Climate Change Solutions

Please note that until further notice, the Climate Change Solutions program will not accept funding requests from organizations not currently funded by the Foundation, as we are reviewing program guidelines.

The Foundation’s Climate Change Solutions program builds on past Mertz Gilmore investments to study climate change, promote climate-friendly energy usage, and develop renewable energy sources in the U.S. The Foundation identified global warming as a critical issue in 1984 and began making grants. By 1987, global warming had become a primary focus of the Foundation’s environmental grantmaking, with an emphasis on domestic policy and public education. In 1997, Mertz Gilmore became a funding partner of the Energy Foundation, a funder collaborative that promotes permanent shifts in energy policy and practice. That partnership resulted in nearly $24 million in grants over 14 years. In 2007, the Board approved a new grants program to help bring about substantial reductions in global warming pollution through targeted investments in sustainable policy and practice. The Foundation currently makes grants in the three strategic categories listed below.

I. Alternatives to coal-fired power plants: Beginning in 2007, the Foundation was an early partner in a national effort to prevent and reduce the global warming pollution from coal-fired power plants. The diligent efforts of local, regional, and national non-profit environmental advocates, working in collaboration, helped communities avoid building unnecessary coal plants and helped utilities begin to transition the oldest and most polluting plants to cleaner, more efficient sources of energy. 

Beginning in 2014, program support in this category began to shift away from coal plant campaigns and to focus on hastening the clean energy transition, especially by promoting offshore wind, with a continued focus on the Southeast region. The program also supports special advocacy opportunities to help lower the costs of, or remove barriers to, clean energy at regional or national scale.

II. New York City: As a New York City-based funder, the Foundation has supported local progress to address climate change since 2007. Since the world’s cities account for 70% of greenhouse gas emissions*, we are interested in New York City projects that can serve as models for large metropolitan initiatives elsewhere. The Foundation supports innovative efforts that will lead to significant and sustainable reductions in global warming pollution and serve as useful demonstration projects. Additional emphasis is placed on projects that actively promote successful New York City initiatives in other cities.

(*United National Human Settlements Program, 2011 estimate)

III. New Constituencies and approaches for a national climate movement: The country’s failure to develop adequate and binding policies for reducing global warming pollution requires urgent new approaches and constituencies to demand national policy and U.S. leadership in the world. Environmentalists have worked tirelessly to build coalitions and drive policy in recent years, and the Foundation has sought to expand upon this leadership by supporting new initiatives either to:

  • Engage new constituencies, on a broad scale, in a meaningful effort to push for strong and binding national policy;
  • Test new approaches to fostering leadership and motivating action, on a broad scale, to reduce global warming pollution;
  • Generate broader grassroots civic engagement and catalyze volunteer activism.

Contact: climate-program@mertzgilmore.org


2017 GRANTS (Updated December 2017)

Alliance for a Greater New York
$50,000 for one year to provide general support.

Alliance for Climate Education
$120,000 over two years to provide general support. (Year 1)

Appalachian Voices
 $200,000 over two years to provide general support. (Year 1)

Appalachian Voices
$10,000 to support anti-pipeline strategic communications work.

CEC Stuyvesant Cove (Solar One)
$50,000 for one year to support Here Comes Solar.

Center for Popular Democracy (Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment)
$80,000 over two years to support the Peabody Organizing Project. (Year 1)

Center for Story-Based Strategy
$75,000 for one year to provide general support.

Chesapeake Climate Action Network
$160,000 over two years to provide general support. (Year 1)

Cooperation Jackson of Mississippi
$20,000 for one year to provide additional capacity as Co-op Jackson hosts and coordinates the 2018 National Just Transition Forum of the Building Equity and Alignment for Impact initiative.

Environmental Integrity Project
$75,000 over two years to provide general support. (Year 1)

Environmental Stewards Consulting Inc. (Southeast CARE Coalition)
$50,000 to support capacity building for the Southeast CARE Coalition.

Highlanders for Responsible Development (Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance)
$40,000 for one year to provide general support to the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance.

Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis
$155,000 over two years to provide general support. (Year 1)

Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington (Virginia Interfaith Power and Light)
$85,000 for one year to support the development of organizational capacity and a targeted strategic communications campaign.

Kentucky Coalition (Kentuckians for the Commonwealth)
$150,000 over two years to provide general support. (Year 1)

Mothers Out Front
$50,000 for one year to support a Virginia statewide expansion plan.

Movement Strategy Center (Climate Justice Alliance)
$150,000 over two years for general support. (Year 1)

Movement Strategy Center
$40,000 for one year to support the Just Community Energy Transition Fellowship.

New America Foundation
$50,000 for one year to research new models for climate policy change.

New Venture Fund (Climate Education Fund of Democracy Alliance)
$50,000 for one year to support the Democracy Alliance’s Climate Education Fund.

New Virginia Majority Education Fund
$50,000 to support a program coordinator to be housed at New Virginia Majority for the Virginia Environmental Justice Collaborative.

Power Shift Network
$150,000 over two years to provide general support. (Year 1)

Public Policy and Education Fund of New York 
$50,000 for one year to support New York Renews.

Rainforest Action Network
$50,000 for one year to support its Climate and Energy program.

Right to the City Alliance (Energy Democracy Alliance)
 $50,000 for one year to provide general support.

Rockefeller Family Fund (Just Transition Fund)
$75,000 for one year to provide general support to the Just Transition Fund.

Sierra Club Foundation (Climate Parents)
$100,000 over two years to provide general support for Climate Parents.  (Year 1)

Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs Inc. ( Building Equity and Alignment for Impact)
$150,000 over two years to support the BEA-I to develop a grassroots environmental and climate justice landscape mapping project. (Year 1)

South Carolina Coastal Conservation League
$30,000 for one year to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency in South Carolina.

Southeastern Wind Coalition
$40,000 to support the Opportunities and Barriers Analysis.

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
$50,000 for one year to support the Elevating Climate Change and Clean Energy Solutions in Tampa Bay, Florida.

Southern Environmental Law Center
$75,000 for one year to support the Ensuring Equity in Virginia’s Energy Transition project.

Sunrise Movement Education Fund
$20,000 for one year to provide general support. (Year 1)

Sunrise Movement Education Fund (Virginia Student Environmental Coalition)
$25,000 for one year to provide general support.

Sustainable Markets Foundation (Center for Climate and Security)
$125,000 over two years to provide general support.  (Year 1)

Sustainable Markets Foundation
$150,000 over two years to support climate and energy projects. (Year 1)

U.S. Climate Action Network
$60,000 for one year to support a strategic planning and redesign process for the Southeast Climate and Energy Network.

U.S. Green Building Council, New York Chapter (Urban Green Council)
$50,000 for one year to provide general support.

United Citizen Power
$125,000 for one year to support a baseline assessment of best practices in climate justice community organizing and power building in Hampton Roads.

Virginia Organizing
$50,000 for one year to provide support for additional climate justice organizing capacity in the Hampton Roads region.

Virginia Organizing (Protect Our Water, Heritage and Rights)
$60,000 for one year to provide general support to Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights.

 Voices for a Sustainable Future (Labor Networks for Sustainability)
$40,000 for one year to provide general support to the Labor Network for Sustainability.

We Own It
$75,000 for one year to provide general support.

West Harlem Environmental Action
$50,000 for one year to provide general support.