The Just Transition Fund is guided by a deep belief in the power and wisdom of communities to solve their own problems. We also know that communities often need financial assistance to implement and advocate for the solutions that work for them. We believe that frontline communities—those most affected—need the most assistance. Our grantmaking programs prioritize support for community-based organizations that are firmly rooted in the priority places in which we work and that embrace the goals of the Fund.
Our grant investments support effective programs, policies, and projects that:
- Connect rural and urban markets. We work to boost investment and support for resilient economic development strategies that yield the greatest impact on building community wealth. We help support the development of sustainable, low-carbon solutions and establish economic development links between rural areas and the nearest metro centers.
- Stimulate entrepreneurship. We help build entrepreneurial ecosystems to foster innovation. We support opportunities for collaboration, including information and resource-sharing among entrepreneurs, capital providers, and researchers.
- Prepare workers for the jobs of tomorrow. We support and scale innovative wraparound workforce development programs that train former coal workers and community members for new economy jobs. The most effective workforce training programs take the specific needs of affected workers into consideration to help workers complete them.
- Advance state and federal transition policies. We provide grants and resources to strengthen existing policies and advance new ones that expand key sectors (like clean energy), provide the necessary infrastructure for transition (like broadband), and create new state funding pools for transition.
- Incubate newly developing transition efforts and build local community capacity for transition. Projects that show communities what’s possible in a post-coal economy—like solar on schools or community solar—help build political will for a just transition and climate solutions.
The Fund awards grants for projects in the communities hardest hit by the transition away from coal, specifically elevating projects that focus on equitable economic development and support historically marginalized communities, including low-income, Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color.
Types of Organizations
Qualified 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations are eligible to apply. The Fund will support:
- Local, community-based frontline organizations, which are deeply-rooted in coal-affected areas. Community organizations must have a demonstrated ability to partner with and engage a wide range of transition stakeholders. The majority of our grant investments are to this type of group.
- State, regional, or national resource organizations, which provide a particular type of expertise to community-based organizations to advance transition programs. Examples of expertise include, but are not limited to, financial and economic analysis, work to engage specific stakeholders (e.g. labor), and/or organizations that provide sector-specific workforce development training. Resource organizations must have a demonstrated track record with local, frontline communities.