Where change takes root

aka Greengrants   |   Boulder, CO   |


Global Greengrants Fund mobilizes resources for communities worldwide to protect our shared planet and work toward a more equitable world.

Ruling year info


President and CEO

Laura Garcia

Main address

2840 Wilderness Place, Suite A

Boulder, CO 80301 USA

Show more contact info



NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (R12)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (S12)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

A power imbalance lies at the heart of environmental degradation: pollution and destruction occur because people lack the resources, political, and economic power to participate in decisions, resist harmful projects, and to live in a more sustainable way. Communities are frequently overwhelmed by powerful outside interests seeking to profit from unsustainable activities that exploit land, culture, and basic rights. Other communities may adopt unsustainable practices, such as burning forests for charcoal or pesticide-intensive farming, because they lack access to viable alternatives.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Small Grants Program

Global Greengrants channels small grants to grassroots organizations around the world for work within the following action areas: climate justice; healthy communities and ecosystems; local livelihoods; right to land, water, and resources; and women's environmental action.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Small Grants Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Global Greengrants supports communities and grassroots leaders that are working to shape their own future from the Bottom Up. Beyond the significant local impacts of the projects that we fund, we see the most important aspect of our grantmaking as building the foundation for an active, powerful grassroots civil society, in which every community is able to participate in decision-making around the laws and customs that affect their world. In this way, we are shifting the balance of power back to local people and communities. The effects are cumulative: by strengthening and legitimating the power of grassroots civil society, local groups inspire others to participate in the future and pave the way for them in decision-making spaces by refining grassroots strategies for engagement and activism.

We believe that every community must have a say in the future of the world if we are to overcome the current environmental crisis. In our 25 years of work, we have witnessed the power of movements based in community efforts to effect lasting environmental and social change. Local communities are the stewards of their land, and they invest unrivaled time, energy, and resources into defending the landscapes that provide for their livelihoods and wellbeing. They possess unique insights and knowledge that can change systems that adversely affect them. For these reasons, when communities come together to address social and environmental injustice, they produce compelling solutions and serve as a root from which larger movements for social change gain the motivation and inspiration to grow.

Support for civil society is particularly necessary at this moment in time. Over the past years, we have seen a trend toward populist governments around the world, making it increasingly difficult for grassroots groups to receive outside funding for their work. In a number of countries, governments have introduced tighter banking restrictions for foreign funds, coupled with tighter restrictions on what groups can do with foreign funding. This is coupled with alarming rates of violence toward environmental and social rights defenders. The goal of these acts and restrictions is to limit civil society space and intimidate local actors into silence. With the closing of civil space, our systems of resilience, our best chance of protecting our shared environment, are slowly eroded.

The creation of an environmental justice movement requires support at many levels with the most basic of them being the communities themselves, which often need a small amount of money to get noticed, voice their concerns, and to propose their own solutions. Smaller amounts of money are very appropriate for this kind of activity. Larger sums of money, on the other hand, can often overwhelm new groups that do not yet have the capacity to effectively absorb it. Funds can support organizing costs, travel, food, meetings, communications, and complements enormous amounts of community time and energy.

Often, well-timed investments have remarkable leverage. For example, in 2007, one of our grantmaking advisors recommended a modest grant to a fledgling Chinese organization, Green Hunan, which was organizing volunteers to monitor Hunan’s intensely polluted rivers. Today Green Hunan has 13 full-time staff, a river-watchers network with more than 400 volunteers, and a robust funding model with 90 percent of their funds coming from domestic sources. Most importantly, Green Hunan has given Hunan’s citizens confidence that they can successfully confront polluting industries and improve the quality of their water. Of Global Greengrants’ role in their success, one of Green Hunan’s co-founders writes:

"It was Global Greengrants who gave us our very first funds. Because of your $500 support, we paid the rent for our office and gradually developed. Truthfully speaking, Greengrants is like the angel investor to us. "

Communities “speak” in other ways, too. For example, small-scale organic farms can provide a visible model of alternative agriculture educating and inspiring other community members to move toward a healthier future. Here, small grants can also make a big difference by providing the seed funding necessary to establish a sustainable livelihood venture. Most importantly, each of these small acts of local decision-making and influence strengthens and legitimizes a communities’ right to shape their own relationship to local resources and the environment.

To support grassroots solutions without imposing an outside agenda, Global Greengrants has developed a decentralized, participatory grantmaking model built on a network of 145 advisors around the world who make funding decisions through consensus-based advisory boards. Our advisors are activists, experts in their fields, and respected environmental justice leaders who have strong ties to local grassroots organizations, a deep understanding of the context in their region, and experience supporting emerging groups and leaders in a variety of ways. Because of their local knowledge and commitment to the issues and actors in their regions and countries, we are able to connect to promising solutions and groups, channel funds to where they are needed most, and to assist our grantees after they have received a grant by providing them with other resources and connections.

Moreover, we know that local struggles can resonate much more if they are connected through broader networks, campaigns, and movements to other communities facing similar struggles and to sympathetic allies in civil society, media, even government. Through these networks, local actions begin to fit with larger narratives and trends that can actually shape how societies and governments think about development. These broader movements also strengthen the work on the ground by giving strength in solidarity and attention to the local communities and by sharing common tactics, tools, and language for promoting change and challenging the status quo. Thus, our decision-making draws heavily on networks for advising and also supports many activities that link local struggles into these movements. Our partnerships with women’s funds located around the world are an example of how we are connecting to other movements and communities most impacted by climate change to strengthen the fight against it.

Since 1993, Global Greengrants has sustained a trusted network of people around the world who are working together to solve the environmental justice challenges that communities face. Over these 25 years, we have learned much from the persistence and resourcefulness of our grantees as they have defended their resources, rights, and livelihoods and have built the groundwork for a sustainable future. We know that true change comes slowly and often requires many years of diligent effort and resilience. In light of this reality, we are all the more pleased to report that many of our grantees, with the help of your generous support, have achieved remarkable wins over the past year, including:

• The dunes and wetlands of Putú in Chile, home to over 120 species of birds, were officially designated as a protected nature sanctuary by Chile’s Ministry of the Environment in October 2017 thanks to the advocacy and outreach of grantees opposing iron mining in the area.

• Our grantee, COMUNDICH (Coordination of Associations and Communities for the Integral Development of the Cho’rti People), has been awarded the Guatemala Human Rights Commission’s Alice Zachmann prize for its highly successful work to regain customary lands illegally taken from the Cho’rti people. COMUNDICH’s win is not only a victory for human rights, it is a victory for the environment. When forests remain in the hands of Indigenous stewards, they are far more likely to be managed sustainably, helping to offset climate change by absorbing and trapping greenhouse gases.

• Indigenous grantees in Canada celebrated their third court win against a proposed open-pit goldmine on the banks of their sacred lake. Their victory in court was fueled in part by an emotional documentary, funded by Global Greengrants, which helped to humanize the potential impacts the loss of the lake would have on the local peoples.



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Board of directors
as of 11/04/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Nnimmo Bassey

Health of Mother Earth Foundation/Oilwatch International

Board co-chair

Regan Pritzker

The Libra Foundation

Maxine Burkett

University of Hawai‘i, Sea Grant College Program

Stefan Gelcich

Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile

Kimberley Hult

Hutchinson, Black and Cook

Teresa Odendahl

Global Greengrants Fund

Jake Beinecke

Shannon Lawder

Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

Katherine Pease

Katherine Pease and Associates

Stephen Pittam

Bobby Peak


Chinesom Ejiasa

Sums 15 Holdings, LLC

Artemisa Castro Felix

Fondo Accion Solidaria, AC

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/4/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


No data