2015 Fall Grants Summary

The Nathan Cummings Foundation


2015 Fall Grants Summary

Over the past year, NCF’s staff and board have made some exciting progress on implementing the Foundation’s new grantmaking strategy focused on Inequality and Climate Change. This fall, we approved $7.8 million in grants that will enable us to deepen our relationships with some current partners, and experiment through partnerships with new groups. These agents of change are working through NCF’s Approaches to innovate solutions and catalyze systemic shifts. Here is a snapshot of just some of the groups we’re excited to support.

Our Climate Program has been diving deeper into our interest in improving resilience for those most vulnerable to the adverse consequences of climate change. For example, Clean Energy Group’s Resilient Power Project will provide opportunities for low-income communities to deploy cleaner and economically beneficial energy technologies. The Climate Justice Alliance—a network of 40 community organizations, movement networks, and support organizations on the front lines of the climate crisis—aims to build local and regional power for climate justice and a just transition to a low-carbon economy through its Our Power Campaign. In coal country, Kentuckians For The Commonwealth aims to help lead Kentucky and the region toward a “New Energy Economy” by building a future with good jobs, healthy and safe communities, and affordable and sustainable energy alternatives. Outside of the US, NCF partners continue to explore clean energy solutions to help alleviate poverty. EarthSpark International’s Akademi Enèji project is a multi-country effort to examine the workforce development and regulatory action needed to complete a 100-town microgrid that could help address energy poverty in Haiti.

On the Inequality side, our partners are helping us understand some important themes that have resonated with our staff and board throughout the guidelines development process for this program. New America Foundation’s Open Markets Program and Media Democracy Fund are working to deconstruct concentrations of power within corporate sectors that challenge equity and access. We’re eager to learn from organizations like the Democracy Collaborative that are promoting new models, efficient practices, and promising policies related to community wealth building. Dominant narratives influence everything from what we perceive to be common sense to public policy. Define AmericanRace Forward and Pacific School of Religion’s Ignite Institute are examples of the partners helping us investigate what’s at the root of destructive narratives that perpetuate inequality, and how we create effective new frames. Artists play a critical role in advancing social change by helping individuals, communities, and our society as a whole develop empathy and unleash our imaginations. To this end, groups including the Center for Performance and Civic Practice and Junebug Productions foster collaborations between artists and communities as they create processes for problem-solving and developing shared equitable visions. And, our learning about how inequality manifests and is addressed in Israel is being expanded thanks to partners like New Israel Fund and Shaharit.

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