2016 Funding Priorities

Please note that the Foundation has an invitation-only policy, and does not accept unsolicited proposals.

Who we support

The Harder Foundation invests in strengthening the effectiveness of the environmental movement, and supports strategies that protect ecosystems and the benefits that they provide to maintain vibrant human communities. Priority will be given to fund organizations that:

  • Work collaboratively to achieve conservation outcomes in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and western Montana.
  • Deploy advocacy, legal, scientific, organizing, and communication assets in creative campaigns and projects to influence decision-makers, leverage resources, and win support for durable conservation.
  • Develop effective coalitions; build and mobilize constituencies for conservation; and collaborate with diverse organizations, community leaders, public agencies, and policymakers.
  • Make a strong economic case for policies that protect natural resources and communities that depend on them.
  • Demonstrate agility and innovation to take advantage of emerging issues or special opportunities.

Where we work

The Harder Foundation supports organizations working at the regional, state and local level in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and western Montana.  We focus on places where there are relatively healthy ecosystems that support wildlife and provide multiple benefits for communities.  Within our region, the following geographic areas are high priorities:

Alaska: South Central, including Cook Inlet
Washington: Pacific Coast, Olympic Peninsula, Columbia River Estuary and Northeast Washington
Oregon: Pacific Coast
Idaho: Central Idaho and The High Divide
Montana: The High Divide

Program Areas

With an emphasis on the geography outlined above, our 2016 priorities focus on the following program areas and objectives:

Habitat Conservation

  • Protect and restore healthy ecosystems for wildlife and communities in the face of climate change, on both public and private lands.
  • Secure the long-term survival of Northern Rockies grizzly bears and other key wildlife species.
  • Secure permanent protections of public lands and waters to preserve intact ecosystems for long-term benefits, including clean water, clean air, biological diversity and resilience.
  • Leverage federal agency budgets and planning processes to reduce forest road density, remove legacy roads, and restore the health of forest ecosystems.

Nearshore Marine, Estuary and Watershed Conservation

  • Improve and protect the health and viability of coastal watersheds, estuaries and nearshore marine ecosystems; and strengthen connectivity from headwaters to tidewaters.
  • Leverage federal, state and county planning processes and budgets to protect and restore coastal ecosystems and watersheds, prioritizing those initiatives that support salmon recovery, address climate change impacts, and enhance the resiliency of estuaries and watersheds.
  • Develop local leaders to strengthen the constituency for conservation and natural resource protection in coastal Washington.
  • Support select, innovative efforts to build a new economic vision based on sustainable natural resource use.
  • Implement marine protected areas and reserves in Oregon’s Territorial Sea.

Conservation Community Effectiveness

  • Support organizations and coalitions that set common policy priorities to solve statewide and regional environmental problems.


Our engagement in energy issues is based on impacts of fossil fuel development in the geographic areas we have prioritized, and is limited to the following:

  • Empower communities to respond to the development of new fossil fuel infrastructure in Washington and Oregon, by raising public awareness to influence decision-makers.
  • Support local efforts to build public awareness to influence coal mining and infrastructure proposals in Alaska.