Environment Program Grant

We invest in evidence-informed public policies and strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin.

Type of Support


The Environment Program works to solve long-term environmental challenges that threaten the next generation in the Great Lakes region. The program has two focus areas: Climate Solutions and Great Lakes & Drinking Water.

Climate Solutions

The Climate Solutions focus area supports efforts to put Joyce states on a path to achieve just, equitable, carbon-free electric power systems by 2040. This includes work to secure long-term state commitments to transition to carbon-free electricity; achieve full implementation of near-term state energy efficiency and renewable energy policies while maximizing clean energy deployment enabled by increased federal funding; and support policy innovation to achieve complete, equitable decarbonization that closes the gap between the reductions that can be driven by current clean energy policies and 100 percent decarbonization.

Grants in this focus area support work across the Joyce grantmaking continuum, strongly emphasizing state policy advocacy and implementation. Projects in Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota receive the most support, with lesser funding available for work in Ohio and Wisconsin and for efforts at the regional level in the Great Lakes/Upper Midwest.

Great Lakes & Drinking Water

The Great Lakes and Drinking Water focus area includes two initiatives. First, we seek to address major threats to the health of the Great Lakes by supporting efforts to reduce polluted runoff in rural and urban areas; improve water infrastructure performance, management, and funding, with a focus on remedying water system disparities in communities of color; prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species; prevent unsustainable diversions from the Great Lakes by enforcing the Great Lakes Compact; prevent groundwater depletion; and reduce the risk of oil spills from oil transport by continuing to support closure of the Enbridge Line 5 oil pipeline. Second, to help make certain that the next generation in our region has access to safe, affordable drinking water, the Environment Program supports equitable water policy that ensures that water systems and infrastructure provide safe, affordable water services for everyone, focusing on efforts to develop and support utility, municipal, state, and federal policies that reduce the risk of lead exposure in drinking water and ensure high quality, affordable water services.

Most grants in this focus area are aimed at state and local policy in Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. The federal policy priorities are largely limited to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, water infrastructure, and invasive species prevention. In both Great Lakes & Drinking Water initiatives, the Environment Program will support research, policy development, coalition building, communications, advocacy, policy implementation, policy enforcement, and evaluation.


Organization's Location
Program Location
Organization Type


Environmental education, whether through educational institutions or aimed at the general public
Conferences or other public events, except as part of broader policy-focused initiatives supported by the Foundation
Local conservation or cleanup projects, including efforts to preserve individual species or to purchase, restore or remediate land
Basic scientific research related to environmental problems or solutions
Physical infrastructure, including lead service line replacement, community solar power installations, etc.
Pilot projects to demonstrate the effectiveness of emerging technologies
Capital campaigns
Endowment campaigns
Direct service programs
Commercial ventures
Religious activities
not specified


Step 1: Pre-proposal
Application deadline
Oct 7
Step 2: Letter of Inquiry (invite only)
Required Attachments
Letter of Inquiry (LOI)