Climate change directly impacts the safety and wellbeing of communities across the globe and has a disproportionate effect on low-income and other vulnerable people. Advancing clean and healthy solutions and more sustainable practices and policies brings multiple benefits:  healthier places, healthier people and people-centered economic opportunities.

What can funders do to make sure that “green” is more than a trendy buzzword — and that green strategies actually reduce the carbon footprints and energy costs of buildings and transportation networks, enhance the health and vitality of neighborhoods and address the urgency of the climate crises?

TFN’s GREEN working group — which stands for Green, Renewable, Efficient, Equitable, Now — brings together local, regional and national funders to connect and learn, align thinking and strategy and support strategic collaborations and joint projects that advance sustainable, equitable and prosperous regions and communities.

About GREEN

Our funders come together to address interrelated challenges that impact people and communities, such as climate mitigation and resilience and land use and development practices. GREEN funders have especially focused on place-based solutions, field-building and supporting key networks and partnerships.

The GREEN working group was created in 2006, initially operating as an ad hoc learning group that grew out of TFN’s first funder conference on Green Building in 2005. Since then, the group has expanded its focus to climate mitigation and adaptation, equitable and sustainable communities and partnerships for sustainability that include partnering with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network.

Our Goals & Strategies

The GREEN working group helps funders connect and learn together, align around shared ideas and strategies and support strategic collaborations and joint projects that advance sustainable, equitable and prosperous regions and communities. Funders have a special interest in the following issues:

  • Climate mitigation and adaptation in cities and metro regions
  • Equitable and sustainable communities
  • Network collaboration and systems change
  • Partnerships for sustainability, including local governments, nonprofits and other community stakeholders
  • Funder practices to advance racial equity and inclusion

Connect & Engage

Funders and partners that participate in TFN’s GREEN working group have the opportunity to:

  • Deepen their knowledge about topics about policies, best practices and innovative approaches impacting the field, engaging with peers in the sector as well as with a variety of key stakeholders – including community leaders, policy advocates and local government practitioners.
  • Learn and share with fellow funders and partners through peer-learning calls and via our GREEN funders listserv and quarterly newsletters.
  • Expand their professional network and hone leadership skills by volunteering on planning committees and designing or participating in webinars, panel discussions and other TFN networking and learning events.
  • Gather during our annual in-person GREEN meetings and TFN Annual Conferences to learn from place and peers, deepen relationships and support joint learning and collaborative efforts.

Partnerships and Initiatives

Several longstanding funders in the GREEN working group (The Kendeda Fund, New York Community Trust, The Summit Foundation and the Surdna Foundation) partnered with TFN and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network in 2011 to create the Partners for Places grant program. Since then, additional national funders have joined this collaborative matching grant program, including The JPB Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and The Pisces Foundation. For nearly nine years, Partners for Places has invested in U.S. and Canadian communities, building partnerships between local government sustainability leaders and place-based foundations and supporting projects that promote equitable and sustainable communities. Visit our Partners for Places page for more information.

Climate Adaptation: The State of Practice in U.S. Communities


Report | The Kresge Foundation

Power for Climate & Communities: Affordable Housing, Energy Efficiency & Environmental Justice


TFN Webinar Recording

Equitable Building Electrification


A Framework for Powering Resilient Communities

No Time for Complacency


Blog | Mariella Puerto, Barr Foundation

“If we fail to move quickly and boldly enough [to address our climate emergency], we will be too late to make a difference. We also risk missing out on a massive opportunity to create good-paying jobs and spur just and inclusive economic development.” 

Mariella Puerto of the Barr Foundation and former GREEN co-chair

Steering Committee

Jessica Boehland

Diane Ives

Jean-Ann James

Turner Foundation
(Co-Chairperson)

Zoe Kircos

John Mitterholzer

Mariella Puerto

Neelima Shah

Jen Somers

Energy Foundation
(Co-Chairperson)

Darryl Young

Learn More

For more information on TFN’s GREEN working group, contact Ann Fowler Wallace, Director of Programs,
at ann@www.fundersnetwork.org or 617-524-9239.