For Grant Seekers

Nature-Based Climate Action Program

…A pilot program to demonstrate and promote tree planting, prairie restoration, and other nature-based solutions to climate mitigation in rural areas.

The Nature-Based Climate Action Program will support projects that use natural systems to address climate change, the threats of extreme weather and habitat loss that contributes to the extinction of vital species. Natural systems solutions – which include the preservation or restoration of critical eco-systems such as forests, prairies and wetlands – have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration by as much as 20 percent of US greenhouse gases*.

The Nature-Based Climate Action Program is intended to support such direct action. If your organization is ready to take bold steps to address the climate crisis, we would like to hear from you.

Our only scheduled grant cycle is now open (as of August 14) for Letters of Inquiry. Submissions are due by close of business on September 11, 2020. If successful, you will receive notice on or before September 18 to complete a full application. The application deadline is October 16. Awards will be made on or before November 9. All LOIs and Applications are accepted online only.

Focus of Support

We seek measurable environmental impact in the form of carbon drawdown and habitat restoration. Because the science supporting carbon sequestration and storage is nascent, and because we see opportunity to enhance public understanding of the challenges, we are interested in projects that can:

  • Increase community engagement and support for action to combat climate change;
  • Promote broad community understanding and policy change with respect to climate change and habitat loss;
  • Contribute to climate science in ways that increases the effectiveness of future land uses or action; and,
  • Model action for other organizations and communities.

Examples of projects we would welcome from nonprofit organizations include (but are in no way limited to):

  • Purchases of targeted land tracts for restoration or preservation of high plant diversity that may greatly increase carbon capture;
  • Large scale carbon farming demonstrations using trees, prairie or wetlands that monitor drawdown and contribute to climate science;
  • Projects that activate communities, stimulate media coverage, and encourage greater understanding of climate change by the public;
  • Tree planting projects in small cities and towns;
  • Large scale demonstrations of regenerative agriculture directed at advancing policy or supporting market-based change like the creation of a viable carbon market.

Geographic Areas of Interest

We encourage applicants from organizations working in East Central Illinois. We give preference to rural organizations, small cities and towns and we are especially interested in programs or projects that support collaboration or connect communities.

Grant Seeker Support

The Nature-Based Climate Action Program is an experiment that moves the Lumpkin Family Foundation beyond our other programs into supporting direct action. We encourage applicants to contact us to discuss their potential proposal and its fit with our guidelines.


*Fargione, J. E., et al. (2018). Natural climate solutions for the United States. Science Advances, 4(11). doi:10.1126/sciadv.aat1869

Please direct inquiries on the Nature-Based Climate Action Program to:

Bruce Karmazin

Executive Director
Phone: 217-234-5915

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