NFG Member Spotlight: Tremaine Foundation

The Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, based in New Haven, CT, does grantmaking through a national lens in niche areas of Art, Environment, and Learning Differences. One of their recent initiatives that may be of special interest to the NFG membership is Sustainable CT (Connecticut).

We asked Tremaine Foundation staff Michelle Knapick, President, and Nicole Chevalier, Program Director, to respond to a few questions about their work, and how their membership with NFG is shaping their thinking.

Tremaine Foundation logo with photos of Michelle Knapick, President, and Nicole Chevalier, Program Director1. The Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation does grantmaking at a national scale. How do you approach your work from a place-based and community perspective?

We know that innovation is happening at a community scale and that ground-up solutions are critical for true systems-level changes. Our approach includes investing in practices and places that can be linked to national networks or larger scale peer networking and learning.

2. Tremaine Foundation is a newer member to NFG, having joined just over a year ago. What led you to join, and how do you hope NFG will impact your work?

We are drawn to NFG’s cross-sector, community, and equity lenses. In 2016, we attended NFG & Aspen Institute’s convening, Towards A More Resilient Place. The diverse voices and cross sector connections resonated with our visions and values. The convening underscored the value of grassroots equity grants we are making under Sustainable CT. Through these grants; organizing and leadership development programs; and organizations focused on people of color, faith groups, affordable housing groups, and others are resourced to be key stakeholders and co-designers of the platform. We are eager to deepen our experience and learning with NFG.

3. What is the top recent highlight of Tremaine’s work that you’d like to share with the NFG network?

Sustainable CT is a dynamic, statewide certification program and roadmap for community-scale sustainability. It supports community-led action and builds and activates civic infrastructure - all through economic, equity, cultural, and environmental lenses. Sustainable CT is part of a 12-state network focused on community-led sustainability initiatives — the National Network of Statewide-Local Sustainability Organizations (think of it as a platform for 10,000 resilient cities, including smaller and rural towns).

4. What is one question that Tremaine Foundation is grappling with that you would like to ask the NFG network?

How are others working to bridge internal gaps regarding equity and justice experiences that enable these to become central tenets of the work?

Have a thought to share or curious to hear more about Tremaine’s work? Contact Michelle or Nicole to continue the conversation at and