Our Impact: Environmental Resilience



Application Deadline

March 22, 2023

Impact Area Update and Background | Grantmaking | Eligibility | Evaluation Criteria | Information Sessions | Frequently Asked Questions | Important Dates |

Impact Area Update and Background

Through the Sustainable Communities Program, we hope to support economically and environmentally resilient communities. This cycle of the Sustainable Communities program, Environmental Resilience, will focus on funding organizations doing work at the intersection of environmental conservation and climate change.

There is a growing consensus that climate change poses a threat to the environment and the people and assets in communities across the globe. Locally, the Triangle is experiencing an increasing number of climate-related threats including more frequent flooding; increasing temperatures; increasing drought conditions; and population growth which leads to more development and demand for resources.

Conservation plays an important role in mitigating future effects of climate change. Across the globe, attention is being paid to nature-based solutions, “actions that work with and enhance nature so as to help people adapt to change and disasters”.  These can range from protecting natural areas (conservation) to planting new ecosystems to make cities greener. Studies suggest that, at scale, nature-based solutions can provide around one-third of the of the climate mitigation needed to stabilize warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius. Additionally, investing in activities that build or strengthen a community’s ability to prevent, respond to, and recover from climate stressors makes for stronger, more resilient communities in the face of a changing climate.

We know that certain communities that have endured chronic stressors such as poverty and racial segregation are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. So, a portion of the organizations funded will include those whose work explicitly benefits communities who experience disproportionate, complex impacts of climate change, including communities of color, low-income groups, people with limited English proficiency (LEP), and immigrant groups.

We look forward to continuing to fund work that will help conserve the Triangle’s land and natural resources and make our communities, particularly our most vulnerable ones, more resilient as climate-related events impact our region.


Grants will be available in the amount of $20,000. Funding will be for one year’s duration and will provide unrestricted support. We anticipate making approximately 13 grants through this grant cycle to organizations whose work has historically and continues to be in alignment with our program goals.

The goals and funding strategies for this Environmental Resilience cycle of the Sustainable Communities Program are outlined below.

Program goals:

  • Increase awareness of and education around conservation and/or climate issues
  • Increase climate resiliency, particularly of low-income communities

Funding strategies:

  • Fund organizations implementing nature-based strategies that allow communities to adapt to climate change threats (with priority on low-income communities)
  • Fund organizations providing education & communications around conservation and/or climate issues
  • Fund organizations that are engaging in local advocacy efforts related to conservation and/or climate issues

See the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for more details and examples of the type of work we hope to support through this program.


  • The Foundation invites 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations based in and serving Chatham, Durham, Orange and Wake counties to apply. Religious congregations, governmental agencies, and organizations operating under fiscal sponsorship of a tax-exempt nonprofit are eligible to apply.
  • Organizations must meet the Foundation’s non-discrimination policy (outlined in the grant application).
  • One application per organization will be considered.

Evaluation Criteria

Foundation staff work with volunteer advisory committee members to review proposals and reach grantmaking decisions. In reviewing grant proposals, the Foundation will use the following evaluation criteria. See the Frequently Asked Questions to see how these evaluation criteria overlap with the application questions.

  1. Organizational alignment with program goals
  2. Commitment to equity and community engagement
  3. Impact of Funding
  4. Organization financial health
  5. Overall recommendation

Information Sessions

A virtual information session was held via Zoom on Thursday, March 2, 2023, from 12:30pm – 1:30pm. You can access the recording by clicking here. 

Frequently Asked Questions

We have compiled  Frequently Asked Questions that we have received about this program. If you have a question not outlined here, please reach out directly to program staff at the contact information below.

Important Dates

Call for proposals opens     February 2024

Please reach out to us if you have questions PRIOR to the deadline!