A Public Resource Compiled by the

Global Greengrants Fund

2840 Wilderness Place, Suite A
Boulder, CO 80301
501c3 nonprofit

Donor to anti-GMO organizations as part of a broader philanthropic strategy

Key People

  • Nnimmo Bassey, Chair of the Board
  • Terry Odendahl, Ph.D. President and CEO
  • Jake Beinecke, Treasurer
  • Regan Pritzker, Vice Chair of the Board

Established in 1993, the Global Greengrants Fund (GGF) “mobilizes resources for communities worldwide to protect our shared planet and work toward a more equitable world.” The fund distributes grants on behalf of private foundations, including anti-GMO organizations like the Tides Foundations, to grassroots environmental advocacy groups in the developing world, though it usually does not disclose the names of these organizations. GGF has made contributions worth more than $71 million over last 25 years.

GGF noted its opposition to GMOs in May 2016, writing that “chemical pesticides and genetically modified organisms have taken the place of much healthier organic practices. This has resulted …. in serious damage to the soil and a loss of nutritional value in crops, [and] caused local farmers to become dependent on these products ….” The Swift Foundation, which has contributed nearly $2 million to the Global Greengrants Fund, is also opposed to the use of crop biotechnology, and lobbies against its introduction in the developing world. For example, the foundation says it works to protect Africa’s agricultural biodiversity from “the threats posed by genetic engineering (Genetically Modified Organisms) and industrial agriculture.”

GGF maintains partnerships with several high-profile anti-GMO advocacy groups, including Friends of the Earth and Pesticide Action Network (PAN). PAN argues that “biotech corporations have dictated how we grow food, placing the health and economic burdens of pesticide use on farmers, farmworkers and rural communities.” Friends of the Earth similarly believes that “emerging biotechnologies are used to develop products that benefit companies’ bottom lines at the expense of people and the planet.” 350.org, a politically progressive activist group that contributed $200,000 to GGF in 2017, says that “widespread use of chemicals in GMO crops” is an environmental crisis comparable to climate change and “water contamination and scarcity.”

Financial Data


Annual Revenue: $8,837,927 (2017)

Total Assets $8,136,404 (2017)

Major Donors (total contributions 2012-present)

Marisla Foundation $2,240,000

Aveda Corporation 1,827,684

Swift Foundation $1,785,000

Tides Foundation $724,000

Novo Foundation $500,000

350.org $200,000

Blossom Fund $85,000

Aria Foundation $40,000

Peterffy Foundation $25,000

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Note that there are three “levels” of both donors and recipients.

Donations to advocacy groups are sometimes designated to support a specific cause, such as organic agriculture or mitigating climate change. There is no way for us to know from publicly-available documents on what the money will be spent, as we can only see the total amount donated. When we assign the levels below to donors and recipients, we assume that all donations are available to the recipient for all advocacy, including anti-GMO advocacy.

  • Level 1: Donates primarily to dedicated anti-GMO organizations
  • Level 2: A large portion of donations go to anti-GMO organizations; some donations go to organizations without a position on GMOs
  • Level 3: A small portion of donations go to anti-GMO organizations
    * Most donations go to organizations without a formal position on GMOs but which have aligned themselves with anti-GMO activists

For Level 1 recipients, all donations are used for anti-GMO advocacy. For Level 2 and 3 recipients, we don’t know how much of each donation is used for anti-GMO advocacy.

  • Level 1: Dedicated to anti-GMO advocacy
  • Level 2: Involved in anti-GMO advocacy along with other causes
  • Level 3: No specific anti-GMO advocacy, but general support
    * Organizations without a formal position on GMOs but which have aligned themselves with anti-GMO activists
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