A Toolkit and Resource Pack for Funders in South Africa
Why, How, and the Role of Philanthropy

Introduction and Getting Started


The Toolkit has its genesis in a three-part webinar series on Future Proofing Philanthropy in South Africa Against Climate Change, which was run by IPASA. This series of engagements demonstrated that key reasons for inaction on climate change by philanthropic funders include the difficulties in understanding the issue, applying it to their strategic thinking, and in finding effective solutions. The webinar series culminated in the development of the Toolkit, which is aimed at helping funders overcome these challenges. The Toolkit provides a range of useful, accessible, and carefully curated resources to support your journey in understanding the climate crisis and how philanthropy can respond. Our hope is that this Toolkit will catalyse new thinking and will be the beginning of a South African climate philanthropy community of practice and movement. The toolkit contains rich information and practical advice for organisations on every stage of their climate journey.

Getting Started

The first step in starting your climate journey or accelerating it, is developing a learning agenda to ensure your foundation, management, staff, and Board are climate aware and climate conscious.  A good place to start is to do a self-assessment at different levels of your organisation. You can find the self-assessment that will help you identify your needs and navigate the Toolkit here.

Key Must Reads 

We hope you will explore the Toolkit but, at a minimum, we recommend that you explore the following resources. We assure you these will spark your interest and kick off your learning journey:

  1. Funding the Future: How the climate crisis intersects with your giving
  2. Climate Change and Social Change: How funders can act on both
  3. Opportunities for Climate Philanthropy Engagement in Africa: Summary report
  4. At the crossroads: How to use grants to tackle climate change and equity
  5. Countdown


IPASA would like to acknowledge the three member foundations who drove and supported this initiative.

The authors of the toolkit are: Lindy van Hasselt (Relationship Director, The Lewis Foundation), Alan Wallis, (Strategic Advisor, The African Climate Foundation) and Kerry Barton-Hobbs (Independent CSO Practitioner) 

What is in the Toolkit and Resource Pack and how to use it

What Is in It 

  1. Introduction and Key Must Reads
  2. The Toolkit
  3. Getting Started: Where are You on Your Climate Journey – a Self-Assessment
  4. Learning about Climate Change and How to Take Action
  5. Resources and Actions for Six Key Areas of Climate Intersection
  6. How to Communicate Climate Change Effectively
  7. Integrating a Climate Lens into Reporting, Monitoring and Evaluation, and Learning
  8. Applying a Climate Lens to Your Endowment or Investments
  9. Climate Proofing Your Operations
  10. Don’t Do It Alone: The Power of Partnerships and Collective Action
  11. Who Can Help? Organisations Working in Climate Change in South Africa
  12. Keeping You and the Toolkit Up to Date
  13. The End Note – Music and Images for Climate Change

How to Use it 

This Toolkit is not intended to be read in its entirety, or from page one to the end. It should rather be used as a reference for resources of interest under a particular topic. Navigating the Toolkit, and the relevance of the different sections and themes, will depend on where your foundation is on its climate journey. This will determine your starting point, the types of engagements that are necessary, and what you and your foundation can do in the short, medium, and longer term. Each section of the toolkit provides an executive summary that highlights key themes, followed by a resource table that contains a range of resources that speak to the common challenges and questions faced when considering integrating climate change into your strategic thinking, grant making, operations, endowments and interactions with grantees and the communities in which they operate. The resources are a combination of content and technical material, and practical resources. The resources have also been categorised according to format (article, tool/guide, website, video, organisation, or podcast); technicality and length; and geographic focus (South Africa or international).