Roll up your sleeves and get ready to get to work — the WILD ELEMENTS Foundation has arrived! Just in time for Earth Day, this planet-focused grantmaking organization is leading the conservation conversation with a three-pronged “kindness” approach. And what’s more, WILD ELEMENTS is helmed by two incredible women: Nikki Eslami and Heidi Nel.
WILD ELEMENTS is Eslami’s brainchild: as the CEO and Founder of the organization, Eslami is also a Board Member of the WILD ELEMENTS Foundation, alongside the Foundation’s President and fellow board member Heidi Nel.
WILD ELEMENTS is a purpose-first platform, which consists of three unique organizations – a nonprofit corporation (the WILD ELEMENTS Foundation), a storytelling studio, and mindfully made brands. Beginning with a $3 million investment, the WILD ELEMENTS Foundation will support the stories and innovations of leaders around the world through grantmaking, advocacy, network building, and other charitable activities.
So, What’s Been Going on So Far with The Hive Fund?
What we were initially so excited about was the Hive Fund’s unique approach to fixing a very prevalent problem: The conspicuous funding gap for women’s climate organizations in the American South. And so far, the Hive Fund has proven to be a wave-making, impact-oriented force for the greater good.
What a stressful, challenging, and world-view altering year. Between COVID, the free-fall of the economy, and the ongoing lack of clarity from the election, it feels like there’s no end to the new harm and instability in the world, particularly for women and girls. Here’s a look at what went wrong, and right, for gender equality funding strategies this past year, as represented by our Top 10 posts here at Philanthropy Women.
Listed below are the top 10 posts on Philanthropy Women for 2020, factoring in page views and social media shares, as well as stats on high-authority backlinks for each post. These are the posts that produced the most reverberations across the culture, from what we could tell.
Along with the Hive Fund for Climate and Gender Justice, another important feminist climate fund also received support from Bezos Earth Fund: The Solutions Project. The Solutions Project, like the Hive Fund, will be receiving $43 million in unrestricted funding over three years.
Among the Solutions Project’s board of directors are many familiar faces in the social justice arena, including Leah Hendrix-Hunt and Sharon Alpert. There are also stars of stage and screen including Mark Ruffalo and Don Cheadle.
The Solutions Project’s President and CEO, Gloria Walton, is already being described as a “superstar” of the ecofeminist scene, with clear vision and strategies already in place to fund us toward a more sustainable climate and a culture centered on gender and racial equality.
The Hive Fund for Climate and Gender Justice is among a group of equity-focused climate re-granting organizations that received grants from the Jeff Bezos Earth Fund, a $10 billion effort to fight climate change. We are thankful for this investment in our grantmaking program. These grants signal the beginnings of a shift as many philanthropists start to recognize the critical role that frontline groups and leaders of color play in addressing the climate crisis.
The grant from the Bezos Earth Fund, totaling $43 million over three years, will help The Hive Fund expand grantmaking to organizations led by Black, Brown, and Indigenous women and other frontline leaders. The work these groups do is essential to addressing the intersecting climate, gender, and racial justice crises in the U.S. Hive Fund grantee partners are engaging a record number of people in democracy; elevating climate, racial, and gender justice issues to the top of policymakers’ agendas; and bringing creativity, culture, joy, and power to growing social movements.
Women’s beauty brand Love Beauty and Planet recently announced a $100,000 grant cycle for The Love Beauty and Planet Project. This grant project offers funding ranging from $1,000 to $20,000 for projects that improve the wellbeing and health of the planet, specifically those that focus on reducing, avoiding, or sequestering carbon.
Ranging from $1,000 to $20,000, the Love Beauty and Planet grants focus on projects that improve recycling rates, reduce plastic waste, and/or sequester carbon emissions. What’s more, the company has expressed a preference for applications focusing on marginalized and underserved communities, which are often the most adversely affected–and the least able to recuperate–from carbon emissions that harm the environment.
What the world needs now more than ever is more funders who understand and address the deep intersectionalities of human experience. Recently, a new funder launched to do just that. The Hive Fund is dedicated to supporting climate, gender and racial justice, with a focus on the U.S. Southeast. Launched in 2019, it recently released its Spring 2020 grant recipients.
Hive supports Black, Indigenous, and women of color leaders who traditionally have had limited access to philanthropic and other resources. The fund’s mandate is to fund “visionary and strategic efforts of leaders and organizations working at the intersections of climate justice, gender equity, democracy, cultural power and economic justice.” Moreover, Hive aims to embed participatory decision-making in it grant-making process.
Editor’s Note: This interview in the Feminist Giving IRL series features Laura García, President and CEO of Global Greengrants Fund. Greengrants connects grassroots activists in under-served and under-funded communities with the resources and mentorship they need to fight for environmental justice, water rights, healthy ecosystems, and economic empowerment for women and families.
1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
When we are young, many of us begin our careers feeling insecure and that we are not valuable professionals in our workplaces. This insecurity has a lot to do with an organizational culture that exploits people who are young and inexperienced, without recognizing their value.
Editor’s Note: The following essay is by Tory Dietel Hopps, Managing Partner of Dietel & Partners, where she assists grantees with strategies, resource development and capacity building.
As the past weeks have unfolded, I have found myself thinking about the choices I will make regarding what I will not go back to after COVID-19. I believe that we are essentially having a dress rehearsal for what must be our new normal. This pandemic has made it abundantly clear that as a human race, we are truly globally interconnected.
This has been the message of climate activists for decades, but the esoteric nature of those conversations clearly were not getting us to move quickly enough. It took a real life and death situation to make us realize we can change our behavior on a dime if we need and want to. We have an opportunity to come out of this pandemic with a new normal where we don’t go back to how we functioned before. This is an opportunity we cannot afford to squander.
When corporations divert rivers, when governments displace communities, and when the constant human desire for “more” disrupts the safety of our environment, women and children are often the first to suffer. Access to clean water, a full belly, and a safe place to sleep at night are rights humans should have at birth.
What can we do when these natural rights are violated?
Global Greengrants Fund, also known as Greengrants, seeks to answer this question by taking action. By committing to a program based on participatory grantmaking, Greengrants connects under-served and under-funded communities with the resources and mentorship they need to fight for justice.