Hope is not a strategy. A champion is.

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The Brainerd Foundation is a Northwest-focused family foundation that provides funding and expertise so nonprofits, communities, and decision-makers can better protect our region's air, land, and water.

Funding

We fund organizations that protect the environment of the Northwest and build broad support for conservation.

Conservation policy

Conservation policy

Policy gains that ensure protection of our region's air, land, and water.

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Place-based conservation

Place-based conservation

Landscape and wildlife protection through community engagement and empowerment.

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Conservation capacity

Conservation capacity

Building upon past investments and growing the next generation of conservation.

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Recent successes

Shell Anacortes drops plans for new crude oil-by-rail

Shell Anacortes drops plans for new crude oil-by-rail

In another sign that crude-by-rail is a losing proposition, Shell Puget Sound Refinery in Anacortes today announced that it is dropping its plans to construct a crude-by-rail facility. Originally proposed in 2014, community opposition and legal challenges forced Shell and Skagit County to undertake a full environmental and public health review under the State Environmental Policy Act. That delay, growing local and regional opposition, and uncertain economics contributed to Shell’s decision.

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A precedent-setting ruling for the Bitterroot River

A precedent-setting ruling for the Bitterroot River

In a win for Montana taxpayers, a district court judge has ruled that a rural wastewater discharge permit awarded to a developer was issued illegally. The permit would have set a precedent allowing lower water quality standards for on-site wastewater disposal systems in rural subdivisions not on a municipal wastewater system. This would have created an economic incentive for rural sprawl development and would leave taxpayers to pay for clean-up.

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High Divide stakeholders recognized for groundbreaking work

High Divide stakeholders recognized for groundbreaking work

A recent article in Western Confluence magazine shines the spotlight on several Brainerd grantees, including the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Ruby Valley Conservation District, Headwaters Economics, the Blackfoot Challenge, and People and Carnivores. The author offers an excellent analysis of the absolute necessity of factoring in working lands in wildlife conservation and demonstrates the solutions-based work of ranchers in the High Divide, one of the Brainerd Foundation's place-based focus areas.

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Read about more grantee successes »

Meet some of our grantees

Meet more of our grantees »

What we're learning as we head toward our Sunset

How we're helping to seed new philanthropy

How we're helping to seed new philanthropy

It all began six years ago when we provided seed funding for a philanthropic training program that we hoped would buttress the current investments of existing Northwest environmental funders, as well as spawn new ideas for the challenges that will emerge after our sunset.

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A group in Montana used our foundation as fundraising bait.

A group in Montana used our foundation as fundraising bait.

Some people who oppose the work of one of our grantees called our donations dark money, which reminded us that transparency is one of our core values and that we're not hiding anything.

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Turning red hearts green

Turning red hearts green

The story of how one local open space measure became the watershed event that set the stage for a new generation of conservation champions in Idaho.

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