Funding Priorities

Each February, The Harder Foundation Board of Trustees reviews our grantmaking strategy to evaluate progress toward goals and objectives, ensure that our grants continue to align with our mission, and to update our strategy in light of the current environmental, economic and political context.

Given the 2016 elections, and the substantial shifts in how our federal government and Congress prioritize environmental protections, we are facing new challenges that threaten progress made over the last 50 years. The current context has prompted us to update our thinking about what we focus on, and how our support can make a difference.

The Foundation remains committed to our grantmaking framework that aims to protect public lands and waters, wildlife habitat, nearshore marine and estuary ecosystems, and the communities that depend on unspoiled natural resources. We will continue to fund effective work at the state and local levels, including campaigns, policy advocacy, legal defense, and organizing strategies.  We will maintain an emphasis on supporting diverse coalitions and networks, and collaborative planning efforts that bring stakeholders together to solve natural resource management issues on public lands.  We firmly believe that activism and collaboration will be useful approaches in response to new challenges and threats in the coming years.

However, we do not plan to base our grantmaking entirely on past commitments. While we are invested in supporting long-haul strategies, we expect that organizations may need to move quickly to respond to unplanned events, or to take advantage of an unanticipated opportunity. This year, we are willing to take some risks and experiment with promising ideas, and we intend to make more of our funding available for efforts needing a rapid response.