History

A Brief History

The Environmental Grantmakers Association was formed in 1987 following a meeting of environmental funders in Washington, DC to discuss common interests and to learn about each other’s programs. As a result of the enthusiasm generated at the meeting, 12 member foundations from across the United States made plans for future gatherings, exchanged grants lists, and published a directory of foundation program interests. Subsequent meetings reaffirmed the group’s interest in facilitating increased communication among grantmakers through EGA. Over 20 years later, our membership spans more than 200 foundations from around the world, spanning large and small in terms of giving level and staff size, and includes multiple types of foundations that are concerned with protecting the environment. EGA member organizations collectively hold approximately $200 billion in assets and give more than one billion dollars annually to environmental causes.

Over the years, EGA has continued its enormously successful flagship event, the annual Fall Retreat. In addition, it has started and nurtured working groups and responsive projects; held Federal, State, and Regional Policy Briefings; produced numerous research publications for members, including a peer-edited semi-annual EGA Journal; organized a variety of lectures, site visits, leadership trainings, and other events; maintained vibrant email listservs for the quick sharing of ideas and questions; implemented organizational reviews and strategic plans; facilitated community and collaboration through the work of volunteer committees; and supported and challenged the membership in their work. EGA is not a grantmaking organization.