Launching Ann Arbor’s Community Climate Partnership

Year Complete: 2015
Grant Amount: $55,000
Local Government: City of Ann Arbor, MI
Local Foundation: Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, The Mosaic Foundation of Rita and Peter Heydon

Project Purpose

To mobilize community stakeholders to support the implementation of the recently approved City of Ann Arbor Climate Action Plan.

Key Lessons Learned

Lessons learned about tools and tactics through the project that other sustainability directors could use to advance their work.

There is an appetite among local family foundations and individual philanthropists to support climate solutions and sustainability projects. Creating this opportunity to focus on climate action led to working with new funders; several of these funders even committed funding to this project for multiple years.

Additionally, hosting this project with a non-profit instead of the City opened the project to new channels of outreach and funding. Members of the Climate Partnership were connected to different stakeholders and communities within Ann Arbor, and used those connections to reach beyond the City’s standard means of communication.

Lessons for developing a collaborative process between a local government sustainability director and local place-based foundation(s).

Local sustainability directors should be meeting with their local non-profits and community foundations on a regular basis to develop relationships prior to seeking funding.  When local non-profits develop new donors around community climate projects, opportunities emerge to build a demonstrated case for sustainability philanthropy.

Additional Information and Resources

More information on the Ann Arbor Climate Action Plan, including details of the bike share and building energy efficiency programs, can be found here.