Funders for Climate Justice (Northern California Grantmakers)

April 22, 2022 @ 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm America/New York Timezone

Register here.

The Northern California Grantmakers (NCG) Funders for Climate Justice Group is a collaboration with Smart Growth California and the League of California Community Foundations. We invite funders who are interested in or are already funding at the intersection of climate justice and resilience to join us and to share and provide input as we collectively learn and take action on critical climate justice challenges and opportunities. Discussion topics in the group will focus on intersectional issues relating to climate justice, as well as philanthropic and community-based practices and trends relevant to northern California’s 48-county region. We also welcome topical and tactical feedback from funders as we improve this group.

Funders for Climate Justice meet four times a year:

Session 1 | Friday, April 22, 2022: 10:30 am – 12:00 noon
Session 2 | Friday, June 17, 2022: 10:30 am – 12:00 noon
Session 3 | Friday, September 16, 2022: 10:30 am – 12:00 noon
Session 4 | Friday, December 2, 2022: 10:30 am – 12:00 noon

Register here.


We are at a critical juncture in shaping how people live, work, play in the decades to come. The convergence of increasing intensity and frequency of climate change impacts on communities, significant public funding that is allocated to increasing community-based climate resiliency, and heightened attention on the urgency to take immediate action on climate change, has created tremendous philanthropic engagement opportunities in California.

Recently, FSG published a report, Time to Act: How Philanthropy Must Address the Climate Crisis, which presents a set of practical recommendations and vignettes to illustrate how a wide range of funders, varying in size, structure, and expertise, can further their existing missions by supporting effective climate action through grantmaking and investments. The report calls for funders to support frontline communities most affected by the climate crisis to transform economic, political, and social systems toward a more just, regenerative, and livable future. At our inaugural meeting on Earth Day, FSG will share highlights of the report to help prompt our discussions around several key questions:

  • Why funding for climate justice is critical at this moment?
  • How are funders engaging at the intersection of climate resilience?
  • What learning, information, and philanthropic/cross-sector coordination needs are necessary to accelerate grantmaking, investments, and advocacy for climate justice?

Additionally, Northern California Grantmakers, Smart Growth California/Southern California Grantmakers, and the League of California Community Foundations will share their respective climate-related priorities in supporting, engaging, connecting, and coordinating funders. We invite you and your colleagues to participate in this interactive and engaging (virtual) meeting where you will meetyour peers and learn from each other so that we can collectively work towards an equitable climate future!


Alan Kwok, PhD., Director of Climate and Disaster Resilience, Northern California Grantmakers and Philanthropy California: Alan has led Northern California Grantmakers and Philanthropy California funders coordination, advocacy, and public/private partnerships around climate justice and disaster resilience effortssince 2018. He was instrumental in the development of statewide disaster resilience and recovery fund with the League of California Community Foundations and the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom, advocated for equitable climate and disaster resilience policies at the state and national levels, coordinated philanthropic responses to California wildfires since 2018, and supported funders coordination around wildfire resilience in partnership with funders and other western states’ philanthropy serving organizations.

Ron Milam, Director, Smart Growth California: Ronjoined Smart Growth California in 2014 as the coordinator of the Los Angeles Funders’ Collaborative and since the fall of 2017, has directed Smart Growth California. Ron brings 17 years of leadership experience in the nonprofit sector, having served over 150 sustainability-oriented organizations as a consultant. Ron is skilled at developing leadership, building stronger teams, improving organizational effectiveness, and facilitating collaborative change. He brings an understanding of issues related to transportation, land use, climate, housing, water, the environment, and racial equity. He served as the founding executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

Laura Seaman, Chief Executive Officer, League of California Community Foundations: Laura is CEO of the League of California Community Foundations, a statewide coaltion of 32 community foundations serving over 95% of California’s population. She joined the League in 2020 after serving as Associate Director of the Digital Civil Society Lab at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society. She is a proud Californian and is grateful for the opportunity to serve The Golden State’s network of community foundations.

Laura Tilghman, Director, FSG: Laura has nearly 15 years of cross-sector experience in the social sector. At FSG, she leads strategy work with foundations, corporations, and collective impact initiatives. In philanthropy, Laura has worked with large private foundations and family foundations on issues of health equity, economic development, environmental sustainability, and education. Laura has designed social innovation and corporate social responsibility strategies for corporate clients in the apparel, mobility, health care, and food & beverage industries. Laura has also supported multiple cross-sector, collective impact initiatives—helping to launch a maternal health initiative in the Central Valley of California, evaluating regional efforts to promote Latinx student success in the U.S., and building the capacity of backbone leaders working toward sustainable fisheries in Mexico. Laura has a deep interest in environmental sustainability, the issues that affect climate change and its mitigation, and inclusive economic development.