Funders & Donors - Climate Justice Alliance

Funders & Donors

for a Just Transition

Leveraging Resources and Relationships for Climate Justice

Longstanding and emerging frontline leadership, alliances (representing hundreds of under-resourced grassroots communities), and movement support organizations have formed a growing climate justice movement ecosystem that is shutting down the “dig, burn, dump” fossil fuel economy responsible for accelerating the climate crisis. Simultaneously, they are building local living economies that integrate community solutions and catalyze a Just Transition with equity at its core. Our funder and donor partners are responding to the urgency of this moment. They are advancing Just Transition through their partnership with and investment in frontline communities and their climate solutions. Imagine what we could accomplish with equitable resourcing to scale out local power that shifts cultures of practice to mitigate climate change now.

Grassroots Power and Vision in the Time of COVID-19

Hear from Frontline leaders sharing the direct experience of grassroots members amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the immediate demands that Frontline communities are lifting up in this moment, the potential for long term transformation of the economy, ecology and society, and our challenge to philanthropy to meet the moment.

Panelists: Dawn Phillips, Right to the City Alliance, Cindy Wiesner, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Duane “Chili” Yazzie, Northern Diné COVID-19 Relief Effort, Kitzia Esteva, Causa Justa : Just Cause, Lisa Abbott, Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, Roberto de la Riva Rojas, Inquilinxs Unidxs / United Renters for Justice, Kali Akuno, Cooperation Jackson

To read the CJA statement on the Coronavirus Pandemic, more information about collective mutual aid efforts, and the 5 Principles of a Peoples Bailout, visit

Opportunities and Context

Our members have shut down incinerators, prevented the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure, built model renewable energy job training programs, and passed local Just Transitions plans and policies—YET, the Grassroots Organizing Sector (GRO) receives only 3 to 5% of overall environmental funding. Grassroots organizations have been building relationships and power at the local level for generations and are best suited to hold industries, institutions, and elected officials accountable to advance climate justice. Our goal is to help move at least $40 million by 2020 in climate funding not previously committed to the GRO Sector to support their success. Resources alone won’t create the shift needed. We are working with our Funders Circle, allies, individual donors, affinity groups, and initiatives to build a new vision of and approach to Just Transition within philanthropy by: centering trust and relationships for equity in our organizations, institutions, and sectors; deepening understanding of our complex relationships to accumulated wealth tied to historical injustices; challenging extractive practices; and advocating for the GRO Sector’s increased access to land, resources, and capital. We invite you to explore with us philanthropy’s role in and responsibility to frontline communities and to Just Transition.

To learn more about how to shift your individual giving, contact Mark Chavez at

Funder Partnership with Climate Justice Alliance Will Advance Our Four-Year Strategy to: 1) Grow a powerful grassroots climate justice movement that links social, environmental, and economic justice communities; 2) “Build the Bigger We” – a broad, inclusive social movement that collaborates across sectors; and 3) Cultivate and implement replicable Just Transition solutions that move us toward sustainable, intersectional, and regenerative economies.

How We Live: Journey Towards A Just Transition

Video by Upworthy

“Donors invested unprecedented amounts of money in the climate and energy debate, including paid advertising that elevated grasstops voices from the military, business, and faith communities. However we feel strongly that a longstanding and damaging under investment in grassroots organizing severely crippled our ability to align and move policy forward.”~ 1SKY, An Open Letter to All People and Organizations Working to Combat Global Warming (August 6, 2010)

Become a Donor Leader

Whether it’s $1 per month or $100,000 per year for ten years, making a personally significant commitment to sustaining CJA’s work over time is an important way you can show up for the climate justice movement right now. Recurring donations and multi-year pledges provide our alliance with much needed financial stability and gives us the opportunity to organize alongside our donors for a more robust movement that supports the frontlines in fighting the bad and building the new.

We acknowledge that that nearly all money and wealth accumulated within the current economic system can be traced to injustice, exploitation, environmental degradation, slavery, and genocide. This money has been systematically extracted from communities in many ways that have caused immeasurable harm to people and place. For that reason, we are committed to working with our donors to actively dismantle the extractive systems it was derived from, while building new regenerative economic models to replace them that encourage reciprocal and democratically-led reinvestment. 

Find out more about becoming a donor leader contact

Join Our Funders Circle

CJA invites you to join our Funders Circle to expand the Grassroots Organizing Sector as a whole by shifting money to support grassroots and frontline leadership, solutions, and vision around Just Transition. As a member of the Circle, you can engage in a number of ways:

  • Work as thought partners with CJA as well as aligned philanthropic and grassroots influencers and funders. Help identify other national foundations or organizations that can and want to move resources and capital to the grassroots sector.
  • Provide funding directly to the grassroots sector.
  • Develop and implement a coordinated strategy with CJA to hold funder briefings, engage in funder tables, events, affinity groups, and multi-sector efforts to promote more grassroots funding.
  • Develop a mapping and power analysis of the current climate funding landscape.
  • Reinforce and publicize the narrative of frontline communities, the Grassroots Organizing Sector, our climate justice framework, and Just Transition among philanthropy, the environmental movement, and labor.
  • Draft position papers, articles, and op-eds in philanthropic journals to support the shift.

To learn more about our Funders Circle and to get your foundation involved in making the shift, contact Holly Baker at

Philanthropy & Just Transition – Learn More!

From 2017 to 2018, Climate Justice Alliance and aligned funders hosted the Funder Briefings for Just Transition Series, a four-part program designed to show how philanthropy can engage with and support Just Transition principles, strategies, and practices of frontline communities that are driving systemic solutions for the planet.

Briefing 1

People’s Just Transition: Community-Centered, Community-Led

Briefing 2

Just Transition and Climate Action Strategy

Briefing 3

Organizing New Economies On The Ground

Briefing 4

Cultivating Climate Disaster Capacity: A Long-Term Assessment

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