The Movement to Give and Grow Green(s)

Authored by: Pat Macdonald, Assistant Vice President, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation

Here at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation and Greater Horizons we make it our business to help donors connect to the community and social issues that are important to them. So, as climate change remains a robust international debate and helping urban households and schools increase access to healthy foods takes its place in the national spotlight, it hasn’t surprised us to see a steady uptick in the numbers of our donors who are interested in environmental sustainability.

Green Giving

To help us connect to current information and trends on this subject, we participated in the Environmental Grantmakers Association’s (EGA) 25th Annual Fall Retreat in New Palz, N. Y. this week. EGA convened some 350 grantmakers from around the country to exchange innovative practices, lessons learned, and progresses made in resource conservation and use through philanthropy.

A Royal highlight (literally speaking!), facilitated by GRACE Communications Foundation, was a congratulatory address to EGA given by HRH, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales for EGA’s 25 years of promoting effective environmental philanthropy. An outspoken advocate of sustainable farming practices for 30 years, and author of On the Future of Food, Prince Charles underscored the complex and interrelated environmental impact of industrialized food production on local ecosystems. He contrasted the outcomes against the benefits to public health and employment safeguards provided by sustainable food production systems such as locally, organically grown foods.

Giving GreeA retreat field trip visited Brooklyn Grange (pictured here). It is one of more than 700 registered urban commercial gardens in NYC. It is located on the rooftop of the Brooklyn Naval Ship Yard and covers the full 65,000 square foot building, with over 45,000 square feet of cultivated space. Brooklyn Grange has supplied more than 40,000 lbs. of organic vegetables to NYC restaurants since 2010.

Attendees of the 25th Environmental Grantmakers Retreat left fully affirmed and evermore committed to philanthropy that facilitates education and implementation of effective forms of resource conservation and healthy, sustainable systems for food production. We look forward to sharing what we learned with our donors who have a passion for green living (and green giving)!