ACF to host Funder Commitment on Climate Change

The Funder Commitment on Climate Change is to be hosted by the Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF) from 1 June 2020. The announcement comes as the number of signatories has grown to 41 foundations since the Commitment was launched in November 2019.

The Funder Commitment was developed by Nick Perks on behalf of a small group of foundations last year and was launched at the ACF conference. It contains six commitments that charitable foundations and other funders will take on climate change. Signatories commit to educate and learn about climate change; to commit resources to addressing the causes and impacts of climate change; to integrate climate change into existing programmes, priorities and processes; to consider climate change in investment strategies; to decarbonise operations; and to report on progress.

The Funder Commitment is open to funders working on all issues, not just environmental. It is based on the recognition that climate change is a serious risk to the pursuit of foundations’ charitable aims. All foundations, whatever their charitable mission and field of expertise, can play a part in addressing the causes of climate change and supporting adaptation to its effects.

The Commitment was launched at ACF’s annual conference in November 2019. ACF will now host the commitment and funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation will also enable ACF to develop tools and resources to help foundations deliver on their commitments.

Since its launch last autumn, 41 foundations have signed up including the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity and the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland. ACF will be promoting the Commitment to its 390 members and to others to build on the momentum so far.

Commenting on the announcement, Nick Perks said: “It’s a fantastic boost to the Funder Commitment on Climate Change to move to a permanent home at the Association of Charitable Foundations. It’s another signal of how climate change is becoming a mainstream issue for all foundations, whether their mission is about health, heritage or social justice.

“I’ve been hosting monthly calls for signatories and it’s great to hear of the steps these foundations are taking to respond to climate change. There is still a lot more to do, but this public commitment is already helping to drive positive action”.  

ACF’s Director of External Affairs Richard Hebditch said: “We’re really pleased to take on the hosting of the Funder Commitment. Alongside the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and its impacts have profound implications for funders in pursuing their charitable goals.

“ACF is developing our programme of work to help foundations think about what climate change means for their work, from grant giving to operations to investments. We hope this next step for the Commitment will help foundations lead the way on this vital issue.”

Foundations can sign up to the Commitment at this link.



The Association of Charitable Foundations is the membership body for UK foundations and grant-making charities. Driven by a belief that foundations are a vital source for social good, its mission is to support them to be ambitious and effective in the way that they use their resources.

Full Text of the Funder Commitment is available here.

The Funder Commitment was launched at ACF’s annual conference in November 2019. The full text of AFC Chief Executive Carol Mack’s speech is available here

Foundations who have signed up to the Commitment:

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Solberga Foundation
Gower St
Frederick Mulder Foundation
Paul Hamlyn Foundation
Zennström Philanthropies
JA Clark Trust
Friends Provident Foundation
Local Trust
Lankelly Chase Foundation
Barrow Cadbury Trust
Arcadia (A charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin)
Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust
Thirty Percy
The Blagrave Trust
Heathrow Community Trust
Power to Change
David Brownlow Charitable Foundation
Polden-Puckham Charitable Foundation
World Habitat
Kreitman Foundation
Sir Walter St John’s Educational Charity
Global Greengrants Fund UK
MCS Charitable Foundation
The Samworth Foundation
John Ellerman Foundation
Bulb Foundation
Hagan Family Foundation
Network for Social Change Charitable Trust
Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity
Comic Relief
OVO Foundation
Community Foundation for Northern Ireland
Sussex Community Foundation
The Southwood Foundation
Access - The Foundation for Social Investment
Wates Foundation
Wates Family Enterprise Trust
Treebeard Trust
Quartet Community Foundation

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