Philanthropy can support climate transformation and transform itself in the process

Since 2020 IPASA has taken an active lead through our Climate Change Funder support initiatives in providing on-going targeted support to funders interested in developing or refining their responses to climate change. In this way we are helping them contribute meaningfully to creating a better world, and an economy that supports the sustainability of the planet. We have also realised that our responses to climate issues are shaped not only by what we know about climate change, but also by how we think about climate change. While climate change is undoubtedly one of the single biggest threats the world is facing today, it should not be viewed only as a problem but also as an opportunity, particularly for independent philanthropy.

Climate change has compelled us to think differently about many issues – in fact, it requires that we rethink our approach to everything. By adopting a different way of thinking, we can unlock the possibilities and opportunities that are an integral part of the transition to a new economy.

A myriad of opportunities exists for philanthropy to actively and effectively address climate change through tackling the root causes of inequality and thus making an impact on a systemic level.

In this IPASA newsletter we look at a range of themes related to climate change that are relevant to funders – from macro level policy issues, and systemic change to project and programme level initiatives. These themes highlight where philanthropy can play a role in addressing and capitalising on the opportunities that arises from the impact of climate change. As climate change continues to impact communities and ecosystems worldwide, independent philanthropy’s proactive engagement in addressing its root causes is a strategic necessity. Independent philanthropy, with its unique resources and flexibility, can play a pivotal role in transforming the structures, behaviours, and mindsets that underpin the socioeconomic systems contributing to climate change. Philanthropy needs to support a holistic, integrated perspective, and nurture and support a diverse range of initiatives that foster systemic shifts, challenging and transforming the status quo. It must advocate for change that cuts across sectors, which builds connections and collaborations.

Climate change is redefining everything in the world as we know it, including philanthropy. It is time to harness this opportunity to transform philanthropy and the world we live in.


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