Advances in technology, the growth of social media, and increased global awareness and investment are providing new and exciting environmental tools. The Foundation began a small program area that invests in organizations that are creating, developing, and implementing new and innovative approaches to sustainability and conservation.
Below are the Foundation’s 2016 grantees through its Innovation portfolio.
General Operating Support - $50,000 (first payment of a two-year grant)
In Our Backyards (ioby), a New York based organization, is building a national system of civic leaders, citizen philanthropists, and volunteers who create, fund, and implement urban sustainability projects in their neighborhoods. With a focus on Generation X, Millennial leaders of color, and leaders from low-income communities, ioby leaders are primarily served through ioby.org, a crowd-resourcing platform that blends crowd-funding and community organizing. ioby.org is the only digital engagement platform specifically designed to direct an untapped source of citizen philanthropy at a neighborhood scale. ioby.org delivers meaningful opportunities for participation to neighbors, and stitches together stories of innovation, change, and community building into a larger narrative on the importance of urban revitalization and conservation as a tool to build political will for social and environmental issues.
General Operating Support - $15,000
Move NY, created in 2010, is a one-issue campaign working under the auspices of Neo Philanthropy to address the crisis facing New York City’s transportation network: severe service cuts, escalating fares and tolls, and a dwindling funding base for the maintenance and improvement of our transit and road network. Known previously as the “Congestion Pricing Plan,” The Move NY coalition comprises of over 65 regional business associations, unions, clergy, civic leaders, transportation and environmental advocates, and good-governance organizations all aligned under a vision for New York City that raises money, reduces traffic and, most importantly, decreases the amount of greenhouse gases spewed by cars and buses in New York City to help combat the growing climate crisis.
The Natural History Museum - $30,000 (With an additional $20,000 awarded by the Human Rights Program)
The Natural History Museum is a project of Not an Alternative, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit arts collective that brings together tools from art, design, and political organizing, to affect popular understanding of events, institutions, and history. Through collaborations with scientists, artists, writers, environmentalists, and others, The Natural History Museum Project aims to use a creative new format in order to educate, direct public opinion, and inspire people to take action on climate change. The project has created a modern day natural history museum as a way of bringing to light the plight of climate change and highlight the funding role that climate deniers, like the Koch brothers, use to influence museums around the nation.
General Operating Support - $50,000
Project Drawdown, created in late 2013, is a new global coalition, created by noted environmentalist Paul Hawken, to conduct the first-ever comprehensive, data-driven analysis of how humanity can benefit from climate change solutions. Project Drawdown will be the first deep analysis examining how a solutions approach to climate change can reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a substantial way. It will communicate its findings broadly through a book, an open-source database and a diverse global network, Project Drawdown is catalyzing a shift from climate fatalism to rational climate-inspired action.
In order to mobilize larger portions of the population, the discourse about climate change must shift from the hopeless to the possible, from the negative to the positive. Project Drawdown will achieve this by defining and describing the 100 most substantive social, technological, and ecological solutions to climate change, and adding up their potential impact over a thirty-year timeframe. By showing the combined effect of these solutions from a systems perspective, Project Drawdown points to an achievable moment when society can turn the corner on concentrations of greenhouse gases, and illustrates how initiatives that address climate change can have cascading benefits to the health, prosperity and well-being of humanity and the environment.