Small Grants, Big Impact

As of June 15, 2012, the California Wildlands Grassroots Fund is a fund of the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment. The Fund can be reached via www.calwildlandsfund.org or by calling Rose Foundation at 510-658-0702.

As California’s population grows, so does the human impact on the environment, especially on wildlands and ecosystems. The California Wildlands Grassroots Fund (CWGF) was created in 2002 to fund  grassroots activists and organizations in their efforts to preserve  and restore the Golden State’s wildlands and open space.

Through grants to small grassroots organizations and to individual activists, CWGF promotes wildland protection of all kinds -- scientific research, litigation, participation in local land use planning processes, communications and advocacy, land acquisition, restoration and trail maintenance projects,  and organizational capacity building.  CWGF’s target funding constituency is small community-based organizations (annual budgets of less than $100,000) working to protect specific tracts of lands and ecosystems. CWGF grants do not exceed $5000, and typically support work in  geographic areas  or on advocacy efforts that have not received significant foundation support.

The Fund awards about $100,000 in grants every year and also provides organizational development support through an annual grantee convening co-sponsored with the Northern California Grassroots Environmental Fund.

Since 2002, CWGF has awarded more than 170 grants -- totaling $740,000 -- to more than 100 organizations from rural Del Norte and Shasta Counties, to rapidly urbanizing regions of the San Joaquin Valley, to wild enclaves in Los Angeles or San Diego Counties. These grantees reflect the depth  and breadth of wilderness and open space activism in California; the many challenges facing grassroots community organizations; and an abiding belief in the power of grassroots activism and advocacy.  These small grants consistently achieve big results -- results that make the Golden State a healthier, greener and more beautiful place.

Because CWGF supports small grassroots projects, the application process is a relatively simple one, carried out entirely through the Fund’s website. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis and decisions made quarterly.  For guidelines, application, and a complete list of past CWGF grantees, please go to www.calwildlands.org or by calling 510-658-0702.

Leave a Reply