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Climate Justice For All Project Grants

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2022 – REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

At The Climate Reality Project, our mission is to catalyze a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a necessity across every sector of society.

To achieve this goal, we are committed to including and uplifting the voices of historically marginalized groups who have vital perspectives on the climate crisis and how we solve it. This includes Black, Indigenous, people of color, poor families, youth, and individuals living on the frontlines of climate change and systemic inequalities. In recognition of the expertise and much needed leadership these communities bring to the success of the climate movement, we launched our Climate Justice for All Grant Program in April 2020.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The Climate Justice for All Grant Program (CJA grants) is an initiative that supports organizations or grassroots groups run by and primarily serving frontline communities in developing community solutions to environmental injustices in the US and Puerto Rico.

Selected organizations receive a one-time grant of up to $20,000, access to our curated library of resources, and opportunities to help amplify and spread their message in partnership with Climate Reality and peer organizations.

As part of the grant cycle, organizations are invited to participate in capacity-building workshops, check-ins with Climate Reality staff, and peer-learning opportunities with other grantees.

Our grant-making approach is based on working collaboratively with all grantees and building authentic relationships together. While we work closely with grantees to ensure their solutions are advancing at a steady pace, grantees are always in the driver’s seat. With flexibility, trust, and recognition of their expertise, we see organizations as working partners in the pursuit of an equitable and sustainable future for all.

WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR

To date, we have awarded nearly $400,000 to fund 29 climate justice projects with impacts across 20 US states and Puerto Rico.

This year, we are seeking to fund 10 organizations led by and serving frontline communities interested in implementing project-based initiatives that address environmental injustices. We are especially interested in selecting applications from the following states: AL, AZ, CA, CO, GA, LA, NC, UT, NV, TN, and TX

The grant period goes from May 2022 to December 2022

ELIGIBILITY

This is a program intentionally designed to support organizations primarily run by and serving frontline communities.

Climate Reality understands frontline communities are those that experience the impacts of climate change first and worst. Black, Indigenous, people of color, and low-income communities have disproportionally endured the physical, economic, and mental burdens of climate change. Because of their lived experiences, frontline communities are experts in the climate solutions that will succeed in their communities.  

Based on this characterization, we define organizations primarily lead by frontline communities as organizations where individuals impacted first and worst by the climate crisis make up all or the majority of board, senior leadership, and staff positions. To ensure our funding is directly invested in these groups, our grants review committee will only review proposals submitted by organizations who meet this criterion.

We strongly encourage applications from: 

  • Environmental or climate justice organizations.
  • Groups with diverse membership or with a focus on marginalized communities.
  • Organizations with established working relationships with frontline communities.
  • Faith groups.
  • Youth-led climate organizations.
  • HBCU campus organizations.
  • Grassroots groups.
  • Organizations with members directly impacted by climate change in their communities.
  • Previous CJA grantees*.

 

All applicants must also show proof of 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status or have a fiscal sponsor actively registered in their state to do business.

Climate Reality will not consider joint applications for this grant cycle. However, we understand that the support of partner organizations may be crucial for the success of a community project. In these cases, grant recipients will be allowed to regrant part of the funds to support the work of a partner group as long as their involvement increases the grantee’s chances to meet the goals and objectives submitted in their project proposal.  

*Although eligible, previous CJA grant recipients will only be able to receive 20% of this year’s funds if their applications are selected. 

TYPE OF PROJECTS WE SEEK TO SUPPORT

Organizations are invited to implement community-driven solutions to the climate crisis that engage, empower, and benefit a specific community. The project-based proposal must pursue one or more of the following objectives:

  • Raise awareness of the disproportionate impacts of climate change in frontline communities and the need for clean energy and energy efficiency.
  • Mobilize communities against the fossil fuel industry and in support of emissions reduction.
  • Engage communities in green workforce development opportunities (related to climate, natural disasters, environment, clean transportation, housing, water and wastewater infrastructure) or in paths for a just transition to clean energy. 
  • Further community resilience to climate change, environmental injustices, and/or legacy pollution.

 

We will also prioritize the selection of 501(c)(3) projects that include measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound objectives to be accomplished within a realistic timeline. Note that a very limited number of grants that focus on influencing legislative efforts can be supported.

TYPE OF APPLICATIONS INELIGIBLE FOR FUNDING

  • Applications that do not address climate-related issues.
  • Applications that are not project-based or pursue funding to support an organization’s general programming.
  • Applications submitted by organizations without 501(c)(3) status or that lack a fiscal sponsor.
  • Applications submitted by organizations that are not based in the US or Puerto Rico.
  • Projects that do not engage, empower, or benefit frontline communities.
  • Projects undertaken by organizations that are not primarily led by frontline communities.
  • Applications that support or oppose political candidates.
  • Academic research.
  • Applications submitted by Climate Reality board members, officers related to Climate Reality’s employees, or board members or to Climate Reality’s high-level donors.

 

APPLICATION AND PROPOSAL GUIDELINES

Applicants will be asked to provide basic information about the organization leading the project and summarize key aspects of the project proposal. These include:

  • Problem statement and importance.
  • Objectives and activities.
  • Timeline.
  • Experience with population served and programming.
  • Expertise and partnerships on the ground.
  • Project sustainability.  
  • Budget.

 

We recommend that organizations be concise with their responses since there is a limited number of characters to answer each question. Overall, applicants should not spend more than one-to-two hours completing their application.

 Before completing your application, make sure to have at hand a copy of your organization’s IRS Exemption Determination Letter or that of your fiscal sponsor. 

EVALUATION CRITERIA

A Climate Reality review committee will evaluate grant project proposals in accordance with the following criteria:

  • How clearly the climate problem, the community affected, and its importance are explained.
  • Project sets specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound objectives within a realistic and attainable timeline. Activities are strongly linked to project objectives.
  • Project sets a clear vision for success with defined outcomes that demonstrate its potential to engage, empower, and benefit positively a local community.
  • Organization’s ability to conduct a successful proposal, based on expertise in the field as it relates to the project, relationships on the ground, and experience working with population served.
  • Organization’s ability to sustain the work beyond the grant period if the project is not temporary.
  • Proposal details how grant funds will help the organization achieve the project’s objectives and make an impact. Additional resources such as matching funds, in-kind contributions, or support from other sources are identified.
  • How well the population served is reflected in the composition of organization’s board, senior staff, and staff. 
  • Performance as a former CJA grantee (only applicable for organizations that have received a grant from Climate Reality in the past).

 

The Climate Reality Project will contact organizations that have been selected to receive the award no later than April 30, 2022.

AWARD SELECTION PROCESS

Selected organizations will be asked to:

  • Provide proof of the organization’s registration in their state to do business.
  • Sign a grant agreement.
  • Provide the organization’s bank account details to receive the grant funds in one payment.

POST AWARD PROCESS

  • Grantees attend an online kick-off session.
  • Grantees are invited to record a one-minute video highlighting key aspects of their climate justice initiative for Climate Reality social media.
  • Grantees are responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of their projects during the nine-month grant period.
  • Grantees are invited to participate in three check-in calls with Climate Reality staff.
  • Grantees are invited to participate in peer-learning activities with other grantee organizations.
  • Grantees will be asked to submit mid-term and final reports of their project’s accomplishments.

 

2022 CJA GRANTS TIMELINE:

  • February 16: Q&A Session
  • March 7: Application deadline
  • April 20 – April 30: Announcement of selected organizations
  • May 1: Beginning of grant period
  • September 1: Mid-term report deadline
  • December 31: End of grant period
  • January 15: Final report deadline

 

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS?

Climate Reality will host an online Q&A session with potential applicants on February 16, at 1 PM (ET). To register for this session please click here.

In order to answer questions or guide organizations through the application process, we will host office hours every Thursday from 4:00 PM to 4:30 PM (ET) until the application closes. If you wish to attend office hours, please contact us by email at climatejusticegrants@climatereality.com.