Marin Climate Justice Catalyst Fund

As part of Marin Community Foundation’s new strategic vision and recently launched Climate Justice Initiative, we are pleased to share the first in a series of funding opportunities aimed at advancing equitable climate resilience in our local communities. 

**This funding opportunity is now closed. Please see further below to read about the grantees awarded through this fund and learn about their work**

MCF’s Climate Justice Initiative recognizes that climate change and social justice are deeply intertwined. Climate change is a “threat multiplier” that exacerbates existing social, economic, and health conditions and disparities in communities that have been underserved and under-resourced. Those who have historically had the least responsibility for causing climate change often experience the worst effects. Solutions to the climate crisis require a multitude of approaches that put the voices of community leaders front and center, positioning them to secure transformative investments that enhance their community’s well-being and safeguard against growing climate threats.

Recent federal and state legislation has made available hundreds of billions of dollars for local infrastructure projects, renewables deployment, and other approaches to reduce climate risks and create healthier communities. Recognizing this once-in-a-generation opportunity to help direct these investments where they are needed most, we created the Marin Climate Justice Catalyst Fund.

Goals of the Marin Climate Justice Catalyst Fund

The Marin Climate Justice Catalyst Fund 2023 aims to provide immediate and short-term funding to community-based organizations, and to local public agencies or jurisdictions working in collaboration with them, that are either ready to seek public climate funding on behalf of Marin’s most vulnerable communities or that have received state or federal climate funding but have remaining unmet needs that impede project goals.


The following entities are eligible to apply to the Marin Climate Justice Catalyst Fund:

  • 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations
  • Projects that are fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)3 organization
  • Public agencies or jurisdictions working in partnership with one or more community-based organizations on a shared project

Priority consideration will be given to proposals from applicants serving communities in Marin County that are most impacted by social and economic inequity due to race, income level, gender, identity, religion, immigration status, disability, age, sexual orientation or zip code. Data shows these populations are largely concentrated in four geographic areas: Marin City, the Canal neighborhood of San Rafael, Novato, and West Marin. The Foundation also recognizes that there are populations experiencing these inequities who reside in other parts of the county. We welcome proposals from entities that are advancing equity and are working outside of these four geographic areas.

MCF will consider applicants that meet the following criteria. Applicants may demonstrate greater strength and focus on some criteria than others, but priority will be given to those that fit all criteria.

Alignment between the climate change project being pursued, your organizational/agency goals, and your community’s needs. Successful applicants will:

  • Highlight how the project being pursued is a fit for your organization or agency’s mission and purpose.
  • Demonstrate how the project supports climate resilience and adaptation needs in your community.
  • If addressing greenhouse gas reduction, explain how the project will contribute to community resilience.

Commitment to equity. Successful applicants will:

  • Serve a priority population described above.
  • Reflect a community-driven approach (e.g., identify the specific needs facing the community and use community input to determine how it will address those needs).
  • Represent the diversity of the community served, including leadership, staff, and board.
  • Articulate a clear commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); and demonstrate how DEI principles are integrated into the project.

Leveraging public dollars. Successful projects will:

  • Identify the specific public funding that will be pursued or that has been secured.
  • Describe the relevance of the public funding opportunity to your project, and how much funding may be leveraged if successful.
  • Describe the specific supports needed and explain why they would be beneficial.

Administrative and financial management capacity. Recipients of public funding need to be compliant with statutory requirements for policies and practices and have core competencies in place to manage public grants, including performance, financial and administrative competencies. Successful applicants will:

  • Demonstrate their capacity to receive public funding, OR
  • Describe how a grant from the Catalyst Fund would support your capacity to receive and manage public funding.

Funding Parameters

  • Requests may include funding navigators, grant writing, organizational capacity to manage public funding, stakeholder and community engagement, facilitation, evaluation expertise, or other application or project costs.
  • Expected grant range is $25,000 to $150,000. Please ask for what you need.
  • Grant period may be less than 12 months but should be no more than 18 months.

Marin Climate Justice Catalyst Fund Awards 2024

Awards from the 2024 Climate Justice Catalyst Fund are being distributed to the following grantees:

Agricultural Institute of Marin
This grant supports technical grant writing for green infrastructure and climate resilience funding toward the Center for Food & Agriculture, enhances staff grant writing capacity, and supports community engagement for federal and state funding proposals aligned with campaign objectives.


This grant supports a funding navigator and grant writer to research and draft proposals to support the continued development of a resilience hub and emergency shelter. Funding will help add battery storage to an existing solar panel array so the shelter can provide access to electricity during disasters and extended power outages.

Community Land Trust Association of West Marin

This grant supports hiring a grant writer to identify and pursue Department of Energy or other federal dollars for substantial energy efficiency upgrades to its four affordable housing properties in Point Reyes Station.

Conservation Corps North Bay

Funding will enhance the organization's billing and evaluation systems and its compliance processes to more efficiently secure and utilize state and federal funding for green workforce training in underserved communities of Marin.

Ecological Workforce Initiative

The Ecological Workforce Initiative trains very low-income individuals in habitat restoration, equipping them with skills for higher-paying opportunities to work on ecologically sensitive projects. Funding will enhance the organization's grant writing capacity to support the initiative's growth as it seeks state funding with core partners.


This grant supports hiring a grant manager and enhancing staff time to pursue additional federal grants from the EPA and the USDA that can help meet the demands of the organization's expanding infrastructure that was created through recent state funding.

Galilee Harbor Community Association

Funding will support a feasibility study about green-to-grey infrastructure options to address escalating storm related damages that threaten the Association’s live-aboard boats and their residents.

Innovative Health Solutions

This grant supports the facilitation, evaluation, and grant writing for West Marin Food Systems Group's School Wellness Leadership Team. Funding will enhance regional school food systems and promote healthier local organic school meals in West Marin through collective leadership and the pursuit of new state funding.

Marin Center for Independent Living

The Marin Center for Independent Living recently transformed its downtown San Rafael facility into an accessible resilience hub. This grant facilitates hiring a grant writer and increased staff time to pursue funding from the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services to make site improvements to the community hub, including drop-in support, resource pick-up, and independent skills development.

Multicultural Center of Marin

The Multicultural Center of Marin seeks to create a Climate Justice Resilience and Learning Hub for residents of San Rafael's Canal district, offering information, education, supplies, and support before, during, and after disasters. This grant will support a funding navigator and grant writer to secure state and federal funding.

North Marin Community Services

North Marin Community Services aims to grow its new Novato Clean Air for All (NCAA) initiative recently funded by the California Air Resources Board. This grant supports hiring funding navigators and skilled climate justice grant writers to enhance the project's capacity to secure additional federal and state funding resources.


    • For content questions: Patti D’Angelo Juachon, Program Director for the Environment, or 415.464.2547
    • For technical questions: Renee Lazzareschi, Program Assistant for the Environment, or 415.464.2509

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