Our goal is to assist society in mitigating the severity of climate change and preparing for its unavoidable impacts.
Global climate change is a profound threat to humanity. Global emissions of greenhouse gases threaten everything from human health and food and water supplies to transportation infrastructure and ecosystems.
We believe there is a moral obligation to meet this challenge for ourselves, for future generations and for those who will be most vulnerable to the consequences of climate change.
To avert the worst potential impacts of climate change, we must aggressively transition our energy systems to cleaner, more efficient alternatives.
Program revision under way
The Environment Program is refining its funding priorities.
During the transition, the Environment Program staff will invite grant applications. The portal for making unsolicited requests for funding will close June 1.
Applications already begun will not be affected. Very few such requests have been funded in recent months.
The revised grant guidelines will be finalized later this year.
At the same time, we know that the greenhouse gases already accumulated in the atmosphere – primarily due to fossil fuel combustion – make serious climate-induced changes unavoidable. We must develop strategies and policies that promote preparedness in communities of all sizes and types and in natural systems.
Our mitigation investments focus on reducing energy use in buildings and accelerating the adoption of renewable-energy technologies.
Our adaptation investments support the development of strategies and resources that promote resilience to climate-change impacts in human and natural systems.
We make grants in these areas:
We seek to address the impacts of climate change by helping build the field of climate-change adaptation. We support place-based climate adaptation strategy development, and the development and implementation of climate-wise policies and practice.
We support efforts to reduce energy use in buildings and accelerate the adoption of renewable-energy technologies.
We support advocacy for policies that encourage efficiency, including building codes, appliance standards and electric-utility investments in energy efficiency.
We support the implementation of energy efficiency through efforts to build a robust market for efficiency retrofits of existing buildings.
In addition, we support activities that advance the next generation of energy-efficiency practices.
Our work to promote the adoption of renewable-energy technologies focuses on encouraging supportive policies in the Midwest and at the federal level, including Midwest electricity transmission policy that favors energy efficiency and renewable power.
How we work
In all our grantmaking, investment and action, we aim to enable people and institutions to work together to address the climate crisis, with an eye toward innovation, problem-solving and informed risk taking.
We award general operating-support and project-support grants. We also make program-related investments in the energy-efficiency field.
We strive to:
- Focus on outcomes that will be achieved.
- Have a tangible impact on policy and practice.
- Favor strategies that cut across sectors and disciplines.
- Promote integrated, system-based initiatives.
- Empower vulnerable, underserved populations and protect future generations.
- Use the full array of resources and tools available to us.
In approaching our work, we endeavor to:
- Work in close collaboration with colleagues at nonprofit organizations, public institutions, fellow foundations and other institutions, engaging as thoughtful and respectful partners.
- Take on leadership roles in areas where we have special expertise or knowledge.
- Convene experts and decision makers to set agendas, identify priorities and develop and advance comprehensive strategies.
- Connect individuals and organizations working in different sectors and fields to share expertise.
- Build a discipline of learning from the work we support and use those lessons to inform our future work.
Who may apply?
- U.S.-based 501(c)(3) organizations and their Canadian equivalents
- Government entities
Who will be competitive?
- We award support to organizations whose work aligns closely with our strategies and holds strong promise to bring about positive change.
- We award support to organizations that work nationally, across multiple states or at the regional or statewide level. Projects that are local in scope without clear replication potential rarely are funded.
- The majority of grants and program-related investments are made within the United States. We do not support projects outside of North America.
We do not fund:
- Environmental education programs or the development of curricula.
- Media projects unless they are tightly aligned with our grantmaking strategies and advance the work of our grantees.
- The construction or renovation of facilities or individual renewable-energy installations.
- The acquisition of land, other property or conservation easements for solely land-conservation purposes.
- The costs associated with designing and planning environmentally responsible buildings.
- Primary scientific research.
- Research and development of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.
- International projects outside of North America.
The Environment Program primarily accepts grant requests by invitation. However, if your organization’s work is consistent with our goals, you may submit a preliminary application as a means of letting us learn about your activities.
Please review the applicable initiative’s Web page and the application process it recommends.