After years of little change, annual giving from UK foundations for environmental work nearly doubled between 2015/16 and 2018/19, a hugely encouraging upswing. At £222 million, annual giving levels still have a long way to go to meet the scale of the challenge (this figure represents just 6% of total UK foundation giving in 2018/19), but our forecast indicates that the trajectory will continue to rise steeply. In this blog we summarise the key findings from the latest edition of the Environmental Funders Network’s 'Where the Green Grants Went' series, which examines environmental giving from UK-based foundations and lottery sources from 2016/17 to 2018/19 in comparison to previous years.
Given the urgency of the climate crisis and the shortfall in funding, current and prospective climate funders face extremely challenging decisions to ensure their grantmaking is as impactful as possible. Information on which particular issues, approaches and organisations other funders are supporting, and which are receiving less attention than others, can be very helpful to funders when making difficult grantmaking decisions.
With this in mind, EFN initiated a mapping exercise in 2020 to gather information on climate-related grantmaking from funders that participate in EFN’s Climate Funders Group. This blog summarises our key findings which we hope will be of use to current and potential climate funders.
In the summer of 2020, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation were considering how they could help tackle the climate crisis. They engaged us – Lucent Consultancy – to help with some background research and have graciously agreed that we can share some of our findings and thoughts here. This blog focusses on what we learnt about green funders’ grantmaking, as one of the main – but by no means the only – tools funders use to influence change.
EFN’s Forest Funders Group has developed a methodology for mapping forest-related grants. The aim is to profile the flow of forest grants around specific issues, geographies and theories of change, and in doing so help funders to gain a better sense of forest philanthropy in the round, and reflect on the place of their portfolios within it. This trial analysis of a subset of grants offers some tantalising points for reflection.