Funding & Grant Resources For Nonprofits Focused On The Environment And Conservation Efforts

Maddie Zeigler, M.Ed.September 03, 2021

environmental grant resources

Today’s funder list focuses on nonprofits supporting the environment and conservation efforts. It brings together foundations and funds that are primarily dedicated to support or have a significant program to support those organizations.

See if any of these funders serve your community and if you qualify for funding. Also, don’t miss out on my lists for Education and Arts & Culture funders.

Grant Research Tip: As you search beyond this list for potential funders, many foundations will state that they do not accept unsolicited requests for funding. If, however, through your research, you can establish a clear connection between your programs and their funding history and priorities, it’s still worth reaching out to that funder and introducing your organization.

Connections like this are built over time. Don’t be afraid to reach out—just do your research first. Visit Grantli to learn exactly how I do my grant research and how your organization can find more appropriate funders and funding opportunities.

Funding Priority: The Environment and Conservation Efforts

The Green Climate Fun

The Green Climate Fund is the world’s largest climate fund, mandated to support developing countries raise and realize their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) ambitions towards low-emissions, climate-resilient pathways. GCF seeks to target these areas to help fill the gaps in climate financing through Requests for Proposals (RfP) and pilot programmes which are focused on specific themes.

Areas served: Worldwide

PADI AWARE Foundation

PADI AWARE Foundation is a publicly funded nonprofit whose mission is to drive local action for global ocean conservation. PADI AWARE Community Grants are open to fund projects that align with PADI’s Blueprint for Ocean Action particularly for coral reef restoration, climate resiliency, and Marine Protected Areas.

Areas served: Worldwide

The Conservation, Food & Health Foundation

The Conservation, Food and Health Foundation seeks to protect natural resources, improve the production and distribution of food, and promote public health in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. The foundation helps build the capacity of organizations and coalitions with grants that support research or improve the learning and generation of local solutions to complex problems.

Areas served: Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East

National Forest Foundation

The mission of the National Forest Foundation is to bring people together to restore and enhance the United States’s national forests and grasslands. Nonprofit organizations dedicated to addressing natural resource issues on national forests and grasslands can apply for support to complete projects through three distinct grant programs.

Areas served: US

Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation supports nonprofits that are working to strengthen their hometown of Flint, Michigan, and communities around the world. They support programs around the world that protect communities and the ecosystems upon which they depend.

Areas served: US (limited worldwide)

The Kresge Foundation

The Kresge Foundation works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grant making and social investing. They help cities implement climate change mitigation and adaptation approaches grounded in equity. They support efforts to: reduce greenhouse gas emissions, prepare for the effects of climate change that cannot be avoided, and advance social cohesion and equity.

Areas served: US

Keep America Beautiful

Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s leading community improvement nonprofit organization, has announced the launch of a new national grant program to support communities and its nearly 700-member affiliate network in preventing littering, promoting recycling, and building clean, green, and beautiful neighborhoods. Through a coalition of corporate sponsors they seek innovative grant applications for programs that will unify communities as they address their community improvement needs.

Areas served: US

The New England Grassroots Environment Fund

The New England Grassroots Environment Fund was founded in 1996 as a funder’s collaborative, with a mission to energize and nurture long-term civic engagement in local initiatives that create and maintain healthy, just, safe, and environmentally sustainable communities throughout the six New England states.The Fund is currently offering Seed Grants, Grow Grants, and Young Leader Grants.

Areas served: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont

First Nations Development Institute

First Nations Development Institute’s mission is to support healthy Native communities. First Nations created its Stewarding Native Lands program to provide financial and technical assistance to support Native ecological stewardship and improve Native control of and access to ancestral lands and resources. The program currently will support organizations in Native communities that are growing or expanding programs that support sustainable economic opportunities and preserve native grasslands in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Areas served: Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota

Highland Street Foundation

The Highland Street Foundation is committed to addressing the most pressing needs and concerns for children and families in Massachusetts and California. They provide access and opportunities in education, housing, mentorship, health care, environment, and the arts. While they do not accept unsolicited requests for funding, they will accept a letter of inquiry from organizations that align with their priorities.

Areas served: Massachusetts, California

Oregon Community Foundation

Oregon Community Foundation’s mission is to improve the lives of all Oregonians through the power of philanthropy. They work to create regional, place-based solutions to preserve and protect natural places, quality of life, and economies at risk from environmental impacts due to changing climate.

Areas served: Oregon

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee

Nonprofit organizations working to improve the well-being of residents of Middle Tennessee are eligible and are encouraged to apply for a discretionary grant. Grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations across Middle Tennessee serving a wide range of causes, including: animal welfare, arts and humanities, conservation and preservation, environment, education, employment and training, health and human services, housing, and economic and community development.

Areas served: Tennessee

Cleveland Foundation

The Cleveland Foundation is the community foundation serving Greater Cleveland, including Cuyahoga, Lake, and Geauga counties. It is made up of more than 1,300 funds representing individuals, families, organizations, and corporations. Its mission is to enhance the lives of all residents of Greater Cleveland, now and for generations to come.

Areas served: Cleveland/Ohio

The Columbus Foundation

The Columbus Foundation invests in a broad range of nonprofit organizations working to strengthen and improve their community. Grant funds are made available across a variety of categories, based on donor intent and the guidance of our Governing Committee. Their Fund for Targeted Needs supports a wide variety of donor interests, including health, animal welfare, community improvement, conservation, youth development, substance abuse, special populations, and more.

Areas served: Columbus/Ohio

Chesapeake Bay Trust

The Chesapeake Bay Trust awards more than $10 million in grant funding each year to hundreds of nonprofits and community organizations throughout the region for hands-on projects that are ensuring cleaner, greener, healthier Chesapeake, Coastal Bays, and Youghiogheny watersheds for years to come. Their work has three core objectives: environmental education, demonstration-based restoration, and community engagement.

Areas served: Chesapeake Bay (Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C.)

Grand Rapids Community Foundation

The Grand Rapids Community Foundation is Kent County’s philanthropic leader. By connecting people, their passions, and their region’s resources, they have worked toward an inclusive and equitable West Michigan. They invest in efforts led by those most affected by environmental injustice that ensure equitable environmental benefit.

Areas served: Grand Rapids/ Michigan

Crawford Taylor Foundation

The Crawford Taylor Foundation is committed to enabling and enhancing programs that create legacies within their St. Louis communities. They support the preservation of parks and places of natural beauty, along with education and development of long-term environmental solutions.

Areas served: St. Louis area(Missouri, Illinois)

Gray Family Foundation

The Gray Family Foundation works to encourage greater civic engagement in Oregon through investments that promote environmental literacy and giving back to the systems that nurture all of us: our culture, our natural environment, and our communities. 

Areas served: Oregon

Santa Fe Community Foundation

The Santa Fe Community Foundation improves the quality of life in Northern New Mexico.They make grants from established charitable funds that both anticipate and respond to community needs. They are devoted to building healthy and vital communities in the region where all sectors of their community take responsibility for ensuring a healthy environment.

Areas served: Santa Fe/New Mexico

Alaska Conservation Foundation

Founded in 1980, the Alaska Conservation Foundation is the only public foundation solely dedicated to conservation in Alaska, connecting thousands of committed donors and businesses worldwide with more than a hundred grassroots conservation organizations in Alaska. Through strategic funding, Alaska Conservation Foundation supports Alaska’s most critical issues, fosters problem-solving and innovation, and protects Alaska’s incredible yet vulnerable ecosystems, communities, and economies.

Areas served: Alaska

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