Charitable foundations, like charities, come in all shapes and sizes. The largest typically hold hundreds of millions in endowments and employ dozens of staff, with the capacity to engage in policy, and the clout to shape civil society and even influence government. However, at the other end of the scale, many small family or regional foundations have an endowment of a few million pounds and perhaps one staff member working to a voluntary board of trustees.

I was chatting to the administrator of one such trust recently, about the Funder Commitment on Climate Change — an initiative that I established which is now hosted by the Association of Charitable Foundations. The Funder Commitment is designed to be a public statement of intent, for any foundation, whatever its area of focus, to take holistic action to address climate change across its grant-making, investments and operations.

The administrator was very keen on her foundation taking more action on climate change, but also was very conscious of the limits of their capacity, and the many other demands on the trust, and the time and attention of the board. Like many smaller trusts, they fund a range of good causes in a particular geographical area. “What”, she asked “can we realistically do?”.

I thought this was a good challenge, so I’ve put together a list of five suggestions:

  1. Talk about it.
  2. Fund cycling projects. 
  3. Green your building grants. 
  4. Divest from fossil fuels. 
  5. Make some virtual working permanent. 
  6. Tell people what you are doing.

Read the full article about funding climate change by Nick Perks at Medium.