In early 2015, a group of philanthropic foundations joined forces to create the Just Transition Fund to support coal-impacted communities working on transition issues. The Fund is a $450,000 fund created by national and regional foundations to rapidly award capacity building grants to help coalfield and coal plant-impacted communities better prepare for economic transition and compete for the Federal POWER Initiative grants.
The fund is a model for using public/private partnerships to advance economic transition in these coal-impacted communities.
As details of the POWER Initiative began to emerge, the Appalachia Funders Network and Rockefeller Family Fund created a new, national philanthropic vehicle that could quickly and efficiently make small grants to community groups. These community groups are integral to transition work, but often lack the expertise to apply for complicated federal grants.
In April 2015, 54 applicants submitted proposals requesting over $1.3 million in funding. The Fund awarded grants to the 19 organizations listed below, for a total of $436,500 to coalfield and power plant communities.
The following organizations were awarded a grant of up to $25,000:
- Appalachian Sustainable Development (Southwest Virginia)
- Appalshop (Eastern Kentucky)
- Appalachian Voices (Southwest Virginia)
- Brushy Fork Institute (Eastern Kentucky)
- City of Huntington (Tri-state region of West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio)
- Clinch River Valley Initiative (Southwest Virginia)
- Coalfield Development Corporation (Southern West Virginia)
- Community Farm Alliance (Eastern Kentucky)
- Northern WV Brownfields Assistance (Southern West Virginia)
- WV Community Development Hub (Southern West Virginia)
- Clean Air Coalition of Western New York (New York)
- Clermont Chamber of Commerce Foundation (Ohio)
- Delta Institute (Great Lakes Region)
- Little Blue Regional Action Group (Pennsylvania)
- Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (Chicago)
- Northern Plains Resource Council (Montana)
- Rural Action (Appalachian Ohio)
- Strong Mountain Communities (Central/Southern West Virginia)
- Superior Watershed Partnership (Michigan Upper Peninsula)