Grant Funders

Grant Funders

Environmental Grantmaking Foundations

Below is a list of foundations and other funding sources that also may be able to provide financial backing for your project. If you are aware of any additional funding resources for environmental organizations working in the Great Lakes Basin, e-mail with your suggestions. Please include the funder’s name, its web address and a brief description.

Jennifer Altman Foundation
A private foundation dedicated to the vision of a socially just and ecologically sustainable future through program interests in environmental health and mind-body health.

American Express Company
Funding that protects important natural and man-made cultural or historic sites around the world, By supporting effective, nonprofit advocacy organizations,

Beldon Fund
Seeks to build a national consensus to achieve and sustain a healthy planet. The Fund plans to invest its entire principal and earnings by 2009 to attain this goal.

Ben & Jerry’s Foundation
The Ben & Jerry’s Foundation offers competitive grants to not-for-profit, grassroots organizations throughout the United States which facilitate progressive social change by addressing the underlying conditions of societal and environmental problems.

Captain Planet Foundation
The mission of the Captain Planet Foundation is to fund and support hands-on environmental projects for children and youths. Our objective is to encourage innovative programs that empower children and youth around the world to work individually and collectively to solve environmental problems in their neighborhoods and communities.

Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation is a private philanthropy-based foundation headquartered in Flint, Michigan. Through four program areas, they make grants that support a just, equitable, and sustainable society in the United States and selected regions internationally. Organizations seeking funding are encouraged to view the Foundation’s grants guidelines on their website in detail.

Cottonwood Foundation
The Cottonwood Foundation is dedicated to promoting empowerment of people, protection of the environment, and respect for cultural diversity. The Foundation focuses its funding on committed grass roots organizations that rely strongly on volunteer efforts and where foundation support will make a significant difference.

Nathan Cummings Foundation
The environment program seeks generally to foster respect for the natural world in order to engender a mindful human place in nature and to develop and implement just environmental policies and practices that will enhance, rather than detract from, the quality of life for future generations. In promoting these goals, the program makes grants in three areas: Environmental Vision and Values, Habitat, and Campus Programs.

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
The Land Conservation Initiative seeks to protect and restore ecologically significant land in suburban and rural areas that are threatened by development. The Foundation awards grants for national research and information dissemination on promising strategies to improve land-use planning and mitigate sprawl. The Foundation also invests in research that focuses on strategies to integrate biological data into land-use planning; evaluate regulatory strategies to protect land; and analyze new models of environmentally compatible growth and development.

Dunn Foundation
The Foundation believes that nature and the built environment must be integrated in a planned and designed manner that enhances community character.

Environmental Support Center
The Environmental Support Center (ESC) has repeatedly helped more than 1,700 local, state, and regional organizations working on environmental issues. ESC’s goal is to improve the environment in the United States by enhancing the health and well-being of these organizations. Our Training and Organizational Assistance Program, Leadership and Enhanced Assistance Program, Technology Resources Program, Workplace Solicitation Program, Environmental Loan Fund, and State Environmental Leadership Program help these vital environmental groups become better managed, funded and equipped.

Fields Pond Foundation
The primary mission of Fields Pond Foundation is to provide financial assistance to nature and land conservation organizations which are community-based and which serve to increase environmental awareness by involving local residents in conservation issues.

Frey Foundation
Funds protection of the environment and encouragement of better land use planning. Regional land protection efforts include projects that enhance water quality, protect ecological corridors and valuable environmental features, and protects or improves the ecological health of natural areas.

Funding Exchange: Media Justice Immediate Response Fund
Emergency Support for Media Advocacy
The Media Justice Fund, administered by Funding Exchange, supports local and national efforts to organize around media reform policies, open access to technology, and accountability by media corporations. The Media Justice Immediate Response Fund makes grants in response to quickly developing political situations in the media advocacy field. Grants may be used to support travel, rallies, mailings, and other costs associated with political organizing activities. Grants are intended for use in mobilizing communities in situations where a small grant of up to $3,000 can have a significant impact. Requests may be submitted at any time. Visit the website listed above for application information.

Great Lakes Protection Fund
Formed in 1989 by the Governors of the Great Lakes States, the Fund is a permanent environmental endowment that supports collaborative actions to improve the health of the Great Lakes through projects that lead to tangible improvements in the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem, promote the interdependence of healthy ecological and economic systems, and are innovative, creative, and venturesome.

HIVA Environmental Fund
The HIVA Environmental Fund has just be established to help registered environmental charities in Ontario whose action-oriented projects focus on habitat and species preservation. Projects funded include, but are not limited to, habitat restoration, migratory bird conservation & rescue, cleanup of watercourses and wetlands, wildlife rehabilitation and helping to purchase wilderness to preserve it in perpetuity. Preference is given to smaller environmental groups that may otherwise have difficulty obtaining funding. Grants range from $2,000 to $50,000 and most will be between $5,000 to $10,000. Application deadlines are January 15th and July 15th of each year.

Impact Fund
Impact Fund awards grants to non-profit legal firms, private attorneys and/or small law firms who seek to advance social justice in the areas of civil and human rights, environmental justice, and/or poverty law. We seek to provide funding for public interest litigation that will potentially benefit a large number of people, lead to significant law reform, or raise public consciousness.

Richard Ivey Foundation
Most of the grants have been for the General Program category, which comprises projects in health, education, social development, environment and arts/culture. The balance of the funds has been allocated to other funds including Biodiversity in Forest-Dominated Ecosystems.

Mitchell Kapor Foundation
Thoreau Center for Sunbstainabiltiy
Contributes both to improving human well-being and to sustaining healthy ecosystems that support all life on earth. The Foundation accepts applications for grants in the Environmental Health Program. The Jenifer Altman Foundation, the Mitchell Kapor Foundation, and the StarFire Fund are three like-minded foundations with shared goals and objectives through which we seek to make what contribution we can to the well-being of humanity and life on earth.

The Laura Jane Musser Fund assists public or not-for-profit entities to initiate or implement projects that enhance the ecological integrity of publicly owned open spaces, while encouraging compatible human activities

Growing the Grassroots Patagonia pledges at least one percent of sales or 10 percent of pre-tax profits – whichever is more, giving at the grassroots level to innovative groups overlooked or rejected by other corporate donors. We fund activists who take radical and strategic steps to protect habitat, wilderness, and biodiversity.

Rotary Charities of Traverse City
Rotary Charities makes grants in the five-county Grand Traverse Area of northern Michigan. Grant priorities include: Proposals that address our funding priorities of Affordable Housing, Culture/Recreation, Education, Environment/Managing Growth, and Strengthening Families.

Surdna Foundation
Environmentally, our goals are to prevent irreversible damage to the environment and to promote more efficient, economically sound, environmentally beneficial and equitable use of land and natural resources. We are most interested in conservation-based development, promoting public policies that insure species preservation, promoting market-based approaches that ensure species preservation, and creating programs that raise broad public awareness of these issues.

Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation
The Leadership Grant program gives non-profit organizations, educational institutions and government agencies greater access to individuals with superior technical and scientific expertise. Grants are awarded to organizations actively addressing issues of environmental quality, to implement programs designed collaboratively with Switzer Fellows.

Tides Foundation
The Tides Foundation partners with donors to increase and organize resources for social change. The Foundation promotes conservation and community-based natural resource management, and supports the renewal of communities through sustainable development efforts.

Wallace Global Fund
The mission of the Wallace Global Fund is to catalyze and leverage critically needed global progress towards an equitable and environmentally sustainable society including the early stabilization of growth of human populations; participatory and accountable economic, social, and environmental governance; and significant changes in global patterns of production and consumption.

Water Environment Research Foundation, (VA)
Funds projects and research on watershed management, managing total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), multiple stressors, stormwater management, and watershed-based trading, projects that work toward sustainable environmental management practices. By funding such research, we help to inform not only water resource managers but regulatory agencies, so that regulations are based on the best possible scientific grounds.

Waste Management
Contributes money and services to a broad variety of local events. For information on the specific activities we’re supporting in your community, visit the WM site that serves your area. You can find it by entering your zip code in the “Locate your Service Provider” section of our home page.

Weeden Foundation
From its inception in 1963, the Foundation embraced the protection of biodiversity as its main priority. Organizations supported to date range from those that protect ecosystems and wildlife to those that raise the status of women and increase awareness about family planning. Projects that serve as catalysts inducing others to lend support receive priority consideration.

Working Assets
Working Assets makes it easy for busy people to support causes they care about. Through their credit card and long distance services, customers can generate donations for progressive nonprofit groups just by doing what they do every day.

Stay Informed

Connect With us


© 2021 Freshwater Future. All Rights Reserved.

Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.