The Funders Network, in partnership with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, is excited to announce the latest round of Partners for Places Mini Grants. These grants are intended to help local governments, place-based funders and frontline community-led groups build relationships, align project ideas, and center racial equity in water, sustainability and climate action work.  

The Partners for Places Mini Grants are designed to spark new relationships or deepen existing connections that will help communities develop a successful Partners for Places project application in the future.  

Partners for Places is a matching grant program that improves U.S. and Canadian communities by building partnerships between local government leaders, community groups and place-based funders. National funders invest in local projects developed through these partnerships to advance efforts to create communities that are sustainable, prosperous and just. These sustainability efforts take place from coast to coast, in communities both large and small and focus largely on empowering and engaging low-income neighborhoods.    

These five communities have received Partners for Places Mini Grants:

Essex County, Mass.:

Amount: $8,000
Project title: Data/Synthesis: Environmental Justice in Essex County
Project Description: This grant will be used to map environmental justice challenges across 34 cities and towns in Essex County, Mass., using a data-driven, integrated approach that identifies risk areas; highlights racial/ethnic inequities; and provides a county-wide summary of needs, challenges and interventions. 
Frontline community-led groupGroundwork Lawrence 
Funder partner: Essex County Community Foundation 

Fort Collins, Colo.:

Amount: $10,000
Project title: Reimagining a Sustainable Business Program
Project Description: This grant will be used to support the efforts of partner organizations to identify and build relationships with historically underrepresented business owners with support from frontline community-led group(s). Together, they will work to create a Partners for Places matching grant proposal for an equitable, community-driven sustainable business program and capacity building process.
Frontline community-led groupBIPOC Alliance
Funder partner: Community Foundation of Northern Colorado 

Missoula, Mont.:

Amount: $10,000
Project title: Integrating Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Resiliency Planning
Project Description: This grant will support the development of emergent relationships between partner organizations. The grant will also be used to help identify ways in which the groups can work together and pursue funding opportunities to integrate traditional ecological knowledge and climate adaptation strategies, especially in the implementation of county-wide climate resiliency plan, Climate Ready Missoula.
Frontline community-led groupAll Nations Health Center 
Funder partner: Headwaters Foundation 

Pittsburgh, Pa.:

Amount: $10,000
Project title: Connecting Pittsburgh’s West End to the Riverfronts
Project Description: This grant will be used to build on a strong partnership with the City of Pittsburgh’s Office of Resilience and strengthen emerging relationships with frontline organizations in the city’s West End. It will build a foundation for connecting the community to Pittsburgh’s 15-mile, 1,050-acre “Loop” system of trails, parks and public open space.
Frontline community-led groupH.O.P.E. for Tomorrow, Inc.Riverlife
Funder partner: The Heinz Endowments 

Westland, Mich.:

Amount: $10,000
Project title: Lower Rouge River Water Trail Leadership Committee
Project Description: This grant will help ensure the Lower Rouge River Water Trail Leadership Committee reflects the diversity of the communities aligned with the water trail, and will be used to facilitate strategic planning meetings, community outreach and engagement. 
Frontline community-led group: The Norwayne Community Citizens Council; Friends of the Rouge
Funder partner: Lower Rouge River Water Trail Leadership Committee 

About Partners for Places

Partners for Places will help turn Chicago schoolyards into vibrant green spaces for play and learning. Photo credit: Space to Grow

To date, Partners for Places has awarded over $8.5 million across North America in this successful matching grant program, leading to over $18 million in investments.  

The matching grant program brings national funder investors together with place-based funders to support equitable sustainable climate action and green stormwater infrastructure projects. The program is currently supported by five investor foundations: The JPB FoundationKendeda FundThe Kresge FoundationNew York Community Trust and the Pisces Foundation. 

Read about the latest round of Partners for Places matching grant recipients here. 

To learn about the previous round of Partners for Places Mini Grants, visit here. (All grant announcements can be found on the Partners for Places webpage.) 

For questions about the Partners for Places Mini Grants or matching grants program, please reach out to Ashley Quintana. 

Partners for Places FAQ’s

→ Where is Partners for Places making an impact?
Read previous grant announcements and explore the Partners for Places Grantee Map here. 

→ Where can I learn about completed Partners for Places projects?
Visit the Partners for Places Idea Bank to explore what grantees are doing, learning and sharing. 

→ When is the next round of Partners for Places matching grants?
Partners for Places will open a new round of funding in late February 2022. 

For more information about Partners for Places, please reach out to Ashley Quintana,