The Small Planet Fund was conceptualized in 2001 by Frances and Anna to support grassroots democracy movements worldwide addressing the causes of hunger and poverty. The Fund is a project of RSF (formerly the Rudolf Steiner Foundation) and is overseen by Anna, who volunteers her time to manage the fund.
Since the Fund’s founding, two of its grantees have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize: Dr. Wangari Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya and Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh.
Since 2002, the Fund has raised more than $800,000, through our annual New York City fundraiser and through the support of a generous anonymous donor.
At the 2008 Gala the Small Planet Fund, held on the 60th Anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, honored the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. The 2010 benefit honored the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York, and raised more than $26,000 for our grantees.
This year, the Small Planet Fund benefit was held on December 9th,2011 in New York City. It was a huge success, raising more than $25,000 for our grantees. We extend a HUGE thank you to all who came to celebrate the Green Belt Movement (an SPF core grantee) and the Real Food Challenge, bringing sustainable fair food to college campuses across the country.
- THE REAL FOOD CHALLENGE – An organization dedicated to creating a healthy, fair and green food system by leveraging the power of youth and universities. The Real Food Challenge consists of both a campaign—looking to shift $1 billion of existing university food budgets away from industrial farms and junk food and towards local/community-based, fair, ecologically sound and humane food sources by 2020—and a national network of student food activists—providing opportunities for networking, learning, and leadership development for thousands of emerging leaders.
Core grantees receive support year after year, but we would like to take this time to honor them, and the inspiring work they do.
- FAMILY FARM DEFENDERS – The mission of Family Farm Defenders is to create a farmer-controlled and consumer–oriented food system based upon democratic institutions that respect and empower local people in their quest for justice and dignity.
- LANDLESS WORKERS MOVEMENT (MST) – The MST (for its acronym in Portuguese) as one of Latin America’s largest social movements helps identify and settle landless families on formerly idle land, and has helped to create sustainable communities in nearly every single Brazilian state.
- NAVDANYA FARMERS' NETWORK (RFSTE) – Gutsy critic of the false promises of chemical farming and genetically modified seeds, scientist Dr. Vandana Shiva and her Research Foundation on Science, Technology, and Ecology are helping to protect indigenous Indian agricultural knowledge in the face of growing corporate monopolization of seeds and intellectual property rights.
- THE GREEN BELT MOVEMENT – Building a movement of grassroots, village-based and women-run nurseries, the Green Belt Movement has succeeded in planting more than millions of trees to avert desertification in Kenya. (In 2007 alone, the Movement planted more than 10 million trees in the country).
- CENTER FOR ECOLITERACY – The Center for Ecoliteracy is a public foundation dedicated to education for sustainable living.