issues like wildlife protection and climate change. IP editor David Callahan takes an inside look at its unique strategy for impact.

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As an Environmental Funder Charts a New Path, it Looks to Others to Lead the Way

As an Environmental Funder Charts a New Path, it Looks to Others to Lead the Way

The Libra Foundation is updating its environment program, centering racial justice and those closest to the problems—and staying open to new ideas. The shift is an example of how more funders are embracing bottom-up approaches.

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Behind a Big Boost for a Legacy Institution, Deep-Pocketed Conservationists

Behind a Big Boost for a Legacy Institution, Deep-Pocketed Conservationists

Nature-focused legacy institutions like zoos and gardens are finding creative ways to engage the public and appeal to funders, including the billionaire donor class. A major gift to the Chicago Botanic Garden shows this dynamic in action.

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“Cost-Effective, Scalable Solutions.” Behind a New Push to Reduce Food Waste

“Cost-Effective, Scalable Solutions.” Behind a New Push to Reduce Food Waste

Each year, Americans spend more than $160 billion a year on food that’s never eaten—even as hunger and food insecurity remain a chronic problem. Can a new nonprofit accelerator, backed by the Walmart Foundation, help change that?

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Game Changer? The Promise and Perils of Bloomberg’s Big New Climate Funding Push

Game Changer? The Promise and Perils of Bloomberg’s Big New Climate Funding Push

The billionaire’s $500 million Beyond Carbon initiative is a landmark in environmental philanthropy. But will it be a new kind of climate funding effort, out to shift power and follow the lead of groups on the ground? Or another top-down, technocratic effort?

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Car Fighter: A Donor Goes All in to Build the Livable Streets Movement

Car Fighter: A Donor Goes All in to Build the Livable Streets Movement

Tech and finance winner Mark Gorton might be best known for launching Limewire. But for some two decades, he’s devoted his time and money to advocating for transportation alternatives in New York City and a “better way to live.”

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A Young Cryptocurrency Billionaire Turns to Philanthropy, Zeroing in on Catastrophic Threats

A Young Cryptocurrency Billionaire Turns to Philanthropy, Zeroing in on Catastrophic Threats

Ben Delo is the latest big donor to embrace effective altruism. But in an unusual twist, he’s focusing on catastrophic future threats like climate change. Will Delo’s move prod like-minded givers to tackle complex, long-term problems?

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Behind a Search for Breakthrough Ideas to Capture River Plastic Before It Reaches the Ocean

Behind a Search for Breakthrough Ideas to Capture River Plastic Before It Reaches the Ocean

An estimated 8 million tons of plastic enter the ocean each year, threatening vital marine ecosystems, and most of it comes from rivers. Can a new partnership between the Benioff Ocean Initiative and Coca-Cola “turn off the tap” of river plastic?

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How a Green New Deal Backer Supports Movement Building—and How It’s Paying Off

How a Green New Deal Backer Supports Movement Building—and How It’s Paying Off

As an early funder, Wallace Global Fund helped the Sunrise Movement shift the conversation around U.S. climate policy. The fund’s leadership explains how and why it backs social movements, including with a new, $1 million commitment to the Green New Deal.

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How a Small Progressive Funder Innovates and Organizes to Make a Bigger Impact

How a Small Progressive Funder Innovates and Organizes to Make a Bigger Impact

To make the best of its modest resources, the Solidago Foundation has been looking to go beyond grantmaking into organizing other funders, and experimenting with new ways to move wealth and build power. We get an inside view of how that’s working out.

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Inside the Walton Family Foundation’s “Unprecedented” Giving for the Colorado River

Inside the Walton Family Foundation’s “Unprecedented” Giving for the Colorado River

In a conservation push with few parallels in philanthropy, Walton has given many millions of dollars to ensure a healthy future for one of America’s most important rivers. Along the way, it’s become an unlikely—and controversial—power player on Western water issues.

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“No Bigger Challenge for Our Planet.” Behind a Campus Gift for Energy Science

“No Bigger Challenge for Our Planet.” Behind a Campus Gift for Energy Science

Even as the effects of climate change have become more visible and devastating, few higher ed donors prioritize this issue. Which is why a $50 million gift to Penn earmarked for research on energy is both anomalous and encouraging.

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