Gaining Momentum towards 100% clean energy


From Our
Executive Director

In 2018, Americans from all walks of life have come to understand that we can and we must transition to 100% clean, renewable energy. With more than 100 cities and now half a dozen states, including CA, committed to 100% clean energy, the momentum is unstoppable and it’s exciting!

At the same time, our attention is focused on “how” we get to 100% and even more importantly, “who” will benefit from this transition.

Despite their long-term leadership on 100% clean energy, our media analysis finds the voices of those living and working at the frontlines of dirty energy impacts are only beginning to receive recognition for their pivotal and innovative role driving solutions. What’s more, far too few investments are made in frontline organizations to lead this work, let alone tell their stories.

We’ve worked hard to develop strategic partnerships with other funders, nonprofits, and corporations to increase the funding, communications capacity, and influence of frontline leadership.

We hit a milestone of $4 million invested in direct grants to frontline leadership this year, with over half of that going to women and leaders of color. Add about $2M in media supports and another $1M in field building and we know the results delivered by frontline leadership: 100% is not only possible, it is happening in communities all across the country. In return, we are making a 100% Commitment to Justice and will center feminine, frontline leaders of color in this next phase of our impact.

Join us as we look back on 2018 and look forward to the year ahead.

Sarah Shanley Hope

Sarah Shanley Hope,
Executive Director

2018 showed us that the culture around clean energy is shifting.

There’s been a global culture shift around clean energy. From increasing political interest from voters; to growing numbers of cities, states, and countries committing to clean energy; to businesses and individuals taking personal and political action; the move to clean energy has serious momentum.

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160+ major companies including Apple, Budweiser, and Crayola have made a commitment to go "100% renewable". RE100
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100+ environmental orgs are advancing 100% clean energy campaigns. 100% Network
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67% of voters are very or somewhat concerned about the impact that climate change is having on the U.S. economy. Vox
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Public Opinion

70% of people agree that we should produce 100% of our electricity from renewable sources in the near future. Politico

Support for 100% Clean Energy is flourishing

In 2018, Cincinnati, OH became the 100th city in the U.S. to make the 100% commitment. As of this report 123 cities have made commitments with 6 already running on 100% renewable energy.
Via Sierra Club

Committed to 100% renewable energy
Powered by 100% renewable energy

State-wide commitments are increasing too. Puerto Rico and 5 states have already made the commitment.

Reaching Our Biggest Milestone to Date

California Commits
to 100% Clean Energy

Sarah Shanley Hope and Kevin de Leon holding a SB100 poster The Solutions Project’s Executive Director, Sarah Shanley Hope, with former CA state senator, Kevin de Leon.

The Solutions Project was part of a coalition formed to support former CA state senator and Senate Pro Tem Kevin de Leon’s effort to pass SB100 — a bill setting California on a path to 100% renewable energy by 2045.

Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law on September 18, 2018, paving the way for 100% clean energy in California.

Sarah Shanley Hope and Kevin de Leon holding a SB100 poster The Solutions Project’s Executive Director, Sarah Shanley Hope, with former CA state senator, Kevin de Leon.

The conversation is changing

As cultural support for clean energy grows, the conversation is transforming – from wondering if it’s possible, to knowing it can be done. Voices calling for change are getting louder, and more people are listening.

  • Momentum is building for 100 percent clean energy across New Hampshire. Concord’s commitment to renewable energy is also a commitment to clean air, economic growth, and a healthy future for our community,
    Rich Maher Member of the Concord Energy and Environment Committee
  • Renewable energy is now economically competitive with fossil fuels…
    Silvio Marcacci and Gil Jenkins Forbes contributors
  • If Atlanta invests in new clean energy projects—as opposed to buying credits for clean energy generated out of state—it will see more jobs, smaller energy bills and less pollution.
    Jeremy Deaton EcoWatch

Clean Energy in
the Media

The media narrative has shifted from a general perspective of asking if 100% clean energy is possible, to a perspective focused on discussing how to best get there. In short, the media now understands that it’s possible. It’s just a matter of choosing the best path forward.

Renewable Energy Narrative Analysis Cover

Download our report on the media narrative around renewable energy.

Celebrating women leading the clean energy transition

The clean energy movement must get behind frontline leaders already doing the work to bring clean energy to their communities. Centering equity in the clean energy movement means making sure that frontline leaders, especially leaders of color and women who are often sidelined or ignored receive the media attention, field recognition and funding for their groundbreaking work.

That’s why The Solutions Project helped amplify the voices of those leaders through convenings and awards. Last year, we celebrated women and women of color who are leading the clean energy transition.

Black Women Leading in partnership with Way to Win

LEFT TO RIGHT: LaTosha Brown, Denise Fairchild, and Colette Pichon Battle
Invest in black women as thought leaders. Invest in black women as strategists.
LaTosha Brown LaTosha Brown Black Voters Matter
Highlights from Black Women Leading's Atlanta and Los Angeles panels.
From local successes to national movements, solutions stories centering Black women are all around us.

With a line-up of women including community organizers, political strategists, and more, the Black Women Leading panel series showcased the solutions already improving communities across America and highlighted progressive Black women leaders who are up against the status quo in the country.

The panels were livestreamed and featured moderators: Golden Globe-winning actor, Don Cheadle, and GLAMOUR magazine’s Christina Coleman.

One100 Awards

Lifting Up Everyday Heroes


Our ONE100 awards celebrate people who are at the forefront of our transition to 100% clean energy. In 2018, we chose to honor ten women leaders from Atlanta, Miami, and Oakland, who are making our nation cleaner, healthier, and more equitable through clean energy for all.

  • Natalia Arias

    Natalia Arias

    Miami Award Winner

    Provides climate change education and advocacy to people who are then able to take action, and demand public officials implement climate change solutions. The CLEO Institute

  • Yisbell Alvaro

    Yisbell Alvaro

    Miami Award Winner

    Co-created Miami Dade College’s Sustainapalooza to give youth a seat at the table and a basis for a political voice when they can vote. Miami Climate Alliance

  • Ms. Paulette Richards

    Ms. Paulette Richards

    Miami Award Winner

    Launched the Climate & Me Summer Camp in Miami to make sure youth understand how climate change affects their community.GoFundMe: Climate & Me Summer Camp

  • Alissa Jean Schafer

    Alissa Jean Schafer

    Miami Award Winner

    Brings energy efficiency and affordable clean energy solutions to areas where energy savings helps lift families out of poverty.Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

  • Jodi Pincus

    Jodi Pincus

    Oakland Award Winner

    Brings job training, green jobs, and cost-saving energy efficiency improvements to thousands of Northern Californians.Rising Sun

  • Jing Jing He

    Jing Jing He

    Oakland Award Winner

    A community organizer who inspires and motivates her immigrant community to take action to bring 100% clean energy to their communities.APEN

  • Emily Kirsch

    Emily Kirsch

    Oakland Award Winner

    Runs an all women-led co-work space and seed fund that houses and invests in clean energy entrepreneurs.Powerhouse

  • Malissa “Mali” Hunter

    Malissa “Mali” Hunter

    Atlanta Award Winner

    Promotes healthy eating, environmental sustainability, and use of clean, efficient energy by leveraging her influential music platform. Tree Sound Studios

  • Rev. Kate McGregor Mosley

    Rev. Kate McGregor Mosley

    Atlanta Award Winner

    Makes a moral case to Georgia’s diverse faith community for action on clean energy, and helps them become more energy efficient. Georgia Interfaith Power & Light

  • Felicia Davis

    Felicia Davis

    Atlanta Award Winner

    Helps historically black, Hispanic-serving, and tribal colleges reduce their environmental footprints. Intentional Endowments Network

Creating Connections, Building Partnerships

We believe that the path to 100% can only be achieved through partnership and connection. We believe in relationship building, trust building, and sharing best practices from frontline communities.

100% NGO

100% NGO Network

40+ frontline leaders from across the country
10+ national environmental and justice organizations
3 days
1 goal 100% clean energy
for all

The independent 100% NGO Network, which was co-founded by The Solutions Project, kicked off its frontline field trip series in a three-day event hosted by grantee partner PUSH Buffalo. More than 50 leaders came from across the country, representing other frontline communities, a few national organizations like Emerald Cities Collaborative and Race Forward, and large environmental organizations like Sierra Club, which brought all of its Ready for 100 organizers together to see the innovative clean energy solutions being driven by community members. In addition to sharing best practices and wrestling with key questions, the 100% NGO Network was able to tour PUSH Buffalo’s new community solar and affordable housing development at School 77—the first of its kind of project demonstrating what is possible when we go 100% for all people.

Nathan Cummings

Nathan Cummings Foundation

Recognizing that the greatest innovations in an equitable clean energy transition are happening in frontline communities, The Solutions Project partnered with the Nathan Cummings Foundation to convene more than 50 frontline leaders across three workshops on community determined clean energy, narrative strategies, and independent political power.

Emerging from these convengings is not only a closer partnership with frontline organizations but also the development of specific technical tools for implementers, a firmer commitment to invest in local communities, and pathways to influence a broader spectrum of capital and funding for frontline communities.


Professional Partnerships

We’re fortunate to work in deep relationship with leading nonprofits including Sierra Club, People’s Action, and the Climate Justice Alliance. We’ve also partnered with forward thinking corporations Seventh Generation, Marvel, and Patagonia.

These organizations support movement alignment towards an equitable 100% transition.

Sierra Club People's Action Climate Justice Seventh Generation Marvel Patagonia

Investing in
Frontline Leadership

Milestone achieved: $4,000,000 in grantmaking since we began our program for frontline leadership nearly 4 years ago.

pie chart: 53% 53% of our dollars were invested in Executive Directors of color.
pie chart: 56% 56% of our dollars were invested in women or non-binary executives.
  • It’s liberating to work with a foundation that invests in and trusts the frontline will deliver. We want to, and know how to, but haven't been supported. We love the culture of best practices for how to support those of us on the frontline.
    Elizabeth Yeampierre UPROSE, 2018 Grantee
  • Working with The Solutions Project had a big impact on our ability to get media attention to share our stories and strategize around media.
    Jessica Azulay New York Energy Democracy Alliance, 2018 Grantee
  • The amazing core support allowed us to be nimble and in the places we need to be. The comms support around the SB100 coalition helped increase our influence. And the celebrity support was really important and effective with decision makers.
    Gladys Limon California Environmental Justice Alliance, 2018 Grantee
  • The Solutions Project’s support with strategic communications, along with general operating support were critical to our success.
    Tom Goldtooth Indigenous Environmental Network, 2018 Grantee
  • The financial support has allowed us to do our work and to attract more donors. The funds have helped us double our annual operating impact.
    Caroline Lewis The CLEO Institute, 2018 Grantee

Our 2018 Grantees

We distributed $1.3 million to 42 frontline organizations in the U.S., predominantly led by people of color and women.


Leadership Fund

Investment in community-based orgs that build political, economic, and cultural power for their communities.

2018 Grantees
  • California Environmental Justice Alliance, CEJA
  • The CLEO Institute
  • Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
  • Kentuckians for the Commonwealth
  • Miami Climate Alliance
  • New Alpha Community Development Corporation
  • New York Energy Democracy Alliance
  • Partnership for Southern Equity
  • Stay Together Appalachian Youth (The STAY Project)
  • Winneshiek Energy District

Ecosystem Fund

Investment in locally-rooted anchor organizations to expand their influence of state narratives and policies.

2018 Grantees
  • New York City Environmental Justice Alliance
  • Open Buffalo
  • SCOPE Agenda Action Fund

Fighter Fund

Rapid response grantmaking for real-time support to frontline leaders.

2018 Grantees
  • Action Center on Race and the Economy Institute (ACREI)
  • Advancing Equity & Opportunity Collaborative (AEO)
  • Black Belt Citizens Fighting for Health and Justice (BBCFHJ)
  • Black Voters Matter Fund (BVMF)
  • Catalyst Miami
  • Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ)
  • Federation of Southern Cooperatives
  • Fund for Southern Communities
  • Gasp
  • Groundswell
  • Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN)
  • Iowa Environmental Council (IEC)
  • Kentucky Conservation Foundation
  • Kentucky Environmental Foundation
  • Kingdom Living Temple
  • La Maraña
  • Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability (LCJA)
  • New Alpha Community Development Corporation
  • New Energy Economy
  • New York City Environmental Justice Alliance (NYC-EJA)
  • NC WARN (North Carolina Waste Awareness & Reduction Network)

2018 Wins

  • Natalia Arias receives a one100 award

    La Maraña

    Fighter Fund Recipient

    Our 2018 Win: Breaking ground in just recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria through local female frontline leadership to rebuild three communities in Puerto Rico—Comerío, Mariana, and Carolina—through a community-driven master plan, using our participatory design methodologies.

  • Black Voters Matter Fund

    Fighter Fund

    Our 2018 Win: Organizing across Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas convening more than 150 black-led community organizations, registering and turning out tens of thousands of voters, and connecting climate action to the groundswell of Black voters turning out across the South the 2018 cycle.
    Photo by Black Voters Matter Fund

  • The CLEO Institute and Miami Climate Alliance

    Leadership Fund Recipient

    Our 2018 Win: First climate gentrification resolution of its kind in the country passed in the City of Miami to counter the effects of sea level rise and climate change in local city development and community displacement.
    Photo by Jorge Castillo Photography

  • California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA) and SCOPE LA

    Leadership and Ecosystem Funds Recipient

    Our 2018 Win: The Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) Program continued to be funded. The TCC program provided $46 million in climate revenue investments to support community-led, neighborhood-scale development and infrastructure projects that achieved important environmental, health, and economic benefits. It also awarded $1.6 million in planning grants across the state, including one to our partner SCOPE in Los Angeles.

  • California Environmental Justice Alliance: SB100

    Leadership Fund Recipient

    Our 2018 Win: Passage of SB100 law setting 100% clean energy targets by 2045. CEJA and its members participated in advocacy efforts in Sacramento delivering more than 20,000 signatures of supporters of the bill and mobilized local residents to target decision-makers in key districts supported by strategic communications.

  • California Environmental Justice Alliance: Prop 70

    Leadership Fund Recipient

    Our 2018 Win: Voters reject Proposition 70 in California in an effort to constrain the state's climate revenue spending. CEJA through its members and partners mobilized statewide grassroots and communications infrastructure to educate Californians ahead of the election.

  • PUSH Buffalo, UPROSE, New Alpha Community Development Corporation and Groundswell

    Leadership Fund, Ecosystem Fund & Fighter Fund

    Our 2018 Win: Breaking ground, inaugurating or getting approval for community solar projects in Buffalo NY, Brooklyn NY, rural South Carolina, and rural Georgia all driven by local frontline leaders and serving those communities most impacted with affordable and accessible clean energy.

  • New Alpha Community Development Corporation

    Leadership Fund

    Our 2018 Win: Rev. Leo Woodbury organized the only person-of-color-led environmental justice tour in the country (Justice First Tour) with dozens of organizing events, media hits, and the sharing of a just transition frame by local leadership throughout the South (including partners such as Sierra Club and Dogwood Alliance).


    Ecosystem Fund

    Our 2018 Win: Influenced the national discussion on the Green New Deal and equitable 100% narrative by helping inform Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez' thinking and talking points on climate justice and a just transition.

Commiting to an
Equitable Future

We’ve made a 100% Commitment to Justice

We must prioritize equity in the clean energy equation.

The Solutions Project is committing to feminine leadership and frontline leaders of color who are working to make 100% clean energy a reality in their communities.

By 2020, we will invest 95 percent of our resources in innovative frontline leadership of color, with at least 80 percent going to organizations led by women.

Illustration of women marching with 100% flag
For a challenge as great as climate change, we need everyone on deck — including women and people of color who are leading clean energy efforts on the front lines of climate change, too often without resources or recognition.
Don Cheadle Don Cheadle Board Member

We’re so excited for what’s to come. Will you join us?

Our momentum is stronger than ever. Help us make strides in 2019 to get to 100% clean, equitable energy!

Stay in Touch

A Big Thank You
to Our Funders

Their support makes
our impact possible.


None of this would be possible without our dedicated staff and volunteer leadership.

  • Our Staff
  • Sarah Shanley Hope
    Executive Director
  • Dannie Tillman
    Inspire Program Director
  • Rudi Navarra
    Director of Investments
  • Stacey Heras
    Operations Manager
  • Board of Directors
  • Shalanda Baker
    Professor of Law, Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Northeastern University School of Law
  • Don Cheadle
    Golden Globe-winning Actor
  • Jamie Dean
    Director of Impact Investments for the Schmidt Family Foundation
  • George Goehl
    Executive Director, People’s Action
  • Leah Hunt-Hendrix
    Founder, Solidaire & Way to Win
  • Brandon Hurlbut
    Co-founder and partner, Boundary Stone Partners
  • Jee Kim
    Executive Director, Narrative Initiative
  • Billy Parish
    Co-Founder and President of Mosaic, a solar investment platform, and a serial social entrepreneur
  • Favianna Rodriguez
    Executive Director & Cultural Strategist, CultureStrike
  • Mark Ruffalo
    Oscar-nominated actor, renewable energy advocate, and founder of Water Defense
  • Gloria Walton
    President and CEO, Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE)
  • Justin Winters
    Executive Director, Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation
  • Trustees
  • Zelalem Adefris
    Catalyst Miami
  • Andrew Brower
    W.K. Kellogg Foundation
  • Alison Corwin
    Surdna Foundation
  • Elizabeth Yeampierre
  • Linetta J. Gilbert
    Gilbert & Associates
  • Lisa Abbott
    Kentuckians For The Commonwealth
  • Miya Yoshitani
    Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)
  • Sarah Shanley Hope
    The Solutions Project
  • Shamar Bibbins
    The Kresge Foundation