Partners for Places

Partners for Places is a successful matching grant program that creates opportunities for cities and counties in the United States and Canada to improve communities by building partnerships between local government sustainability offices and place-based foundations. National funders invest in local projects to promote a healthy environment, a strong economy, and well-being of all residents. Through these projects, Partners for Places fosters long-term relationships that make our urban areas more prosperous, livable, and vibrant.

The Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) joined together to launch Partners for Places. Now a project of the Funders’ Network, the grant program was made possible by generous support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the JPB Foundation, Kendeda Fund, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, New York Community Trust, Summit Foundation, and Surdna Foundation.

Click here for information about Partners for Places.


About GREEN! (Green, Renewable, Efficient, Equitable, Now)

This working group prioritizes learning and action to advance the following issues:

  • Sustainable design, green building, green neighborhoods
  • Sustainability planning
  • Resource efficiency
  • Green jobs

What Does Green Really Mean?

Sustainability. Green jobs. Energy efficiency. Green design. Resource conservation. LEED. What do these terms really mean? And what can funders do to make sure that “green” is more than a trendy buzzword–that green strategies actually reduce the carbon footprints and energy costs of buildings, enhance the health and vitality of neighborhoods, and improve the lives of people?

Background & Activities

The GREEN! funder working group was created in 2005 by funders interested in better understanding the promise that green strategies hold for improving outcomes for people and place. Its first efforts focused on the intersection of green design practices and location/placement decisions (for example, does a green building fulfill its promise if it is located in isolation, without convenient access to transportation?). The working group meets annually each fall and hosts Learning Network conference calls throughout the year to help funders learn more about green strategies and innovative practices. It also manages a funder listserv on topical green issues.

Strategic Collaboration

The working group is currently focused on learning more about green issues, identifying leverage points, and facilitating strategic collaborations in three specific arenas:

  • Energy-efficiency retrofits in the building sector and their connection to green jobs;
  • Green design and location issues (such as the LEED-ND rating system); and
  • Urban sustainability planning and implementation.

The GREEN! funder advisory committee is co-chaired by Jessica Boehland from The Kresge Foundation and Mariella Puerto from Barr Foundation.