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Acting for sustainable and inclusive development of territories

The GRDF foundation support local initiatives that respond to local needs & vulnerabilities and bring out systemic change.

Discover our founder

The GRDF foundation was created, in June 2020. It is a donor-advised fund (a sheltered foundation) at Fondation de France, the leading philanthropy network in France, with more than 950 funds in its portfolio.

We are a corporate foundation. Our founder GRDF is France’s main natural and renewable gas distribution operator and one the major players on energy transition.

The Group employs more than 11 400 people which fulfils a public service mission in urban and rural areas and has built close relationships including stakeholders, local and regional authorities.

By creating its Foundation, GRDF intended to expand its commitment in combating social inequalities and the climate crisis as well as to relocate more value in territories.

Our guidelines for action

The foundation’s project was built to contribute to the UN Agenda 2030, Transforming our world, and its global 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which were adopted in 2015 by all the UN member states.

Our mission

The mission we defined is to support local initiatives that respond to local needs & vulnerabilities and drive systemic change for a fairer society and a sustainable economy.

In other words, we fund and support projects which figure out all the underlying causes of an issue and bring out global transformative solutions which address the root of that issue.

Our 4 areas of focus

Social, economic and ecological issues being symbiotic, most of the projects we support address them globally and therefore cover several, or all, areas of concerns.

Social entrepreneurship

Aims at funding social entrepreneurs’ incubators, training programs or innovative initiatives to society’s most pressing social and environmental issues. The point here is to encourage a change towards sustainable business models in order to combine social justice and ecological transition.

Synergy between urban - rural areas

We support initiatives which aim at building more equal relationships between rural and urban spaces or enhance attractivity of rural areas.

Social inclusion & employment

Our goal is to combat long-term unemployment and promote the vocational integration of people subject to exclusion from the labour market, such as early school leavers, physically and mentally challenged, refugees, immigrants, former prisoners. We are paying special attention to women and girls. We place particular emphasis on individuals ‘empowerment.

Ecological transition

Supporting projects that accelerate the ecological transition (climate issues, biodiversity, etc.).
This is the common denominator of all the foundation's actions.

The foundation’s way

How do we proceed to select and fund system changemakers with transformative visions…

We have 4 major principles for action :

Exploring means that we give priority to innovative projects which are in a testing phase or in their seed, start-up or scaling-up stages. During these crucial phases, it’s often difficult for social-ecological innovations to be supported because most of the foundations rather funds investment expenditure than project engineering.

Connecting stands for creating synergies, interactions between players, projects-leaders and regions.

Playing with others stands for multiplying opportunities for cooperation and alliances because we have the strong belief that collective intelligence is more necessary than ever.

The last principle is that we are not only providing a financial support, but also set up a tailor-made operational support and follow-up programme for each structure. Doing this, we intend to make life easier for project-leaders and maximise their chance for success.