Our pledge to transparency: climate justice and power-building grantmaking

Blog Post Justice & Equity
Published April 15, 2022

Jessica Brown

Senior Director, Adaptation and Resilience

Philanthropy can be a transformative force to tackle the challenges we face in a warming world by advancing equitable, inclusive, and just solutions. Understanding where climate funding is directed is fundamental to identifying gaps and opportunities for action.

To support increased grantmaking focused on climate justice and power-building, ClimateWorks Foundation has committed to the transparency portion of the Donors of Color Network’s (DOCN) Climate Funders Justice Pledge. We are honored to support this campaign, which aims to shift more philanthropic support toward racial and economic justice within the United States.

ClimateWorks’ grantee network includes organizations that advance climate solutions in over 50 countries, including the United States. As a global organization, most of our grants are distributed outside the U.S. In 2020 and 2021, ClimateWorks grants for U.S.-focused work represented 10 percent and 25 percent of our total global giving, respectively. According to a survey of our grantees that received grants for U.S.-based work, four percent of our U.S. grantmaking in 2020 and 2021 went directly to organizations meeting DOCN’s criteria.

We are committed to increasing the amount of funding we provide to climate justice organizations working to end the climate crisis, both in the U.S. and internationally, and working with our funders and partners to direct funding where it is most needed and most effective. Better understanding the makeup of our grantmaking is essential for how we move forward. We also hope our step toward increased transparency encourages other climate funders to do the same, as we have been inspired by the other organizations in this pledge.

Our participation in the Climate Justice Funders Pledge is part of a broader set of commitments that ClimateWorks has made to foster racial and social justice in pursuit of our mission and to integrate justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion into all that we do as an organization. In addition to supporting justice-oriented grantmaking through our established programs and strategies, which we anticipate will grow in the years to come, we have also established a new standalone fund to advance justice. Last year, we kicked this off with a $1.0 million fund for grants to climate justice and power-building organizations that support grassroots climate solutions. We have tripled the fund to $3.0 million in 2022.

Learn more about racial and social justice at ClimateWorks here.