Grants for environmental organizations

5,769 environmental organizations received at least $653.9 million in grants for the most recent fiscal year. This includes 13,802 grants made from 5,618 grantmaking organizations, with a median grant amount of $1,000. Of these 5,618 foundations, 57% made just a single grant to environmental orgs, and 13% made grants to four or more environmental orgs. This analysis is based on grantmakers that e-file their Form 990s, and likely is an undercount of grants.
$653,862,978
Total grant dollars given to environmental organizations
13,802
Number of grants made annually to environmental organizations
5,618
Number of grantmakers funding environmental organizations
$1,000
Median grant size to environmental organizations

Foundations that support environmental organizations

Out of all grants made to environmental organizations, 81% came from small foundations with less than $10 million in assets. The top 10 grantmakers accounted for 70% of the dollar-value of grants to environmental orgs. Foundations funding environmental orgs also made grants to land conservation groups, water and wetland protection organizations, animal shelters, natural resource conservation nonprofits, and environmental education programs.

Foundation size

Foundation sizeNumber of grantmakers
Small
 
4,604
Medium
 
645
Large
 
369
Small foundations have <$10M in assets. Medium foundations have $10M to $50M in assets. Large foundations have >$50M in assets.

Foundation type

Foundation typeNumber of grantmakers
Community
 
105
Private
 
4,989
Corporate
 
225
Other
 
299

Grants made

Grants made to environmental orgsNumber of grantmakers
1
 
3,258
2-3
 
1,585
4-10
 
670
11+
 
105

Top 10 foundations supporting environmental organizations

GrantmakerStateGeographic focusPercent of grant dollars to environmental orgsNumber of grants made to environmental orgsMedian grant size
Seattle FoundationWAState0.5%280$1,000
Shell Oil Company FoundationTXNational0.7%155$400
JP Morgan Chase FoundationNYNational1.3%142$311
Clif Bar Family FoundationCANational14.9%130$4,000
Abbvie FoundationILNational0.2%127$200
Community Foundation of Greater Des MoinesIAState0.3%120$1,000
The Rhode Island FoundationRIMetro0.4%110$1,000
Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee (CFMT)TNMetro0.3%107$1,000
Salesforce Com FoundationCANational0.3%98$100
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)NJNational0.0%77$500

Environmental organizations grantees

Environmental organizations with more than $5 million in total revenues received 93% of all grant dollars. These larger organizations accounted for 41% of all environmental orgs.

Grant amounts

Size of grantNumber of grants
<$10k
 
13,727
$10k-$25k
 
0
$25k-$100k
 
0
$100k+
 
75

Grant amount by grantee size

Grantee annual revenueMedian grant size
<$100k
 
$1,000
$100k-$500k
 
$1,000
$500k-$1M
 
$1,500
$1M-$5M
 
$1,000
>$5M
 
$1,000

Grantee states

State of granteeNumber of grants
California
 
1,659
New York
 
1,465
District of Columbia
 
1,449
Virginia
 
804
Other
 
8,425

Grantee metros

Metro area of granteeNumber of grants
Washington DC
 
2,126
New York City
 
1,310
San Francisco
 
789
Boston
 
402
Other
 
7,332

Top 25 grants made to environmental organizations

GranteeGrant sizePurposeGrantmaker
Sierra Club$79,006,516Environmental EducationSierra Club Foundation
Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)$56,250,000Agricultural DevelopmentBill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Walker Basin Conservancy$47,985,925FMVNational Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)
The Nature Conservancy$42,482,096Various ConservationNational Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)
Sixteen Thirty Fund$33,013,025Capacity BuildingNew Venture Fund
Sixteen Thirty Fund$33,013,025Capacity BuildingNew Venture Fund
The Energy Foundation$17,000,000For Energy Foundation Us Program SupportWilliam and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)$15,000,000Toward the Costs of Implementing Its New Strategic Approach To Inclusive and Integrated Agricultural Transformation in AfricaRockefeller Foundation
Walker Basin Conservancy$12,544,151CashNational Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)
Walker Basin Conservancy$12,544,151Various ConservationNational Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)
The Energy Foundation$9,780,000Conservation and ScienceDavid and Lucile Packard Foundation
The Energy Foundation$8,260,000For Energy Foundation ChinaWilliam and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Natural Resources Defense Council$7,516,450Daf - EnvironmentCombined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston
Sixteen Thirty Fund$7,342,000Clean Slate ReformChan Zuckerberg Initiative Advocacy
National Audubon Society$7,100,224Various ConservationNational Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)$7,009,315Daf - EnvironmentCombined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston
The Conservation Fund$6,664,480Various ConservationNational Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)
Resources Legacy Fund$6,655,000Conservation and ScienceDavid and Lucile Packard Foundation
The Nature Conservancy$6,378,340Civil Rights, Social Action, AdvocacyHopewell Fund
New York Botanical Garden (NYBG)$6,187,500Support for Scientific Research, Horticulture and Living Collections, Audience Development, and Visitor Services and To Add To the Recovery and Restoration Fund.LuEsther T Mertz Charitable Trust
Food and Water Watch$6,176,750EnvironmentSilicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF)
The Trust for Public Land$6,012,250EnvironmentSilicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF)
Open Space Institute (OSI)$5,681,501Conservation ActivitiesThe Nature Conservancy
Windward Fund$5,550,000For the Women and Climate FundWilliam and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Sierra Club Foundation$5,005,010Daf - EnvironmentCombined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston
Methodology: To determine grants and grantees, Cause IQ analyzes electronically-filed Form 990, Form 990-EZ, and Form 990-PF financial disclosure documents, matching grantees to specific organizations using EINs and fuzzy matching logic. The "Environmental organizations" category for this page is determined by the "C00: Environment: General" National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE) code. Cause IQ determines NTEEs for organizations by its own internally-developed secret-sauce algorithms.