Rockefeller Family Fund: Environment Grant

Rockefeller Family Fund

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Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, General Operating Expense, Project / Program

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: United States

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About this funder:



Rockefeller Family Fund is a U.S.-based, family-led public charity that initiates, cultivates, and funds strategic efforts to promote a sustainable, just, free, and participatory society.  The Rockefeller Family Fund is a tax-exempt not-for-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS tax code.

Since 2006, RFF has focused its Environment program almost exclusively on climate change. Our program emphasizes public education on the risks of global warming and implementation of sound solutions. RFF is interested in the development of initiatives designed to enact aggressive policies at the state and national levels to reduce carbon emissions; disrupt the coal life cycle from mining and burning to ash disposal and exporting; bring diverse and compelling new voices into the climate debate; and examine how special interests are distorting science and delaying constructive steps to deal with this impending global crisis.


Climate Policy

This program aims to advance state and federal policies capable of addressing the magnitude of the nation’s contribution to the climate crisis.  Breaking through the resistance to meaningful climate progress requires the following elements: an engaged and energized electorate demanding change, public recognition of the climate disruption now unfolding, an unmasking of the forces working to prevent climate progress, and policies that, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, benefit the public, as opposed to the polluters, and have the potential for bipartisan appeal.  

Among numerous milestones, this work has led to:  

  • a ground-breaking report issued by senior U.S. military advisors that climate change is a national security risk;
  • U.S. House and Senate introduction of a straightforward climate bill that would dramatically reduce carbon while economically benefitting a majority of Americans;
  • passage of the most aggressive state-based energy efficiency bill in the nation;
  • creation of an organization committed to the fulltime defense of climate science and scientists; and
  • authoritative analyses of how advocates can best advance climate policies in the current political environment.  

National Coal Campaign

When the coal industry announced plans to build more than 150 plants across the country in 2005, RFF recognized that the construction of even one new plant would commit the U.S.  to long-term, high levels of carbon dioxide emissions, effectively preventing the nation from reaching future climate goals. The National Coal Campaign was first launched to help stop this coal rush. Its scope was later expanded to address the entire coal life cycle including mining, transporting, and disposal of coal.  Since then, RFF’s work with and support of advocates has helped defeat proposed coal plants in Florida, Iowa, Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, South Carolina and Georgia, and coal ports in the Pacific Northwest and in the Gulf of Mexico.  In addition to engaging national and local anti-coal advocates on the ground, RFF assembled a team of financial experts to analyze –and expose the flaws in–the financing behind the construction of new plants and coal-related activities. This pilot project started at RFF in 2007 and has since become its own non-profit organization, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. The Institute’s reports, which have prompted federal and state investigations of coal activities, and its training sessions for advocates have added a new dimension to the fight against coal.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • RFF supports tax-exempt organizations engaged in activities of national significance. 
  • Grants are made to nonprofit organizations in any state within the United States.


  • Priority is often given to organizations working as partners on RFF initiatives.


  • With limited exception, the Rockefeller Family Fund does not make grants to international programs or domestic programs dealing with international issues. 
  • We do not ordinarily consider projects which pertain to a single community, except in the rare instance where a project is unique, strategically placed to advance a national issue, or is likely to serve as a national model.
  • Grants are rarely made to organizations that traditionally enjoy popular support, such as museums, hospitals, or endowed institutions.
  • Seldom are grants made for academic or scholarly research, and never for social or human service programs.
  • Nor are grants made to support individuals, scholarships, international programs, profit-making businesses, construction or restoration projects, or to reduce an organization's debt.