Our strategy

Just Cities and Regions

Our work is focused on ensuring that development, whether for big cities or small rural towns, is carried out in ways that encourage greater stability, more inclusive economic opportunities, and benefits for all. We seek to ensure that all individuals, including those most at risk, have access to affordable housing, land tenure security, and quality infrastructure.

This includes support for efforts to improve housing opportunity and infrastructure conditions in low-income and marginalized communities, and to ease people’s physical access to basic services, employment, and the economic benefits of urban markets. In the process, we work to ensure that people have meaningful opportunities to participate in decision-making about urban planning and development, and the allocation of city resources.

Anticipated Outcomes

Increased access to adequate, affordable housing and secure tenure
People and families have stable and affordable places to live—a critical foundation for bettering every other aspect of their lives. Policies, practices, and strong institutions ensure adequate land rights and resources, lead to improved housing, and foster a sense of permanence and belonging in communities.
More equitable investment in infrastructure
Public sector development and investment policies distribute the benefits of urbanization more equitably. All people have access to essential, high-quality infrastructure services, such as transportation and broadband Internet.

Natural Resources and Climate Change

Many vulnerable rural communities depend on natural resources such as land, forests, minerals, oil, and gas for their survival and livelihoods. We seek to ensure that indigenous and other communities have secure access to and control over those resources, and can benefit from them fully.

This includes support for efforts to challenge irresponsible natural resource extraction and violations of internationally accepted land rights. In that way, we work to help affected communities sustain their cultures and reap economic benefits for generations to come. We also work to ensure that oil, gas, and mineral producers respect the rights of communities and act accordingly. And we support efforts to promote climate change policies and investments that benefit rural communities.

Anticipated Outcomes

Improved land tenure and regulatory policies
Grassroots organizations and NGOs are better able to negotiate with governments, private sector companies, and financial institutions. Those bodies approve and implement forest and land policies that benefit rural communities, and indigenous leaders have a seat at the table.
Extractive industries recognize and uphold community land rights
Indigenous and other rural communities are able to effectively exercise their right to Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) or consultation about mining and energy investments that affect them.
Climate finance policies that benefit communities
National governments, international agencies, and companies adopt policies and practices that provide benefits to communities in exchange for their environmental services and use of their resources.
What we don’t fund

Our grantmaking does not support individual urban development or housing projects; place-based initiatives in the U.S. outside our three target regions of Detroit, New Orleans, and New York City; economic or workforce development strategies in the U.S.; energy retrofits or green buildings; urban development or finance initiatives that do not address the challenges of society’s most vulnerable people. We also do not fund initiatives that primarily focus on water resources and agriculture or adaptation to climate change.