Helping Jewish Funders Step up on Climate Change

From eJewish Philanthropy (October 4, 2022)

Once a hypothetical thing to worry about, climate change has become impossible to ignore, and while its effects are not shared equally, it impacts all of us. I feel it even in my comfortable suburban neighborhood in New Jersey, where each year we have to prepare for stronger and stronger storms that disrupt our power, flood our basements and sometimes kill with falling trees and flash floods.

I’m proud that my organization, the Jewish Funders Network, is one of 20 founding members of the newly launched Jewish Climate Leadership Coalition. Not only are we recognizing that climate change is a matter of moral urgency, but each member has committed to developing and implementing a climate action plan for our organizations. For many members of the coalition, these action plans will focus on reducing the organization’s carbon footprint – and that will certainly be part of JFN’s as well. We’re already greening our annual international conference, including drastically limiting the use of paper, encouraging participants to purchase carbon offsets for their travel, minimizing food waste, offering more plant-based options and limiting the use of plastic.

But as a network serving more than 2,500 funders around the world — a group we estimate collectively gives away $6 billion annually — the most important thing we can do is help those of our members who want to channel more of their resources into climate change prevention and mitigation. We are not just encouraging our members to donate more to environmental causes, but, we are offering them resources to do so as effectively and strategically as possible.