Grantmaking

Resources Legacy Fund works to secure a just and resilient world for people and nature by building alliances that mobilize influence, knowledge, and expertise. Connecting philanthropic funding with organizations advancing environmental outcomes, equity, and justice is the keystone of our work. 

RLF’s grantmaking seeks to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion by directing funds to those who have been marginalized and to build long-term capacity within their communities. We believe that the most effective alliances represent diverse experience and perspectives, and that the most meaningful and lasting outcomes are often co-created with those typically underrepresented in decision making. With our funding partners, we seek to change how environmental solutions are understood, developed, and implemented. Learn more about our grantmaking approach

As a general rule, RLF reaches out to potential new grantees and partners to help develop and implement program strategies. But we appreciate opportunities to hear new ideas and meet potential partners, even if it’s only for future consideration. We invite you to explore our program areas and website. If your work aligns with ours, we welcome a conversation.

Grantee Spotlight

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    Occidental Arts and Ecology Center

    Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (OAEC) is leading efforts to legitimize beaver restoration strategies (co-existence, reintroduction, etc.) to restore California watersheds and build community and ecological resilience to decades of human-driven degradation and climate change. For years, OAEC has advocated for state policy to recognize beavers’ conservation value and support co-existence. OAEC has also coordinated across a wide range of partners to utilize beavers as a core element of process-based restoration, which restores process and ecological function to streams and rivers. Through efforts by OAEC and its partners, state leaders approved the Governor’s proposal to create a new Beaver Restoration Program in 2022 led by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). This was soon followed by a landmark policy in June 2023 to promote non-lethal beaver management practices to resolve landowner conflicts with beavers. For nearly a decade, OAEC has also worked closely with the Maidu Summit Consortium and Tule River Tribe on beaver restoration field trainings and planning. In fall 2023, CDFW and Maidu Summit Consortium, with support from OAEC, performed the first beaver translocation in nearly 75 years in California, bringing seven beavers to the traditional Maidu lands and waters at Tásmam Koyóm.

    RLF is proud to support OAEC and partners to protect beavers and the nature-based benefits they provide to California’s natural resources and communities, while also centering the sovereign rights and restoration priorities of Tribes.

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    Ocean Outcomes

    Ocean Outcomes (O2) is nonprofit organization advancing sustainability of seafood production for the many social and environmental benefits it provides. They work toward a future with healthy aquatic ecosystems, a plentiful and profitable wild seafood supply, and thriving fishing communities.

    Distributed across the Pacific Rim, the O2 team works worldwide with local communities, seafood harvesters, industry partners, government agencies, and other fishery stakeholders to design and implement science-based solutions towards more ecologically sustainable and socially responsible seafood production.

    RLF is supporting O2 to incorporate social responsibility into its fishery improvement projects in China, Taiwan, and South Korea. As part of this work, they are conducting rigorous social responsibility risk assessments for each fishery, which include systematic reviews of industry policies for the protection of workers’ human rights and direct interviews of fishery workers. The results of the assessments will include identification of any high-priority risks to workers’ human rights and underpin development of follow-on workplans to reduce social risks in the fishery and improve the well-being of those involved.

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    Taxpayers for Common Sense

    Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS) is a nonpartisan budget watchdog that analyzes federal legislation and ensures that taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly. Since 1995, they have served as an independent voice for the American taxpayer and worked to make sure that government operates within its means.

    RLF has been working with TCS to elevate transparency and accountability in wildfire spending so that federal resources are deployed to effectively protect communities and promote long-term resilience, which in turn reduces long-term taxpayer costs. TCS re-launched its wildfire program in the summer of 2022 and has since released a comprehensive report on wildfire spending—“Clearing the Smoke: A Closer Look at Federal Spending and Programs on Wildfire”—and established relationships with key organizations and partners across the country to engage effectively on wildfire issues.

    TCS’s research and relationships are critical to making the economic case for sustained and strategic investment in wildfire resilience efforts, especially as a variety of upcoming legislative and administrative actions are poised to shape the future of the federal wildfire space.

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    Outdoor Outreach

    Outdoor Outreach envisions an outdoors for all that inspires and sustains healthy and vibrant communities. Since 1999, they have provided opportunities for more than 20,000 young people from communities historically impacted by social inequities to explore their world, cultivate belonging, and discover what they’re capable of.

    Over the past year, with support from RLF, Outdoor Outreach has partnered with Brown Girl Surf to form and co-facilitate the “Surf Justice Collective” as part of the Advancement of Coastal Equity Project. The objective of the project is to advance coastal equity statewide through a formal platform to identify, elevate, and address systemic barriers to coastal access, including but not limited to permitting policies, funding needs, and organizational capacity building.

    RLF has also provided ongoing support to Outdoor Outreach to expand equitably access to nature and participate in the Parks Now coalition. In 2022/23, they led a successful campaign to pass the Community Access Partnership program (Assembly Bill 1150). The program creates opportunities for nonprofit organizations serving underrepresented communities and California Tribes to partner with California State Parks to operate multiple programs across many different park units.

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    Native American Fish and Wildlife Society

    Native American Fish and Wildlife Society (NAFWS) is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit Tribal organization. It was incorporated in 1983 to develop a national communications network for the exchange of information and management techniques related to self-determined Tribal fish and wildlife management. Nature provides a cultural, religious, and economic subsistence base to Tribes and NAFWS supports them in securing those resources for the future.

    RLF’s Western Rural Communities program supported the NAFWS in hosting a two-day workshop in June 2023 in Durango, Colorado. This workshop was designed to support Tribal fish and wildlife professionals intending to apply for the new U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration’s (FWHA) $350 million Wildlife Crossing Pilot program. The workshop included technical assistance with the application process as well as a visit to two wildlife crossings on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. Less than six months later, the FHWA announced $110 million in grants for 19 wildlife crossing projects in 17 states, including four Native American Tribes: Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes ($8.59 million), Mescalero Apache Tribe ($480,000), Payallup Tribe of Indians ($216,000), and Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians of Washington ($8.5 million). All four tribes attended the NAFWS workshop and/or received technical assistance from NAFWS.

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    Azul

    Azul is a grassroots environmental justice organization working with Latinx communities to protect the coasts and ocean. Founded in 2011 by Marce Gutiérrez-Graudiņš to elevate Latinx perspectives and participation in ocean conservation, Azul has become a global leader on plastic pollution as an environmental injustice, and issues including social justice, climate change, coastal access and inclusion, and marine protected areas, and it has secured numerous policy wins alongside its Latinos Marinos network. Azul is a co-host of California Ocean Day, an annual advocacy and education day at the state capitol where Azul brings Latinx youth and community advocates to engage legislators on priority ocean justice issues. Resources Legacy Fund has been proudly supporting Azul since its launch, learning from the organization’s tremendous issue expertise, great passion, and deep community organizing, policy, and advocacy skills. It has been a great honor to see them build a broader, more diverse and inclusive community of ocean advocates, while setting the bar for others. In April of 2021, Azul and the United Nations Environment Programme released a comprehensive report, NEGLECTED: Environmental Justice Impacts of Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution, which calls for the recognition of communities affected by plastic waste and their inclusion in decision making. It has been a key resource for delegates, decision makers and advocates working to design a binding global plastics treaty. In July 2022, Azul released a first-of-its-kind poll, fielded by BSP Research, on Latinx attitudes on ocean conservation and policy. The poll found that U.S. Latinos are overwhelmingly supportive of Azul’s ocean justice and climate policy goals, including limiting offshore drilling and advancing coastal access.

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    Pogo Park

    In 2007, residents in the City of Richmond’s underserved Iron Triangle neighborhood founded Pogo Park to build safe parks in their community. In less than ten years, this motivated grassroots organization renovated and renewed Elm Playlot, a .5-acre pocket park in the heart of the neighborhood. They transformed a park once described as “dirty, dull, and dangerous” into a community hub that provides a beautiful, safe, green space for families to play; an oasis for healthy, enriching activities; and jobs for community members who operate and maintain the park. Now, Pogo Park is partnering with the City of Richmond to create Harbour-8 Park just a half mile from Elm Playlot. With $8.5 million in Proposition 68 funding from the State of California, Harbour-8 Park will include a new community center, children’s play area, zip line, picnic area, public art and greening. Pogo Park’s work has been recognized as a national model for community engagement, and the parks they transformed were featured among destinations around the world in the “The Field Guide for Parks and Creative Placemaking.” RLF’s California Conservation Innovations program, in coordination with Packard Foundation’s Mission Investments loan program and several other business and philanthropic partners, has provided sustained support to help Pogo Park deliver on its vision.

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    Green Leadership Trust

    The Green Leadership Trust (GLT) is an influential network of people of color who serve
    as board members for more than 80 environmental organizations ranging from national to local nonprofits and philanthropies. Established in 2013, GLT works to build power for the environmental movement by diversifying its most senior leadership. In 2022, RLF’s Western Communications Hub made a capacity-building grant to GLT to support its strategic and digital communications efforts. In preparation for its 10th anniversary, GLT is revamping its messaging, online outreach, and communications strategies to maximize impact and grow its unique model of supporting multigenerational leaders of color in their environmental work. GLT’s work is grounded in equity and justice, forging environmental solutions not with trade-offs, but by addressing multiple issues simultaneously, strengthening democracy, engagement, and resilience in all communities.

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    Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association

    The Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) provides low-cost, bilingual (Spanish/English), organic farm management training to limited-resource farmers in the Salinas Valley. RLF’s Land-Sea Connection (LSC) Program provides support for ALBA’s 1-year course, which balances field training with classroom instruction on marketing, compliance, and business management. Graduates of the course may launch an organic farm enterprise in ALBA’s incubator program where they gain subsidized access to land, farm equipment, and free technical assistance for an additional 4 years. In 20 years, ALBA has helped over 100 field laborers transition to farm business ownership, and trained hundreds more for careers in sustainable agriculture. Though we welcome aspiring farmers from all backgrounds, the majority of participants are Mexican immigrants seeking a better life. The COVID pandemic and an aging irrigation system presented compounding challenges to ALBA and its work in recent years. Thanks to ALBA’s ingenuity and support from LSC’s emergency COVID grant funding, ALBA was able to adapt its produce distribution model, develop virtual farmer training, and install a new irrigation well and pump that will keep the program running for decades. ALBA provides a farmer incubator model that empowers a new generation of farmers, uplifts immigrant farmers, and expands climate and watershed-friendly agriculture techniques.

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    Tulalip Tribes

    The Tulalip Tribes are direct descendants of the Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Skykomish, and other allied tribes and bands signatory to the Treaty of Point Elliott. Of their growing tribal population of more than 5,100 members,  2,700 reside on the 22,000-acre Tulalip Indian Reservation located 40 miles north of Seattle where the Snohomish River meets the Puget Sound. The Tulalip Tribes’ Natural Resources Department, through the Restoration, Acquisition and Stewardship Program is leading an extensive salmon restoration effort in Washington’s Snohomish River watershed as one of two priority river basins within their Treaty-reserved fishing, hunting, and gathering area.  In 2021, RLF’s Open Rivers Fund supported Tulalip’s work with a private landowner to remove a small dam blocking fish passage on a Snoqualmie River tributary. Just months after the dam was removed, salmon redds were found upstream of the former dam site. In Spring 2022, over 70 coho, rainbow trout, and chinook fry/parr were observed in the newly opened reach and 300-foot constructed channel, demonstrating the immediate impact of the project.

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