Climate Philanthropy Guide

Funding the Future – How the climate crisis intersects with your giving

What role and answers do foundations have in the face of the greatest crisis of the century? How can every foundation bring a climate perspective to its portfolio?

Our Climate Philanthropy Guide addresses these questions, offers insightful case studies and provides hands-on advice that can be implemented immediately.

The guide is a useful resource for foundations from whichever sector to start thinking about how they can contribute to tackling the climate crisis while delivering on their core mission.

Sandrine Dixson-Declève,
Co-President, The Club of Rome



The last few decades have been marked by incredible progress in social justice and improved living standards due to the tireless work of many, including the global philanthropic community. But a rapidly heating planet puts these hard won gains at risk. Climate change is already reinforcing existing inequalities and making the grand challenges that societies face harder to solve. This is why philanthropists around the world cannot afford to ignore our heating planet. Our guide attempts to connect the dots: It illustrates how the climate crisis impacts funding portfolios and highlights where there are co-benefits with taking climate action. It looks at five key areas that we call ‘climate intersections’.

Selected Case Studies

Sonia Medina, Executive Director Climate Change, CIFF – Children’s Investment Fund Foundation
The London-based foundation works to improve the lives of children in developing countries who live in poverty. With the climate crisis being the single biggest threat to children, today and in the future, CIFF has tirelessly combined its work on children’s issues with minimising the risk of climate impacts. Integrating a climate lens into CIFF’s portfolio has therefore become critical to fulfil its mission. Read on to learn about the challenges CIFF encountered and why monitoring and tracking is vital in order to maximise the impact.

Mary Robinson, Founder of Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice
"I came quite late to understanding climate change," Mary Robinson once stated referring to her time as a UN High Commissioner. Around 2003, she became acutely aware of the social injustices climate change brings. This led her to think of ‘climate change’ in terms of ‘climate justice’. In our interview, Robinson outlines five layers to this injustice, speaks about what kind of stories work and explains why fearmongering is a poor counsellor. Read the full interview in part 1 and 2 here.

Explore the guide

The full guide, its summary, case studies and more can be downloaded at the end of this page.
Available languages: English, German, French

An introduction by Dr. Felicitas von Peter

  • Please turn on English subtitles in the video settings ("wheel" in the right hand corner)




Please direct your inquiries, comments, feedback or questions related to the guide to Dr. Johannes Lundershausen.

Phone:  +49 30 120 878 420
Email: lundershausen(at)activephilanthropy(dot)org


23. June

Virtual launch of the climate philanthropy guide
Introduction I Panel I Q&A and individual workshops I with Prof. Dr. Joachim Rogall (Robert Bosch Stiftung), Dr. Eckart von Hirschhausen (Stiftung Gesunde Erde, Gesunde Menschen), Dr. Felicitas von Peter and Dr. Johannes Lundershausen (both Active Philanthropy), the event was held in German

20. October
4:00-5:00pm CEST



Virtual launch of the climate philanthropy guide for the european and international market, in cooperation with DAFNE (Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe) and CIFF (Children's Investment Fund Foundation)
Introduction I Panel I Q&A I with Sandrine Dixon-Declève (the Club of Rome), Sonia Medina (Children’s Investment Fund Foundation), George Kabalt (Special Advisor Climate, Laudes Foundation & Porticus), Marie-Stéphane Maradeix (Fondation Daniel & Nina Carasso) as well as Dr. Johannes Lundershausen (Active Philanthropy), the event was held in English.


28. October
4:00-5:00pm CET


Virtual kick off to the event series „Klimawandel – Wie jede Stiftung Teil der Lösung wird“ in cooperation with Deutsches Stiftungszentrum (DSZ) / Stifterverband
Introduction I Panel I Q&A I with Prof. h.c. Dr. Juliane Diller (Panguana Stiftung), Dr. Eckart von Hirschhausen (Stiftung Gesunde Erde, Gesunde Menschen), Erich Steinsdörfer (Deutsches Stiftungszentrum) as well as Dr. Felicitas von Peter (Active Philanthropy), the event was held in German.

26. November
4.00-5.00pm CET

co-hosted by DAFNE

fully booked

Funding the Future: Interactive Peer Learning Session

How the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Europe’s largest climate philanthropic funder, incorporated climate change into its strategy
with Sonia Medina, Executive Director, Climate  


The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) is the world’s largest philanthropy that focuses specifically on improving children’s lives. The climate crisis is the single biggest threat to children, today and in the future. Tackling climate change is therefore critical to fulfilling CIFF’s mission to enable children and young people to survive and thrive across the world. 
Sonia Medina, Executive Director, Climate will share CIFF’s experience of working at the intersection of child health, development and protection and climate change mitigation. She will discuss learnings from CIFF’s climate change journey and portfolio, and share insights about promising entry points for foundations that are interested in funding climate solutions. 
The event will be held in English.


8. December
4.00-5.00pm CET

co-hosted by DAFNE

fully booked

Funding the Future: Interactive Peer Learning Session

How the Fondation Daniel & Nina Carasso promotes climate change mitigation initiatives through its strategy
with Marie-Stéphane Maradeix, Executive Director  


From its beginnings in 2010, the family foundation, that was established in memory of Danone founder Daniel Carasso and his wife Nina, has been promoting sustainable food and access to the arts, in France and Spain. Following a process to realign the foundation’s work under a common vision of a more sustainable, just and equitable world, the foundation has incorporated climate-related issues throughout their programmes, one of the focus areas being the transition to agro-ecological practices. The foundation has also decarbonised its investments and places a share of its capital into climate-related impact investments. 
Marie-Stéphane Maradeix, Executive Director of the Fondation Daniel & Nina Carasso, will share the foundation’s journey and experience in climate action and discuss insights and learnings that could be useful for foundations interested to get started in climate philanthropy. 
The event will be held in English.

19. January
4.00-5.00pm CET

co-hosted by DAFNE


Funding the Future: Interactive Peer Learning Session

Climate change: Are we doing enough? - Where to start
with George Kabalt, Special Advisor Climate to the Laudes Foundation and Porticus & Kathryn Maunders, Founder Ten Thousand Starlings 

George Kabalt has held senior positions in business, family offices and philanthropy for three decades. His personal and professional journeys have intertwined since then in a commitment to awaken and support individuals, teams and organizations to make this planet a place where people and nature flourishes. In 2019 he led a cross-entity team of CEOs and senior professionals to develop strategies for mainstreaming climate change mitigation into their philanthropies. From his vast experience in working with foundations, corporations, and families, George will share insights and recommendations on how to get started in climate philanthropy and reflect on his experiences in integrating climate change across a portfolio of themes.
Kathryn designs high impact strategy and builds new ventures for family-owned businesses, philanthropies and impact-oriented ventures. Alongside George, she supported the cross-entity team working on climate change at the Laudes Foundation and Porticus. 
The event will be held in English.