• Start at your convenience & finish within 12 weeks

  • Complete each of the 8 modules in 2 hours

  • Join a series of interactive online sessions with a group of like-minded peers

Why take this course?

With only 2% of global funding going to climate mitigation, the philanthropy sector needs to do more to respond proactively to climate change and champion positive societal change (ClimateWorks, 2023). 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. Interactive Zoom sessions accompany the self-paced learning. 

Louise Driver

Executive Director, Independent Philanthropy Association South Africa

"The course equipped me with valuable insights into climate challenges, preparing me for COP, and offered practical guidance on integrating climate considerations into funding strategies."

Anne Long

CEO, Greater Charitable Foundation

"This course had just the right mix of climate research, data and funder case studies to make it one of the most comprehensive and practical programs I’ve ever undertaken. Grantmakers need to think critically about how climate intersects with their work and the organisations they fund. In the words of one of the presenters – 'this fight is not an abstract fight'."

Nick Addington

Chief Executive, Willam Grant Foundation at William Grant & Sons

"The bite-sized content and the excellent resources made this a rich and enjoyable learning journey. The easy to consume videos are a particular highlight. I enjoyed connecting with peers and feel inspired to align our grantmaking to a climate-ready future across all our themes from health to young people!"

Florence Miller

Director, 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, 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

Programme Manager – Membership and Foresight, 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, 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.”

Sarah S. Alfadl

Founder & Chair, The Austelle Foundation

"As a funder with an interest in issues of climate change and social justice, I found the course to be a real eye-opener. I particularly value all the additional resources that were made available to us. In fact, I'm so impressed by the course that I'm encouraging the rest of my board to take the course."

Dr. Mpho Mary Hlalele

Philanthropy Partnerships Lead, Eurogroup for Animals

"An excellent course that was both engaging and packed full of critical (and fun) learning! With a vast number of resources and tools, thought provoking videos, and meaningful interactive sessions, it leaves me empowered and ready to use my learning to make my mark in philanthropy for climate."

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

What will you gain from this course?

On completion of this course, you’ll have:

  • A deeper understanding of how to support systemic solutions.

  • The tools to develop your own climate action plan outlining the next steps to integrate climate into your work.

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

  • Our course book summarising the most important content and additional resources.

  • A course certificate to keep.

Our course convenor

Co-President, The Club of Rome

Sandrine Dixson-Declève

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.

Interactive sessions

You have the exiting opportunity to participate in regular interactive sessions. These optional 1.5 hour online workshops focus on peer exchange, community building or thematic deep dives. The sessions are open to current students and alumni alike.

  • 12 June 2024 at 12:00 CEST

  • 17 July 2024 at 16:00 CEST

  • 19 September 2024 at 12:00 CEST

  • 9 October 2024 at 16:00 CEST (thematic session)

  • 6 November 2024 at 16:00 CET

  • 3 December 2024 at 12:00 CET

Course curriculum

Learn to integrate a climate lens into your foundation’s strategy as you work through the eight 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.

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.

Download the course prospectus for detailed infromation on the course:

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)


  • 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. 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 8 compact online modules. Each module takes roughly 2 hours to complete. You’ll have the flexibility to work on these self-driven modules at your own pace and finish them within 3 months. During the course you’ll work on developing a personal action plan for your foundation. The course also gives you a number of opportunities to meet your peers: You can take part in regular online interactive sessions. Upon completion of the online modules you'll receive a course certificate.

  • How long will the course take me to complete?

    You'll have 3 months to complete the online course. The time commitment for each module is roughly 2 hours of self-paced online learning. Every other month there will be a 1.5-hour interactive session. At the end of the course, you'll receive a course book containing all the key takeaways and additional resources from the online course.

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

    The course is online. You can work through the course content at your own pace within the 12-week timeframe and start when it suits you. The online part is complemented with regular live interactive sessions during the year. 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 discussion forums on the online platform.

  • What are the online interactive sessions?

    There are regular live online interactive sessions per year. Each of these 1.5-hour-long Zoom sessions are facilitated by Active Philanthropy staff. The sessions with fellow students and alumni give you the opportunity to explore the course materials and share your experiences.

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

    Throughout the course, 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. Contact us if you are interested in group discounts or a bespoke cohort.

  • What is the cost of the course?

    The course is now available at a at €798 per participant. For those who can't cover the regular price, we offer this course at a subsidised price of €498. 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.

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

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Thank You

Any further questions about the course? Get in touch!

Project Manager Learning Journey

Anneke Kirsch

  • About Active Philanthropy

    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.

The course is presented in partnership with:

  • About Philea

    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: