In 1987, Edward and Janet Miller created the WestWind Foundation as part of the sale of Mr. Miller’s express shipping company to Federal Express Corporation (FedEx). The company, which included operations throughout 22 countries in the Caribbean region, became the Latin America-Caribbean Division of FedEx.
WestWind Foundation, originally called The CarAm Foundation, primarily awarded grants to help improve the lives of people throughout the Latin America and Caribbean region. Throughout the past decade, as the region experienced an exploding population, made worse by the subsequent decline of natural ecosystems and the loss of biodiversity, the founders decided to focus their grantmaking in two interconnected areas: the protection of the environment and the realization of a global sustainable population.
With a concern for the quality of life of youth at the heart of their grantmaking, WestWind provides support to organizations that protect the quality of life on Earth for future generations by awarding grants to effectively managed organizations that further the protection of the environment or improve access, whether through the provision of direct services or through education, to reproductive health care.
Currently, the foundation’s Environment Program and its Reproductive Health and Rights Program provide grants to more than 50 non-governmental organizations worldwide. WestWind’s Environment Program awards grants to NGOs that primarily work to promote the protection of forested ecosystems, with an emphasis on habitat protection and watershed conservation. The majority of WestWind grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations whose work impacts the global environment. Currently, 50 percent of the foundation’s grants are used to support environmental organizations.
The Reproductive Health and Rights Program awards grants to U.S. – based organizations that work globally. The foundation has a particular interest in organizations that are working to promote reproductive health and rights in the Latin America and Caribbean region. Roughly 30 percent of the foundation’s grants are used to support organizations that promote reproductive health.
The foundation also provides a number of discretionary grants through its Building Better Communities Program. These grants are awarded at the sole discretion of the Trustees and typically support community organizations. The foundation does not accept inquiries regarding these funds.