At the end of the year, it is common to look back on the year to see how things have gone. And
in the world of philanthropy, this is no different. The year 2022 was a time for people to share
their generosity with those less fortunate, and philanthropists certainly sent their money in a few
different directions. But when all was said and done, 2022 was a time for people to take stock of
the current situation with the environment and to do something about it.
One big need where philanthropy is concerned is with the climate. After disastrous hurricanes,
wildfires, droughts, and other extreme weather, it is clear that climate change is real, and the
timeline is shorter than most people would like. Many people are putting money into
organizations that are willing to face climate change head on, so that the world will have a
fighting chance to stave off the debilitating effects of climate change.
ClimateWorks Foundation president and CEO Helen Mountford said, “For philanthropy, this
means getting more funds faster to the big opportunities to limit warming, while also ensuring
people affected by climate impacts now can build resilience. Philanthropic investment in climate
action has been rapidly increasing in the last few years, and I expect this momentum will
continue to build. Funders will seek to work more collaboratively than ever and expand their
reach to explore investments in new geographies, sectors, and intersectional approaches that
leverage the power of collective action to improve people’s lives.”
With many people working toward a common goal, they are more likely to meet their mark. And
one other fact that has come to light in terms of the climate is that many other social justice
areas are intertwined with and related to the climate. The Rockefeller Foundation is another
example of an organization trying to save the environment and also see how it relates to other
areas of need.
“We have spent much of this year listening and learning—especially with women, youth,
Indigenous people, and those whose voices are too often underrepresented in conversations
about climate change, and who are most impacted by it,” said Elizabeth Yee, the Rockefeller
Foundation’s executive vice president for global programs, who is also spearheading the new
climate strategy. “We’ve been thinking deeply about how the foundation’s strengths can
accelerate action in these critical areas.”
As all roads lead to the issues of climate change, philanthropists are also looking at how low–
income communities or those of color are impacted disproportionately when it comes to
environmental factors. As of late August, 36 foundations had joined the Donors of Color
Network’s Climate Funders Justice Pledge. This is a commitment that companies make to give
at least 30 percent of their funding to BIPOC–led groups such as Solidaire Network, Energy
Foundation Climate Initiative, and the Christensen Fund.
In November, Amazon and the U.S. Agency for International Development also initiated a $56
million public–private partnership to deal with gender inequities in the climate finance ecosystem
and ensure female entrepreneurs had equal resources to create positive change and climate
According to Adnan Zai, Advisor to Berkeley Capital. “The environment needs to be a primary
concern for philanthropists. If we as a society cannot get a handle on that, then nothing else will
With the help of generous people and their funding, 2022 was a year to take strides in the right
direction in order to avoid a true climate crisis. Let’s hope this momentum continues.