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Partnering for the Environment

In 2017, Fund Advisors Alpine and Don Bird, Beverly and Stephen Marcus, and Kincey and Bruce Potter came together to determine how they could help improve and green communities, address environmental issues such as stormwater, and increase student awareness and involvement in the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay, local streams and rivers, and other natural areas. The advisors had multiple discussions and asked many questions, including “Who can we partner with to increase our funding impact?”
CFAAC convened individual donors, private and public environmental foundations to explore collaborative funding opportunities. We learned that the Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT), a nonprofit grant-making organization dedicated to improving the natural resources of our region through environmental education, community engagement, and local watershed restoration, consistently receives more grant requests than it can fund.
The Trust funds around 40 projects in Anne Arundel County each year. These projects engage over 3,000 students, hundreds of teachers, and over 1,000 volunteers in addition to installing valuable acres of wildlife habitat and stormwater best management practices. Statewide the Trust’s grants engage hundreds of local businesses, many of them in Anne Arundel County, including restoration firms, engineering firms, bus companies, signage shops, and more.
The Donor Advisors saw an opportunity to supplement the Trust’s requests and increase their philanthropic impact by partnering with the Trust. In addition, the Trust already had a well-established environmental grantmaking application and selection process.
The Fund Advisors decided to focus their giving on K-12 education and projects, community outreach, and restoration. Groups such as watershed organizations, community or homeowners’ associations, service and civic groups, faith-based organizations, and schools were encouraged to apply for funding. The following received grants from the Environment Fund for a total of $40,000. The first two were Mini-Grants for $5,000 each and the following two were larger projects that were supplemented with grants of $15,000 each.
·      Meade Middle School for the Oyster Restoration and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Project;
·      Mary Moss at J. Albert Adams Academy for the College Creek Water Quality Improvement Project;
·      South River Federation for CAT South Swale Retrofit Restoration; and,
·      The Back Creek Conservancy for Cedar Ridge Stormwater Outreach and Restoration.
The Fund Advisors are aiming to increase their support for important environmental efforts with another round of grants in 2018. If you are interested in giving to the Fund and helping to select grantees, please contact Amy Francis at 410.280.1102 who will put you in touch with one of the Fund Advisors to learn more. 


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