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Grantmaking

Our program areas are: sustainable agriculture, alternative transportation, renewable energy, and youth engagement.

Sustainable Agriculture: We support organizations working to help minority or otherwise disadvantaged people access healthy and ecologically regenerative food.

Some of our current grantees are working on helping low-income folks start their own food or farm business (see La Cocina and Viva Farms); we're also supporting education, engagement, and food access programs that are responsive to the cultures and communities in which they work (see The GrowHaus, or Re:Vision).

 

Alternative Transportation: We support programs working to increase public transportation and bike and pedestrian infrastructure.

We're currently funding groups that are working among coalitions of health, worker training, affordable housing, and climate action non-profits, as a way of reducing GHG emissions and helping communities stay economically and racially diverse (see TransForm and Mile High Connects).

 

 Renewable Energy: We are interested in programs that increase the adoption of clean sources of energy alongside consistent reduction in energy use overall.

They could be working on regional, local, or corporate policy (see SPUR, Rocky Mountain Institute, and As You Sow), innovative financing mechanisms, or education geared toward behavior change (see Saving Neighborhood Energy).

 

Youth Engagement: We are interested in programs that counteract the apathy that too often affects middle and high school students of all backgrounds.

We support programs that help youth realize their own potential for learning and problem solving (see Coyote Central and Bike Works), as well as broader work that targets aspects of the education system that stifle that creativity.  

 

Investing

Because we believe that all of the foundation assets - not just our grant dollars - should work in the service of the public good, we are managing our portfolio in conjunction with an impact investment management firm. We are excited to pursue impact-intensive investments, while seeking market-rate returns. Our corpus is currently 92% invested for impact, with the remaining 8% in a variety of alternative investments; this will change as impact possibilities continue to evolve.

We have also allocated a portion of our corpus for investments in early stage companies or funds in line with our philanthropic focus areas. We prioritize investments in the Western United States, but are able to consider national or international opportunities if they are a particularly good fit with our values or program goals. We're supported in these goals by memberships in Transform Finance and Investor's Circle.

 

Advocacy

We believe in the importance of advocacy and policy work as an agent of change. As such, we look for non-profit partners engaging in advocacy to support with our grantmaking.