The Bay Area Environmental Education Funders Collaborative (EEFC) focuses on philanthropy that equips young people with the outdoor experiences, scientific knowledge and skills to become lifelong environmental advocates and engaged members of their communities. We amplify the impact of our members by sharing knowledge and by extending opportunities for collaborative giving and field-building convenings.
Each year, the members of EEFC select a critical issue area on which to focus time and resources. Each thematic focus results in action that seeds emerging practices, builds the body of evidence to fill a gap in research, or increases awareness and cohesiveness of the environmental education community and its many stakeholders.
Our 2017 Thematic Focus centers on the newly adopted California Blueprint for Environmental Literacy. We are especially interested in how local partnerships that engage non-profit providers, schools, and communities can increase access and equity for all students.
We are seasoned grantmakers who have joined the EEFC to learn from one another’s grantmaking, to explore the issues facing the orgnizations we support, and to develop initiatives that allow us to take action together to solve the many challenges facing the field of environmental literacy.
We welcome a broad field of funders in education, health, community or youth development, public policy, social justice, and conservation.
- Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, the EEFC focuses on programs in the Bay Area, but actively connects to funder networks far and wide.
- Bi-monthly meetings in a funders’ only environment allows us to ask difficult questions, express opinions with candor, and to have an open dialogue.
- Outside experts present on topics or issues of interest to the group, and help our members stay abreast on what is happening in the field.
- Working groups explore ideas that resonate, develop strategies and propose potential EEFC initiatives. Each year, ideas are generated around a particular thematic focus that is timely and relevant.
- Ongoing reflection and assessment helps us to identify our successes and challenges as a funding collaborative.
A Brief History
EEFC was formed in 2010 by program officers at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Morgan Family Foundation with the vision of creating a network of funders who would come together to learn more about one another’s grantmaking, and to deepen their collective understanding of outdoor and environmental education (EE). Since its founding, the collaborative has held convenings to promote funder and nonprofit learning and networking, and to explore the issues facing organizations and programs in a supportive environment. Some convenings have been restricted to those who are giving financial resources to the field, allowing for deep dialogue about challenges and successes from the funder perspective. Others have been open to a wide range of stakeholders, allowing for group discussions with foundations, nonprofits, school districts, government entities, and others who play a critical role in enabling high-quality, impactful EE.
Photo credit: Environmental Volunteers