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Environmental Media Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that acts as a catalyst for film, video, media programming and events about the environment, human health, social justice and other issues of significant public interest and educational benefit. We support worthy projects and offer development consulting, grant sourcing and other project assistance.

EMF helps develop, produce and finance documentary film and outreach projects, and secure distribution, and helps
donors and investors achieve their charitable and philanthropic goals through media and educational programming.

EMF offers a full range of donor and investor advisory services, and donor advised funds for qualified individuals and organizations. EMF offers donors and socially conscious investors reliable, leveraged and cost effective ways to ensure maximum impacts and outcomes for their grants and investments. 
Environmental Media Fund is the only organization of its kind, providing professional due diligence, project oversight and portfolio management for donors and social venture philanthropy investors. Our approach emphasizes collaboration with other existing nonprofit organizations.

EMF's support and assistance stimulates the production, distribution and funding of educational programming, and public policy debate to effect change. Please note: EMF is focused primarily on assisting documentary projects created for broad public distribution: national broadcast or release, generally does not generally include only local PBS station showings or single "four wall" theatrical events.


Since its founding in 2003, EMF has supported and assisted projects dealing with climate change and global warming, alternative energy, earth science, organic farming, urban farming and agricultural practices, marine fisheries, oceans and aquaculture, food safety and security, animals and wildlife, restoration ecology, ecosystem conservation and preservation, social justice, indigenous people and cultures, human health and medicine, green building and growth, urban ecology and industry, and other issues of general public interest.


The potential of popular media (theatrical, television, cable, video, internet and digital interactive) and innovative teaching tools to convey inspirational stories and stimulate successful solutions to environmental, human health and social justice issues remains our top priority. And as the media industry becomes increasingly decentralized, the need for intermediary catalyst organizations and financial advisors, such as EMF, to stimulate media production in a more cost effective and targeted way, is also increasing. 

Global solutions require a combination of grassroots participation, public policy change and action by stakeholders, and an informed electorate is crucial to the decision making process. There is arguably no better way to engage and inform the general public more quickly than through the kind of broad exposure and impactful outreach media can provide.


We believe that popular media, when properly aligned with coordinated outreach, is one of the best methods available to bring important issues to the public’s attention and affect social change. Media and culture have become essentially inseparable. Our strategic approach involves viewing media projects as a suite of inter-related components. We see successful media projects as having three parts: 


Film and video are dynamic vehicles that bring issues to the public’s attention. Their primary purpose is to engage people and make them want to know more. It's not just what people leave the theater knowing so much as what they leave the theater feeling, because their feelings drive them to take action.


The Internet, search engines, web sites, social networks and the exploding universe of “apps” have become our primary source of information.  The web offers individuals infinite ways to investigate issues and link to organizations working for change. All Doc Partners’ projects include professionally designed, interactive web marketing and social media outreach campaigns.


Audience members need specific actions they can take to get involved in an issue they care about in a meaningful way so they don’t feel powerless or despondent in the face of the overwhelming challenges to global change. This might include blogging, tweeting, attending events and meetups, gathering consumer information that allows them to “vote with their dollars,” signing petitions and letters sent electronically to their elected representatives, and other opportunities to volunteer or otherwise get directly involved in a grassroots activities where they live. Immediate action items are essential for every successful social change campaign.


We actively (a) seek opportunities where funding produces the greatest tangible benefits, (b) select only those projects that meet the highest professional and ethical standards, (c) help project participants and stakeholders leverage expertise and assets, (d) institute professional cost controls and project oversight, (e) help structure creative project and project funding models, (f) work to insure that outreach partners, grassroots collaborations, distribution agreements and re-purposing arrangements (educational programming and media-based teaching tools) are in place prior to commencement, and (g) actively seek out and support projects that:

  • Further our understanding of the complexity and interrelated nature of environmental issues, and communicate information in an unbiased, carefully weighed and thoroughly scientific manner,
  • Reach the widest possible audience and are transferable to the greatest number of alternative distribution formats including emerging digital, Internet and interactive technologies,
  • Represent diverse, underserved and independent voices that might otherwise go unheard, and
  • Can have immediate impacts on personal choices and consumer behavior and inspire individuals to actively participate in solutions to environmental problems,
  • Projects that tell important stories and present ideas in the most compelling and entertaining way.


EMF offers Donor Advised Funds and Donor & Investor Advisory Services.  EMF vets projects to ensure that proposals best suit donor's or investor's funding priorities. By selecting only those projects that have the greatest chance of succeeding on all levels and by monitoring them and providing ongoing reporting, EMF saves donors and socially conscious investors time and money and offers a level of due diligence previously unavailable.


EMF provides a full range of fiscal sponsorship services for filmmakers and project producers. Click here to learn more here.


Issues Relating to Global Change, Environment, Health and Social Justice
The Biosphere and Climate Change
Biodiversity and Species Extinction
The Oceans - Fisheries and Aquaculture
Habitat & Ecosystems - Rivers, Grasslands, Wetlands, Forests
Soil Erosion and Farming Productivity Loss
Global Water Resources and Aquifer Depletion
Pollution and Toxins
Human Health
Cultural Change and Lifestyle Impacts
Civil Society and Economic Impacts
Social Justice and Public Policy
Eco-Economics and the Role of Government Policy Initiatives
Renewable Energy and Global Resource Management
Eco-Development and Green Building Design
Green Machines – Re-engineering for Environmental Benefit
Industrial Ecology - Decreasing our Global Environmental Footprint
 Natural Farming and Soil Conservation
Sustainable Fisheries and Marine Reserves
Ecosystem Restoration and Land Conservation
Mitigating the Environmental Externalities of our Consumer Society
Challenging our Social and Cultural Beliefs and Norms

We monitor the progress of each project we sponsor and employ both qualitative and quantitative methods of evaluating results. We require all assisted and sponsored projects to submit regular reports detailing distribution and outreach results along with detailed accounting of expenses. In the case of programming that is presented on PBS or other television venues we follow official "carriage reports" from satellite services and affiliate stations as they are made available, and often suggest alternate strategies to increase distribution opportunities. In addition, project producers are encouraged to poll participants and collect data from stakeholders on issues, to improve their outreach strategies. EMF compiles the results of these efforts and reports to donors on a regular basis. 

In instances where the programming is combined with educational teaching tools or interactive web sites, we receive regular reports on feedback submitted to help improve the projects content or presentation. In cases where an airing on PBS is a part of the distribution strategy, this can be important since PBS programming continues to be the number one television resource in the country for classroom programming, according to national surveys of teachers and school librarians.


RECOGNITION FOR OUR WORK: In 2004 Environmental Media Fund’s charitable work was recognized by the noted law firm of Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati which handles all of EMF’s legal services on a pro bono basis. Projects developed and funded by EMF donors have won Emmy Awards, National Telly Awards, and numerous film festival honors.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: EMF is not accepting requests for funding or fundraising assistance at this time.   Requests for advisory and project development assistance are still considered.

Copyright 2005 Environmental Media Fund, Inc. All Rights Reserved