Since its establishment in 2010, the Fondation Daniel et Nina Carasso has been working on climate and environmental issues, particularly through its “Sustainable Food Programme”. The foundation is headquartered in France with another operational basis in Spain.
The world we live in is too complex for anybody alone to provide the solution to climate change. Cross-sectoral and cross-border collaboration is needed if foundations are to achieve their aims amidst a changing climate. With sustainable food systems at the heart of its purpose, the Fondation Daniel et Nina Carasso has placed Networks as one of its core principles of action.
Application in Practice
One of the very first networks funded by the foundation came out of a joint call for proposals with the Fondation de France. Together, they aimed for projects convening researchers and practitioners around the topic of sustainable agriculture and food consumption.
The support of the Fondation Daniel et Nina Carasso for Networks has been crucial for building climate philanthropy in Europe. As one of the initiators and core funders of the #PhilanthropyForClimate Initiative, the foundation has made philanthropic involvement visible and created a community of practice to help foundations in their climate journey. This engagement did not just encompass funding but also contributing staff time to building the initiative. As part of #PhilanthropyFor Climate, the Fondation Daniel et Nina Carasso coordinated with French, Spanish, British and European stakeholders to build the governance structure and communicate funder commitments on climate change.
Another Network that the foundation was involved in initiating is the European Foundations for Sustainable Agriculture and Food (EFSAF). EFSAF is currently chaired by the Fondation Daniel et Nina Carasso and consists of a group of European foundations that have set themselves the goal of promoting a more sustainable food policy in Europe.
As a consequence of #PhilanthropyForClimate, more than 570 foundations have signed funder commitments on climate change across the world. This includes funder commitments by national associations in France, Spain, UK, Italy, or Canada, as well as a strong international commitment. These collaborations have resulted in an established community, exchanging experience and providing an entry point for new funders.
Similarly, EFSAF has been successful in attracting new climate funders to the field, resulting in an increased awareness of the issue. As the network is designed to allow members to contribute individually according to their mandate, it has been possible to approach the issue of sustainable food systems from different perspectives.
What has worked well?
- Learn from sharing: Do not hesitate to share questions with like-minded people and learn from their successes and failures. It is a long road, and you can avoid mistakes that pioneers have already made. Also involve your grantees and learn from them, as many of them have already integrated a climate perspective into their work.
- Keep differences in mind: Collaborations are essential, but it takes time to align different goals and values. All of us must surrender some control to create greater, joint impact. While it is easy to join a network for exchange of practices, creating consensus and joint objectives requires active engagement. But it is worth it.
- Integrate climate action into your existing goals: Engagement in philanthropic climate networks does not require funders to change their focus of interest. Rather, bringing together actors with different perspectives is a unique feature of Networks.
What are opportunities for new funders?
- Be courageous: Plenty of opportunities will emerge if you are willing to take risks now. Your impact will benefit as well because any delay in climate action risks run-away climate change.