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Mainstream environmental nonprofits get the most philanthropic support, at the expense of diverse organizations, research says

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A woman from the Indigenous people community speaks during a rally titled 'March to End Fossil Fuels' in New York City.

Environmental nonprofit organizations that have diverse leadership and work in equity-deserving communities receive considerably less philanthropic support than conventional, mainstream nonprofits, research finds. That hurts everyone, says Jennie Stephens, dean’s professor of sustainability science and policy at Northeastern University and a 2023 Radcliffe-Salata climate justice fellow at Harvard Radcliffe Institute.

“It means that the ideas, solutions and proposed actions are oriented toward more mainstream communities,” Stephens says. “And it leads to reinforcing inequities among different households, communities and regions and perpetuates this landscape where ‘environmentalism is not for everyone.’”

Stephens, author of the book “Diversifying Power: Why We Need Antiracist, Feminist Leadership on Climate and Energy,” says governments around the world have not funded environmental action and decarbonization sufficiently. That has led to increased dependency on philanthropy, or donations from wealthy individuals, trusts and organizations. 

Continue reading at Northeastern Global News.

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