Strong Foundation

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Mission Statement

To sustain life on the planet, people must value and understand that they are a part of the environment, and that their actions make a difference. Accordingly, the Foundation makes grants to efforts that instill an ecological ethic in the individual and in our communities, andwhich encourage grassroots environmental action based on such an ethic.

Our geographic focus is Northern California, although rarely grants have been made to organizations west of the Rocky Mountains or in the Pacific Northwest. We fund only 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. We emphasize grants for eco-spirituality, grassroots action, environmental eduation, capacity building, citizen participation, collaborative efforts, innovative programs, land acquisition, planning and training. We will provide support for general purposes, pilot projects, and equipment and seed money for a start up. Grant awards range from $1,000 to $5,000; in the past few years, the average grant has been about $1,500. The total grant allocation may vary from grant cycle to grant cycle.

We do not fund conferences, expeditions, lobbying, debt retirement, emergency grants, endowments, fellowships, professorships, scholarships, art projects, program-related investments, nor do we make multi-year grants. We usually do not fund botanical gardens, individuals, public agencies, research institutions, zoos or aquariums.

The Foundation has two grant cycles each year. To be considered by the first cycle, applications must be received by March 15. To be considered for the second cycle, applications must be received by September 15. Grant awards will be made approximately six weeks after these submittal dates.

The process of deciding which proposals get funded takes place at a meeting of the Board of Directors. The Board as a whole reviews all proposals and determines which grants will receive the funding and the amount of the grants. If your proposal is to be funded, we will notify you by mail, and send a Grant Letter and Agreement for your signature. After we receive signed copies of hte Letter and Agreement, your check will be sent. We will ask you to verify receipt of the check by returning the lower portion of the letter accompanying the check. As a condition of hte grant, you will be asked to provide an End-of-Grant Report to the Foundation at the end of the funding period, usually one year. This report is reviewed by the Board.

Grant Application

THE STRONG FOUNDATION for environmental values
Grant Application

Please provide the following information as a cover page.

(1) Your organization's name, address, telephone number and email address.
(2) Year of incorporation.
(3) Name and title of contact person.
(4) Organizational mission.
(5) Project for which you are seeking funds (if other than general support.)
(6) Total project budget.
(7) Total organizational budget.
(8) Amount requested from the Strong Foundation:

Your application package should contain thirteen (13) copies of the following:
1) The completed cover page.
2) A two-to-four page description of your project including goals, objectives, timeline and organization's qualifications. See instructions below for details. Be sure to explain how the project fits with the Strong Foundation's mission and focus.
3) Project budget (including expenses and income projections with fundraising strategy.)
4) List of Board members with short biographical sketches.
Your application package should also contain one copy of your IRS letter stating 501(c)(3) status. If your group is not tax-exempt, you must have a fiscal agent. Please enclose a letter from the director of your fiscal agent acknowledging the relationship and their IRS letter. If a grant is awarded, the grant agreement must be signed by the fiscal agent and the check will be made payable to the fiscal agent.

Send application package to: The Strong Foundation for environmental values, 1442-A Walnut Street, Box 80, Berkeley, CA 94709.

Please do not include attachments other than the materials requested, such as newspaper clippings, letters of support or other materials, as they will not be considered.


A. Your Organization
· Who are you? Give us a brief history of your group; how long have you been in existence, what are your group's goals and purpose for being?

B. Your Project
· What do you want to do? Describe your project concretely.
· What will your project accomplish and why is this important? Be specific about expected results.
· Does this project fulfill a unique need? Do the activities of your group overlap with organizations? If so, tell us about your networking efforts and how you intend to avoid duplication of efforts. How is your project different from groups working in similar areas; what makes it unique?

C. Qualifications
· What qualifications does your group have that will help you accomplish this task?
· What are the qualifications and experience of the people who will be carrying out this project? If you have volunteers without experience but with lots of desire, energy, and commitment, please say so.
· Who are your Board of Directors or governing body? What are their qualifications, experience and commitment?
· What will you do if a key person drops out of the project?

D. The Details
· What is your detailed, specific plan of action for accomplishing your goals? Be concrete.
· What is the timeframe for the project as a whole, and for the individual steps involved?
· How will you know when each step is complete?
· How will you know when the project has reached its goals and is complete?

E. Finances
· What is the budget for this project?
· Does the budget reflect the stated priorities?
· Who is keeping the books and handling the finances?
· What record keeping is being done to ensure separation of funds for this project from other activities that are not within our guidelines?
· If additional record-keeping is needed, is the extra cost accounted for in your budget?
· What percentage of your overall budget does this project represent?
· Indicate your other sources of funding and amounts.
· How will you continue a successful program once our support is ended? How will you carry on your work?

F. The Evaluation Process
· How will your group (its Board or governing body) evaluate the project at its completion?
· What specific criteria will you use in evaluating the success of your project?
· What criteria do you suggest we use to evaluate your project?

Although the Foundation does not have the staff resources to meet with applicants, please feel free to call Pat Bradley, Executive Secretary at (510) 528-8266 or email her at if you have questions. We look forward to seeing your application, and wish you the best with your endeavor.

Friday, June 10, 2005

History of the Strong Foundation

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.


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