In the densely populated state of New Jersey, there is a danger of sacrificing a high quality of life and sustainability to our current patterns of consumption and development. The health and resiliency of our natural environment is directly tied to that of ourselves, our communities, and our economy.

Dodge’s environment grants support non-profit organizations working to safeguard our land and water resources, to reinforce and restore natural systems, and to engage citizens in the advocacy and implementation of policies and actions that promote sustainability across the diversity of communities in our state. We are particularly interested in community-driven solutions that address unique challenges and opportunities and build a broad constituency of advocates for environmental, social, and economic sustainability.  

As part of the implementation of Dodge’s new vision, we developed an equity theory of change for the Environment program. The theory of change addresses research that finds that communities of color and low-income white communities remain disproportionately burdened by pollution, environmental degradation, and the impacts of climate change, and are not fully represented or engaged in this movement, nor in philanthropy.

Therefore, the Environment theory of change seeks to apply our grantmaking strategies toward building the capacity of communities of color and low-income white communities to inform, influence, and implement solutions to environmental degradation and climate change vulnerability in their communities.

Environment Theory of Change

If we increase funding to grassroots organizations working with and reflective of communities of color and low-income white communities and collaborative, cross-sector campaigns and partnerships led by environmental justice leaders, particularly leaders of color,

Then more policies and solutions will be informed and implemented by those most impacted by structural environmental disparities, the environmental sector will be more inclusive and reflective of the racial and economic diversity of New Jersey, and more communities will benefit from a healthier, more climate-resilient and sustainable environment.

2020 Environment Grantmaking

This theory of change guides new grantmaking in 2020 and over the next three years while we continue to review and adapt our current guidelines and processes to meet our equity goals.

In 2020, Dodge is not accepting letters of inquiry or unsolicited proposals, although program staff may invite new proposals in alignment with new strategies. Current grantees may reapply for funding this year under existing guidelines below.

Environment Guidelines:

Achieve ecosystem resilience and environmentally healthy, sustainable communities in New Jersey; connect people to their natural world; and build an environmental ethic of care and responsibility.

We strive to fulfill this vision for the Environment in New Jersey by funding organizations that:

  • Increase the quality, function and public accessibility of watersheds through land preservation, resource management, and stewardship;
  • Focus on urban greening, particularly through community-led design and decision making;
  • Help develop regional food systems, including rural-to-urban farming connections and urban food market development.