The Burning Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder supports environmental and teen pregnancy prevention causes in Oregon and Washington. There are spring and fall grant cycles.

FUNDING AREAS: Rivers, forests, land, native fish, teen pregnancy

IP TAKE:  Burning has very specific goals for its environmental funding. Pay attention to its “do not fund” list. Pretty much anything dealing with prevention of teen pregnancy is considered.

PROFILE: The Burning Foundation is based in Portland, Oregon, and supports nonprofits in Washington and Oregon. The foundation was established in 1997.

What’s interesting about this foundation is how different its two areas of interest are. One focus is nature: rivers, forests, land, and native fish populations in the Pacific Northwest. Priorities are protection for threatened rivers, restoration of native fish species, and conservation of land for open space. It likes local nonprofits that work to improve their immediate environment, as well as statewide nonprofits that advance conservation issues.

Oregon grantees include the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts and the Northwest Environmental Defense Center. Washington grantees include Mount Adams Resource Stewards and Sound Action.

Burning's other area of interest is teen pregnancy prevention. It supports school-based health and education programs, mentoring projects, and community clinic programs. These types of groups should provide birth control, information about making good choices, and sex education.

The foundation has awarded teen pregnancy grants to Okanagan Family Planning in Omak, Washington, for community outreach and health education. It has given a multi-year grant to Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho for its teen pregnancy prevention programs.

Most recent Burning grants have been in amounts from $10,000 to $12,000. A list of recent grants is here. Burning gives grants for both general operating expenses and special projects. National organizations rarely receive support—there's a real local focus, here. Burning doesn't support research projects, scholarships, equipment purchases, schools, book/film projects, or environmental education programs. Nor does it fund energy conservation, global warming, land purchases, building construction, gardening programs, or community park renovations. A full list of ideas Burning doesn’t support is the guidelines page.

It gives multi-year support to groups that have received support for three out of the previous five years. Multi-year grants extend for three years, up to $20,000 per year. The trustees make site visits for these grants.

Grantseekers must mail a hard copy of their applications and email a PDF copy. For the spring cycle, letters of interest are due the third Wednesday of January, and full proposals are due the first Wednesday of March. Fall cycle letters of interest are due the third week of August, and full proposals are due the first week of October.

The best contact is Sybil Ackerman-Munson, who manages several other foundations we have covered at IP in the Northwest. For Burning Foundation matters, she can be reached at 503-419-8454 or BurningFoundation@gmail.com. The Burning Foundation address is 715 SW Morrison Street, Suite 901, Portland, Oregon 97205.

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