Do you know what the climate and nature crises mean for your strategy?
1 August 2023 5 minute read
Embedding the social impacts of the environmental crises into your strategy
Join Liz Gadd to explore how to embed the social impacts of the environmental crises into your strategy
3. What skills, assets or networks do we need to utilise to address the environmental crises?
On reflecting about the impact of the environmental crises, your programmes may not change considerably. However, you may have skills, assets or networks that could be repurposed to support environmental challenges. Perhaps you already work with social groups who will be greatly affected and could help to raise awareness through your programmes. For example, according to research by the British Read Cross, people aged 75+ tend to underestimate their risk level, with over half (57 per cent) saying they do not consider themselves to be “vulnerable” to the impact of heatwaves, despite being at significantly higher risk. Therefore, charities supporting older people have a particularly important role to play when it comes to raising awareness.
If you’re a social funder, you might consider broadening your grant-making criteria to include supporting the social impacts of the environmental crises. Or offering ‘funder+’ support to your grantees, supporting them to access the information needed to consider how those they work with and for will be impacted.
4. What is your role in the ecosystem?
Whilst collaboration is not always easy, and often not easy for charities to fund, now more than ever we need to think systemically about our response, as a sector, to intertwined social and environmental issues. As a social charity, do you understand your place in the wider ecosystem in relation to the climate and nature crises? Where you might collaborate with other social charities to reduce duplication of effort, or with environmental charities to amplify each other’s messages? Please reach out to get involved in our Everyone’s Environment programme if you agree that we need to work together better to drive forwards progress, for people and planet, as a sector.
5. You don’t have to ‘get your own house in order’ before you can make an impact
Many social charities and funders feel that they need to ‘get their house in order’ before feeling they have legitimacy to speak on environmental issues. Often this is a focus on greening operations. This is, almost always, not the greatest impact you can make. Whilst every energy supplier decision and printing preferences set up counts, it’s small fry compared to the impact you can make through your mission and programmes. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
When you do consider your small contribution to the bigger transition of a post carbon economy, there are a wealth of resources and support available: Going Green Together, Growing Climate Confidence, Fit for the Future, and SME Climate Hub; DivestInvest, Share Action, and the Funder Commitment on Climate Change in the UK, and ACEVO’s climate and environmental leadership principles to name but a few. Funders new to environmental issues may wish to start with NPC’s ‘Environmental Philanthropy – Why social issue funders need to get involved’.
Funding the time and resources for social charities to embed environmental action into their strategies is a critical way that social funders can support the sector, alongside increased knowledge sharing and collaboration between social and environmental charities.
If you’re developing your strategy, NPC can help, please get in touch to explore your options.