Power-building intermediaries have the potential to hold billionaire climate solutions accountable to impacted communities, a case study from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) finds.

Co-published with the Regenerative Economies Organizing Collaborative (REO), the report, Good, Bad, Bezos and Beyond: Climate Philanthropy and the Grassroots (37 pages, PDF), details movement organizing that went on in the wake of the 2020 launch of the $10 billion Bezos Earth Fund (BEF), explores philanthropy’s relationship to grassroots funding, and identifies early responses to the rise of billionaire climate philanthropy. According to the report, shortly after the BEF announcement, the Climate Justice Alliance and REO published an open letter calling on Bezos and BEF to prioritize equity and frontline climate leadership and steer funding to organizations on the frontlines of the climate crisis. After the initial grants went overwhelmingly to traditional, very well-resourced big green groups, climate justice movement leaders and allies set their sights on the big green and funder intermediary recipients of BEF grants. In 2021, they helped create the grassroots-led Fund for Frontline Power (F4FP), resulting in $141 million being moved into four grassroots-accountable intermediaries that represent upwards of 500 grantee partners.

According to the report, along with development of F4FP, grassroots organizations and funder allies built the Four Pathways to Move Money to the Grassroots framework, which provides four options for moving capital and other resources to grassroots organizing globally: unrestricted, multi-year funding sent directly to authentic grassroots and base-building organizations that are of, by, for, and directly accountable to the most impacted communities; grassroots-led alliances and networks created by grassroots organizations that integrate resource-sharing and accountability processes to achieve collective impact; community controlled capital infrastructure, including non-extractive loan funds, community land trusts, and worker-owned cooperatives; and grassroots-centric funder intermediaries, which fund groups with flexible core support and include grassroots leadership.

Read the full article about climate philanthropy at Candid.