Climate Justice Resilience Fund (CJRF)



Washington, DC


Environmentalist Grantmaking Organization

Project of:

New Venture Fund


Heather McGray

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The Climate Justice Resilience Fund is an environmentalist funder that works to fund projects in regions that may be at risk from climate change. The fund was launched by the Oak Foundation and is project of the New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) funding and fiscal sponsorship nonprofit managed by the Washington, D.C.-based consultancy Arabella Advisors. The fund has since picked up additional supporters, most prominently the Kendeda Fund. 1

The Fund generally does most of its work outside of the United States. However, it does make grants in the Arctic region, specifically to some Alaska-based groups. The fund works by making grants to larger organizations which pass on the money to smaller organizations. 2


In 2016, the Geneva, Switzerland-based Oak Foundation established the Climate Justice Resilience Fund. It was intended to be a six-year, $20 million fund that would fund projects in regions impacted by climate change. The fund was set up through the New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that manages numerous similar projects. 3

The fund was originally intended to fund organizations working in three regions of the world: East Africa, the Bay of Bengal, and the Arctic. The fund would focus on four areas: water access, food security and sovereignty, sustainable livelihoods, and migration and relocation. The fund would be directed towards women, youth, and indigenous people. 4

Work with Other Organizations

The Fund does the bulk of its work in collaboration with other organizations. It is administered by the New Venture Fund, which is managed with the Washington, D.C.-based left-leaning philanthropic consultancy Arabella Advisors. New Venture and Arabella handle many of the day-to-day operations and provides grantmaking oversight. 5

The CJRF initially began as a grant from the Oak Foundation. In addition, the fund received roughly $900,000 in a series of grants from the Kendeda Fund between 2018 and 2021. 6

CJRF director Heather McGray co-authored an April 2019 op-ed in the Hill with Heather Grady, a vice president of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors in which they claimed that a massive expansion of government was needed to secure environmentalist priorities. In the op-ed, the women praised the Green New Deal, a far-left legislative proposal that critics call a “radical, top-down, socialist makeover of the entire U.S. economy.” 7

They also praised international demonstrations pressuring lawmakers to push left-wing policies related to climate change. They praised the Sunrise Movement and Extinction Rebellion, two far-left groups pushing for more regulations and government control of the economy under the guise of fighting climate change. 8


Heather McGray is the director of the CJRF, serving in the position since the group’s start in 2016. Prior to the CJRF, she was the director of the World Resources Institute‘s Climate Resilience Practice. 9


  1. Williams, Tate. “New Climate Justice Fund Takes Shape and Lands Another Backer.” Inside Philanthropy. January 10, 2018. Accessed May 31, 2019.
  2. Williams, Tate. 2018. “New Climate Justice Fund Takes Shape And Lands Another Backer”. Inside Philanthropy.
  3. “Oak Foundation Launches $20 Million Climate Change Fund”. 2016. Philanthropy News Digest (PND).
  4. “Oak Foundation Launches $20 Million Climate Change Fund”. 2016. Philanthropy News Digest (PND).
  5. “Who We Are”. 2019. Climate Justice Resilience Fund. Accessed May 23.
  6. Williams, Tate. 2018. “New Climate Justice Fund Takes Shape And Lands Another Backer”. Inside Philanthropy.
  7. McConnell, Mitch. Twitter Post. March 25, 2019, 5:18 P.M. Accessed March 29, 2019.
  8. McGray, Heather, and Heather Grady. 2019. “Climate Justice Can’t Wait”. The Hill.
  9. “Heather McGray, Director.” Climate Justice Resilience Fund, Accessed February 2, 2024.
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Climate Justice Resilience Fund (CJRF)

1828 L Street NW, Suite 300-A
Washington, DC 20036