Community-Led Grantmaking

We are now in our third Community-led grant cycle. Each cycle has become more competitive. Last cycle, we could only fund 50% of the requests received, even though all of the proposals met our minimum requirements. While we don’t know for sure, we expect the demand to remain high this cycle.

To help you decide if you want to apply, we are sharing more about our evaluation criteria, assuming we have many high-quality applications fitting our minimum standards. Please pay attention to our stated priorities. All successful grantees will likely meet these preferences. We may screen organizations at the beginning based on program priorities, budget, and organization leadership if we have a large applicant pool.  

The Foundation’s objective is to support aggressive & equitable carbon reduction between now and 2030 as the Foundation for achieving net-zero carbon by 2050. So as we look at requests, we will prioritize organizations explicitly addressing carbon reduction and community impact. Organizations that prioritize other essential environmental issues, water, toxics, and food, and only tangentially impact climate, are unlikely to be funded. 

We also focus on the intersection of climate and communities. We want to support community-led efforts such as: increasing energy efficiency, mobilizing community action, bringing community voice to policy tables, and collaborating with other climate advocacy groups to ensure the community impact and equity are designed into policy and administrative reform.  

Community-Led Grantmaking Guidelines

The Foundation’s current climate change cycle opened on December 15, 2023, with applications due on February 15, 2024.

Carolyn Foundation wants to support climate and/or environmental efforts led by those most likely to be impacted by climate change, and to emphasize support for organizations and efforts led by community. We understand that these organizations may be multifaceted with climate and/or environment as one part of their priorities. We hope through our grants we can learn and build relationships to be better allies in the future.

To support their voices leading at the intersection of climate, justice and clean energy progress, we will prioritize the following organizations:

  • Climate and environment objectives are part of their priorities
  • Leadership reflective of populations served with shared lived experiences
  • Working to address climate and/or environment issues in 2024
  • Annual budgets of less than ~ $1 million

2024 Grant Pool:

  • Approximately $165,000
  • Geography: Minnesota and the Indigenous Nations sharing the same geography
  • One-year general operating support grants
  • Approximate Grant Size: $15,000 – $25,000

2024 Process:

  • Apply here by February 15, 2024
  • Virtual Site Visits: TBD, anticipated 45-minutes each between March and April
  • Decisions & Payment: May – June