Building the Next Generation of Stewards
The Bay Area Environmental Education Funders Collaborative (EEFC) was founded in 2010 with the vision of creating a network of funders who would come together to leverage one another’s expertise, raise awareness of the field, and deepen their collective understanding of outdoor and environmental education. Sand Hill Foundation was a founding member.
Since the creation of the Collaborative, members have leveraged over $1,000,000 in net new grantmaking to Bay Area environmental education nonprofits. In 2016 alone, aggregate grants of over $10 million were distributed to nearly 100 organizations. The EEFC has catalyzed field-changing initiatives such as Silicon Valley’s Science by Nature Collaborative which has improved science test scores district-wide and inspired a new generation of online tools, adopted by the CA State CREEC Network.
Members also pooled resources through The Transportation Fund to address the need to underwrite transportation for school field trips to outdoor and environmental education providers, reducing the cost of a one-day field trip to less than $10 per student. The collaborative is currently engaged in collective action to support Bay Area implementation of a
California Department of Education initiative entitled Blueprint for Environmental Literacy: Educating Every California Student in, about and for the Environment.
Regular learning sessions have led to stronger partnerships among nonprofits and more effective funding efforts among members, and just as importantly, clearer communication about priorities between funders and nonprofits. The Collaborative serves funders throughout the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, and is fiscally sponsored by Northern California Grantmakers.
Goals of the Initiative
- To grow interest in and awareness of the benefits of environmental education grant making.
- To share knowledge, building awareness of field research and best practices, effective local programs, and regional challenges and externalities in environmental education.
- To extend opportunities for collaborative giving to local initiatives, leveraging resources for greater impact in alignment with individual foundations’ priorities.
- To sponsor and host formal convenings that bring funders together with experts on topical issues facing the field, as well as with environmental education leaders.
- To tackle complex issues and collectively move the needle on an annual thematic focus.