Tahoe Fund Launches “Venture Philanthropy” Effort to Tackle Climate Change Adaptation
“A new type of philanthropy to invest in game-changing, climate change adaptation solutions.”
INCLINE VILLAGE Nev. (8/16/2017) —Today, the Tahoe Fund announced the Environmental Venture Trust, a new “venture philanthropy” approach to climate change adaptation in Tahoe. While much of traditional philanthropy is focused on established solutions, the Venture Trust will help fill a critical funding gap. Like a venture capital fund, the Venture Trust will support innovative, early-stage projects—but in this case projects that tackle the challenges associated with global warming facing Lake Tahoe. Risk is inherent to venture funding, but the rewards can be dramatic. And the easy solutions to Tahoe’s environmental challenges are gone. By providing early stage seed capital, the Tahoe Fund will kick start innovative projects to improve lake clarity, outdoor recreation, transportation and forest health—projects that would otherwise not receive funding.
The Tahoe Fund recently began the first pilot program funded by the Enviornmental Venture Trust. The pilot tests the use of UV light to fight aquatic invasive weeds in Lake Tahoe, weeds that are the result of a warming lake. A UV light boat has now been deployed near the Lakeside Marina and the surrounding waters in South Lake Tahoe. The boat has begun using UV light that is completely safe to most life forms, but lethal to aquatic invasive weeds. Within the first week of the pilot study, the boat destroyed half of the weeds in the Marina.
Click here to watch a brief video of the dramatic results.
If proven successful, the light can be deployed in other infested areas of Lake Tahoe and lakes around the world. “By providing early stage funding through our Environmental Venture Trust, the Tahoe Fund was able to help secure more than $260,000 in public funds to jumpstart this project. This is just the first of many venture stage environmental improvement projects around the Lake that the Tahoe Fund can help kick-start,” said Amy Berry, Tahoe Fund CEO.
The Tahoe Fund seeks solicitations from organizations and individuals with proposals for suitable, Venture Trust projects to environmental challenges in Lake Tahoe.
The Venture Trust was launched with the support of a $50,000 matching grant from the Robert and Dorothy Keyser Foundation. The UV Light Pilot Project is a partnership among Tahoe Resource Conservation District, Inventive Resources, Inc., The California Tahoe Conservancy and the Tahoe Fund.