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Our Approach

The Midwest Climate & Energy program uses its philanthropic funding to support efforts that build power through partnership, aligning climate and equity goals to advance bold action on the climate crisis.

Our program takes a systems change lens, focusing on shifting the conditions that perpetuate the climate crisis, which include structural racism. We direct grantmaking toward work that shifts mental models, changes power dynamics, engages communities, and advances transformative policies, practices, and resource flows, in order to dramatically cut carbon pollution in the Midwest by 2030. 

In keeping with the Foundation’s Strategic Framework, the program’s approach is grounded in continuous learning and adaptive action as the economic, political, and social context in which we operate continues to evolve.

Our Strategies

Strengthen Democratic Participation

Climate change affects all of us, but Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, and low-income communities are impacted the most. We need an open and equitable democracy to ensure that marginalized communities have the voice and power to bring about change on the issues affecting their lives and livelihoods, including climate change. This is a shared goal with the Vibrant & Equitable Communities program.

Transform the Energy System

Protecting our planet requires changing how we produce and use electricity. We need to support more carbon-free energy sources through market and technological changes, switch to emissions-free energy sources, and achieve 100% clean power, all as quickly as possible.

Electrify Transportation and Buildings

Our buildings and transportation systems still overwhelmingly use fossil fuels. We need to replace polluting systems with new technologies that run on clean electricity, and support infrastructure that centers the real needs of people.

Sequester Carbon on Working Lands

The Midwest’s working lands–our rangelands, farms, and forestlands–support life and livelihoods. We need to partner with stewards of those lands to advance solutions that sequester carbon and safeguard the places that many call home.


Geographic Focus

The program supports work in Minnesota and the upper Midwest directly and through grantmaking partners.