Growing and Diversifying the Movement
The Turner Foundation believes that conservation is a human concern - one that is complex and requires thoughtful consideration and involvement from many different perspectives. The focus of this program, which is weaved throughout all areas of the Foundation’s funding, is to promote conservation engagement across all ages, ethnicities, political associations, and interest groups. The Turner Foundation does this by:
- encouraging youth participation and engagement of millennials,
- partnering with communities of color and adding diversity, equity, and inclusion to our strategies,
- encouraging the business community to play a leadership role in the movement; and
- continuing to partner with hunters, anglers and outdoor recreation organizations.
YOUTH PARTICIPATION: While the Foundation has long recognized that humanity’s connection to the natural world is critical for a sustainable future, there is more evidence than ever to support this idea, giving the Foundation the opportunity to further strengthen its impact in this program area.
- Environmental Education – The Turner Foundation funds innovative environmental education programs that promote environmental literacy and systemic change in school systems impacting youth, and aligns with other like minded funders to bring more resources to the field and identify opportunities for collective impact.
- Connecting Youth to Nature – The Foundation funds programs focused on fostering a connection between youth and the outdoors, and continues to build the evidence base for the importance of connecting youth to nature.
- Turner Community Youth Development Initiative (TCYDI) – The Foundation aligns the funding guidelines of TCYDI with the mission of the Foundation by supporting youth development in the context of place-based conservation projects and programs in communities around Turner-owned properties.
MILLENNIAL ENGAGEMENT: Millennials (Americans born between 1980 and the mid-2000s) are the largest, most diverse, and most educated generation to date. The Foundation is committed to ensuring that Millennials’ interests are adequately represented by:
- funding organizations that are led by Millennials with Millennial engagement core to their missions,
- funding efforts to build the capacity of our grantees to develop and implement strategies focused on organizing and mobilizing Millennials to advance mission-related work; and
- encouraging grantees to factor Millennial engagement into their long-term planning and communication strategies, and ensuring Millennials are represented on their staff and board.
COMMUNITIES OF COLOR: Research has shown that communities of color have higher exposure rates to air pollution, landfills, power plants, and hazardous waste sites; and climate change and water contamination disproportionately affect low-income and communities of color across the nation. The Turner Foundation seeks to resolve this overwhelming disparity by:
- funding grassroots initiatives led by and to assist marginalized communities of color, including indigenous communities,
- funding nonprofits with a mission or specific initiatives or programs focused on diversifying the conservation movement,
- encouraging and fostering partnerships between grassroots organizations and large environmental organizations; and
- encouraging and supporting efforts of our grantees to diversify their staff, board, members, and constituents to ensure leadership and outreach are reflective of the populations the Foundation is seeking to engage.
CORPORATE PARTICIPATION: As demonstrated by our Founder and Chairman Ted Turner’s leadership, businesses can simultaneously improve people’s lives, protect and restore natural resources, address some of our world’s greatest challenges, and turn a profit. The Foundation takes great pride in advancing corporate environmental and social responsibility across the nation by helping to:
- protect and restore marine ecosystems by growing the demand for sustainably produced seafood through heightened consumer awareness and increasing commitments from major buyers,
- encourage corporate responsibility for freshwater stewardship by engaging institutional investors and creating the tools necessary for corporations and investors to track the water footprint of their operations and supply chains and partner with conservation organizations; and
- advance the clean energy economy by partnering with clean energy businesses to break down barriers to energy efficiency, renewable energy, and electrified transportation; and catalyzing clean energy commitments by energy-intensive businesses.