• Eight week online course

  • 1.5 hours of learning per week

  • Five 1.5 hour interactive Zoom sessions

Why take this course?

Increasingly, climate change and our response to it is taking centre stage at all levels of society.

With only 2% of funding going to climate mitigation, the philanthropy sector needs to do more to respond proactively to climate change and champion positive societal change (ClimateWorks, 2021). By taking this Climate + Philanthropy online short course, you’ll gain the insights needed to drive the change for a more regenerative and prosperous future – from within your foundation and beyond. Guided by over 20 industry experts, you will explore how to align your grantmaking, operations and investing with climate action, and become a driver for change in your network.

The course comprises a multimedia composition of texts, videos, visuals and infographics, structured in modules with bite-sized lessons. Five interactive Zoom sessions accompany the self-paced learning. 

Florence Miller

Director at Environmental Funders Network

"I think the way you've put the course together is absolutely fantastic - it's of such high quality, so engaging, interactive, digestible. Really brilliant."

Jon Cracknell

Director at The Hour Is Late

"Integrating climate action into your work can feel daunting. This course will give you the confidence to take effective action. It will help you situate yourself in the wider ecosystem of climate philanthropy and equip you with the skills and expertise needed to take immediate next steps."

Alina Shenfeldt

Anticipate and Membership Team at Philea

"It was a fantastic opportunity to partipate in this course. I just loved it. I learnt so much, and feel so empowered to push for more climate action in philanthropy."

Stephen Chamberlain

Head of Philanthropy at Sussex Community Foundation

“I was blown away by the whole package. The interactive content of the course is top notch and goes much deeper than I was expecting when I signed-up. The case studies provide great practical advice and moved my personal knowledge on to a huge degree.”

Our upcoming start dates

The course is offered in repeating cycles with one cohort of maximum 30 participants always starting at the same time and staying together as a group along the course.

What will you gain from this course?

On completion of this course, you’ll have:

  • A climate action plan outlining the next steps to take to integrate climate into your work.

  • Insight into how your foundation can better support projects that will shift the political dial.

  • A supportive community of like-minded peers to continue your climate journey with.

  • A course certificate upon successful completion of the course.

Want to join but none of the dates work?

Add your email to our mailing list to be the first to know when new course intakes are launched.

Thank You

Join Climate + Philanthropy

Learn strategies from 20+ climate and philanthropy experts to help get to a place of action faster.

Is this the right course for me?

This course is for everyone who wants to take an active role in integrating climate change into their foundation's work.

It explores the fundamentals of climate change, the impacts of the crisis on your philanthropic work, and opportunities to drive change in three main areas; your operations, your grantmaking and your investments. No prior knowledge in sustainability or climate is needed. And if you have some prior experience in these topics you’ll be able to build on what you already know while gaining new insights into the relationship between climate change and philanthropy.

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4 out of 5 people in philanthropy believe climate change will be the dominant issue in the sector in the next 25 years, no matter your current area of funding.

(Alliance magazine, 2021)

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Our course convenor

Sandrine Dixson-Declève

Co-President, the Club of Rome

Sandrine Dixson-Declève is an international and European climate, energy, sustainable development, sustainable finance, complex systems thought leader. She is currently the Co-President of the Club of Rome and divides her time between lecturing, facilitating difficult conversations and advisory work. In her recent TED talk, she shares what we've learned in the 50 years since the publication of the “Limits to Growth” report, and discusses the launch of Earth4All. Sandrine recently published “Quel Monde Pour Demain” lucpire editions and was recognised by GreenBiz as one of the 30 most influential women across the globe driving change in the low carbon economy and promoting green business.

Watch the video to find out more about the course from Sandrine Dixson-Declève:

Course curriculum

Learn to integrate a climate lens into your foundation’s strategy as you work through the weekly modules of this compact learning journey.

  • Module 1: How did we get here?

    Discover the causes of climate change, and the key physical, social and psychological factors that are fuelling the crisis.

  • Module 2: What impacts are we seeing today?

    Understand the physical impacts of warming, the tipping points in the climate system, and the injustice related to the worst effects being felt by those in developing countries.

  • Module 3: What’s being done about it?

    Examine the current climate action happening at different levels: From the international stage, to national governments, businesses, civil society, and the philanthropic sector.

  • Module 4: Decarbonising operations and intersectional funding opportunities

    Explore how to decarbonise operations, and examine how pioneering foundations are driving change to respond to the needs of a world vulnerable to the climate emergency while delivering on their foundation’s mission.

  • Module 5: Creating a climate-aligned grantmaking strategy - Scoping out the journey ahead

    Discover the journey that foundations need to take to create a climate-aligned grantmaking strategy. Identify some of the key levers for generating lasting change, some first steps for climate-aligned grantmaking and map out the climate philanthropy landscape.

  • Module 6: Creating a climate-aligned grantmaking strategy - Finding your role to play

    Identify the role that your foundation can play in working to tackle the climate crisis. Looking at what others are already doing in the climate philanthropy space, assessing your foundation's risk appetite, resources and how to iterate as you go.

  • Module 7: Responsible investments

    Reimagine how a foundation’s endowment portfolio can be invested for the benefit of the planet.

  • Module 8: Leading wider change

    Discover the wider impact your foundation can have as well as the role that you personally can play in leading the change needed.

Want to know more?

You can also add your email to the mailing list to get the latest updates on our upcoming course intakes.

Thank You

Join the course and participate in five interactive sessions

Build a new, supportive community of like-minded peers to collaborate with.


  • What will I get out of this course?

    The course will provide you with a solid foundation on climate change basics, knowledge of how it intersects with philanthropy, and how to craft the first steps for your organisation to adequately respond to the crisis. You’ll come out with the expertise to begin aligning your operations, grantmaking, and investing with climate action, and become a driver proponent of change within your sphere of influence. You’ll learn from over 20 industry experts and be invited to join interactive sessions where you’ll build meaningful connections with a community of peers while being supported by coaches trained in design thinking and innovation. By the end of the course, you’ll have developed a bespoke action plan describing the first steps you’ll take within your organisation to drive change.

  • What is the structure of the course? How do I get a certificate?

    The course is structured in eight compact online modules, released weekly. Each module takes roughly 1.5 hours to complete. You’ll have the flexibility to work on these self-driven modules at your own pace. During the course you’ll work on developing a personal action plan for your foundation. You’ll also be invited to participate in five 1.5-hour-long online interactive sessions facilitated by expert coaches where you can work closely with others who are taking the course. You can engage with your community of peers in an online forum. Upon completion of the online modules and if you have participated in at least three out of the five interactive sessions you'll receive a course certificate.

  • How long will the course take me to complete?

    This is an eight-week course. The time commitment for each week is roughly 1.5 hours of self-paced online learning. Every other week there will be a 1.5-hour interactive sessions. Dates and time of the interactive sessions can be viewed under each course. After the end of the course you'll be able to access the online content for another eight weeks to go back to what you have learned or complete any lessons that you didn't have time to take.

  • Is the course online or in-person? What are the technical requirements?

    The course is online. There is 1.5 hours of asynchronous learning a week (i.e. you can move through the course content on your own) complemented with live, synchronous interactive sessions. To take the course, you require a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, or smart device that runs the most recent version of one of the following web-browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Microsoft Edge for desktop devices, iOS Safari: 11 and up, Chrome or Samsung Internet for mobile devices. You also need a high-speed internet connection. For participation in the interactive sessions via Zoom you need a webcam and a headset or microphone.

  • Will I mix with other students taking the course? How big will the group be?

    Absolutely! Building a network of peers who are also working to drive change in their foundations is integral. We’ve set up live interactive sessions to create a space for you to meet and build relationships with your peers. You’ll also have the chance to interact and share feedback with them through weekly discussion forums on the online platform. Each cohort will consist of maximum 30 participants. Should there be less than 20 registrations we reserve the right to cancel the course and refund the course fee.

  • What are the online interactive sessions?

    There are five live online interactive sessions during the course. Each of these 1.5-hour-long Zoom sessions are facilitated by expert coaches. They give you the chance to explore the course materials and share your experiences with others who are taking the course. In these sessions you'll build deeper relationships with your peers.

  • What is the personal action plan I'll leave the course with?

    Through a step-by-step guided process, you’ll flesh out a climate-positive vision for your foundation and detail some of the initial steps for taking action. This action plan will allow you to synthesise learning from across the course.

  • Can I enrol my whole team or organisation in the course?

    Absolutely! This will ensure your team will be up-skilled to lead your foundation’s transition to become more climate-aligned. Enrolling team members from across your organisation with different fields of expertise and responsibilities will help smooth the transition and bring everyone on board to innovate and work together. Click on the button below the FAQ section to contact Active Philanthropy for information on group discounts.

  • What is the cost of the course, and are there any discounts? Do Philea members have any advantages?

    To cover the running costs of the course, a single seat is priced at 1498€. If you are staff of a Philea membership organization you may be eligible for a discount. Please reach out to us to find out. If you’re paying for 1 seat, you can pay online via the platform. There are a limited number of seats available for each start date (30), so we encourage you to book a seat as soon as you can. If you would like to join with a group of colleagues please contact us to make the most of a group discount. Since we want this course to be accessible to a maximum of organizations and also those with a smaller budget we offer a limited amount of scholarships. Please contact us to apply.

Enrol now to join one of the 2023 cohorts!

The online short course is designed by Active Philanthropy and presented in partnership with Philea.

Active Philanthropy supports philanthropists, donor families, philanthropic organizations and social investors who wish to engage in climate action. We offer expertise and expeditions to learn about the climate crisis, as well as opportunities and grant services for effective climate philanthropy. As a non-profit organization, Active Philanthropy is non-partisan and independent from governments, financial institutions and NGOs. We are funded by donations and grants from individuals and non-state organizations as well as service fees.

Philanthropy Europe Association (Philea) nurtures a diverse and inclusive ecosystem of foundations, philanthropic organisations and networks in over 30 countries that work for the common good. We unite over 10,000 public-benefit foundations that seek to improve life for people and communities in Europe and around the world. We are the voice of European philanthropy. Our purpose is to harness its immense multidimensional potential – including when it comes to fighting the climate crisis.

This course has been created with the generous support of:

Children's Investment Fund FoundationStiftung Mercator

This course was developed in partnership with: