2013 Annual Grants Report

Forsythia Foundation is pleased to report that in 2013 it awarded a total of $705,009 in grants to 17 organizations that address key issues in environmental health and green chemistry.

In the three years Forsythia Foundation has been active, its grant making program – which is focused domestically – has supported the foundation’s mission to promote healthier environments and people by advancing capacity and projects in environmental health and green chemistry as well as by proactively working to attract new donors and mission-related investors to health protection and safer, more benign-by-design materials.

The foundation’s strategies continue to focus on support for critical drivers of demand for green chemistry – environmental health research, translation of that research for key decision makers in health protection, federal and state level chemicals policy reform and advocacy, market/consumer campaigns and retail regulation – as well as development of the benign-by-design chemistry field itself.

The foundation has funded nonprofits that are cataloguing and evaluating suites of existing chemicals assays, developing new chemicals testing protocols, supporting the creation of validated product and supply chain chemicals screening methodologies and programs, and advancing alternatives assessment tools and communities of practice. Funding initiatives that organize and generate better data, build a foundation on which to educate lay people, medical professionals, scientists, media, and policymakers about the dangers of toxic chemicals and opportunities for safer substitutes.

Forsythia continues to weigh its future grant making toward the goals of improving health by reducing dangerous toxics used where we live, work, play, and eat. We will continue to focus on mechanisms to increase demand and access to safer alternatives. In particular, the foundation’s efforts at scaling the benign-by-design materials field includes an initiative to spur innovation in and commercialization of green chemistry technologies by developing an independent incubator to assist researchers, chemists, and inventors get safer alternatives into the marketplace. Through a variety of mechanisms, Forsythia aims to bolster advocates’, scientists’, industry’s, and entrepreneurs’ ability to make the case for safer products and benign-by-design innovation, ultimately helping to build an economy of materials and products that are safe for all communities.

In order to achieve the foundation’s ambitious objectives, the board hired its first part-time executive director, Dr. Shelley Hearne, who joined the foundation in November 2013. Dr. Hearne has had a long career in building the environmental health and public health advocacy fields. Currently, she is also a visiting professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the director of the Big Cities Health Coalition, which represents the leaders of America’s largest urban health departments. With Dr. Hearne’s leadership, the board hopes to reach its desired goals more effectively and provide additional support to the environmental health and green chemistry fields.

2013 Foundation Grants
Forsythia Foundation awarded the following grants in 2013:

Breast Cancer Fund
San Francisco, CA
Meeting support
$1,409

Center for Health, Environment and Justice
Falls Church, VA
Event registration for “Health Defender”
$100

Commonweal
Bolinas, CA
General operating support for the Collaborative on Health and the Environment
$30,000

Earthjustice
San Francisco, CA
Support for the environmental health/toxics program
$40,000

Environmental Defense Fund
New York, NY
Support for health program to transform chemical safety in the United States
$45,000

GreenBlue
Charlottesville, VA
Support to launch and implement the pilot programs for Material IQ
$35,000

GreenCentre Canada
Kingston, Ontario
Support for developing the business plan for Green Center USA
$100,000

Health Care Without Harm
Reston, VA
Support for the Safer Chemicals Challenge
$30,000

Support for the Skoll Foundation Social Entrepreneurs Challenge
$1,000

Healthy Building Network
Washington, DC
Support for developing the data commons open innovation platform
$60,000

The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment
Washington, DC
Support for the “Presidents for Prevention” panel
$15,000

Next Generation
San Francisco, CA
Support for the Too Small to Fail initiative
$7,500

Rachel’s Network
Washington, DC
Annual membership
$5,000

The Regents of UCSF
Oakland, CA
General operating support for the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment
$100,000

Science & Environmental Health Network
Ames, IA
General operating support
$30,000

Sustainable Markets Foundation
New York, NY
Support for the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Coalition
$70,000

Tides Center
San Francisco, CA
General operating support for Clean Production Action in Medford, MA
$50,000

Virginia Organizing Inc.
Charlottesville, VA
General operating support for Environmental Health Sciences
$50,000

Support for Advancing Green Chemistry to perform beta testing on the Tiered Protocol for Endocrine Disruption (TiPED)
$35,000