Climate Philanthropy

‘Climate law centre, wildlife protection, citizen scientists and dark skies receive strategic support’

Irish philanthropic giving on climate and nature is growing faster than global trends and is providing strategic support to communities and key projects, including in the areas of law and policy, according to a new report by Community Foundation Ireland.

Invest In Our Planet: Launching new figures showing growth in philanthropy to climate and nature, Broadcaster Eileen Dunne, Minister Eamonn Ryan TD, Chief Executive of Community Foundation Ireland, Denise Charlton and Foundation Chair, Roddy Rowan.

‘Investing In Our Planet’, an analysis of climate and biodiversity grant-making by the Foundation shows that €3m will be provided to communities and projects this year – an increase from just over €250,000 in 2020.

The figure is expected to represent 15% of all grant-making by the Foundation this year. Globally it is estimated that giving towards combatting the climate emergency accounts for 2% of all philanthropy.

The Community Foundation says while the growth has been from a low base, it has been accelerating due to increasing interest both from private philanthropists as well as corporate partners.

The Foundation uses its connectivity to communities, advocates and campaigners to identify where its input can be both strategic and impactful. Projects include:

  • Ireland’s first Centre for Environmental Justice expanding its work to increase awareness and to engage in litigation to hold public and private entities to account on their legally binding commitments.
  • A ‘Climate Clinic’ with Friends of the Earth to carry out an emissions impact assessment of the manifestos of political parties as well as a climate report card on Programmes for Government.
  • Empowering over 200 communities to formulate and implement local action plans to protect plants and wildlife – including red list endangered species, with a special website capturing all plans and recommendations.
  • Supporting Ireland’s first internationally recognised Dark Skies Park to ensure future generations will be able to view the night sky free from light and other interference generated by human activity.
  • Recovery and protection of bogs, including 90-acres of raised and blanket bog-land near Kiltimagh, Co Mayo through engagement with farmers and land-owners.
  • The piloting and evaluation of a junior level course for teachers and students to explore and reflect on global inequality, establish an understanding of climate justice and learn the root causes of climate change.


Publishing the analysis Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of Community Foundation Ireland said:

‘As a philanthropic hub pursuing an equality mission, the Foundation and its donors through our connectivity with 5,000 voluntary, community and charitable groups has always had an ability to identify emerging trends and challenges.

While climate and nature did start from a relatively low base in terms of donations and grant-making it is now very much on the radar of those who give.

We have demonstrated that the potential for Irish philanthropy to allow pioneering, strategic and impactful climate action is there – as is the demand from communities, researchers and advocates.

We encourage policymakers to look at the trends we are identifying in the context of the first National Policy on Philanthropy published last December, and to carefully examine potential partnerships between private giving and public funding to drive even more climate and biodiversity action.’


Note to Editors:

The Full Grant Analysis can be accessed Environment-and-Climate-Grant-Making-Community-Foundation-Ireland-2024

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