The Strong Foundation for Environmental Values traces its roots back to 1912 to an Episcopal school. St. Margaret’s House, in Berkeley, trained women to work in the Episcopal Church as deaconesses. When, in the 1960’s, the National Episcopal Church decided to ordain women as priests, a separate school for deaconesses became redundant and the school was closed.
The successor nonprofit became the Berkeley Center for Human Interaction. In 1979, the Center began producing audio tapes of interviews with key environmental leaders of the time and distributing them for use in public broadcasting. Its name was changed to the Strong Center for Environmental Values.
Finally, in the mid 1980’s, the Center changed its form and function from a publicly-supported organization to a private grant-making foundation. Money from the sale of remaining properties in Berkeley provided funds for the small foundation. Thus, the Strong Foundation for Environmental Values was born. To date, the Strong Foundation has made 600 separate grants totaling over one million dollars.