Non-profit

Climate and Clean Energy Equity Fund

Location:

Los Angeles, CA

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Type:

Environmental Donors Fund

Formation:

2016

Project of:

New Venture Fund

Executive Director:

Roger Kim

The Climate and Clean Energy Equity Fund (often shortened to CCEEF, Climate Equity Fund, or Climate Fund) is a nonprofit environmental donors’ pass-through grantmaker. [1] Democracy Alliance, a network of influential liberal donors and operatives, created the Climate Equity Fund in 2014 to steer cash to groups fighting for environmental causes and candidates in key states. [2] The Climate Equity Fund was originally called the Climate Fund and is fiscally sponsored by the New Venture Fund. [3] The Equity Fund works in parallel with a 501(c)(4) sister organization called the Climate Equity Action Fund. [4]

Mission and History

The Climate Fund was co-founded in 2014 as a pooled environmental grantmaking fund for charitable nonprofit advocacy groups by the Solidago Foundation, a left-wing grantmaking foundation, and other philanthropic organizations including Rockefeller Brothers Fund and housed at the Democracy Alliance. [5] The Climate Fund and the Climate Action Fund, its sister 501(c)(4) nonprofit, steers money to groups fighting for environmental causes and candidates in key states. [6] Democracy Alliance revealed in 2015 that the Climate Fund would play a major role in its 2020 Vision plan to fight climate change. [7]

In 2016, the Climate Fund began operating under the fiscal sponsorship of the New Venture Fund. [8] The Fund also became known as the Climate and Clean Energy Equity Fund, with a specific mission of funding grassroots and communities of color to lead on climate solutions in key states. [9]

The CCEEF’s 501(c)(4) partner is now known as the Climate Equity Action Fund but remains housed at the Democracy Alliance where it supports more direct lobbying and elections of so-called climate and energy champions in the same key states. [10]

Political Activities

According to an internal Democracy Alliance memo, the Climate and Clean Energy Equity Fund and its partner Climate Equity Action Fund deploy funds to activists and organizers to build power for environmentalist action among people of color, indigenous people, and those most impacted by climate change. [11]

The Climate Equity Fund currently pushes climate change campaigns in five states: Florida, Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Virginia with plans to expand to nine states in 2020, elect “climate equity majorities” in Virginia in 2019, scope out and plan electoral campaigns for 2020 races, and work to elect “champion legislators” in at least seven states. [12] Democracy Alliance has recommended $8.4 million in new investments for the Climate and Clean Energy Equity Fund and Action fund for these political efforts in 2019 and 2020. [13]

Funding

The Climate and Clean Energy Equity Fund was originally established as the Climate Education Fund, a project of the Democracy Alliance, but it is now an organization fiscally sponsored by the New Venture Fund. [14] Large funders who may not otherwise make smaller grants to community organizations use the Climate and Clean Energy Equity Fund as a conduit to break up large flows of money. [15]

The fund started with a budget of approximately $500,000 and today draws support from several foundations and individual donors including the Hewlett, MacArthur, Kresge, and JPB Foundations. [16]

According to the CCEEF’s 2016-2018 report, the fund made six grants in 2016 totaling $500,000. In 2017, the fund granted $1.1 million to 13 grantees, and 27 grants in 2018 for a total of $2.1 million. [17]

Democracy Alliance recommended a combined budget of $8.4 million for the Climate and Clean Energy Equity Fund and Action fund for 2019 and 2020. [18]

Leadership

Roger Kim is executive director of the Climate and Clean Energy Equity Fund. [19] Kim also the senior strategy and planning officer for the Democracy Alliance, according to a 2016 report by the group, and uses a Democracy Alliance email address. [20] Kim is the former executive director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network and has worked for left-of-center non-profit organizations including Global Green USA, League of Conservation Voters (LCV), and San Francisco Foundation. [21]

Erin Rogers is co-chair of the CCEEF advisory board. [22] She is also a former program officer for environmentalist efforts at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. [23]

Sarah Christiansen is co-chair of the CCEEF advisory board. [24] She is also a program director for the Solidago Foundation which hatched the early idea of the CCEEF. [25]

Guillermo Quinteros is a CCEEF advisory board member and also a program director for the Solidago Foundation and See Forward Fund. [26] Quinteros also serves on the board of the radical environmentalist group Greenpeace, and has previously been on the board of the Proteus Fund, the Funders Committee in Civic Participation, and Social Justice Infrastructure Funders. [27]

Kathleen Welch is a CCEEF advisory board member. [28] She is also a founding principal at Corridor Partners, a political advocacy firm, and formerly worked as the executive director of Equal Justice Works and in “senior roles” at the Pew Charitable Trusts[29]

Josie Mooney is a CCEEF advisory board member who also works for NextGen Climate, and is a former strategist and negotiator with the SEIU. [30]

Michelle DePass is a CCEED advisory board member. She is a civil rights lawyer and currently the president and CEO of Meyer Memorial Trust, an Oregon-based advocacy organization. DePass previously worked at the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Environmental Protection Agency as an Obama administration appointee, and as a program officer at the Ford Foundation. [31]

References

  1. Williams, Tate. “Green Intermediaries: The Pooled Funds Connecting Donors to the Frontlines of Climate Change.” Grassroots International. April 08, 2019. Accessed June 24, 2019. https://grassrootsonline.org/in-the-news/green-intermediaries-the-pooled-funds-connecting-donors-to-the-frontlines-of-climate-change/. Republished from Inside Philanthropy. ^
  2. Restuccia, Andrew, and Kenneth P. Vogel. “Liberal Donors Double down on Climate Change.” POLITICO. November 13, 2015. Accessed July 06, 2019. https://www.politico.com/story/2015/11/climate-change-liberal-donors-215833. ^
  3. “Foundation Jobs | Foundation Job – Director of Programs at The Climate and Clean Energy Equity Fund in Los Angeles, California.” Foundation. June 13, 2018. Accessed June 25, 2019. https://www.foundation-jobs.com/jobdetail-136447-Director of Programs. ^
  4. “How a Small Progressive Funder Innovates and Organizes to Make a Bigger Impact.” American Nonprofit Academy. May 07, 2019. Accessed June 25, 2019. https://americannonprofitacademy.com/how-a-small-progressive-funder-innovates-and-organizes-to-make-a-bigger-impact/. ^
  5. “How a Small Progressive Funder Innovates and Organizes to Make a Bigger Impact.” American Nonprofit Academy. May 07, 2019. Accessed June 25, 2019. https://americannonprofitacademy.com/how-a-small-progressive-funder-innovates-and-organizes-to-make-a-bigger-impact/. ^
  6. Restuccia, Andrew, and Kenneth P. Vogel. “Liberal Donors Double down on Climate Change.” POLITICO. November 13, 2015. Accessed July 06, 2019. https://www.politico.com/story/2015/11/climate-change-liberal-donors-215833. ^
  7. Restuccia, Andrew, and Kenneth P. Vogel. “Liberal Donors Double down on Climate Change.” POLITICO. November 13, 2015. Accessed July 06, 2019. https://www.politico.com/story/2015/11/climate-change-liberal-donors-215833. ^
  8. Williams, Tate. “”We Need to Build Power to Win.” A Fund for Climate Justice Is Gaining Momentum.” Inside Philanthropy. April 05, 2019. Accessed June 26, 2019. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2019/4/5/we-need-to-build-power-to-win-a-pooled-fund-for-climate-justice-is-gaining-momentum?fbclid=IwAR3lPmub9Sc0mNq_U6bt6tG4lUnKEhkNX8Ky0v5bZjagU2S5psEDmYdAuBs. ^
  9. Williams, Tate. “Green Intermediaries: The Pooled Funds Connecting Donors to the Frontlines of Climate Change.” Grassroots International. April 08, 2019. Accessed June 24, 2019. https://grassrootsonline.org/in-the-news/green-intermediaries-the-pooled-funds-connecting-donors-to-the-frontlines-of-climate-change/. Republished from Inside Philanthropy. ^
  10. Williams, Tate. “”We Need to Build Power to Win.” A Fund for Climate Justice Is Gaining Momentum.” Inside Philanthropy. April 05, 2019. Accessed June 26, 2019. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2019/4/5/we-need-to-build-power-to-win-a-pooled-fund-for-climate-justice-is-gaining-momentum?fbclid=IwAR3lPmub9Sc0mNq_U6bt6tG4lUnKEhkNX8Ky0v5bZjagU2S5psEDmYdAuBs. ^
  11. Schoffstall, Joe. “Confidential Memo: Secretive Liberal Donor Club Plots $275 Million for 2020.” Washington Free Beacon. April 10, 2019. Accessed June 25, 2019. https://freebeacon.com/politics/confidential-memo-secretive-liberal-donor-club-plots-275-million-for-2020/. ^
  12. Restuccia, Andrew, and Kenneth P. Vogel. “Liberal Donors Double down on Climate Change.” POLITICO. November 13, 2015. Accessed July 06, 2019. https://www.politico.com/story/2015/11/climate-change-liberal-donors-215833. ^
  13. Schoffstall, Joe. “Confidential Memo: Secretive Liberal Donor Club Plots $275 Million for 2020.” Washington Free Beacon. April 10, 2019. Accessed June 25, 2019. https://freebeacon.com/politics/confidential-memo-secretive-liberal-donor-club-plots-275-million-for-2020/. ^
  14. “Foundation Jobs | Foundation Job – Director of Programs at The Climate and Clean Energy Equity Fund in Los Angeles, California.” Foundation. June 13, 2018. Accessed June 25, 2019. https://www.foundation-jobs.com/jobdetail-136447-Director of Programs. ^
  15. Williams, Tate. “”We Need to Build Power to Win.” A Fund for Climate Justice Is Gaining Momentum.” Inside Philanthropy. April 05, 2019. Accessed June 26, 2019. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2019/4/5/we-need-to-build-power-to-win-a-pooled-fund-for-climate-justice-is-gaining-momentum?fbclid=IwAR3lPmub9Sc0mNq_U6bt6tG4lUnKEhkNX8Ky0v5bZjagU2S5psEDmYdAuBs. ^
  16. Williams, Tate. “Green Intermediaries: The Pooled Funds Connecting Donors to the Frontlines of Climate Change.” Grassroots International. April 08, 2019. Accessed June 24, 2019. https://grassrootsonline.org/in-the-news/green-intermediaries-the-pooled-funds-connecting-donors-to-the-frontlines-of-climate-change/. Republished from Inside Philanthropy. ^
  17. “2016–2018 Report.” The Climate and Clean Energy Equity Fund. Accessed July 06, 2019. https://www.theequityfund.org/20162018-report. ^
  18. Schoffstall, Joe. “Confidential Memo: Secretive Liberal Donor Club Plots $275 Million for 2020.” Washington Free Beacon. April 10, 2019. Accessed June 25, 2019. https://freebeacon.com/politics/confidential-memo-secretive-liberal-donor-club-plots-275-million-for-2020/. ^
  19. “Roger Kim.” Roger Kim. Accessed July 26, 2019. https://www.influencewatch.org/person/roger-kim/#note-1. ^
  20. “Democracy Alliance 2020 Investment Portfolio.” Democracy Alliance. Published Fall 2016. Accessed April 15, 2019. Available: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/04/Democracy-Alliance-2020-Investment-Portfolio-Report.pdf. ^
  21. Williams, Tate. “”We Need to Build Power to Win.” A Fund for Climate Justice Is Gaining Momentum.” Inside Philanthropy. April 05, 2019. Accessed June 26, 2019. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2019/4/5/we-need-to-build-power-to-win-a-pooled-fund-for-climate-justice-is-gaining-momentum?fbclid=IwAR3lPmub9Sc0mNq_U6bt6tG4lUnKEhkNX8Ky0v5bZjagU2S5psEDmYdAuBs. ^
  22. “About.” Solidago. Accessed July 06, 2019. https://solidago.org/partners/climate-and-clean-energy-equity-fund-2/. ^
  23. “Erin Rogers.” Hewlett Foundation. January 24, 2014. Accessed July 26, 2019. https://hewlett.org/people/erin-rogers/. ^
  24. “Sarah Christensen.” Sarah Christensen. Accessed July 26, 2019. https://www.influencewatch.org/person/sarah-christensen/. ^
  25. “How a Small Progressive Funder Innovates and Organizes to Make a Bigger Impact.” American Nonprofit Academy. May 07, 2019. Accessed June 25, 2019. https://americannonprofitacademy.com/how-a-small-progressive-funder-innovates-and-organizes-to-make-a-bigger-impact/. ^
  26. “About.” Solidago. Accessed July 27, 2019. https://solidago.org/featured-partners/. ^
  27. “Guillermo Quinteros.” Guillermo Quinteros. Accessed July 27, 2019. https://www.influencewatch.org/person/guillermo-quinteros/. ^
  28. “Kathleen Welch.” Kathleen Welch. Accessed July 26, 2019. https://www.influencewatch.org/person/kathleen-welch/. ^
  29. “Board of Trustees Elects New Members.” St. Lawrence University. May 29, 2019. Accessed July 06, 2019. https://www.stlawu.edu/news/board-trustees-elects-new-members. ^
  30. “Josie Mooney.” Josie Mooney. Accessed July 27, 2019. https://www.influencewatch.org/person/josie-mooney/. ^
  31. “DePass, Michelle.” Center for Constitutional Rights. Accessed July 26, 2019. https://ccrjustice.org/home/who-we-are/board/depass-michelle. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Sarah Christensen
    Co-Founder and Co-Chair
  2. Roger Kim
    Executive Director
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Climate and Clean Energy Equity Fund


Los Angeles, CA