Surdna Joins the Climate Funders Justice Pledge

“Surdna was proud to support Building Equity and Alignment for Impact’s (BEA) report, which found that 12 national environmental funders gave just 1.3% of their annual giving to environmental justice groups. There is an abundance of BIPOC-led organizations leading the way to climate justice and a scarcity of funders who support them. That’s why we’re proud to join the Climate Funders Justice pledge. BEA’s report and the pledge provide easy, transparent access to the information funders need to do a much better job of supporting BIPOC-led organizations and realizing healthier, more sustainable communities.” – Don Chen, President, Surdna Foundation


What is the Climate Funders Justice Pledge?

The Donors of Color Network’s new Climate Funders Justice Pledge shifts the center of gravity in philanthropy towards racial and economic justice, challenging the nation’s largest climate funders to commit publicly to greater transparency and give at least 30% of their climate funding to the BIPOC-led powerbuilding groups who are the most successful in fighting the climate crisis.

We will spotlight funders who Take the Pledge to:


  • Within one month of making the pledge, upload 2019-2020 grants data via the longstanding Candid eReporter portal – already used by many foundations – and annually report on climate grants.
  • Within three months, share what percent of your foundation’s environmental/climate funding over the last two years has gone to organizations run by, serving, and building power in communities of color – those with majority people of color boards and executive staff.

Scaling Up Inclusive Climate Grantmaking

  • Within 12-24 months, direct at least 30% of all climate giving to organizations run by, serving, and building power for communities of color, who have majority people of color boards and senior staff and a justice lens.

Why Now?

The greatest successes in battling climate change and centering justice — shutting down oil pipelines; stopping new gas plants; raising revenue to fund clean energy construction and jobs; winning billions in funding for underserved communities in state climate legislation — have relied on BIPOC activists and organizers in the communities that bear the brunt of climate disasters. Support for climate intervention is highest in these communities compared to Whites. Yet BIPOC-led environmental organizations see significantly less funding than their white counterparts and their contributions are underappreciated.

A recent study by The New School looking at 12 national environment grantmakers found that of the roughly one billion dollars that they granted, only 1.3% of funding goes to justice-focused organizations. But BIPOC-led organizations make every dollar count, scoring victories to protect resources and usher in a green jobs revolution. The boldness and genius of BIPOC movement organizations, met with greater resources, holds the solutions to building the power we need to battle entrenched interests and solve the climate crisis.

Now is the time to act. Over the past year, major foundations have made statements of support for racial justice and some have made strides towards addressing diversity, inclusion and racism in their ranks. The Climate Funders Justice Pledge presents a concrete opportunity to act on those commitments and redirect funding to where it is most needed and most effective.

Take the Pledge