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Health and Environmental Funders Network (HEFN)
Kathy Sessions, Director
T: 301-565-0500
Based in the United States
Additional Contacts:

Health and Environmental Funders Network (HEFN)


The Health and Environmental Funders Network is a network of grantmakers investing at the intersections of health and the environment. HEFN's mission is to maximize philanthropy's impact on environmental health and environmental justice.


In 1999, HEFN was launched by funders interested in building a bridge across health and environmental funding communities to learn and work together. Research documenting harm from pollution to people and wildlife was an initial impetus of concern, but few funders were linking health and environmental issues in their grantmaking.

Since its launch, HEFN has grown from a handful of funders to a network of more than 55 foundations and donors investing more than $150 million annual in environmental health and environmental justice issues.  Priorities for HEFN’s members today include promoting healthier environmental conditions in communities; moving society from toxic to safer chemicals and materials; and addressing the public health, environmental and community impacts of fracking, energy more generally, and climate change.

What Makes Us Different:

HEFN is the "go-to" place for grantmakers to explore and invest in the environmental health and justice field. It provides its members with information, learning and networking opportunities, and support for funder collaboration. HEFN does outreach in philanthropy, often partnering with other national affinity groups or regional grantmaker associations. HEFN's culture promotes collegiality, information-sharing, and critical thinking -- a friendly place for newcomers and veterans to learn and make a difference with their giving.

More info:

HEFN offers its members or exploring donors the opportunity to consult with a staff person, to support the donor's exploration of grantmaking interests related to health, the environment, and/or environmental justice.

Inspirational Stories:

Recently one member reported that, through his networking in HEFN, he had attracted major new funding to his priority grantees.

A consultant evaluating our California working group reported hearing from several members that they drew heavily on their HEFN peers as sources of information and advice for their own grantmaking.

Individual donors participating in HEFN have reported gaining confidence about their own investments because of the learning and collegial consultation opportunities they'd found within HEFN.

Success Stories:

HEFN has built a thriving philanthropic learning community at the intersections of health, environmental, and community interests. That community has helped incubate and launch numerous funds, campaigns, and initiatives, including the Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health; the Funders Forum for Antibiotic Resistance; and the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families campaign.

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