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Views from the field

Here you will find easy to read articles written by practitioners in the community foundation field based on their personal experience

Carola Carazzone,
Secretary General of Assifero & DAFNE Board Chair

Climate Solutions – we can not do this alone

Carola Carazzone, as a keynote speaker in the F20 Climate Solutions Forum, highlighted the importance of the local to global connections, the added value of networks, and the role that community foundations are playing, in tackling both the symptoms and the causes of climate change. Below is an extract from her thought-provoking speech (which can be viewed here).

‘Local dimensions today are more the ever directly intertwined with global ones. It is exactly at this intertwining of local and global – mutually reinforcing or mutually destroying – that lies a new horizon of power and impact for philanthropy networks. Collaboration and collective action among foundations and private funders cannot be yet taken for granted. This must be intentional. For centuries, solipsism in ivory towers, as well as egos and silos were – sometimes still are – our enemies in the philanthropy world.

Today we do know that to face the systemic challenges in front of us we need collective action. No single hero, no single genius, no single country, no single foundation (even a giant foundation) can bring about the required change alone. If we want to enlarge the resources available to face climate change, if we want to accelerate learning process and avoid losing precious time in reinventing the wheel, if we want to scale collective impact, if we want to enable influence on public policies, we need to intentionally and strategically invest in philanthropy networks.

I am impressed of the vision and capacity of F20. The platform that F20 is offering us is a unique and extremely relevant new horizon of engagement and participation and impact towards the Agenda 2030. Allow me to mention two initiatives of European Networks that can contribute enormously in the coming years, and which have connected and evolved through collaboration with F20.

Two years ago, thanks to initiative of national association of foundations initiated in the UK with support from ACF (subsequently taken up in France and Spain through CFF and AEF, and recently here in Italy through Assifero), Dafne established the European Philanthropy Coalition for Climate and then scaled the Funder Commitment to global a global level through WINGS, to become the International Philanthropy Commitment on Climate Change. A funders commitment is a pledge open to public scrutiny and it is of course just a starting point (not an end in itself) to call to action a movement of private foundations and funders committed to embed climate lens in their grantmaking, in the management of their endowments, in their communications and in their operations, regardless of the sector or mission they work or size.

Community Foundations have a pivotal role to play for climate and for the 2030 Agenda, as well as corporate and family foundations. With the Funder Commitments on Climate, we can reach the so called ‘moveable middle’, to engage all funders, any funders, beyond environmental funders that unfortunately are only less 3% of European private funding, according to the mapping that the EFC with others has recently carried oud across the continent.

The other initiative that I want to mention as an example of untapping the potential of  philanthropy networks in Europe is one driven by ECFI (European Community Foundation Initiative) to connect SDGs with the daily work of community foundations, through a ‘whole of organization approach’, integrating the 2030 agenda in 5 dimensions of their work and functions: Mission; Investments; Strategies Programs and Actions; Communications; and Own Operations.

My last call is about changing the how, the current dominant modalities of funding practice: if we want to have impact on the systemic challenges of our era, we cannot keep using the old funding modalities: the time of ear-marked, restricted project funding on linear lists of activities is over. It simply does not work to embrace the complexity and speed of today systemic challenges. Civil society organization need flexible long term mission oriented funding (Reference call to action: Debunking two myths)

ABOUT F20 CLIMATE SOLUTIONS FORUM 2021 “GREEN RECOVERY, SUSTAINABLE FINANCE, JUST TRANSITION: PUTTING WORDS INTO DEEDS” (29-30th September, Milan - Italy)

This annual high-level event of the Foundations Platform F20 (consisting of more than 70 foundations mainly from the G20 countries) was held this year in Milan, co-organized with its Italian members (Fondazione Cariplo, Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo, Fondazione di Comunità di Messina, and Fondazione Unipolis) with the support of Assifero (Italian association of grantmaking foundations), Acri (Italian association of bank of origin foundations) and ASviS (the national alliance on Sustainable Development).

The whole F20 platform advocated the G20 leaders to build global momentum in accordance with the Forum´s headline “putting words into deeds”. The group has also reminded the G20 Heads of State that the G20 countries are still off-track from their commitment to further align with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement.

F20 introduced a list of six key recommendations plus 40 detailed suggestions that further address the G7 countries, which F20 considers a subgroup of the G20.

ABOUT F20

The Foundations Platform F20 is a network of more than 70 foundations and philanthropic organizations from different parts of the world, calling for joint, transnational action towards sustainable development, along positive transformation examples to provide pathways towards solutions of today’s most pressing challenges – climate change and a just transition towards sustainable development, based on renewable energy. F20 wants to be part of the solution and builds bridges between civil society, the business and financial sectors, think tanks and politics – within the G20 countries, between them and beyond. The F20 platform takes a clear stance for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement. The F20 see G20’s multilateral processes and UNFCCC’s Conference of the Parties (COP) formal meetings as two separate pathways heading in the same direction. G20 summits address far more than simply climate and energy-related issues, therefore the F20 platform links to the G20 process with the 2030 Agenda as its thematic umbrella and common framework.

Find out more about the F2