California Environmental Grassroots Fund

Rose Foundation

Relevent Country: United States of America

The Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment is pleased to announce the California Environmental Grassroots Fund to supports small and emerging local groups across California that are building climate resilience and advancing environmental justice.

Grassroots Fund grantees tackle the toughest environmental problems facing their communities from toxic pollution, urban sprawl, sustainable agriculture, and climate advocacy, to the environmental degradation of their rivers and wild places and the health of the communities.

The fund prioritizes groups that serve & represent historically marginalized or impacted communities, especially BIPOC, frontline, and low-income communities; as well as organizations whose work is not just having a meaningful impact in their own communities, but who are thinking strategically about how their work fits into the larger landscape of environmental challenges they face today.


The objectives are to:

  • Strengthen and diversify the capacity of the grassroots base of California’s environmental movement.
  • Provide grantees with training opportunities, as well as scholarship funds, to develop skills in budgeting, communications, strategic planning, computer software, working with volunteers and more.
  • Enable communities that often fall through the cracks of traditional funding processes to gain crucial recognition and support.


  • Movement–building: Preference is given to groups building broad community support and engaging in effective public outreach.
  • Impacted and Underserved Communities: The fund prioritizes groups that serve and represent historically marginalized or impacted communities, especially BIPOC, frontline, immigrant, and low-income communities.
  • Community-Oriented with a Big Picture Vision: Priority is given to organizations grounded in the communities they serve and addressing important local problems, but who are also thinking strategically about how their work fits into the larger landscape of environmental challenges they face today.
  • Climate Resilience and Environmental Justice: They see these as the priority issues of their time, and they are deeply interconnected. The same extractive systems that have caused their climate crisis have heaped disproportionate harms on marginalized communities. Sustainable solutions must come from the communities that have born the most harm. On a practical level, these priority areas encompass a wide scope of work, from fighting to protect their forests and natural biodiversity, planning for sustainable and equitable management of their water resources, reimagining their food and transportation systems, and addressing the disproportionate effects of pollution and climate impacts on poor, BIPOC, and immigrant communities.

Funding Information

  • While groups that have $100,000 or less in annual expenses are eligible, most of their Grassroots grantees tend to be very small groups – 60% have annual expenses of less than $25,000, and 80% have expenses of under $50,000.
  • Maximum grant size is $5,000.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a grassroots grant, the applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • Geographic Scope: Project impact must be within the state of California.
  • Organization Size: Annual income or expenses of $150,000 or less (for exceptions, see application).
  • Issues Supported: Include, but are not limited to environmental health and justice, climate advocacy and resilience, land management and urban sprawl, habitat and wilderness protection, water resources, sustainable agriculture, and pollution and toxics.
  • Strategies Supported: Include, but are not limited to community-based advocacy, litigation, restoration, community organizing, grassroots campaigns, and environmental education.
  • Tax Status: Applicants may be a nonprofit, be fiscally sponsored by another nonprofit, or ask for fiscal sponsorship from the fund.
  • Frequency of Applying: Organizations whose proposals are rejected may re-apply after six months. Organizations that are funded may re-apply after one year if their evaluation form has been submitted and accepted.
  • Duration of Support: Grants are for a one year period. In order to make space for emerging new organizations, after three years of funding, groups need to wait two years before reapplying.