Round 4 – Press Release LSMF Awards Record Number of Grants

Local Sustainability Matching March 2014 Awards

Nine Community Partnerships Score a Win for Residents in Round Four of the Local Sustainability Matching Fund

When local government sustainability offices join forces with local, place-based philanthropies, the bottom line is a win for residents. That’s the message from the latest round of grants from the Local Sustainability Matching Fund. San Diego will ensure community feedback counts in developing planned light-rail stations. Holland, Mich., will help residents increase energy efficiency. Providence, R.I., now a two-time grantee, will expand its Lots of Hope program, which turns vacant land into urban gardens and brings fresh produce to neighborhoods.

In all, nine communities were awarded a total of $531,250 by the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and its partner, the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, in Round Four of the Local Sustainability Matching Fund (LSMF). The Fund is designed to connect innovative city sustainability projects with local philanthropies.

According to Dana Bourland, Vice President at The JPB Foundation, the LSMF is a pioneering way to leverage the foundation’s commitments to enable healthy and resilient communities of opportunity. “Investing in the LSMF allows us to support what communities need to address sustainability in their backyards while spotting trends or gaps across the pool of applicants. By combining funds with other foundations and securing a local match we not only extend our reach into many more communities but we get to learn both from these communities and from our multiple funding partners.”

The Surdna Foundation has invested in the LSMF since the first round and sees a continuation of impressive projects being selected. “It’s at the local level where sustainability initiatives have the greatest traction and where growth capital is most needed,” said Sharon Alpert, Senior Director of Programs and Strategy at the Surdna Foundation. “Local municipalities are leading the way in combining sustainability with practicality. By partnering with local philanthropy, they are taking a big concept—sustainability—and putting it to work in a way that benefits their community, their environment, and their bottom line. In this round, as in past rounds, a growing group of national and place-based funders is responding to this opportunity to take the work to scale.”

Round Four Local Sustainability Matching Fund Awards

  • Boston, $65,000 to support a study of the self-sufficiency of Boston’s regional food system and address gaps through substantive policy and programmatic changes designed to lessen dependence on non-regional food sources. (Partners: City of Boston; Henry P. Kendall Foundation)
  • Buffalo, $85,000 to support a public education and engagement campaign around stormwater management and green infrastructure projects. (Partners: Buffalo Sewer Authority; Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo)
  • Cleveland, $60,000 to support the establishment of an equitable model for developing and funding neighborhood projects that align climate action with the assets, concerns, and priorities of Cleveland residents. (Partners: Cleveland—Mayor’s Office on Sustainability; Cleveland Foundation; The George Gund Foundation)
  • Holland, Mich., $65,000 to support the launch of a community energy plan that will result in efficiency retrofits, energy audits, and building performance labeling in 400+ buildings, and use sustainability metrics to drive community participation in the energy program for up to 7,000+ buildings over the long term. (Partners: City of Holland—Office of the City Manager; Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area)
  • Indianapolis, $45,000 to strengthen the Indianapolis food system through catalytic funding and capacity building, increasing access to healthy food, enhancing ecology, and creating meaningful economic and civic opportunities. (Partners: City of Indianapolis—Office of Sustainability; Central Indiana Community Foundation)
  • Memphis, $75,000 to support the development of an interactive dashboard for Memphis and Shelby County citizens that can be used to map neighborhood assets and analyze sustainability indicators and metrics. (Partners: Memphis and Shelby County Office of Sustainability; Community Foundation of Greater Memphis; The Assisi Foundation of Memphis; Hyde Family Foundations)
  • Providence, R.I., $55,000 to enable the conversion of vacant, city-owned properties to support urban agriculture season extension, linkages to food service procurement, and school-based composting. (Partners: Providence—Office of Sustainability; Rhode Island Foundation)
  • Salt Lake City, $25,000 to support Green City Growers’ establishment of community gardens on city-owned and managed land to increase access to fresh local produce and reduce barriers to urban food production. (Partners: Salt Lake City Development Corporation—Department of Public Services; The Community Foundation of Utah)
  • San Diego, $56,250 to utilize new tools to engage community members in planning for development and transportation infrastructure at several light rail stations along the forthcoming Mid-Coast light rail line extension. (Partners: City of San Diego—Planning, Neighborhoods, and Economic Development; The San Diego Foundation)

Seven investor funders make up the Local Sustainability Matching Fund: Bloomberg PhilanthropiesThe JPB FoundationJohn D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Kendeda Fund, The New York Community TrustSummit Foundation, and Surdna Foundation. To date, the LSMF has awarded $1,472,750 and funded 29 projects across North America.

The Local Sustainability Matching Fund will open a fifth round of funding with a Request for Proposals available in May 2014. To attract additional interest in urban sustainability projects beyond those funded, it also houses an Idea Bank on the Funders’ Network website, which provides summaries of project applications.

The Local Sustainability Matching Fund is a collaborative effort of the Funders’ Network and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. The Local Sustainability Matching Fund is designed to catalyze partnerships between local governments and local, place-based foundations and to advance community-based sustainability initiatives.

For more information on the Local Sustainability Matching Fund, please visit the Funders’ Network website at Funders interested in becoming a part of the Local Sustainability Matching Fund should contact Ann Wallace at the Funders’ Network.