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reducing Evanston's environmental footprint

The Climate Action Fund support's Evanston's ongoing campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  It was established as one of the strategies to implement the city's original Climate Action Plan in 2008.

how it works

The fund invests in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions-reduction projects in Evanston, with a special emphasis on projects benefiting nonprofit organizations and lower-income households. It is intended to enable all community members to participate in this initiative, helping Evanston meet its overall emissions reduction goal.

impact of the funds in action

Since its inception in 2008, the Climate Action Fund has raised more nearly $17,000 from donors throughout our community, and has distributed $16,905 in grants.

Initial grants of $5,475 were distributed in 2010 to the Child Care Center of Evanston, Evanston Day Nursery, Evanston Festival Theatre, Infant Welfare Society of Evanston, and YWCA Evanston/North Shore for lighting upgrade projects. By pairing these Climate Action Fund grants with ComEd incentive dollars reserved for Evanston organizations, the grant recipients were able to complete more than $8,000 in total lighting upgrades with no out of pocket costs.

In 2012-13, ECF issued grants totalling $3,045 to three religious congregations for energy audits, in a partnership with IFF and its Energy Performance Program. In late 2013, a grant of $3,835 was provided to Mt. Zion Apostolic Church for lighting upgrades in the space occupied by Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse. Recent grants totaling $4,550 were issued to St.Mark's Episcopal Church, for an LED conversion of lighting in its community meeting spaces, and to Rimland Services for the installation of motion sensor lighting.

why contribute to the climate action fund?

Some donors wish to help Evanston nonprofits make energy efficiency upgrades to their facilities so they can save energy and cut their utility bills — and thus have more dollars for their important programs.

Other donors make contributions to compensate for air travel emissions. They may make a gift to balance the emissions related to a vacation trip or for guests coming to a family wedding or other special event. (Use this simplified "calculator" for suggested contribution amounts for air travel.)


Although donors to the fund may view their contributions as compensating for their CO2 emissions, they will not be purchasing independently certified offsets. The funded projects will not be accredited — they will not be audited and verified by a third party.

ECF's role

The Foundation holds contributions made to the fund, coordinates with the City of Evanston's Office of Sustainability, Citizens' Greener Evanston, and other organizations focused on our environment to develop grant projects, ensures the integrity of the project selection process, and distributes funds to the selected grantees. The Foundation reports annually to the community on fund activities — contributions received, funds distributed, projects implemented. Initial expenses associated with setting up the fund, together with ongoing administrative costs, have been underwritten by Foundation donors. 

For more information about the Climate Action Fund visit the Citizens' Greener Evanston website.