Charles Conn wrote an article recently in Standford Social Innovation Review entitled "Robbing the Grandchildren: Foundations' shortsightedness is jeopardizing the planet's future."
He points out the fact that "...only 5 percent of U.S. foundation spending goes to the environment, and a paltry 2.9 percent goes to science and technology. Of the top 50 foundation grantees in 2004, only three were environmental organizations. Even those foundations that do work on ecosystems spend much of their resources on small-scale land conservation. Government priorities are also skewed to the here and now. As the Oct. 30, 2006, New York Times reports, U.S. federal spending on energy research has fallen to $3 billion – less than half of its level in 1980 – while spending on medical research has quadrupled to $28 billion over the same period."
Please read the entire article, as Conn covers the issue very well.
Bottom line: If foundations aren't stepping up with major dollars to help bring about the ecological u-turn, who is left to do it?
Naturally, I'd like to see responses from our fellow xigi readers who are in the foundation world to hear how they are channeling more dollars toward sustainability and environmental regeneration.