Earth Day Mobilizes Funder Network to Address Area Fires
Inspired by Earth Day 2022, we recognize the importance of climate resilience and how it intersects with housing justice. This intersection informs one of the key initiatives at the San Francisco Foundation, the Great Communities Collaborative (GCC). GCC is a multi-sector network of partners that are accelerating the Bay Area towards social equity, economic prosperity, and environmental sustainability across the nine-county region. An important part of GCC is its Funders Network, a group of core foundations and donors who come together to learn from one another and align their grantmaking for greater impact.
A key member of the Funder Network is the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund. Their focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping prepare for the impacts of climate change on Bay Area ecosystems made them a perfect partner for GCC. Together we supported efforts that strengthened the nonprofit sectors’ ability to advocate for more effective climate policies and ensure that we are not building housing in fire prone areas.
As we have all experienced in the past several years, wildfires have devastated our community. In addition to displacing thousands of community members, wildfires also release carbon emissions, such as carbon dioxide, into the environment. These gases warm the Earth’s climate and contribute to drought, intensifying and extending the fire season. Unfortunately, in the past few years we have witnessed this devastating cycle, resulting in more frequent severe wildfires; five of California’s 10 largest wildfires on record happened in 2020.
The vision that GCC holds for a sustainable Bay Area has helped [us] better understand the connection between climate and equitable housingPamela Allen, Goldman Fund Senior Program Officer
To break this cycle, we partnered with the Goldman Fund to develop and advocate for policies and programs to mitigate the impacts of these wildfires. Goldman Fund Senior Program Officer, Pamela Allen notes, “The vision that GCC holds for a sustainable Bay Area has helped [us] better understand the connection between climate and equitable housing. They have a long, successful history of bringing together diverse stakeholders, reaching consensus, and promoting solutions. Funding a model like GCC is an effective strategy for addressing critical climate-related issues. In addition, my engagement with GCC has presented meaningful professional development and learning opportunities and deepened my relationships with foundation colleagues.”
Since 2014, the Goldman Fund has invested almost $400,000 in the Great Communities Collaborative and transformed how we intersect housing and climate resilience.
To learn more about the Great Communities Collaborative and join the Funders Network please sign up fo the GCC newsletter or reach out to Senior Initiative Officer, Ricardo G. Huerta Niño at Rhuertanino@sff.org