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Topical Resource Lists

Funding and Supporting Environmental Causes:
A Resource List

The following bibliography highlights the roles of foundations, nonprofit groups, businesses, and individuals in the environmental movement. This resource list contains citations to selected works from the Foundation Center's Catalog of Nonprofit Literature, as well as links to useful web resources. For additional reports, articles, and other materials on the topic, search the Catalog by using "environment" in the Subject field.


Biggs, Genevieve. Ecotourism as a Conservation Strategy for Funders: A Background Briefing. New York, NY: Environmental Grantmakers Association, 2008. 28 p. Subject File Number: 220
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An overview of ecotourism, a newly popular movement which many have touted as an excellent way to fund environmental causes and benefit the development of poor nations. However, many are also doubtful of its effectiveness; this report analyzes the positive and negative aspects of ecotourism with the aim of helping private foundations address ecotourism's challenges and find ways of rendering "green travel" effective and beneficial for all. Includes a resource list and a chart of foundations engaged in ecotourism funding.
Design to Win: Philanthropy's Role in the Fight Against Global Warming. San Francisco, CA: California Environmental Associates, 2007. 49 p. Subject File Number: 222
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A guide for donors, foundations, policymakers, and the general public to combating global warming through philanthropy. Emphasizes the need to support knowledgeable NGOs, create nation-specific expertise to aid in grantmaking, and to hasten the dissemination of knowledge and innovation in environmental matters.
Faber, Daniel R. and Deborah McCarthy. Green of Another Color: Building Effective Partnerships Between Foundations and the Environmental Justice Movement. Washington, DC: Aspen Institute, 2001. iv, 79 p. Call Number: 220 FAB
An analysis of the relationship of "green politics" to philanthropy, documenting the current under-funding of the environmental justice movement, according to the authors.
Giller, Chip. "How Green is Your Cash: Eco-Philanthropy Gains Currency." Contribute vol. 2 (February-March 2007) p. 40-5. Subject File Number: 220
Discusses trends in environmental activism, noting the increasing numbers of philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, and environmental nonprofits with tightly focused agendas.
Zald, Mayer N. "Making Change: Why Does the Social Sector Need Social Movements?" Stanford Social Innovation Review, vol. 2 (Summer 2004): p. 24-34.
Zald uses the growth of the environmental movement to demonstrate the importance of social movements as incubators of innovation. In addition to providing an outline of the life cycles of social movements, the author calls upon foundations to fund activists and movement advocates. With bibliographical references.


"Best Practices in Environmental Fundraising." Advancing Philanthropy vol. 9 (March-April 2002) p. 24-7.
Posits that environmental groups need to focus on securing major gifts, as they already enjoy large membership bases.
Foundation Center. Grants for Environmental Protection and Animal Welfare. New York, NY: Foundation Center, annual. xxi, 355 p. Call Number: REF GRA 004
Lists grants of $10,000 or more made by over 800 foundations for environmental organizations including pollution abatement and control services; natural resources conservation and protection; botanical, horticultural, and landscape services; environmental education and beautification programs; wildlife preservation and protection; veterinary and other animal services; and zoos and aquariums.
Kugler, Elly. "Whose Environment Will Be Funded? Balance Popular Appeal and Community Accountability in Workplace Fundraising." Responsive Philanthropy (Summer 2006) p. 10-3. Subject File Number: 220
Research by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy reveals that "large national organizations and conservation or education-focused groups often receive more funding from environmentally focused workplace giving funds than small local organizations and groups with an environmental justice focus." The author discusses possible reasons for the disparity and provides recommendations to help environmental workplace funds maintain a balance in distributing grants.
Schwinn, Elizabeth. "Growing Number of Charities Bring the Environment into Their Appeals." Chronicle of Philanthropy vol. 20 (1 November 2007) p. 46.
Explores the trend in which nonprofits without any prior environmental focus have begun pursuing and fundraising for environmental projects. Many charities have added plans for creating green spaces and energy-efficient buildings to their usual range of charitable projects.

Sustainable Practices

Carroll, Greg and Nancy Spitler. "It's Not Easy Being Green." Currents vol. 34 (May/June 2008) p. 16-9, 21-2.
A discussion of the financial ramifications of sustainability in colleges and universities. Many institutions have found that the adoption of environmentally friendly practices has resulted in considerable cost increases, while others have noticed that their focus on sustainability has attracted the attention of new donors. The article also explores sustainability as part of a school's marketing plan.
Grefé, Richard and Maria Emmighausen. "Setting a Green Standard." Associations Now, vol. 3 (February 2007): p. 71-5. Subject File Number: 660
Explains how organizations can take steps in daily office routines to protect the environment.
Gunther, Marc. "Tree Huggers, Soy Lovers, and Profits." Fortune, vol. 147 (23 June 2003): p. 98-100, 102, 104. Subject File Number: 438
Enumerates the many corporations that are embracing sustainability and environmentally-friendly strategies and examines the extent to which these aspects of social responsibility benefit stakeholders.
Rodgers, Kim. Green Beyond Grants: Sustainable Practices for Foundations. New York, NY: Environmental Grantmakers Association, 2007. 16 p. Subject File Number: 223
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Gives tips for foundations to reduce their environmental impact in the office and at events. With bibliographical references.
Taking Action on Climate Change. Menlo Park, CA: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, 2008. 9 p. Subject File Number: 223
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A brief guide to what the nonprofit sector can do to promote energy conservation. Addresses the topics of efficiency, renewable energy, coal, cars, and fuels for transportation. Within each issue, the report discusses technical potential, policy, and ideas on how philanthropy can help.

Institutional Examples

Asmus, Peter, Hank Cauley, and Katherine Maroney. "Turning Conflict into Cooperation." Stanford Social Innovation Review, vol. 4 (Fall 2006): p. 52-61.
In response to a concerted boycott of the company by the Rainforest Action Network, Mitsubishi engaged in a dialogue with the protesters. The results were the development of more sustainable forestry practices and other environment-friendly initiatives. The authors provide details on the conflict and its resolution, along with information about similar pressure from other nongovernmental organizations. With bibliographical references.
Delfin, Francisco, Jr. and Shui-Yan Tang. "Philanthropic Strategies in Place-Based, Collaborative Land Conservation: the Packard Foundation's Conserving California Landscape Initiative." Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, vol. 35 (September 2006): p. 405-29.
The Conserving California Landscape Initiative was launched by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation in 1998 and culminated in 2003, having succeeded in meeting a goal of conserving 250,000 acres of open space. The authors provide an analysis of this type of grantmaking program. With bibliographical references.
Gunther, Marc. "The Green Machine." Fortune, vol. 154 (7 August 2006): p. 42-6, 48, 52, 54, 57. Subject File Number: 438
Describes the ambitious plans at Wal-Mart to help the company become more environmentally friendly. Provides background information on how the campaign originated in 2004.
Siska, Darlene M. "The Brownfields Breakthrough." Foundation News & Commentary, vol. 45 (May-June 2004): p. 20-3.
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund has distinguished itself through its Innovative Brownfields Program, focused in New York City. Brownfields are former industrial sites that need clean-up in order to be put to new use. The foundation needed to pioneer new practices to bring all the stakeholders together and move the projects forward. Ultimately, the success of the coalition-building resulted in passage of new laws.

Employment/Volunteer Opportunities

Ausenda, Fabio (ed.). Green Volunteers: The World Guide to Voluntary Work in Nature Conservation. 6th ed. Milano, Italy: Green Volunteers, 2007. 254 p. Call Number: 042 AUS
A listing of over 200 projects and organizations that seek short-term and long-term volunteers for nature conservation work around the globe.
Ginsberg, Beth (ed.). The ECO Guide to Careers That Make a Difference: Environmental Work for a Sustainable World. Washington, DC: Island Press, 2004. xxi, 401 p. ISBN 1-55963-967-9. Call Number: 633 GIN
Various specialists describe their work. Indexed.

Internet Resources

Environmental Grantmakers Association
Provides resources on environmental grantmaking and includes a funder directory. EGA's membership consists of over 225 foundations around the world.
Environmental Protection Agency
The EPA's web site includes information on grant opportunities and environmental financing.
North American Association of Environmental Education
The NAAEE offers resources, programs, and activities to promote environmental education and support the work of environmental educators.
USDA Water and Environmental Programs
The USDA's Water and Environmental Programs provide loans and grants related to drinking water, sanitation facilities, and other issues.
U.S. Green Building Council
USGBC is a nonprofit organization committed to expanding sustainable building practices. USGBC is composed of more than 13,500 organizations from across the building industry that are working to advance structures that are environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy places to live and work.

Foundation Center Resources

FC Stats
Identify foundation giving trends in environmental causes by reviewing statistical tables developed by the Foundation Center's Research Department.
Foundation Directory Online
Learn about current funding priorities of environmental funders by searching the center's comprehensive database of U.S. grantmakers.
Philanthropy News Digest (PND)
Browse the latest news on environmental philanthropy at PND, the Center's online news service.
Search PubHub to find recent foundation-sponsored reports on the subject of the environment.
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