Climate Resilience Fund (CRF)





Environmentalist Grantmaker

Project of:

Windward Fund

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The Climate Resilience Fund is a project of the Windward Fund under the umbrella of the left-leaning dark-money network run by philanthropic consultancy Arabella Advisors. The group makes grants and works with partners to support environmentalist advocacy. Windward “provides full project hosting services,” such as financial, administrative, compliance, and other overhead support to The Climate Resilience Fund. 1

The Climate Resilience Fund’s partnerships include, but are not limited to, pooling various financial resources to create private and public-private partnerships. 2


The Climate Resilience Fund began operations in 2016 and is housed at the Windward Fund, a left-wing 501(c)(3) sponsoring organization that provides funding, administrative, financial management, and legal support to left-of-center projects. Windward Fund is a part of a network of four nonprofits managed by Arabella Advisors, a Washington, D.C.-based philanthropy consulting firm whose clients include numerous major left-wing foundations. 3 Climate Resilience Fund began with a seed grant from the MacArthur Foundation, a funder of left-wing causes. 4

In 2017, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation joined Climate Resilience Fund with a donation. The CRF continues to work with other foundations, large and small, as it seeks to grow its funding and its connections. It seeks to become a hub for grantmaking and other actions by its investor partners. 5

CRF wishes to address the changes caused by climate change. The CRF believes that the effects of climate change are already occurring on the planet. While it does believe that reduction of greenhouse gases is a major priority, it believes that any action is too late because the effects of climate change have already been set in motion. 6

The CRF works with decisionmakers of all types to create communities that are more “resilient” to what it perceives as the harmful effects of climate change. It works to ensure that healthy communities, ecosystems, and sustainable economies thrive, no matter the challenges. 7

Arabella Advisors

The Climate Resilience Fund is a part of the Windward Fund. The Windward Fund is one of the funds that is managed by the Washington, D.C.-based Arabella Advisors. 8

Arabella was founded by Eric Kessler, a former Clinton administration official and field director for the League of Conservation Voters. The Arabella network is a network of “dark money” organizations where donors do not have to be disclosed. The network works by using the funds themselves as a front for their work. The Windward Fund itself was established in 2015 to be the environmentalist fiscal sponsor for the Arabella network. 9


The Climate Resilience Fund’s makes a number of grants to support environmentalist campaigns. Its grantmaking focuses on activism coordination and infrastructure. 10

The Climate Resilience Fund’s grants have been provided to a number of groups since 2017. 11 Several of the grants are outlined below.

In 2017, $110,000 was donated to the University of Virginia as part of a coalition effort to study the impact of rising waters on poor Virginians who live near the Atlantic Ocean. The study is based upon the Resilience Adaptation Feasibility Tool Scorecard assessment, which according to The Climate Resilience Fund examines communities’ hazard resistance, “issues of social equity,” and potential implications of flooding and other environmental hazards on “economic and social viability.” 12

Climate Resilience Fund donated $25,000 was in 2019 to a coalition of museums and government agencies which are creating an online platform for local leader-led activism related to spreading climate alarmism in communities and municipalities. 13

It provided a further $25,000 to the group Science to Action Community to support the Community’s academic and government partnerships to create a national network with 10 committees and dozens of member entities. 14

The Climate Resilience Fund also endorsed the position that climate change-related destruction cannot be stopped, a position also endorsed by its managing director. 15 The group also endorsed climate-related immigration as a major challenge when it Retweeted that claim from one of its board members. 16

In 2019, The Climate Resilience Fund released a report with the Wildlife Conservation Society which claimed that climate change’s impacts are increasing. 17 The report said that environment-based grant funders should modify strategies as a result of the alleged increase in climate change-related damage to the environment. 18


There are five leaders cited on The Climate Resilience Fund’s website. 19

The Climate Resilience Fund’s managing director is founder and organizer John Nordgren. Nordgren’s career has focused on environmental activism and environmental grant foundation leadership. 20 He was The Windward Fund’s sole employee in 2017. 21 Nordgren was previously a senior advisor and program manager for the left-leaning grantmaker Kresge Foundation’s environmental arm. He is involved with a number of boards of directors and advisor committees, such as EcoAdapt, Inc. 22

Darren Long is The Climate Resilience Fund’s Associate Director. He previously held director roles at Climate Change Adaptation and with the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Climate Adaptation Fund. His expertise is in investment and communications strategies for grantmaking foundations. 23

There are three members of The Climate Resilience Fund’s Advisory Board. MacArthur Foundation senior program officer Kate Barnes, who joined the massively influential environmental funder in 2007, previously worked for the U.S. Department of Energy and at the University of Chicago on environmental policies. 24 25

Joel Clement is a senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a senior fellow at the Union of Concerned Scientists. A former federal government worker official and whistleblower, he resigned from the Department of the Interior after working on alleged impacts of climate change on Native Alaskan communities. He claimed that the administration was reassigning him and other vocal advocates for government intervention to curb climate change because they raised concerns. 26

Sacha Spector is program director for environmental activities at the left-of-center Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. He was previously at Scenic Hudson, where he led stewardship and climate change efforts. He is an adjunct professor at Columbia University and a visiting scientist at the American Museum of Natural History. 27

According to CRF, Kresge Foundation apparently helped develop the concept for the fund. 28

The CRF has an advisory board which is made up of various representatives from the organizations that either fund or support CRF’s work. It has four members. Kate Barnes is a program officer with the MacArthur Foundation. Joel Clement is a prominent left-wing “whistleblower” against the energy policies of the Trump administration and a former civil servant in the U.S. Department of Interior. Sacha Spector is the director of environment at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation in New York City. Finally, Tom Steinbach is the fourth and final member of the advisory board and he represents San Francisco-based Tempest Advisors. 29


The Climate Resilience Fund’s revenue comes from Windward Fund, in which its operations are housed. 30 Its grant partners are not listed on its site.


  1. Windward Fund, Project Directory, Accessed October 4, 2019.
  2. Climate Resilience Fund, How We Work, Accessed October 4, 2019.
  3. Hayden Ludwig. “Big Money in Dark Shadows: Arabella Advisors’ Half-billion-dollar ‘Dark Money’ Network.” Capital Research Center. March 2019. Accessed June 13, 2019.
  4. “About”. 2019. Climate Resilience Fund. Accessed June 3.
  5. “About”. 2019. Climate Resilience Fund. Accessed June 3.
  6. “About”. 2019. Climate Resilience Fund. Accessed June 3.
  7. “About”. 2019. Climate Resilience Fund. Accessed June 3.
  8. Ludwig, Hayden. 2019. Big Money In Dark Shadows. Ebook. Washington D.C.: Capital Research Center. Accessed June 3.
  9. Ludwig, Hayden. 2019. Big Money In Dark Shadows. Ebook. Washington D.C.: Capital Research Center. Accessed June 3.
  10. Climate Resilience Fund, Priorities, Accessed October 4, 2019.
  11. Climate Resilience Fund, Grants, Accessed October 4, 2019.
  12. Climate Resilience Fund, University of Virginia Institute for Environmental Negotiation, Accessed October 4, 2019.
  13. Climate Resilience Fund, Mapping Action Collaborative, Accessed October 4, 2019.
  14. Climate Resilience Fund, Science to Action Community, Accessed October 4, 2019.
  15. Twitter, John Nordgren page, September 9, 2019. Accessed October 4, 2019.
  16. Twitter, Sacha Spector page, July 12, 2019. Accessed October 4, 2019.
  17. Molly Cross, John Nordgren, Darren Long, “Managing risks to conservation investments through climate adaptation,” 2019. Accessed October 4, 2019.
  18. Climate Resilience Fund, “Managing risks to conservation investments through climate adaptation,” 2019. Accessed October 4, 2019.
  19. Climate Resilience Fund, Meet the People, Accessed October 4, 2019.
  20. LinkedIn, John Nordgren profile, Accessed October 4, 2019.
  21. Hayden Ludwig, “Big money in dark shadows: Arabella Advisors’ half-billion-dollar ‘Dark Money’ network,” April 17, 2019. Accessed October 4, 2019.
  22. Climate Resilience Fund, Meet the People, Accessed October 4, 2019.
  23. Climate Resilience Fund, Meet the People, Accessed October 4, 2019.
  24. MacArthur Foundation, Financials, Accessed October 4, 2019.
  25. MacArthur Foundation, Kate Barnes, Accessed October 4, 2019.
  26. Joel Clement, “I’m a scientist; the Trump administration reassigned me for speaking up about climate change,” July 19, 2017. Accessed October 4, 2019.
  27. Climate Resilience Fund, Meet the People, Accessed October 4, 2019.
  28. “About”. 2019. Climate Resilience Fund. Accessed June 3.
  29. “About”. 2019. Climate Resilience Fund. Accessed June 3.
  30. Climate Resilience Fund, How We Work, Accessed October 4, 2019.
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