Non-profit

AgroEcology Fund (AEF)

Location:

Washington, DC

Project of:

New Venture Fund

Formation:

2012

Type:

Environmental and Agricultural Advocacy Organization

Executive Director:

Daniel Moss

AgroEcology Fund is a left-of-center environmentalist-aligned project that advocates for issues regarding small farms and other agricultural issues. The organization supports small farmers and opposes industrial agriculture primarily through grantmaking. [1]

The organization is a fiscally sponsored project of New Venture Fund, a fiscal-sponsorship nonprofit managed by Arabella Advisors, a left-leaning consulting firm. [2] The organization has also received a significant amount in grants from Open Society Foundations, the left-of-center private grantmaking foundation operated and funded by liberal billionaire activist George Soros. [3]

Agroecology

The organization advocates what it calls “agroecology,” said to be “blending traditional knowledge with science to find solutions to productivity, fertility, pest control and agrobiodiversity.” The organization also claims that agroecology is a tool that can be used to create “climate resilience,” and offer solutions to poverty and famine. [4]

The organization claims that agroecology can be a solution to what it claims to be a global “climate crisis.” It claims that the industrialized agricultural practices prevalent in developed countries contribute significantly to global warming and that providing incentives and aid small farmers globally is the solution its perceived threats. The organization asserts that “low market prices,” and “unfair competition” are detrimental to small farmers and call for organizations to advocate for increased benefits and rights for small and peasant farmers. [5]

Funders and Supporters

AgroEcology Fund was established in 2012 by four donor organizations, The Christensen Fund, New Field Foundation, the Swift Foundation, and one “anonymous foundation,” according to the organization’s website. As the organization grew, it welcomed a number of new left-leaning organizations as supporters including the McKnight Foundation, a left-of-center grantmaking entity; the Franciscan Sisters of Mary, a Roman Catholic environmentalist organization; and the Casey and Family Foundation, a left-of-center grantmaking organization that regularly makes large donations to New Venture Fund. [6]

AgroEcology Fund receives funding from a number of left-of-center organizations. Most notably, the organization receives funding from Open Society Foundations, a large left-of-center grantmaking organization created and funded by liberal mega-donor George Soros. Other organizations listed as donors to AEF include the McKnight Foundation, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, which donated $50,000 in 2016;[7] Wallace Global Fund; Ben & Jerry’s Foundation; and the Panta Rhea Foundation. [8]

AEF also lists a number of left-leaning organizations and coalition entities as “allies” of the organization. Notable among those listed is the Environmental Grantmakers Association, a left-of-center environmentalist organization that was once a project of the Rockefeller Family Fund. [9]

Grantmaking

AEF advocates primarily through grantmaking and gives millions of dollars annually to organizations aligned with its mission. Many of the grants made go to small organizations advocating for agricultural issues and issues related to land. Most of the grants made are to international organizations. The grants primarily go to countries in West Africa, to India, to South Korea, and to countries in South America. It has made grants of $6.1 million to 49 organizations since 2012. [10]

People

Daniel Moss is the executive director of AgroEcology Fund. He previously worked as a development director for Grassroots International, an organization that financially supports small farmers in developing countries but has also made donations to labor union-aligned workers centers in the United States. He also worked as the South American program director for Oxfam America, an organization advocating for increased international aid from developed countries like the United States. Moss has also authored a number of articles in left-of-center and liberal media outlets such as Huffington Post, and Yes! Magazine, a left-of-center magazine advocating for a wide variety of issues. [11]

References

  1. “Our Approach.” AgroEcology Fund. Accessed May 12, 2020. https://www.agroecologyfund.org/our-approach. ^
  2. “AgroEcology Fund.” Giving Compass. Accessed May 14, 2020. https://givingcompass.org/fund/agroecology-fund/. ^
  3. “Grants Database: AgroEcology Fund/New Venture Fund.” Open Society Foundations. Accessed May 14, 2020. https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/grants/past?filter_keyword=agroecology+fund&grant_id=OR2017-38016. ^
  4. “AEF Report 2019.” AgroEcology Fund. Accessed May 14, 2020. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57d4a042414fb51a88b0c5d4/t/5db4db9a4fbade21d1874707/1572133787747/AEF-ProgressReport_v8.pdf. ^
  5. “AEF Report 2019.” AgroEcology Fund. Accessed May 14, 2020. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57d4a042414fb51a88b0c5d4/t/5db4db9a4fbade21d1874707/1572133787747/AEF-ProgressReport_v8.pdf. ^
  6. “History” AgroEcology Fund. Accessed May 12, 2020. https://www.agroecologyfund.org/history. ^
  7. Grants Database. David and Lucille Packard Foundation. Accessed May 14, 2020. https://www.packard.org/grants-and-investments/grants-database/new-venture-fund-52/. ^
  8. “Donors and Advisors.” AgroEcology Fund. Accessed May 12, 2020. https://www.agroecologyfund.org/leadership-and-allies. ^
  9. “Donors and Advisors.” AgroEcology Fund. Accessed May 12, 2020. https://www.agroecologyfund.org/leadership-and-allies. ^
  10. “Grantmaking.” AgroEcology Fund. Accessed May 14, 2020. https://www.agroecologyfund.org/grantmaking. ^
  11. User Profile: Daniel Moss. LinkedIn. Accessed May 13, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danielmoss9/  ^
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AgroEcology Fund (AEF)


Washington, DC