Who is leading the initiative?
The Individual Philanthropy Commitment on Climate Change is a derivation of the International Philanthropy Commitment on Climate Change hosted by WINGS, which was itself based on the UK Funder Commitment on Climate Change, the first commitment of this kind. The UK Funder Commitment is hosted by the Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF). National Commitments have been developed by Canada, France, Spain and Italy.
The Individual Philanthropy Commitment on Climate Change has been developed by the Environmental Funders Network and the Beacon Collaborative, with support from ACF and WINGS, recognising the International Commitment or the UK Funder Commitment might does not suit all donors.
Who can sign the Individual Philanthropy Commitment on Climate Change?
We invite individual donors and philanthropists who give more than £1,000 each year to charitable organisations to sign the Individual Commitment, including those who give directly to charities, those who give via a community foundation or donor advised fund, and those who have a small, unstaffed charitable trust or foundation from which they manage their private giving.
I am not funding or working on climate-related causes. Why should I still consider signing the Individual Commitment?
The vast majority of individual donors and philanthropists do not currently work on climate-related causes. However, given the drastic consequences of global warming, no one can claim to be unaffected by this crisis, irrespective of their field of activity. We explicitly invite individual donors and philanthropists who are new to climate change and/or are primarily working in other fields of philanthropic activity to sign the Individual Commitment and take steps towards climate action under the pillars of the Commitment.
Some of the pillars are not applicable to me. Can I still sign the Individual Commitment and only commit to action on selected pillars?
We believe that there are many levers for climate action open to individual donors and philanthropists and the pillars of the Individual Commitment reflect this multifaceted approach. We realise, however, that not all pillars are applicable to every donor or philanthropist. In these instances, we would ask signatories to reflect on why they cannot take action under certain pillars of the Commitment.
Taking action under all seven pillars of the Individual Commitment at once is asking too much of me. Can I still engage with the Commitment?
Wherever possible, we ask signatories to take action under all pillars of the Individual Commitment over time. However, given the fact that many individual donors and philanthropists are new to the climate journey, we realise that this might seem overwhelming at first and that change doesn’t happen overnight. To get you started, we therefore suggest that you prioritise certain pillars during the first year (you decide which ones are best suited to you) and focus on integrating climate consideration into your activities under your chosen pillars. After one year, we will ask you to report on the progress you have made under these pillars and to consider how you plan to address the remaining pillars in the following year.
What does the process of signing the Individual Commitment involve?
Here is a step-by-step outline of the sign-up process:
Step 1: Signing the Individual Commitment online
When you click the button marked “ Sign” you will be asked for your name and email address, and if you would like your name or foundation to appear on the Individual Commitment signatory list or to be listed as “anonymous”. We need your contact information to count you as a signatory and to send you the annual survey.
On signing up, you will also be asked to provide optional and anonymous information about your current level of annual charitable giving generally and to climate-related activity in a short survey. This information will be kept confidential and used solely to understand the total philanthropic commitment of signatories to the Individual Commitment.
Step 2: Online survey
At the end of 2022, you will receive an email invitation from The Beacon Collaborative to take a short online survey about your progress as a signatory to the Individual Commitment. The survey will be anonymous and will provide an overview of the progress being made by signatories.
Step 3: Online consent to join educational events
We are committed to supporting signatories on their journey to climate action. On completion of the survey, you will be asked if you would like to attend events designed to inform and encourage signatories to the Commitment. If you click “yes” you will be redirected to the website of the Environmental Funders Network where you will be asked to provide your name and email address so you can receive invitations to these events.
What happens once I have signed the Individual Commitment?
Signing the Individual Commitment is only the first step on the journey towards climate action. We invite you to join a fast-growing community of signatories from around the world and share learnings, resources and experiences with their peers. The Environmental Funders Network has produced a resource pack that you can download here to get you started. The Environmental Funders Network can also invite you to attend events designed to inform and encourage signatories to the Commitment to develop their practice. If you would like to attend these events, please click “yes” when you sign the commitment and you will be redirected to the Environmental Funders Network website to sign up.
What does the annual survey entail?
We will be developing a short annual online survey for signatories of the Individual Commitment that you will be asked to complete at the end of 2022. The survey will include approximately 10 short, multiple-choice questions. Its primary objective is to understand how signatories are driving change. We will also use the results to facilitate learning, share good practices and allow signatories to identify areas for self-improvement.
All individual donors and philanthropists who sign the Individual Commitment in 2021 will be asked to complete the survey at the end of 2022.
I am keen to sign the Individual Commitment but would like to remain anonymous. Is this possible?
If you wish to remain anonymous, please tick this option on the sign up form. The number of anonymous signatories will be indicated on the website, appearing alongside those who are happy to be named.
Are there any costs associated with signing the Commitment?
It is free for to sign the Individual Commitment and we offer accessible support structures and free resources.
How does the Individual Philanthropy Commitment on Climate Change relate to the international national climate commitments?
The Individual Commitment is part of the same broad movement that includes the International and National Philanthropy Commitments on Climate Change for foundations and funders.