A nationwide coalition of more than 40 community foundations has launched the Community Foundation Climate Collaborative, a coordinated effort aimed at helping local communities secure funding and more effectively respond to climate change.
The Collaborative will leverage community foundations’ deep frontline knowledge of local issues and long-standing relationships with nonprofit organizations to help direct the unprecedented infusion of federal, state, and private funding dedicated to climate projects across the country.
Further, the Collaborative will focus on:
- Promoting coordinated learning, research, and analysis on climate-related challenges and opportunities.
- Enabling innovation, creative problem solving, and replication of best practices.
- Supporting strategic partnerships and resource mobilization efforts focused on large climate funders and federal agencies.
- Facilitating joint action and advocacy including federal lobbying.
The effort will prioritize offering guidance and support to marginalized communities, which often bear the brunt of climate-related impacts but lack adequate resources and expertise to consistently secure governmental and philanthropic funding.
“When viewed from a global perspective, addressing climate change can be daunting,” said Amy Freitag, president of The New York Community Trust. “Yet we know through our work that actions taken on the local level can have a multiplying effect that can lead to systemic change. That’s the potential we are looking to harness through the Climate Collaborative.”
The idea for the Collaborative was conceived by Boston-based consultant James Davitt Rooney and initially supported by leading executives of four metro community foundations representing different regions of the country – The New York Community Trust, The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Denver Foundation, and Marin Community Foundation, which serves California’s Bay Area.
After developing the Collaborative’s framework, the four foundations promoted the concept to community foundations nationwide, resulting in more than 25 additional community foundations joining the Collaborative to date.
“In Colorado, and across the country, we witness the negative impacts of climate change almost daily,” said Javier Alberto Soto, president and CEO of The Denver Foundation.
John Podesta, the senior advisor to President Joe Biden for clean energy innovation and implementation recently spoke with foundation leaders on a conference call to discuss how community foundations can be essential strategic partners to help channel federal funding from the Inflation Reduction Act to worthy local projects.
“We face a moment in time when there is unprecedented federal funding available to address climate change,” said Rhea Suh, president and CEO of Marin Community Foundation. “Combine this with the White House’s eagerness to forge partnerships with community foundations, and the opportunity to establish a meaningful national infrastructure has never been greater. This Collaborative will leverage the funding to help those most affected by climate change.”
The Collaborative, which will be managed by the Community Foundation Opportunity Network (CFON), an organization that focuses on fostering collective action among community foundations to amplify impact and share resources and knowledge. CFON will continue to recruit additional community foundations and is in the process of identifying priorities and building relationships with other funders and organizations focused on climate issues.
“Community foundations have hard-earned expertise in emergency response to disasters caused by climate change,” said Lisa Schroeder, president and CEO of The Pittsburgh Foundation. “And while each foundation’s experience with climate crises is unique to their locations, they can be powerful advocates for a nationwide response when they act collectively on an issue that involves an endless variety of needs and circumstances.”
For more information visit www.cfon.org/cfcc
Community Foundation Climate Collaborative Members:
- Adirondack Foundation
- Central Valley Community Foundation (CA)
- Chicago Community Trust
- Cleveland Foundation
- Community Foundation for Broward County
- Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
- Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
- Community Foundation for Monterey County
- Community Foundation for Nantucket
- Community Foundation for Northern Virginia
- Community Foundation for SE Michigan
- Community Foundation of South Alabama
- Community Foundation Sonoma County
- Fairfield County’s Community Foundation
- Greater New Orleans Foundation
- Hamitlon Community Foundation (OH)
- Hartford Foundation for Public Giving
- Hawaii Community Foundation
- Humboldt Area Foundation + Wild Rivers Community Foundation
- Lincoln Community Foundation
- Marin Community Foundation
- Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation
- Napa Valley Community Foundation
- New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
- Omaha Community Foundation
- New Mexico Foundation
- Oregon Community Foundation
- Gray Family Foundation
- Park City Community Foundation
- Puerto Rico Community Foundation
- Rhode Island Foundation
- San Diego Foundation
- San Francisco Foundation
- Seattle Foundation
- Silicon Valley Community Foundation
- St. Louis Community Foundation
- The Columbus Foundation
- The Dayton Foundation
- The Denver Foundation
- The Indianapolis Foundation
- The Miami Foundation
- The New York Community Trust
- The Pittsburgh Foundation
- Westchester Community Foundation