Can nonprofits design our way to a better future?

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The Brainerd Foundation is a Northwest-focused family foundation that provides funding and expertise so nonprofits, communities, and decision-makers can better protect our region's air, land, and water.

Funding

We fund organizations that protect the environment of the Northwest and build broad support for conservation.

Conservation policy

Conservation policy

Policy gains that ensure protection of our region's air, land, and water.

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Place-based conservation

Place-based conservation

Landscape and wildlife protection through community engagement and empowerment.

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Conservation capacity

Conservation capacity

Building upon past investments and growing the next generation of conservation.

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Recent successes

Coal Export Terminal Permit Denied

Coal Export Terminal Permit Denied

The Washington Department of Ecology denied permits for the Millennium Bulk project, which would have shipped by rail and then vessel a staggering 44 million tons of coal per year to markets in Asia. The Washington DOE cited unavoidable harms in nine environmental areas that were identified in the project’s formal review.

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Court overturns approvals for mine that threatens Cabinet Mountains Wilderness

Court overturns approvals for mine that threatens Cabinet Mountains Wilderness

A federal judge in Montana has overturned government agency approvals for the proposed Montanore Mine, ruling that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service violated the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Forest Management Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act in approving a massive industrial mining operation on the boundary of—and literally under—the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness. The proposed mine threatens to dewater wilderness trout streams and industrialize some of the last remaining grizzly bear habitat in the Cabinet Mountains of northwest Montana.

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Chuitna Coal Mine Shelved

Chuitna Coal Mine Shelved

After nearly a decade of dedicated advocacy by thousands of Alaskans in support of healthy fisheries, cultural preservation, and community sustainability, the company behind what would have been the largest strip mine in Alaska has suspended its pursuit of permitting. Thousands of Alaskans have spoken out against this project that would have traded wild salmon for low-grade coal. The Brainerd Foundation supported the work of Cook Inletkeeper and the Alaska Center on this issue.

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Read about more grantee successes »

Meet some of our grantees

Meet more of our grantees »

What we're learning as we head toward our Sunset

Educating in perilous times: preparing tomorrow's change agents

Educating in perilous times: preparing tomorrow's change agents

Professor Neva Hassanein shares five observations about how graduate training, or education "of a certain kind," can play a role in environmental and social movements.

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What happens when a sleeping giant wakes?

What happens when a sleeping giant wakes?

In this Medium post, the Brainerd Foundation is pleased to highlight the work of our colleagues at the Conservation Alliance. Their work in defense of public lands is an object lesson in what 21st Century advocacy can look like.

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Finding a place under the big tent

Finding a place under the big tent

The Northwest Conservation Philanthropy Fellowship, a program operated by Social Venture Partners and funded by the Brainerd Foundation, was inspired by Paul Brainerd’s belief in the importance of passing the baton to a new generation of conservation philanthropists. Here’s the story of one participant’s philanthropic journey.

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