FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2021
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Schmidt Family Foundation, Grove, Northlight, Bullitt, and Nathan Cummings Foundations take the Climate Funders Justice Pledge to commit to greater transparency & at least 30 percent of climate funding to Black, Indigenous, and people of color-led justice-focused groups
New York, NY — Donors of Color Network — the first-ever cross-racial community of donors and movement leaders committed to building the collective power of people of color to achieve racial equity — announced today that new top climate funders and high-profile movement leaders and networks have joined their groundbreaking Climate Funders Justice Pledge since the campaign launched in February. The campaign aims to move hundreds of millions of dollars to environmental and justice-focused groups led by Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) that are on the frontlines of battling the climate crisis.
The new funders taking the pledge include the Grove Foundation, Northlight Foundation, Schmidt Family Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, and Bullitt Foundation. By taking the pledge, these organizations commit to being transparent with their climate-focused funding through reporting their data publicly and increasing funding to BIPOC-led powerbuilding groups to at least 30 percent within two years. The MacArthur Foundation has also agreed to the transparency portion of the pledge.
Despite statements of support from top philanthropies during a time of racial reckoning, a recent report found that only 1.3 percent of funding from top national climate funders goes to environmental justice and BIPOC-led justice-focused groups. Donors of Color Network are calling for funders to drive the change that is needed to resource a winning climate movement. The pledge strengthens the environmental movement by investing in climate justice as a focal point for solving today’s most pressing economic and climate issues.
“BIPOC communities are in a historic moment, and the core mission of the pledge is to re-organize and re-center the conversation of what a winning climate movement looks like with communities of color that are on the frontline,” said Ashindi Maxton, executive director of the Donors of Color Network (DOCN). “In less than two months, we have already helped move millions of dollars to groups and programs that will play a central role in hitting our ambitious climate goals.”
Since the campaign’s launch, twelve climate funders, including three in the top twenty in terms of assets, have taken the pledge. The campaign has secured support from over 70 high-profile movement leaders from the most prolific climate justice organizations, PhD’s, business leaders, and Congressmembers; and will drive more than $100M more to justice-focused BIPOC-led organizations.
“The Pisces Foundation pledged because we believe that it’s essential to support communities of color fighting for a better future for people and the planet,” said David Beckman, president of The Pisces Foundation. “Funding these organizations advances equity and justice, particularly in the most impacted frontline communities, will drive down climate change, and advance a just transition. Now more than ever, we need to actually create the shift we know we need through action.”
To keep the pressure on, DOCN is continuing outreach to leading philanthropic organizations to brief and invite them to participate in the campaign, highlighting funders publicly on the campaign website who have not agreed to meet, holding meetings with crucial movement networks, and rolling out profiles of BIPOC-led movement networks to show funders that there are a plethora of organizations across the country who deserve more funding.
“Let’s acknowledge a truth: communities of color are receiving pennies on the dollar compared to other big groups and that’s just not an effective strategy to win,” said Mark Magaña, founding president and CEO of Green Latinos. “We’re creating a new minimum expectation for funding that will finally begin to create an equitable landscape and provide the resources for our communities to take on and win more battles.”
As pledges are made and fulfilled, DOCN will publicly share data on its campaign website to detail how much money funders currently give to BIPOC-led powerbuilding groups doing climate work, as well as the projected amount that will be moved to these groups when funders pledge to provide at least 30 percent of their U.S. climate dollars to them in the next 12 to 24 months.
For an updated list of where other top funders stand on the pledge and to learn more about the Climate Funders Justice Pledge, please visit: https://climate.donorsofcolor.org/.
ABOUT DONORS OF COLOR NETWORK: The Donors of Color Network is the first-ever cross-racial community of donors of color and movement leaders committed to building the collective power of people of color to achieve racial equity. The Donors of Color Network officially launched with their Inaugural Convening in March of 2019, building on three years of in-depth research, writing, and interviews. To learn more about Donors of Color Network, please visit: https://www.donorsofcolor.org/.