Threshold Foundation 2015 Grants List

Justice and Democracy
Total Grants $204,000

Threshold Foundation’s Justice & Democracy Committee is a donor-based fund with a two-fold focus for 2015 grants cycle:

(1) Incarceration Reform- We support organizations working to protect the rights of incarcerated, formerly incarcerated, and convicted people and their families, inside and outside of prison.

We fund organizations aimed at reforming the criminal justice system either directly through civic action and legislative initiatives or through the development and implementation of re-entry and rehabilitation programs and alternatives to incarceration. This includes organizations working to reform policies that negatively impact youth (for example, harsh juvenile sentencing and systems enabling a “school to prison pipeline”).

(2) Civic Participation -We support organizations aimed at expanding political awareness, rights and participation for those who live in current and historically disenfranchised communities.

We fund organizations incorporating a sustainable, bottom-up model of electoral power-building led by and for underrepresented constituencies. Core strategies include leadership development, community organizing, coalition building, and campaign finance reform.


All of Us or None - Southern California

All of Us or None is a national organizing initiative that seeks to build a movement to win full restoration of the human and civil rights of people with past convictions. Co-founded in 2003, All of Us or None gives collective voice to people with criminal records in the policies that affect them. A New Way of Life is the convener and coordinator of All of Us or None’s Los Angeles chapter.

$17,000 - All of Us or None - Southern California's General Support - Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA |

American Indian Prison Project Working Group

American Indian Prison Project Working Group works to empower American Indian and Alaska Native communities with the skills and resources to significantly reduce the detainment and incarceration rate of youth and adult tribal members in federal, state and tribal prisons.

$17,000 - American Indian Prison Project Working Group's General Support
St. Paul, MN

A Better Way Foundation

A Better Way Foundation is a nonprofit organization that educates and advocates on behalf of a shift in Connecticut drug policy from a paradigm that prioritizes criminal sanctions and incarceration, to one that supports public health and treatment.

$17,000 - General Support
Hartford, CT |

Boys and Girls Club of the Northern Cheyenne Nation

The Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Cheyenne Nation is a youth guidance organization dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles, social, educational, vocational, cultural, character and leadership development. It strives to help young people to improve their lives by building self-esteem and development of values and skills during critical periods of growth. The club endeavors to achieve its goals through collaborative efforts with others.

$17,000 - General Support
Lame Deer, MT |


BreakOUT! fights the criminalization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth who are directly impacted by the criminal or juvenile justice system in New Orleans. It strives to affect concrete policy changes to build a safer and more just New Orleans.

$17,000 - BreakOUT!'s General Support
New Orleans, LA |

Chickaloon Native Village

The purpose of the Chickaloon Village Traditional Council in central Alaska is to perpetuate its ancestors’ beliefs, customs, traditions and values, and steward its environment to help its citizens thrive. Its vision is to ensure that future generations are equipped with a sufficient resource base as well as knowledge of traditional language and culture, and to become environmental leaders in their community.

$17,000 - Fish Protection Coalition
Chickaloon, AK |

The Gathering for Justice

The Gathering for Justice is a social justice organization founded by Harry Belafonte in 2005. The history and methodology of The Gathering is rooted in Kingian nonviolence direct action and civic engagement. The Gathering has earned great success and a reputation as inter-generational experts in gang intervention, violence prevention and reduction, cultural reconciliation, restorative justice, nonviolence training, leadership training and grassroots mobilization. Led since 2010 by Executive Director Carmen Perez, the mission of The Gathering for Justice is to build a national movement to end child incarceration and correct and replace the societal and institutional pillars that enliven mass incarceration with viable community solutions.

$17,000 - General Support
New York, NY |

Homies Unidos

Homies Unidos is a nonprofit gang violence prevention and intervention organization. Its mission is to provide youth and communities positive and productive opportunities that permit the reduction and prevention of violence and allow for personal growth. It is a community-based organization committed to developing creative alternative to violence and drugs through access to alternative education, leadership development, self-esteem building, and health education programs. These include: Violence Prevention and Intervention, Strengthening Families, Alternative Education, Arts Program, and a Health Care Education Referral Program.

$17,000 - General Support
Los Angeles, CA |

Mississippi Coalition for the Prevention of Schoolhouse to Jailhouse

Mississippi Coalition for the Prevention of Schoolhouse to Jailhouse is an intergenerational alliance of more than 65 statewide and local organizations formed in 2003 across traditional barriers of race and class to dismantle the pipeline from schoolhouse to jailhouse and promote positive behavior intervention strategies to keep students in school. The Coalition crafted the Juvenile Justice Reform Acts of 2004 and 2005 adopted by the legislature to eliminate the abuse of incarcerated children, to enforce the rights of incarcerated children to a public education, and to promote community-based alternatives to incarceration of children at facilities far from their families.

$17,000 - Mississippi Coalition for the Prevention of Schoolhouse to Jailhouse's General Support
Lexington, MS |

Rescue, Release and Restore, Inc. NFP

By rescuing gifts, releasing potential and restoring the promise of our youth within their communities, Rescue, Release and Restore's mission transforms the self worth and empowers at risk youth through leadership training, artistic expression and mentorship. It aims to establish a year-round camp facility under RRR’s leadership to help youth and youth-based organizations replicate and sustain the RRR philosophy.

$17,000 - Project R.E.S.T.O.R.E
Riverdale, IL |

SpiritHouse Inc.

SpiritHouse Inc, a Durham, North Carolina based cultural arts and organizing organization, has worked with low-wealth families and community members to uncover and uproot the systemic barriers that prevent them from gaining the resources, leverage and capacity for long-term self-sufficiency since 1999.

$17,000 - SpiritHouse Inc.'s project, The Harm Free Zone.
Durham, NC |

Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation

Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation works to empower Lakota youth and families to improve the health, culture, and environment of their communities, through the healing and strengthening of cultural identity.

$17,000 - General Support
Porcupine, SD |

Food and Farming
Total Grants $247,000

Threshold Foundation's Food and Farming Funding Circle funds projects that serve as acupuncture points to activate forces of life which transform our relationship with the natural world. These projects are leading the transition from destructive farming policies and practices towards a regenerative model of agriculture. They are regrowing food systems that respect the integrity, diversity and resilience of communities and ecosystems.

The dominant system of agriculture in the United States today is damaging our health and the health of the planet. We can accelerate visionary philanthropy in support of emerging leadership and community efforts for systemic change. The food revolution requires us to act now. Ag is the most fundamental need of all humanity and is the causal nexus for addressing issues of environmental degradation, climate change, human health, inequality and injustice. Food and Farming works collaboratively to change the discourse among funders and policymakers to bring about fundamental change.


Center for Food Safety

The Center for Food Safety (CFS) works to protect human health and the environment by curbing the proliferation of harmful food production technologies and by promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture. The True Food Network is CFS’s grassroots action network, with over 85,000 members across the country. The True Food Network is where concerned citizens can voice their opinions about critical food safety issues, and advocate for a socially just, democratic, and sustainable food system.

$25,000 - General Support
Washington, DC |

Friends of Action Group on Erosion Technology and Concentration Inc.

Friends of ETC Group is a not-for-profit organization based in Durham, North Carolina. Its mission is to promote biodiversity and advance just and sustainable food security and livelihood systems for the benefit of rural areas and societies. It works toward these goals primarily by supporting the work of the ETC Group. ETC Group works to address the socioeconomic and ecological issues surrounding new technologies that could have an impact on the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. It investigates ecological erosion (including the erosion of cultures and human rights); the development of new technologies (especially agricultural but also other technologies that work with genomics and matter); and it monitors global governance issues including corporate concentration and trade in technologies. It operates at the global political level.

$40,000 - General Support
Durham, NC |

Friends of Family Farmers

Friends of Family Farmers is a grassroots organization promoting sensible policies, programs, and regulations that protect and expand the ability of Oregon’s family farmers to run a successful land-based enterprise while providing safe and nutritious food for all Oregonians. Through education, advocacy, and community organizing, Friends of Family Farmers supports socially and environmentally responsible family-scale agriculture and citizens working to shape healthy rural communities.

$20,000 - General Support
Salem, OR |

Friends of the Earth

Friends of the Earth (FoE) is a national organization dedicated to protecting the planet from environmental disaster; preserving biological, cultural, and ethnic diversity; and empowering citizens to have an effective voice in decisions affecting their environment and their lives. FOE fosters partnerships with a broad range of non-governmental environmental groups on all continents.

$34,000 - Synthetic Biology project
Washington, DC |

Fundación Semillas de Vida, A.C.

Fundación Semillas de Vida is a non-profit civil association that combines the efforts of individuals from different backgrounds - peasant-farmers, consumers, NGOs, public institutions and scientists - convinced about the impact food has on health and the environment. Food supply is at the end of the production line that starts with seeds; Fundación Semillas de Vida supports peasant-farmers' experiences that preserve seeds and contribute to the consumption of sound foods within a sustainable agriculture, and disseminate the risks of the dominant food system - specifically genetically modified organisms, or GMOs - to elevate health and ecological awareness, and to promote caring for life from the seeds onwards.

$25,000 - to support seed preservation activities amongst peasant farming communities
Distrito Federal, Mexico |


Greenhorns' mission is to recruit and support new farmers in America. Its goal over the next generation is to retrofit the food system and to build a thriving agricultural economy, for healthy regions, healthy watersheds, and a healthy farm culture. The work is movement building and future-making, through community organizing, media production, providing the voice of the young farmer movement in nationwide coalitions, and incubating new organizations that support new farmers (National Young Farmers Coalition, Farm Hack, and now, Agrarian Trust). Agrarian Trust’s sole purpose is to support land access for next-generation sustainable farmers.

$30,000 - Greenhorns' Agrarian Trust
Essex, NY |

Land Stewardship Project

Land Stewardship Project (LSP) is devoted to fostering an ethic of stewardship for our nation's land and water, and to creating and supporting environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable agricultural systems. LSP is a grassroots membership organization made up of farmers and rural and urban residents. The organization focuses in four areas: community based food and economic development; farm beginnings; policy and organizing; and stewardship science.

$18,000 - Farm Beginnings: Expanding Beginning Farmer Leadership
Minneapolis, MN |

Quivira Coalition

The Quivira Coalition is an educational organization with a collaborative and innovative mission to promote effective natural resource managment on rangeland in the Southwest. QC strives for a better understanding of the complexities surrounding the health of rangeland and riparian areas. QC wishes to make a difference in the way people view these issues and hopefully change the way business is done - both by ranchers and by the agencies which regulate public land. This is done through workshops, classrooms, tours, publications and managment demonstrations projects.

$15,000 - General Support
Santa Fe, NM |

Sustainable Economies Law Center

The Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) facilitates the growth of sustainable, localized, and just economies, through education, legal research, and advocacy that support practices such as local investing, urban agriculture, cooperatives, barter, local currencies, sharing, cottage industries, and economically sustainable housing.

$40,000 - Food Program
Oakland, CA |

Sustainable Planet Committee
Total Grants $458,000

Threshold's Sustainable Planet Committee supports organizations and programs that focus on ensuring the long-term healthy functioning of our planet and the maintenance of its biodiversity.

In discussing "sustainability," we take a two-pronged approach. A sustainable planet:

  • Meets the needs of people now without compromising the needs of future generations.
  • Brings human activities into harmony with nature for the benefit of all beings.

This implies transforming human activity, culture and technology to live within the physical limits of local and global ecosystems, and protecting threatened ecosystems and species.

Our grants address global ecological issues such as climate change, habitat destruction, water quality and supply, and biodiversity conservation.

They contribute to: empowering local and indigenous communities, creating strong energy policies, deploying new clean technologies, and developing effective communication strategies and messages that increase support for protecting and enhancing the natural environment at local, regional and global levels.

We often support organizations and programs that have been neglected by other funders for a variety of reasons. That is, we encourage creative and innovative solutions for resolving the environmental crises that threaten life on Earth.


Amazon Watch

The mission of Amazon Watch is to partner with South American indigenous/environmental NGO's to protect Amazonian ecosystems and indigenous lands threatened by internationally financed industrial mega-projects (oil/gas pipelines, dams, highways, waterways).

$39,000 - Sacred Headwaters Campaign
Oakland, CA |

Bonobo Conservation Initiative

Bonobo Conservation Initiative (BCI) is dedicated to ensuring the survival of the bonobo (Pan paniscus) and its tropical forest habitat in the Congo Basin. By working with indigenous Congolese people through cooperative conservation and community development programs, as well as on the national and international levels, BCI is establishing new protected areas and leading efforts to safeguard bonobos wherever they are found.

$35,000 - General Support
Washington, DC |

Carbon Tax Center

Carbon Tax Center (CTC) is the sole U.S. organization focused on advancing a federal carbon tax as the central and essential policy to slash U.S. greenhouse gas emissions equitably, effectively, and quickly, and to provide both a model and economic incentives for other nations to follow suit. Throughthe website, papers and blog posts, economic modeling, and indefatigable and strategic networking, CTC educate citizens, NGO's and public officials and help them advocate effectively for carbon taxing at the federal and state level.

$27,000 - General Support
New York, NY |

Center for Health, Environment and Justice

Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ) empowers community-based groups fighting contamination of the air, water or soil that threatens human health and the environment. It carries out its mission by providing organizing and technical assistance to local groups. In addition, CHEJ coordinates nationwide collaborative campaigns around children's environmental health issues and precautionary action, in order to focus the collective power of the grassroots movement for environmental health on corporate and government decision makers.

$25,000 - Preventing Fracking Harms Campaign
Falls Church, VA |

Clean Coalition

Clean Coalition is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to accelerate the transition to renewable energy and a modern grid through technical, policy, and project development expertise. The Clean Coalition drives policy innovation to remove barriers to procurement and interconnection of distributed energy resources (DER) – such as local renewables, advanced inverters, demand response, and energy storage – and it establishes market mechanisms that realize the full potential of integrating these solutions. The Clean Coalition also collaborates with utilities and municipalities to create near-term deployment opportunities that prove the technical and financial viability of local renewables and other DER.

$25,000 - Clean Coalition's Hunters Point Community Microgrid Project
Menlo Park, CA |

Defensa y Conservación Ecológica de Intag

Defensa y Conservación Ecológica de Intag (DECOIN) works to involve local people in environmental conservation measures and to stop extractive industry projects (mining), promote sustainable economic alternatives, and to educate the local population on the importance of natural resource conservation.

$22,000 - General Support
Otavalo, Imbabura, Ecuador |

Dogwood Alliance

Dogwood Alliance is dedicated to protecting Southern forests and communities from destructive industrial logging practices. Since its inception in 1996, its members have mobilized the public, exposed the truth and inspired positive action to protect forests. Dogwood Alliance is increasing protection for millions of acres of Southern forests by transforming the way corporations, landowners and communities value them for their climate, wildlife and water benefits.

$37,000 - Our Forests Aren't Fuel (OFAF) Campaign
Asheville, NC |

Friends of the Earth

Friends of the Earth (FoE) is a national organization dedicated to protecting the planet from environmental disaster; preserving biological, cultural, and ethnic diversity; and empowering citizens to have an effective voice in decisions affecting their environment and their lives. FOE fosters partnerships with a broad range of non-governmental environmental groups on all continents.

$35,000 - Arctic Campaign
Washington, DC |

Georgia Strait Alliance

Formed in 1990, Georgia Strait Alliance works to protect, preserve and restore the ecology of Georgia Strait and its adjoining waters. The organization's activities include public education, advocacy, special events, networking and resource sharing.

$30,000 - Tanker and Spills Program
Vancouver, BC |

Oregon Climate

Oregon Climate is a volunteer-driven organization that empowers Oregonians to win real climate policy, building the model for a timely global transition to a clean energy economy.

$25,000 - Oregon Climate's General Support
Ashland, OR |

Partnership for Policy Integrity Inc.

The Partnership for Policy Integrity (PFPI) uses science, policy analysis and strategic communications to promote sound energy policy. PFPI provides science and legal support so that citizen groups, environmental organizations, and policymakers can better understand energy development impacts on air quality, ecosystems, and the climate. Its current work focuses on biomass energy.

$35,000 - General Support
Pelham, MA |

Rainforest Conservation Fund

Rainforest Conservation Fund (RCF) is an all-volunteer organization whose mission is to ensure the future of tropical rainforests through practical solutions and with respectful commitment to local people. RCF’s primary work is in and around the 1,000,000 acre Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Communal Conservation Area (ACRCTT) in the Amazon basin of northeastern Peru. It works with local people and governments to promote conservation and provide alternatives to environmentally destructive practices.

$30,000 - Maijuna Project
Chicago, IL |

Sightline Institute

Sightline Institute (formerly Northwest Environment Watch) is a not-for-profit research and communication center--a think tank--based in Seattle. Founded in 1993, Sightline's mission is to bring about sustainability--a healthy, lasting prosperity grounded in place. Nonpartisan and wholly independent, Sightline's only ideology is commitment to the shared values of strong communities, fair markets, and responsible stewardship.

$25,000 - Putting a Price on Carbon Project
Seattle, WA |

Taxpayers for Common Sense

The mission of Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS) is to expose and end wasteful and harmful spending in order to create a federal government that operates within its means. It is an independent voice for American taxpayers, dedicated to cutting wasteful government spending and subsidies in order to achieve a responsible and efficient government that lives within its means. Its vision is for a federal government that costs less and lives within its means. It seeks to transcend ideological and partisan differences to build support for common sense reforms. It does this by working extensively with elected officials from both political parties. Its positions are often cited during floor debates and it frequently testifies before congressional committees. TCS has discussed government waste on national TV shows and been featured in major newspapers and magazines. It also assists grassroots citizen groups fighting boondoggles in their communities and helps get them media coverage.

$37,000 - Dirty Fuels Project
Washington, DC |

Vancouver Observer

The Vancouver Observer delivers stories that inform, inspire, and give voice to Vancouver's diverse inhabitants. It is committed to great journalism that goes deep. Along with entertaining coverage of culture, media, real estate and politics, it helps Vancouverites explore their city, from the alleyways to the halls of power, so that they can become more informed and empowered citizens. It's not just about reporting: it takes a stand for independent media.

$31,000 - Vancouver Observer's Tar Sands Reporting Project
Vancouver, BC |

High Impact Documentary Funding Circle
Total Grants $149,000

Threshold’s High Impact Documentary Films (HIDF) funding circle will fund documentaries addressing the most important issues facing the world today with a plan of action that is powerful, innovative, and unexpected. We are in a golden age of documentary films. Progressive issues are being exposed in a powerful new light with various creative channels for marketing and distribution. Documentary filmmakers are filling the void left by a mainstream media that is unwilling to take on the controversial issues we face today.

The High Impact Documentary Films funding circle will partner with the Sundance Institute to make high-impact grants that utilize the resources of an organization at the forefront of the documentary world. By making more aggressive and larger grants than those that are usually available, we seek to become a leading force in the documentary field, gaining greater visibility for the Threshold Foundation and making more impact as change makers.


Blue ID

Shadow World LLC embarks on a devastating and courageous exploration of the international arms trade – the only business that counts its profits in billions and its costs in human lives.

$14,000 - the documentary film, Blue ID
Istanbul, Turkey |

Low Key Pictures

Low Key Pictures is a small film company run by Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe. Fulton and Pepe have been writing and directing feature and documentary films together since 1995. Their current project, The Bad Kids, is about at-rosk students in a remote Mojace Desert high school.

$50,000 - Low Key Pictures' documentary film, The Bad Kids
Los Angeles, CA |

Openhood, Inc.

Open'hood, Inc. produces film, television and web projects that explore large, complex social issues through intimate character-driven nonfiction narratives. Its particular focus is on the myriad and inter-related communities of Oakland, CA as they relate to the broader national narrative.

$50,000 - outreach and engagement for your documentary film, Oakland Police Project
Oakland, CA |

Sundance Institute

Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the discovery and development of independent artists and audiences. Through its programs, the Institute seeks to discover, support, and inspire independent film and theatre artists from the United States and around the world, and to introduce audiences to their new work.

$35,000 - General Support
Park City, UT |

Thriving Resilient Communities Funding Circle
Total Grants $137,000

Threshold’s Thriving Resilient Communities funding circle (TRC) funds collaborative tools and approaches that build leadership and capacity for communities to address their own strategic needs in the face of energy, climate, economic, and social challenges. In a thriving resilient community, people can respond to any challenge and thrive in the process. Community resilience requires an integral whole-systems approach that fosters compassion, inner resilience (healthy, respectful caring relationships), and outer resilience (fair, sustainable sharing systems) within an eco-social region. The resilient community movement includes community initiatives with similar visions using a variety of names such as Healthy, Livable, Local, Peace, Resilient, Sustainable, Thrive, and Transition.

TRC's mission is to build collective wisdom, map the field, and fund best practices and leading-edge work in community resilience in the United States and Canada. Priority will be given to regional and national network hubs and to replicable whole-systems approaches that promote inclusive economic models, social interconnectedness, and vibrant health and well-being. In addition to supporting projects within an organization, TRC is particularly interested in catalyzing multi-organization collaborative projects that we call “co-projects.”


Climate Justice Alliance

Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) is a national alliance of frontline communities forging a just transition away from an extractive energy economy to local, linked, and living economies.

$50,000 - Climate Justice Alliance's General Support
Oakland, CA

Daily Acts

Daily Acts Organization's vision is to foster a healthy, just, and reverent culture. Its mission is to transform its communities through inspired action and education which builds leadership and local self-reliance.

$23,500 - Just Resilience Collaborative with Bay Localize and Transition US, as outlined in your grant proposal
Petaluma, CA |

Local Economy Institute

The Local Economy Institute is a non-profit working to build a bridge to the next economy through economic localization. It work is based on the principles of Local Living Economies, the work of Michael Shuman (Shumanomics) and Stacy Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Its work aims to help communities rebuild strong, vibrant local economies - particularly small communities or rural geographic regions. Its work includes development of local economy centers, research, community engagement and awareness raising, and training and skill development.

$13,500 - Local Economy Institute's pilot location tech support and tool development
Santa Rosa, CA |


MetaFoundation, doing business as Post Carbon Institute, is a virtual organization designed to address the growing global environmental catastrophe in fundamentally new and largely untried ways. Much of the current focus of attention is on technological solutions, such as increasing the efficiency with which people consume the Earth's resources.

$18,000 - to support the Resilience Institute
Santa Rosa, CA |

New Economy Coalition, Inc

The New Economy Coalition (NEC) is a network of organizations imagining and building a future where people, communities, and ecosystems thrive. Together, we are creating deep change in our economy and politics—placing power in the hands of people and uprooting legacies of harm—so that a fundamentally new system can take root.

$11,000 - Metanarrative Project
Boston, MA |

Thriving and Resilient Communities Collaboratory

Thriving Resilient Communities Collaboratory is an invitational action research network project exploring tipping-point strategies for scaling the community resilience movement and engaging the mainstream in North America. The intention is to build collective wisdom, map the field, and fund best practices and leading-edge work in local community resilience. The Collaboratory is a learning community of practice, an agile collaborative-funding incubator, and a call to conscious collaboration and co-creation in service to the Great Transition.

$21,000 - Thriving and Resilient Communities Collaboratory's general support
Freeland, WA |


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