Wednesday, 10 August 2011 18:47

The Compton Foundation – Committed to Positive Social Change Now and in the Future

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In a world that is increasingly interrelated, the Compton Foundation seeks to foster human and ecological security by addressing contemporary threats to these inalienable rights. The foundation supports responsible stewardship that respects the rights of future generations to a balanced and healthy ecology, both personal and global, allowing for the full richness of human experience. The Foundation envisions a world in which humans live in harmony with each other, and in sustainable balance with the earth. Dorothy and Randolph Compton believed that world peace would only be possible if the conditions that brought about war could be eliminated. As a result they focused their funding on the problems of the rapid growth of the human population, the depletion of natural resources due to population growth and increasing consumption levels, the accompanying degradation of the environment, and the chaotic status of human rights in much of the world. Dorothy and Randolph’s vision is still alive today and still very much a part of the Foundation’s legacy. Times have changed and the Foundation recognizes new approaches and new problems, but it continues to honor the Founders’ ideas and values and the world challenges they met with such passion. In its Environment and Sustainability grantmaking, the Compton Foundation seeks a balanced and healthy relationship between humans, other life, and the planet. The Foundation believes it is possible to pursue a holistic and sustainable vision that blends concern for environmental conservation and economic viability, links urban and rural priorities, supports land and water health, and views humans as one part of the natural world. The Foundation has chosen three focus areas in which to make a meaningful contribution to realizing this vision in the United States: I. Advancing ecologically healthy, economically sustainable, and socially just visions for the care and use of fresh water; II. Promoting community-based strategies to support healthy ecosystems and thriving rural communities; III. Reducing the US contribution to global climate change. The Compton Foundation’s internal Environmental and Social Sustainability Policies address many areas that ensure that the Foundation, its work and its staff are living the same mission as the Foundation espouses. Public transit costs for commuting staff are subsidized, flexible work hours are encouraged so that staff can avoid traffic congestion, and the Foundation applies carbon offsets to all Foundation related air travel by staff, Board members, guest speakers and Compton Fellows. The Carbonfund.org Foundation is proud to partner with the Compton Foundation to help them reach their goal of achieving no net emissions related to the Foundation’s travel. The Foundation actively votes its proxies for environmentally and socially responsible corporate policies, and it maintains at least 85% of the Compton Foundation endowment in environmentally and socially screened investments. As shareholders, the Foundation co-signs letters to corporate management requesting more environmentally sustainable practices. And in their offices, Compton Foundation staff use 100% post-consumer recycled paper, re-use paper whenever possible, buy local, organic (or pesticide-free), and fair-trade foods, buy sustainably-produced office supplies, and purchase 100% biodegradable and non-toxic cleaning supplies. The Foundation subsidizes up to five days of paid volunteer activity at a nonprofit organization for each staff member every year, matches on a 2:1 basis charitable contributions of $100 or more made by staff and Board members, up to a total of $9,000 per person per year. The Foundation will continue to be a partner with all working for a positive future. Over the next three years, The Compton Foundation will maintain or increase the level of grant dollars that support policy, advocacy, and organizing and underserved communities. The Foundation takes its role as private trustee of the public benefit very seriously and as such will do its part to support people working for democratic, positive social change.
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