Grants for environmental organizations

6,121 environmental organizations received at least $1.5 billion in grants for the most recent fiscal year. This includes 20,928 grants made from 5,645 grantmaking organizations, with a median grant amount of $20,000. Of these 5,645 foundations, 61% made just a single grant to environmental orgs, and 15% 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.
$1,513,375,910
Total grant dollars given to environmental organizations
20,928
Number of grants made annually to environmental organizations
5,645
Number of grantmakers funding environmental organizations
$20,000
Median grant size to environmental organizations

Foundations that support environmental organizations

Out of all grants made to environmental organizations, 57% came from small foundations with less than $10 million in assets. The top 10 grantmakers accounted for 19% of the dollar-value of grants to environmental orgs. Foundations funding environmental orgs also made grants to water and wetland protection organizations, land conservation groups, energy conservation organizations, trade / professional associations, and natural resource conservation nonprofits.

Foundation size

Foundation sizeNumber of grantmakers
Small
 
3,242
Medium
 
1,333
Large
 
1,052
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
 
417
Private
 
2,963
Corporate
 
139
Other
 
2,126

Grants made

Grants made to environmental orgsNumber of grantmakers
1
 
3,460
2-3
 
1,283
4-10
 
620
11+
 
282

Top 10 foundations supporting environmental organizations

GrantmakerStateGeographic focusPercent of grant dollars to environmental orgsNumber of grants made to environmental orgsMedian grant size
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)DCNational10.5%334$45,584
The Energy FoundationCANational62.5%178$100,000
William and Flora Hewlett FoundationCANational10.3%128$150,000
Gordon E and Betty I Moore FoundationCANational11.4%92$221,993
Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift FundMANational2.3%244$29,390
National Philanthropic TrustPANational1.2%298$20,000
David and Lucile Packard FoundationCAState6.7%66$155,000
New Venture FundDCNational7.0%108$107,943
The JPB FoundationNYNational8.0%38$500,000
Schwab Charitable FundCANational2.0%284$16,850

Environmental organizations grantees

Environmental organizations with more than $5 million in total revenues received 52% of all grant dollars. These larger organizations accounted for 34% of all environmental orgs.

Grant amounts

Size of grantNumber of grants
<$10k
 
3,455
$10k-$25k
 
7,688
$25k-$100k
 
6,496
$100k+
 
3,289

Grant amount by grantee size

Grantee annual revenueMedian grant size
<$100k
 
$12,500
$100k-$500k
 
$15,500
$500k-$1M
 
$20,000
$1M-$5M
 
$24,000
>$5M
 
$25,000

Grantee states

State of granteeNumber of grants
California
 
3,258
New York
 
1,945
District of Columbia
 
1,599
Virginia
 
1,080
Other
 
13,046

Grantee metros

Metro area of granteeNumber of grants
Washington DC
 
2,582
New York City
 
1,700
San Francisco
 
1,389
Los Angeles
 
664
Other
 
11,740

Top 25 grants made to environmental organizations

GranteeGrant sizePurposeGrantmaker
Rare$2,446,664Grants To Protect the EnvironmentGrantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment
Downtown Safety Patrol$2,433,982Cash GivenDowntown Dallas Foundation
Downtown Safety Patrol$2,433,982Cash GivenDowntown Dallas Foundation
Downtown Safety Patrol$2,433,982Direct Support of OperationsDowntown Dallas Foundation
Powell Gardens$2,432,150EnvironmentGreater Kansas City Community Foundation
Chesapeake Bay Foundation$2,428,745For Grant Recipient's Exempt PurposesFidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund
Environmental Defense Action Fund (EDF)$2,423,200FMVEnvironmental Defense Fund (EDF)
Elemental Excelerator$2,421,050Community & Human ServicesGoldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund (GSPF)
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)$2,400,737Environment, AnimalsNational Philanthropic Trust
Southface Energy Institute$2,392,430General SupportThe Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
Lake of the Woods International Arena Board$2,385,000Arts and CultureGoldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund (GSPF)
Sharon Land Trust$2,359,839General SupportNorthwest Connecticut Community Foundation
Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC)$2,331,647Land Aquisition - Kiw & Gulf HagasForest Society of Maine (FSM)
The Energy Foundation$2,300,000Daf - EnvironmentCombined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston
Conservation International (CI)$2,294,337PolicyThe Pew Charitable Trusts (Pew)
Resources Legacy Fund$2,275,000For the Western Energy ProjectWilliam and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Save the Redwoods League$2,250,000For Permanent Protection of the Cascade Ranch in Santa Cruz County.Gordon E and Betty I Moore Foundation
Sustainable Markets Foundation$2,235,000To Support Education and Outreach To Build A Clean Energy FutureThe Energy Foundation
The Conservation Fund$2,224,434For Grant Recipient's Exempt PurposesFidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund
Conservation International (CI)$2,150,028Blue Abadi Fund and Support for Marae MoanaNia Tero Foundation
Forest Park Forever$2,144,134General SupportSt Louis Community Foundation
Midwest Assistance Program$2,104,905Technical Assistance, Training and Research and Economic DevelopmentRural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP)
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)$2,055,042Civil Rights, Social Action, AdvocacyHopewell Fund
International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT)$2,050,000Crux ProjectAspen Global Change Institute (AGCI)
The Nature Conservancy$2,047,000Conservation and ScienceDavid and Lucile Packard Foundation
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.