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CIV:LAB is redefining philanthropy and shaping the role of community participation in achieving national climate goals through place-based grant-making. Our grant-making fund supports organizations working on technology, workforce development, and education solutions in the climate space. CIV:LAB is currently looking to support initiatives in New York City and the state of Michigan, with additional U.S. locations to be added in 2023.

Our Process

We are looking to support organizations and programs that are prioritizing equity, environmental justice, and economic development through climate initiatives with unrestricted, one-time grants that range in size from $10,000 to $100,000.

CIV:LAB is forming local Advisory Committees with climate expertise, deep knowledge of local community perspectives, and connections to local climate efforts. The Advisory Committees will represent various ecosystems and help select grantees to receive CIV:LAB funding.

Inclusive and Distributive Decision-Making

Local advisory committees will help guide decision-making and grant-making allocation. In doing so, CIV:LAB is:

  • Making use of existing local ecosystems
  • Encouraging cross-sector collaboration
  • Building connections across and within local communities
  • Developing long-term, transformative change
  • Supporting a variety of organizations as they scale efforts

A four-year plan to expand across 8 cities

Year 1: New York City, Michigan
Year 1: New York City, Michigan
Year 2: Los Angeles
Year 2: Los Angeles
Year 3: Houston, Atlanta
Year 3: Houston, Atlanta
Year 4: Washington D.C., Seattle
Year 4: Washington D.C., Seattle

Support the Climate Fund: Open Call

Advisory Committee Members

CIV:LAB is actively recruiting Advisory Committee members to represent ecosystems they are part of while guiding CIV:LAB decision-making for the climate fund in New York and Michigan respectively. Members will be local climate leaders who will use their expertise and credibility to champion climate initiatives and support impact-driven climate action through grant-making with CIV:LAB.

Members of the Advisory Committee will provide CIV:LAB with diverse knowledge of community perspectives, connections to local climate efforts, and guidance on strategy for the Climate Fund’s future endeavors.

Additional Reviewers

CIV:LAB is actively recruiting people who are interested in serving as community reviewers of grant proposals submitted for the Climate Fund in New York and Michigan respectively. Additional reviewers read and evaluate grant applications in their technical or impact area of expertise. We are asking reviewers to commit to reading 10 applications over two grant cycles.

Join the Movement:
Fund Local Climate Action

Yet, even as funders begin to shift their attention to climate action, the processes and networks that deploy those resources have not adapted to the urgency of the situation. While this existential threat to humanity is global in scale, progress must begin at the local level.

That’s where CIV:LAB comes in. The mission of our organization is to fund local climate action, bringing benefits that will radiate across social and geographic boundaries, because meaningful climate action demands environmental justice.

Don’t let the climate crisis win. Become a funder for a community climate organization now.

Become a Funder

Process and Requirements

Grantee Requirements

Qualified grantees include nonprofits/NGOs, community-based organizations, academic programs and initiatives, government programs and initiatives, and startups. The organizations should be:

  • Iterating on an existing program or solution. We are hoping to fund ideas that have proved some degree of impact and are looking to scale or increase impact but are not at the ideas or maturity stages.
  • USA-based, and serving communities in the cities/states that the application is open in. Ideally, the organization will also be headquartered in that city/state. Additional locations will open in 2023.
  • Prioritizing equity, environmental justice, and/or economic development.

For additional grantee requirements, please visit the documents below:

Steps to Apply

The CIV:LAB Climate Fund is active in New York City and Michigan. Details about applying in additional locations will be announced at a later date.

After submission, the CIV:LAB team and Advisory Committee might follow up for additional information. Our goal is to get back to all applicants within three months of their submission.


Review the Grantee Requirements for your city/state above to see if you qualify.


Attend one of the FAQ webinars.


Sign up and fill out the entire application.

New York

Applications for the first round of grant-making in New York are now closed.

Check back for information on future application rounds.


Applications for the first round of grant-making in Michigan are now closed. 

Check back for information on future application rounds.

Beyond funding: empowering grantees to thrive

In addition to financial support through grants, our grantees will participate in local platforms that support climate infrastructure. The CIV:LAB CLIMATE:LABS provide support by making introductions to potential customers or investors, guiding roadmaps for products or growth, and facilitating stakeholder convenings. CIV:LAB CLIMATE:LABS are made up of climate innovators, community leaders, and city-specific stakeholders aimed at improving local collaboration and adding to the “climate economy” through local projects.


Grantees will be expected to respond to minimal impact-related reporting requirements or discussions during their one-year grant period. Grantees are expected to dedicate no more than 10 hours of impact reporting or discussions over the course of their grant period.

Supporting Local Urban Action

As the devastating impacts of climate change accelerate, persistent gaps in our civic and social infrastructure have widened, limiting the potential of local climate action. CIV:LAB believes in starting in the middle by funding and supporting solutions addressing climate change at the local level. CIV:LAB is rooted in its values — local collaboration, social and climate innovation, and just systems. Our projects embody those standards by encouraging community engagement, championing social justice, and moving communities towards more resilient, sustainable living.

CIV:LAB launched in 2019 in New York City, in partnership with New York City Economic Development Corporation and quickly expanded to Detroit in 2020, working closely with TechTown and Wayne State University. Our work has focused on urban innovation, social justice, and public health, but always with an eye towards improving environmental sustainability and resilience. With the impact of climate change growing more dire each year, we saw that local infrastructure lacked the support necessary to protect local communities. So, we launched Climate Fund I to connect initiatives to support and resources that can have an impact.



Smart Cities New York:

SCNY is North America’s leading global conference for innovators and decision-makers who are improving life in the cities of tomorrow.

BID Data Portal Project:

A data portal to give NYC BIDs access ground-level intelligence about their commercial districts and neighborhoods.

The Grid:

The Grid builds connective tissue between the diverse – and inspired – stakeholders that make urban tech happen in NYC.

Detroit Urban Solutions:

CIV:LAB and TechTown Detroit collaborated to launch Detroit Urban Solutions. By harnessing and leveraging local and global resources, CIV:LAB bolsters Detroit’s tech economy by creating connections in the urban technology ecosystem.

Response Lab:

The “NYC Response Lab” at Cornell Tech is a joint initiative with CIV:LAB and the NYCEDC to identify community-level COVID-19 related problems and to deploy internally-created tech solutions to help New York City people/communities, businesses and agencies recover from the COVID-19 crisis.


Simon Sylvester-Chaudhuri
Founder & Executive Director
Liz Sisson
Climate Fund Director
Vijayta Rao Narang
New York Program Director
Emily Dabish Yahkind
MI:LAB Director
Allison Lucas
Chief of Staff and MI:LAB Assistant Director
Jay Taparia
Finance Director
Diane Barthélemy
Creative Lead
William Davies
Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Director
David Talbot
LA:LAB Senior Advisor
Laura Nuyen
Platform Developer
Christopher Bineham
Copy Writer
Raj Pannu
Senior Creative Advisor
Abby Conger
Senior Creative Advisor
Alex Bell
Climate Fellow

Climate Fund NYC Advisory Committee

Winter 2022 – Spring 2023

Ankit Kalanki
Joe Silver
Lindsay Siegel
Marielle Villar Martiney
Michél Legendre
Michelle Diane Hernandez
Ruby Khan
Samantha Grassle
Taylor Rowe

An innovative grantmaking network that channels global funds and resources directly to community climate initiatives


We connect local actors with the resources and funding required to launch bold responses to the threats of climate change. CIV:LAB aims to expand the climate workforce, educate future climate leaders, accelerate industrial decarbonization, and provide aid to the organizations that are taking action against climate change in their own communities.

Our Impact


Central to any project that contributes to the climate-fit economy are outcomes that impact the environment. Key areas of impact include:

Climate mitigation

Initiatives will either reduce emissions or develop sinks to extract emissions from the atmosphere. This might involve a technical solution to reduce emissions or a program that promotes less carbon-intensive behaviors.

Climate change adaptation

Increasing adaptive capacity against climate change. For example, reducing impacts of droughts, flooding, or crop damage.

Energy (reduction/efficiency)

Shifting energy practices, either by reducing energy use or developing greater efficiency.

Wider environmental impact

Climate impact does not happen in isolation—our initiatives might address areas including biodiversity, soil, water quality, and waste reduction.


Economic and employment outcomes are not only about financial or growth metrics (e.g., GDP or FTEs), but more comprehensive outcomes for equity and sustainability. Key economic outcomes include:

Increased quality employment

Creating jobs that empower employees through terms of employment; pay and benefits; health, safety and wellbeing; work-life balance; and worker representation.​

​Improved local economic conditions

Contributing to the local economy by being locally-specific, creating economic diversity, and providing community stability.

Reduced inequality

Addressing the issue of economic inequality, both at a macro-level (working towards equal access to affordable education) or micro-level (ensuring there is no gender pay gap).

Improved climate talent

Fostering climate talent, developing skills and knowledge in the population that can help tackle climate-related challenges.


Climate initiatives must have social and community outcomes integrated at their core to ensure a just and green transition. Socially, climate initiatives could impact:

Community resilience

Addressing areas of vulnerability, bolstering preparedness, and improving communications and relationships across communities.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

Pursuing outreach work, awareness-raising activities, knowledge-sharing, and signposting of resources as well as internal employment practices.

Health and wellbeing

Promoting public health and wellbeing by training communities around climate-related trauma, improving access and connection to nature, or technical products that enhance physical health.


Working with the community to increase the ability of people to participate in and feel empowered by local governance.

Get Involved in Climate Fund I Learn more
Apply For a Grant LEARN MORE
Explore our Other Projects Learn More