Climate Change & Healthy Habitats Collective Giving Group

Resilient landscapes are critical to the resiliency of urban and rural communities across Oregon. OCF values the interconnection of economic growth and environmental health when done well.

Across Oregon, individuals value natural resources in diverse ways: clean air, clean water, sustainable forests, healthy habitat; places that provide livelihoods or recreation, or support food security or cultural connection. It’s about quality of life in the state, which is why Oregonians value efforts to protect, preserve and provide access to healthy working and natural landscapes.

Aligning shared interests through philanthropy is a key motivation for many OCF donors, as is the case in the formation of the Climate Change & Healthy Habitats Collective Giving Group (CC&HH).

Through OCF, a diverse donor group with expertise in business, academia, medicine, law, agriculture and forestry has created a vehicle to meet, learn, plan and recommend grants that support efforts to address climate change and protect healthy ecosystems.

“OCF provides the structure, support and guidance for us to align our diverse environmental interests,” said John Miller, a Salem business owner and donor member of CC&HH. “There’s no more important work than trying to preserve and heal this earth that is our home—a home that is increasingly threatened by climate change. Oregonians in rural communities and inner cities alike may be first and hardest hit by changing climate impacts.”

In 2018, OCF donor members in CC&HH reviewed “ more than 100 nonprofit organizations, met with finalists and recommended $75,000 to support five nonprofits’ important work in rural and urban communities. Fund recipients represent diverse focus areas: ensuring water quality, creating clean energy jobs and environmental health in communities of color, and empowering rural communities to create strong economies and healthy landscapes.

“Through participation in the CC&HH group, our family has welcomed the valuable chance to build powerful relationships with like-minded donors, extend and accelerate our learning, and increase the impact of our giving,” said Peter Hayes, a Portland-based sustainable forestry advocate, business owner and CC&HH donor member.

“My husband Eric and I recognized how we could do more with this group than we can individually, and leverage more of our funds over time,” said Michele Goodman, a Portland-based CC&HH donor member along with her husband Eric Wan. “Everyone is tremendously flexible and open-minded as we define what we stand for related to ecological health,” she added.

Group members hope to see these efforts attract new participants and additional resources to continue the momentum and generate greater impact.

“Being part of a larger donor ecosystem helps us all stay current on the best science, legislative activities and nonprofit expertise that we may not have otherwise known about,” said Craig Kelley, a Portland- based family foundation trustee and CC&HH donor member.

“We embrace our role to listen, learn and evolve our work alongside donors’ charitable goals and the emerging needs of our kids, families, neighbors and colleagues,” said Kirsten Kilchenstein, OCF chief philanthropy officer. “Together we hope to create connected, engaged communities across the state.”

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