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GLIN==> Revised Beldon Fund Guidelines
I am forwarding the following message that will be of interest to some groups in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota.
To: Friends of the Beldon Fund
We are very pleased to announce that the Beldon Fund has completed its new
guidelines and is now accepting grant applications. The new guidelines and
instructions for submitting grant applications are attached to this letter.
The Beldon Fund's new guidelines reflect a strategic extension of the Fund's
past commitment to grassroots, state-level environmental activism. One
important program area in the new guidelines calls for substantial funding
in a number of "key places," starting with six states identified by the
Fund. We will provide long-term, concentrated support in these key places,
and by doing so we hope to strengthen the environmental movement nationally.
We intend to add more states to our "key places" program over the next year
or so. Our focus in these "key places" will be on advocacy infrastructure
and institutional strength over the long-term, a cornerstone of the Fund's
A second major area of focus in the new guidelines is "human health and the
environment." The Beldon Fund has had a long-standing interest in the
connections between environmental degradation and human health and we plan
to substantially expand our efforts in this area. We are interested in
supporting innovative advocacy at the federal, state and local levels to
prevent or mitigate environmental threats to human health.
The Beldon Fund has also established three relatively new program areas of
current interest to the Fund: "religion and the environment," "corporate
power and the environment," and "global warming." These issues emphasize
Beldon's historic commitment to broaden the base of the environmental
movement and to combat the forces standing in the path of environmental
We thought you would be interested in these new developments at the Beldon
Fund. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call
at the Fund's offices at 877-7-BELDON (877-723-5366).
With best wishes,
William J. Roberts
BELDON FUND GUIDELINES
Vision and Mission
The Beldon Fund seeks to build a societal consensus for the personal,
economic and policy changes necessary to achieve and sustain a healthy
planet. The Fund's mission is to make grants to nonprofit organizations to
protect and sustain the environment, by
. Creating a base of involved and informed people working to protect the
. Strengthening the capacity of nonprofit groups to organize environmental
. Fostering public policy that will achieve the Fund's environmental goals;
. Growing and nurturing leadership on environmental issues; and
. Changing the values, beliefs, and actions of individuals, communities,
governments, and businesses.
To achieve its mission, the Beldon Fund is making all of its grant decisions
based on a particular set of values. These include
A. Commitment. Strengthening the public's commitment to environmental
protection will not be accomplished overnight. Rather, it is by presenting a
compelling case for environmental protection that we will motivate the
public to protect the natural systems on which all life depends.
Accordingly, the Beldon Fund's focus is on projects and organizations that
demonstrate a long-term commitment to environmental advocacy. In addition,
the Fund is prepared to demonstrate its own commitment by providing
multi-year grants for worthwhile projects and organizations.
B. Leadership. The environmental movement gains its power from its leaders.
We count on their determination and willingness to lead to protect the
environment. The Beldon Fund recognizes the importance of giving
environmental leaders the tools they need to protect the natural world.
C. Flexibility. The Beldon Fund believes that environmental protection is
achieved by well-executed projects and by strong, influential organizations.
The Fund thus offers both project grants and general support grants, to give
organizations the flexibility they need to execute specific tasks as well as
to thrive as institutions.
D. Advocacy. The Beldon Fund believes that any effort to mobilize public
support for environmental protection must be based on vigorous advocacy. In
this context, the Fund views advocacy broadly to include organizing, public
education, communication, public opinion research, coalition building, and
public policy development.
E. Inclusion. The Beldon Fund has chosen to concentrate on organizations and
projects that consider a diversity of people, that are directly affected by
environmental policies and that include a broad spectrum of interests and
concerns in their advocacy.
The Beldon Fund is committed to pay out its principal and earnings during
the next ten years. The Fund believes that our planet's environmental
problems require urgent attention and hopes that concentrated use of its
resources can help solve these problems.
The Beldon Fund concentrates its funding in five program areas. Two of them,
"key places" and "human health and the environment," are particularly
important to the Fund and receive emphasis in its grantmaking. Funding for
the other three program areas--"global warming," "corporate accountability,"
and "religion and the environment"--will be more limited in scope. Because
the Beldon Fund seeks synergy in its grants, it encourages funding requests
that address two or more program areas, although requests in any one area
are also welcome.
To build a consensus for environmental protection, the Beldon Fund
recognizes the importance of encouraging a public discourse where people
live. In some places, the public has already embraced environmental
protection as a key value. In other places, however, support for
environmental protection is weak, even though the need for environmental
improvements may be great.
Therefore, the Beldon Fund will expand its past support of advocacy funding
within specific states. To "learn the ropes" of such an expansion, the Fund
will begin with six key states where we feel there is a compelling need to
improve the public discussion of environmental issues: Florida, Michigan,
Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. The Fund believes that
in these states cost-effective environmental advocacy can reach a large and
diverse population, that the environmental stakes for natural resources and
human health are high, that key constituencies can be expanded, and that the
Fund's resources can make a difference in the next ten years.
The Beldon Fund has thus decided to devote a portion of its resources to
these states to improve the public's understanding of environmental issues.
This support is not tied to any particular issue or set of issues; rather,
it is determined by the issues' ability to strengthen the public's support
of environmental protection. Instead of focusing solely on episodic or
tactical public education campaigns, the Fund also is looking for
opportunities to build environmental organizations and an advocacy
infrastructure to enable a sustained public dialogue on environmental
The Fund plans to add other states to its "key places" in the future.
Human Health and the Environment
Building a consensus for environmental protection requires attention to
those issues that most readily engage the public. Understandably, many of
them are directly linked to human health. The Beldon Fund thus seeks
opportunities to inform the public of the environmental risks to human
health and to promote public policies that prevent, mitigate or eliminate
those risks. The Fund supports work that
. Mobilizes the public using a variety of communication and advocacy tools,
to strengthen, implement, and enforce laws and regulations protecting the
public from environmental health risks.
. Addresses the disproportionate environmental health effects on vulnerable
. Develops constructive and sustainable public policy solutions for
environmental health risks.
. Enables the public to challenge industrial pollution practices and to
assess industry's risk and health claims.
Global warming is a critical environmental issue, and U.S. emissions are a
major source of the problem. The scientific consensus on global warming has
solidified in recent years, and the possible effects of global warming,
especially regionally and locally, are becoming more visible and
understandable to the public. In order to achieve a consensus to create and
sustain a healthy planet, we must be aggressive in halting global warming.
To this end, the Beldon Fund is offering both grants to promote public
understanding of the global warming problem and support for creative
Corporate Power and the Environment
Economic activities are the basis of most environmental problems.
Nonetheless, despite widespread public support for environmental
improvements, certain corporate interests have succeeded in slowing progress
on or even undermining current protections. The Beldon Fund believes that
this trend must be reversed and that the rules for policymaking and
corporate conduct must be changed on a systemic basis to enhance the
The Beldon Fund supports efforts to promote such systemic changes and to
create incentives for corporations to minimize or eliminate their adverse
impact on the environment. Such efforts might include strengthening the
public's right to know and other methods of corporate accountability.
Religion and the Environment
In this country, religious communities are a powerful force for change.
Recently, many religious leaders have turned their attention to the
environment, both to embrace traditional policy advocacy and to articulate a
moral imperative and spiritual responsibility to protect the Earth.
To strengthen the role of religious communities in achieving and sustaining
a healthy planet, the Beldon Fund supports advocacy programs involving
religious communities and also programs that promote stronger alliances
among specific religious communities and between religious communities and
Activities the Beldon Fund Supports
In the preceding five program areas, the Beldon Fund supports advocacy
1. Broaden the base of environmental support by building closer ties to
communities of color, labor, youth, the elderly, poor communities, hunters
and anglers, business, and others with a strong interest in environmental
2. Tighten the connections among national organizations, state-based
organizations, and local organizations and between environmental and
3. Strengthen the capacity to organize environmental activists - especially
at the grassroots level.
4. Use public opinion research and message development.
5. Use cost-effective media campaigns.
6. Foster leadership, advocacy skills training, institutional development,
and organizational growth.
7. Develop and promote public policy solutions.
The Beldon Fund does not offer grants for
. International efforts, unless the requested activity includes advocacy in
the United States and addresses one or more of the Fund's program areas.
. Academic or university grants, unless they apply to programs directly
linked to environmental advocacy.
. School- or classroom-based environmental education.
. Acquisition of land.
. Capital campaigns.
. Deficit reduction.
. Acquisitions for museums or collections.
. Service delivery programs.
. Capital projects.
. Arts and/or culture.
. Grants to individual people.
The Fund provides both general support and project-specific grants. The
Fund also makes one year and multi-year grants.
Applicants should send a brief letter of inquiry before submitting
additional information. We review letters of inquiry on a continuous basis,
and they may be submitted at any time during the year.
After initial screening, the Fund may ask some applicants to submit
additional information. A request for additional information should not be
interpreted as an indication of future support.
CONTACT WITH FOUNDATION STAFF
The Beldon Fund welcomes phone calls from potential applicants to discuss
their letters of inquiry and to request meetings. The Fund will schedule
meetings as staff time permits, but generally not until the applicant has
submitted a letter of inquiry.
The Beldon Fund staff reviews funding requests and makes recommendations to
the Fund's Board of Trustees. The Board makes funding decisions on a
quarterly basis. Not all grant requests are considered in the quarter
following their submission and may be carried over to a future quarter. The
Beldon Fund staff will coordinate the timing of the review process with
grant applicants. The tentative dates of upcoming Board meetings can be
obtained on our Web site http://www.beldon.org or by calling us at the
LETTER OF INQUIRY FORMAT
Letters of Inquiry should include a cover sheet and a brief narrative of two
to three pages. Before preparing a letter of inquiry, please review the
Beldon Fund's Guidelines.
The Cover Sheet should include the following:
. Name and address of the organization;
. Name of executive director and contact person(s), telephone and fax
numbers, and, where available, e-mail and web addresses;
. One paragraph summarizing the organization's mission;
. One paragraph summarizing the purpose of the request;
. The relationship of the request to the organization's mission;
. Dollar total of organizational annual budget and fiscal year;
. Dollar total of project budget (if other than general support);
. Dollar amount being requested;
. Dollar total committed or requested from other funding sources and the
names of those sources;
. Time frame for conducting this work and dates for which grant funds would
be needed (beginning and ending dates);
. Evidence of tax exempt status as a public charity under section 501(c)(3)
of the Internal Revenue Code, and not a private foundation under section
509(a) of the Code.
The Narrative should discuss the following:
. The purpose of the request;
. The problem or need being addressed;
. The population or community served by your program or organization and how
it is involved in the design and implementation of your work;
. How the problem or need will be addressed;
. The relationship of the funding request to the mission and guidelines of
the Beldon Fund.
. If available, provide a one-page budget showing all funding sources
(received, requested and expected), and all expenses for the organization or
project to be funded.
The Beldon Fund will also accept the Common Grant Application forms
developed by the National Network of Grantmakers.
Please note that examples of past work, articles, reports, videos or other
material should not be submitted with a letter of inquiry.
Letters of inquiry should be addressed to:
William J. Roberts
Letter of Inquiry
380 Lexington Ave, Suite 1700
New York, NY 10168
Great Lakes Protection Fund
35 E. Wacker Drive, Suite 1880
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