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Environmental Philanthropy: Stories to Inspire

Environmental Philanthropy: Stories to Inspire

Here are 29 stories of donors making a difference. Some gave a few thousand pounds to support local action. Others gave seven-figure gifts and created whole new organisations and ways of working. All had a transformative effect on the environment.

We can all change the world for the better. What issues are close to your heart, and how will you make a difference?

Environmental Philanthropy: Stories to Inspire is a collection of real stories of donors making a difference. Download the publication, read the full introduction and acknowledgements, or select a story of interest from the list below. You can also watch or listen to the publication launch event, with Gillian Burke, Mark Rylance and three funders whose stories appear in the publication. 

Immerse yourselves in these stories: enjoy them as they take you on a trip around the world. We hope you’ll come back fired up.

Story authors are named in brackets alongside each story, except where they preferred to remain anonymous or the story was a team effort.

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Funder: John Ellerman Foundation
Grantee: Great British Oceans coalition*
Funding level: £90,000
Issue focus: Coastal and marine ecosystems
Location: UK Overseas Territories

Funder: John Ellerman Foundation
Grantee: Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)
Funding level: £30,000
Issue focus: Multi-issue work
Location: UK Overseas Territories

Zafer Kizilkaya

Funder: Whitley Fund for Nature (Danni Parks)
Grantee: Zafer Kizilkaya, Mediterranean Conservation Society
Funding level: £155,000 over several years
Issue focus: Coastal and marine ecosystems
Location: Turkey

Campaigns against TTIP and CETA

Funder: JMG Foundation (Jon Cracknell)
Grantee: Seattle to Brussels Network (S2B)
Funding level: £82,000
Issue focus: Trade and finance
Location: Europe and North America

Holistic land and livestock-Zimbabwe

Funder: Tudor Trust
Grantee: Njeremoto Institute, Chikukwa Ecological Land Use Community Trust, TSURO Trust
Funding level: £262,750*
Issue focus: Agriculture and food
Location: Zimbabwe

The Rivers Trust

Funder: Fishmongers’ Company (Andrew Wallace), Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund (Rebecca Lloyd)
Grantee: The Rivers Trust and the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership
Funding level: £500,000
Issue focus: Fresh water
Location: UK

Valuing the Oceans

Funder: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch)
Grantee: Marine CoLABoration (comprised of nine NGOs*)
Funding level: £500,000–£750,000
Issue focus: Coastal and marine ecosystems
Location: UK

Nature Friendly farming Network

Funder: Esmée Fairbairn Foundation (Jenny Dadd)
Grantee: Nature Friendly Farming Network
Funding level: £231,650
Issue focus: Agriculture and food
Location: UK

Founding Client Earth

Funder: McIntosh Foundation (Winsome McIntosh)
Grantee: ClientEarth
Funding level: Around £2 million
Issue focus: Climate and atmosphere
Location: International

Using gardens to bring communities together

Funder: Esmée Fairbairn Foundation (Jenny Dadd)
Grantee: Royal Horticultural Society
Funding level: £295,000
Issue focus: Sustainable communities
Location: England

Solar and turbines

Funder: Polden-Puckham Charitable Foundation (Christine Oliver)
Grantee: Counter Balance
Funding level: £20,000
Issue focus: Energy, Trade and finance
Location: Europe

Biodiversity Media Initiative

Funder: Arcadia (Gerardo Fragoso, Francesca McGrath & Emma McIntosh)
Grantee: Earth Journalism Network of Internews
Funding level: £250,000–£500,000
Issue focus: Biodiversity and species preservation
Location: International

Ending logging in the Bialowieza Forest

Funder: Global Greengrants Fund UK
Grantee: Pracownia na rzecz Wszystkich Istot (Workshop for All Beings)
Funding level: $14,588
Issue focus: Terrestrial ecosystems and land use
Location: Poland

Amazon conservation

Funder: Savitri Waney Charitable Trust (Devika Waney Mokhtarzadeh)
Grantee: Rainforest Alliance, Brazil’s Indigenous People’s Articulation (APIB), Amazon Watch and the Boa Foundation
Funding level: £50,000
Issue focus: Terrestrial ecosystems and land use
Location: Amazon rainforest

Protecting Biodiversity of Redonda Island

Funder: Taurus Foundation
Grantee: Fauna & Flora International – Redonda Restoration Project
Funding level: £40,000
Issue focus: Biodiversity and species preservation
Location: Redonda Island, Antigua

Protection of the Blue Throated Macaw

Funder: Kevin and Donna Cox
Grantee: Asociación Armonía (BirdLife Bolivia)
Funding level: £50,000–£100,000 (initially); £10,000 p/a (ongoing)
Issue focus: Biodiversity and species preservation
Location: Bolivia

Fungi Research-Kew

Funder: Esmée Fairbairn Foundation (Jenny Dadd)
Grantee: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Funding level: £561,000
Issue focus: Biodiversity and species preservation
Location: England

Scottish bottle recycling scheme

Funder: Craignish Trust (Caroline Younger)
Grantee: Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland (APRS)
Funding level: Less than £10,000
Issue focus: Consumption and waste
Location: Scotland

Community Protection of Kahuzi Biega Forest

Funder: Global Greengrants Fund UK
Grantee: Kivu Indigenous Peoples Movement
Funding level: $5,000
Issue focus: Terrestrial ecosystems and land use
Location: Democratic Republic of the Congo

The role of toxins in otter reproduction

Funder: Esmée Fairbairn Foundation (Jenny Dadd)
Grantee: CHEM Trust
Funding level: £788,700 to CHEM Trust overall, over several years
Issue focus: Toxics and pollution
Location: UK

Blue Ventures

Funder: The Rufford Foundation (Simon Mickleburgh)
Grantee: Blue Ventures
Funding level: £250,000–£500,000
Issue focus: Coastal and marine ecosystems
Location: Africa, Asia and Latin America

Extinction Rebellion's April 2019 Rebellion

Funder: Gower Street (Sophie Marple)
Grantee: Extinction Rebellion
Funding level: £10,000
Issue focus: Climate and atmosphere
Location: England

Protect fish stocks

Funder: Frederick Mulder Foundation (Frederick Mulder)
Grantee: Planet Tracker
Funding level: £25,000
Issue focus: Coastal and marine ecosystems, Trade and finance
Location: International

Funder: Over forty foundations and individual donors
Grantee: Over thirty in the UK and abroad
Funding level: Up to £25,000 per project
Issue focus: Multi-issue work
Location: Multiple locations

Building Climate change Awareness and Expertise

Funder: Anonymous
Grantee: Anonymous (Scotland-based)
Funding level: Over £1 million
Issue focus: Climate and atmosphere
Location: UK

Protection of the Ulcinj Salina, Montenegro

Funder: MAVA Foundation (Lynda Mansson)
Grantee: EuroNatur
Funding level: £250,000–£500,000
Issue focus: Fresh water
Location: Montenegro

Reintroduction of Beavers to Scotland

Funder: People’s Trust for Endangered Species, raised from multiple supporters (Jill Nelson)
Grantee: Scottish Wildlife Trust
Funding level: £100,000–£200,000
Issue focus: Biodiversity and species preservation
Location: Scotland

Action for Conservation

Funder: Esmée Fairbairn Foundation (Jenny Dadd)
Grantee: Action for Conservation
Funding level: £560,000
Issue focus: Multi-issue work
Location: UK

upporting Action on Waste

Funder: Orp Foundation (Sarah Oppenheimer)
Grantee: United Kingdom Without Incineration Network (UKWIN) and CHEM Trust
Funding level: Multi-year grants of £10,000 each
Issue focus: Consumption and waste, Toxics and pollution
Location: UK

Download the full publication