There is an inextricable relationship between social issues and environmental ones. From land lost to flooding and erosion to poisonous air destroying our quality of life, the knock-on effects of the damage we’re inflicting on our eco system will have the greatest impact on the poorest people on our planet.

Philanthropy needs a better understanding of how people are affected by this interplay of environmental and social impact. At NPC, we’re keen to support funders navigate this challenge. Last month we held the latest in our drop-in sessions for philanthropists and funders, this time debating how everyone should consider the environment in their funding, not just environmental funders.

We spent a lot of time discussing the responsibility philanthropists and funders have to consider the environmental impact of their investments and endowments, regardless of whether they have an environmental mission.

One attendee asked how they could start a conversation about the environment with their grantees, especially where their grantees are not delivering environmental projects.

Trustees are crucial to this. Fundraisers arguably have the least influence when it comes to encouraging environmental and sustainable practices, so it’s at the trustee level that these conversations should take place.

However, “the environment” has different meanings and connotations to different people. For some it represents the dangers of global climate change, for others it is the quality of their local environment such as air quality and food poverty.

This problem is not going away and there are huge opportunities for philanthropists and funders to wield their influence and their money to help mitigate the damage we are causing to the environment.

Read the full article about considering environmental impact in funding by Hannah Kowszun at Think NPC.