Climate change is here to stay. Although what’s needed seems endless as the impacts will worsen in the coming years, I am hopeful. Since joining the sector four years ago, I have seen an increasing number of funders exploring new ways to address climate change.
As philanthropic support for this work expands, the sector is beginning to equip communities with the resources to leverage and hold government agencies accountable for the billions of public investments being directed to building resilient communities. We’re seeing funders create climate grantmaking programs or add climate investments into existing funding portfolios, and several are working with frontline organizations to support local advocacy efforts and develop workforce pipelines for wildfire resilience. Though these are hopeful signs, it is still not enough. Climate change is occurring at a much faster rate than climate-related investments and the percent of philanthropic dollars directed at addressing climate change is still a single-digit.
Northern California Grantmakers (NCG) and Philanthropy California statewide alliance efforts comes at the heel of growing threats and impacts of climate-driven natural hazards across the state, including the increasing frequency and intensity of wildfires, extreme heat days, droughts, and floods. While it is true that climate change affects everyone, Black, Indigenous communities of color, and rural communities are feeling the effects of climate change at an accelerated rate. These communities are experiencing everything from water insecurity to fallowed small farms, increased morbidity and mortality from wildfire smoke and co-pollutants, housing displacements, lower educational outcomes, and more.
Accelerating climate-related grantmaking and investments
Beginning 2022, NCG and Philanthropy California have reoriented our disaster resilience efforts to include climate equity. This reorientation recognizes that building climate-resilient communities are foundational to any socioeconomic and environmental progress that we want to achieve. As communities across California continue to face the consequences of climate-driven natural hazard events such as droughts, wildfires, and extreme heat events, our sector must broaden its philanthropic efforts to include equitable climate mitigation and adaptation. The ever-changing and growing landscape of climate investments from the public and private sectors means philanthropy has a critical role to play in ensuring these investments truly benefit people and communities that are disproportionately at risk of and impacted by climate change.
NCG’s north star is racial equity. We are committed to connecting and mobilizing philanthropy to build a region committed to racial equity. Together we can amplify solutions, connect and coordinate philanthropic investments, while working with and advocating for our frontline leaders as we work towards a climate-resilient California.
What’s new at NCG and Philanthropy California?
With our expanded focus on climate equity, With our expanded focus on climate equity, NCG has adopted a new climate and disaster resilience strategic framework centering racial equity and focusing on specific populations, geography, issues, and philanthropic strategies that require accelerated grantmaking and investments. This framework will help guide where we focus as we help bring along members and non-members alike to build climate resilience. Only through coordinated partnerships can we collectively address the growing threat of climate change. We look forward to engaging the philanthropic community on our expanded climate and disaster resilience efforts, including:
We’re thrilled to announce a new team member helping us accelerate our climate and disaster resilience efforts. Welcome to the team, Katie Oran! Learn more about what Katie will be supporting and how to connect here.
You can join NCG and Philanthropy California on June 30th at 12:00 noon PST for Ensuring Equitable and Sustainable Public Funding: Philanthropy's Critical Role. We'll dive into the action philanthropy can take to ensure an equitable distribution of public recovery investments. Register here.
I would like to end this (long) blog by inviting you to learn more about our work. Take a look at the beliefs guiding our work and learn more about what you can do to co-create an equitable climate future.