The Building Equity and Alignment Impact Fund (BEAI Fund) is an environmentalist funding vehicle hosted by Grassroots International, a left-of-center organization. The group has a goal of raising and sending $10 million to local-level environmentalist advocacy groups.
Building Equity and Alignment Impact Fund was established in 2013 as a coalition to bring large national environmental groups together with local-level campaigners.
BEAI formed a separate BEAI Fund to provide these local-level campaign groups with resources, setting a goal of $10 million. The left-leaning Grassroots International has managed the fund since 2017,1 raising $1 million in 2017. 2
The fund promotes what Grassroots International calls four “interlinked elements.” The first is supporting community organizing. The second is building partnerships across sectors and geographies. The third is to end the use of conventional energy. The fourth is to build capacity for local-level advocacy groups. 3
BEAI Fund is governed by staff from the parent organization Grassroots International and the BEAI Fund Advisory Board made up of individuals from several left-leaning environmental groups. 4
BEAI Fund Advisory Board members include Angela Adrar of the Climate Justice Alliance, Richard Moore of Los Jardines Institute, and Kim Wasserman, of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization from the local-level organizing sector; Robert Friedman of the Natural Resources Defense Council representing the national environmental groups; and Kat Gilje of Ceres Trust as the funder representative. 5
Association with the Overbrook Foundation
The Overbrook Foundation initially launched the BEAI at a gathering of environmental funders during the summer of 2013. The new organization adopted the “Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing,” which focuses on “inclusion, solidarity, self-determination and bottom-up organizing.” 6
Numerous large environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club, were part of the BEAI initiatives to promote more diversity among people in the historically largely white environmentalist movement, as a means of promoting a “more inclusive” effort which would “more equitably service the grass-roots organizing sector.” 7
- William, Tate. “Green Intermediaries: The Pooled Funds Connecting Donors to the Frontlines of Climate Change.” Inside Philanthropy. April 4, 2019. Accessed June 8, 2019.
- BEAI Fund. Accessed June 8, 2019. https://bea4impact.org/sites/default/files/documents/BEAI_Fund_Brochure_V6_0.pdf
- BEAI Fund. Grassroots International. Accessed June 8, 2019. https://grassrootsonline.org/who-we-are/partners/united-states/beai-fund/
- BEAI Fund. Grassroots International. Accessed June 17, 2019. https://grassrootsonline.org/who-we-are/partners/united-states/beai-fund/
- BEAI Fund Advisory Board. Accessed June 8, 2019. https://grassrootsonline.org/who-we-are/partners/united-states/beai-fund/beai-fund-advisory-board/
- BEAI History. Accessed June 8, 2019. https://bea4impact.org/about/history
- Restuccia, Andrew. “Green Groups Set Sights on Diversity.” Politico. May 31, 2015. Accessed June 8, 2019. https://www.politico.com/story/2015/05/new-sierra-club-president-green-diversity-problem-118433