SHE Changes Climate
Campaign for stronger female COP representation
KF recognises that there is an acute lack of female leadership in decision-making spaces on climate action, despite the fact that women around the world are disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis and have the experience and tools to address it. The trustees are therefore pleased to support She Changes Climate, which campaigns to ensure equal representation in climate leadership in the UK and globally. We are partnering with this group as it seeks to build on its recent success in advocating for women to join the UK COP26 Leadership Team (previously an all-male group).
Carbon & Biodiversity: research and conservation of seagrass
KF identified seagrass as another underfunded but hugely valuable tool in combatting the climate crisis. As well as capturing carbon up to 35 times faster than tropical rainforests and absorbing 10% of the ocean's carbon each year, it is also vital to marine biodiversity.
We were extremely impressed with Project Seagrass's ambitions and made a core grant accordingly. Dr Richard Unsworth lectures at Swansea University and leads the Seagrass Ecosystem Research group. We felt that his years of global, collaborative research adds huge value to the project.
Carbon & Biodiversity: Peatland mapping project
We isolated peatland as one of the planet's critical carbon sinks and stores, as well as being of great importance to biodiversity. We also saw a huge gap in funding in Northern Ireland, despite 18% of NI land cover being peatland and 12% being blanket bog, raised bog and fen, representing over 8% of the total UK peatland resource. The first step in working towards restoring or preserving this land is in mapping it. To this end we have funded the equipment and training required to carry out a detailed site assessment with a view to drawing up partnership management plans with landowners for each site.
Nature Friendly Farming Network
Food Systems & Climate: uniting farmers to grow the sustainable farming movement
Over 70% of the UK is farmland and its management is key to a sustainable future. NFFN encourages natural and environmentally friendly methods of tackling the biodiversity and climate crises.
This grant was matched by the Big Give / RSPB and will help NFFN to bring on board more farmers and organisations to be part of the solution and influence farming practice.
Climate action and human behaviour: campaigns and community action
We really liked Possible's approach to combining individual and local actions with larger systemic change and made a core grant towards their work. They motivate people to take more ambitious action on climate change by focussing on five key areas; cleaning up energy (achieving zero carbon power and zero carbon homes), changing how we travel (swapping cars for public transport and active travel, planes for trains - and electrifying everything), changing what we eat and buy (switching to plant rich diets, ending waste), working with nature (restoring nature to lock up carbon and protect us from climate impact) and talking about the climate crisis (breaking the climate silence, and empowering everyone to understand the crisis we face).
Climate Justicec: core grant towards campaigns
This was a core grant towards Global Witness, matched by the Big Give. Global Witness seeks to defend human rights and protect the planet by stopping companies putting profit first. They shine a spotlight on illegal industry and report on the killings of those defending their land from forced seizure by corporations and governments alike. They track and expose the path of corruption, pushing for global change.
Sum Of Us
Climate Justice: campaign to protect the Amazon
This was a small grant to Sum Of Us's emergency response campaign to counter Brazil’s President who has always wanted to open the forest for mining and is now using pandemic chaos as cover to finally turn over thousands of acres of sacred Indigenous land and protected rainforest to mining companies. Although we rarely engage in this area of funding, the trustees were impressed with the campaign platform and reach and felt this was a good opportunity to protect the future of the Amazon.
Youth & Climate: schools pilot programme with a focus on measuring participants' carbon footprints
There's a huga gap in climate education, despite the key role students play (and will continue to play) in combatting the climate crisis.
Showing a solid strategy and understanding of the system in which they're working, Climate Ed aims to not only educate students but empower them to take action.
We liked that particular thought was given to eco-anxiety and the need for students to be given agency to do something about a problem they are effectively inheriting.
The focus of the pilot is not on effecting wider policy change but rather creating a quickly scalable educational model that can produce an immediate impact. It is early days in this space and we're really excited to see it evolve.
Just transition: rapid response project aiming to amplify the voices of ex-Heathrow workers and create more green jobs
Restricted grant towards emergency response project headed up by Citizens UK. Heathrow is the biggest single site employer in the UK - 114,000 people. Since the pandemic, it has been closed down, putting thousands of people out of work. As furlough comes to an end, many of these people want jobs whilst at the same time, London needs a massive retrofit program to become carbon neutral by 2030, for which thousands of people need to be trained and employed. A key moment for ex-Heathrow workers to create political pressure for jobs is the London mayoral election on 6 May 2021. The goal is to register 10,000 Heathrow workers and their families to join the Citizens Mayoral Assembly on 28 April 2021 and publicly call for 60,000 new green jobs from the candidates
(For full list, please view on desktop)
UKRAINE CRISIS - Emergency Human Rights Response
KF made a number of immediate emergency grants in the opening phase of the Ukraine crisis. This consisted largely of sourcing humanitarian supplies and partnering with trusted Polish and Ukrainian contacts on the ground delivering aid as far as Kyiv. We were proud to see one partner making it onto various news channels in the ambulance we co-funded (CNN clip available on request!).
Belief in this strategy was supported (and has been further reinforced) by ongoing briefings with a range of organisations. These include some of the major INGOs operating in Ukraine as well as orgs with pre-existing Ukrainian partners, who are sharing findings on the ground in order to coordinate and respond efficiently.
KF’s funding style (largely relational) meant that the team felt adept at safely making effective grants in an environment where partners were unused or unable to follow more traditional application processes. At the time of writing grassroots initiatives have been making the most difference and are increasingly coordinated. The areas of need (many longer-term) are becoming clearer - as is the role of larger orgs - and KF will continue to engage accordingly.
GIVE OUT - Emergency Human Rights Response
This was an emergency grant to Give Out and Rainbow Railroad in response to the unfolding crisis in Afghanistan. The trustees came across these organisations in their earlier LGBTI+ work and know them to be reputable, effective and well-respected.
LGBTQ+ Afghans will face extreme persecution and grave human rights violations, including torture and execution. Taliban judges have already vowed to sentence gay men to death by stoning or by being crushed by a wall.
The response incluldes work to:
Triage requests for help and offer advice to those at risk in Afghanistan. They have already received hundreds of requests for help and expect to receive more
Further develop their networks in the country and identify ways for LGBTQ+ Afghans to escape
Advocate for Western governments to step up and support LGBTQ+ Afghan refugees, including them in resettlement schemes
FARMING THE FUTURE - Food Systems & Climate
Farming the Future is a collaborative fund run by four leading environmental funders (at the time of donating) who were each focussing on food systems and realised that they could give more efficiently by pooling resources and working together. The fund aims to transform the industrial food system with a view to encouraging greater social and environmental justice. The fund has an excellent steering group and assessment process - in order to be successful applicants must work collaboratively.
IMPATIENCE EARTH - Movement Building & Best Practice
Impatience Earth, closely linked with Ten Years Time, 'helps donors respond to the urgency of climate change'. Whilst we are not actively working with either organisation, we liked their idea of asking foundations to commit to combatting the climate crisis by pledging a certain amount to the cause each year. To this end, KF pledged £70,000pa (very likely more than our natural income) for a 5-year period, with a view to increasing this figure as our knowledge and partner base grows. Hopefully this will help create momentum and encourage other foundations to do the same.
MOCK COP - Youth & Climate
The KF Trustees identified youth movements as a key strategic route towards combatting the climate crisis. This is a well organised event, with excellent post-event exposure to key COP26 players, including the British PM. KF felt this was a relatively small project with massive potential. The Trustees were especially impressed by the emphasis on ensuring that students from countries with less exposure at COP26 had more exposure at Mock COP.
Between the 19th November and 1st December 2020 Mock COP sought to fill the void of the postponed COP26 with a big, inclusive online Mock COP. The event was run by young climate activists and aimed to get between 3 and 5 delegates from as many countries as possible, with a focus on the Global South. The two-week event was comprised of empowering and informative keynotes and panels by global names and youth activists, followed by high-level opening statements by the youth delegates and facilitated workshops and regional caucuses. The discussions were framed around five conference themes: climate justice; education; health and mental health; green jobs; carbon reduction targets. The event culminated in a powerful conference statement to world leaders from the youth of the world, raising ambition for COP26.
KF's funding, whilst core, went towards subsequently supporting and mentoring delegates to engage their domestic politicians in the year to COP26.
HEARTS AND MINDS - Covid Response
Part of our Covid response, this is the UK’s only peer led charity and service for young people aged 14-25 experiencing mental health difficulties, unique in being a national community run entirely by young people with lived experience, for young people with lived experience, not attached to or led by statutory services, clinicians or larger mental health or youth organisations.
CHOOSE EARTH - Climate Justice & Environmental Defenders
KF entered a partnership with the Roddick Foundation and Choose Love, part of Help Refugees, which also hosted all the funds for the Kayapo Summit last January (an earlier KF grant).
The Roddick Foundation, Culture Hack Labs and Choose Love are working together with partners in Brazil; Fundo Casa, Mídia Ninja, and Articulação dos Povos Indígenas do Brasil (APIB) as well as 12 key indigenous leaders including Ailton Krenak, Sonia Guajajara and Dario Kopenawa - to create a step-change in international support for indigenous communities and the vital natural worlds they protect.
This fund will secure direct financial support for leaders and activists on the front-line at this time of acute stress in Brazil. Highly grantee-led, the fund is the result of conversations and collaboration between funders and Brazilian partners, including leading grass-roots organisations and respected visionary leaders from indigenous communities.
ECOLOGICAL LAND COOPERATIVE - Impact Investment
The KF's first direct impact investment, the Ecological Land Cooperative provides ecologically managed, off grid, low impact small farms ready for new farmers to produce good, healthy food for local markets. Sustainably managed small farms provide low-impact livelihoods, regenerate marginal land and produce good food for local communities, increasing resilience and improving the soil, ecology and biodiversity for future generations. ELC is supporting 9 new entrants to farming to make a success of their farm businesses. Investment is in Community Shares which are targeting 3% interest, so for the KF this is a direct impact investment.
OPEN KITCHEN - Food Systems & Climate
We were initially reviewing Open Kitchen as part of our Covid response however discussions unexpectedly led us towards a climate grant. Corin at OK has bold ambitions to help intercept edible veg that would otherwise not be harvested, taking advice and inspiration from Feedback's Gleaning Network. That food could then be sold (at reduced rate) to local authorities and other organisations with a social aim. The hope is that by supporting larger UK farmers, supermarkets etc won't move to buying abroad, which in turn would have a negative carbon and economic impact.
GLOBAL GREENGRANTS - Climate Justice & Defenders
Global Greengrants take a really interesting approach to protecting the planet and the rights of people by supporting grassroots-led efforts via a diverse community of people on the frontlines. As a relatively early grant for KF in the climate space, this seemed a good starting point and opportunity to learn from a more established organisation. We also liked how well they recognised the relationship between human rights and climate. Our target action areas were Climate Justice and Women's Environmental Action.
ALBERT KENNEDY TRUST - Covid Response
The short term impact of Covid had a couple of angles. Young LGBTQ+ people who were previously couch surfing or staying with older relatives were forced either to move back to a hostile environment or onto the streets. As well as providing emergency accommodation, AKT also sought to provide virtual support as well as a means of accessing that support (phones, credit etc) in addition to requests for funds for food, supplies and other vital needs via telephone or online. AKT has service staff operating in London, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bristol and Manchester with demand greatest in London.
COVID-19 FUNDERS - Movement Building & Best Practice
We became signatories of a funder statement organised by London Funders (though by no means exclusive to London funders) to say that we recognise that the Covid-19 outbreak is an exceptional event that will have an impact on civil society groups, and that we want to offer reassurance that we stand with the sector during this time. The statement shows that we are committed to:
Maintaining grants and adapting activities in recognition of the fact some of the outputs or outcomes agreed for existing grants may be hard to achieve;
Discussing dates – especially re reporting deadlines;
Financial flexibility – acknowledging funding may need to be moved between budget headings to ensure work can continue; and
Listening – we are here if they want to talk to us about the situation they’re facing.
DIVEST INVEST - Investment & Best Practice
The fossil fuel divestment movement encourages moving investments away from fossil fuel companies on the basis charities (of all institutions) should not invest in companies that perpetuate issues they're trying to address with their grant making. Whilst divestment may have little financial impact on those companies, it nevertheless raises awareness and hopefully prompts fossil fuel companies to make greater efforts to focus on renewable energy. It may also help give politicians a basis for action, not to mention redistribute wealth on a global scale. The funds divested will be reinvested in climate-positive initiatives.
Subscribing to this movement was free.
KAYAPÓ SUMMIT - Human Rights, Climate Justice & Environmental Defenders
The KF made a grant via Help Refugees to help the Kayapó tribe of the Brazilian Amazon to stage the largest meeting of its leaders in over a decade. Following the worst-on-record Amazonian fires and Brazil’s election of a hostile rightwing government, the Kayapó face unprecedented threats as a people and as custodians of 10m hectares of pristine rainforest. The need to agree a coordinated action plan to push back against encroaching loggers, miners and politicians was urgent. This summit brings together 450 senior figures from 80 villages, including 2019 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Chief Raoni. Funds will facilitate a complex logistical operation, ensuring a population spread across remote rainforest can speak and act as one.
FUNDER COMMITMENT ON CLIMATE CHANGE - Movement Building & Best Practice
A small number of founder organisations came together to create this concept which asks funders to commit to a number of steps towards incorporating the climate crisis into their work. Not all of these funders necessarily have the environment as a grantmaking focus but all recognise the need to 'climtise' their thinking. The Kreitman Foundation wholeheartedly endorses this process.
BATES WELLS COALITION - Movement Building & Best Practice
The focus of this coalition is to encourage debate surrounding whether charities' investments ought to align with their objects. We believe this is a worthwhile discussion and have put our name to it. Subscribing to this movement was free.
JUST LIKE US - LGBTI+ Rights & Young People
Just Like Us empowers LGBTI+ young people through a fantastic role model programme and their national initiative, School Diversity Week. Sitting in on some of this week, we were blown away by the amount of pro-LGBTI+ student participation and strength this must have brought LGBTI+ students.
The Kreitman Foundation contributed towards JLU’s core costs.
In June 2020 the Foundation extended this to a 3 year grant to better aid planning.
LIFTING LIMITS - Gender Norms
Our research identified gender norms as lying at the core of many of the challenges LGBTI+ children and young people face. Lifting Limits is a young organisation addressing these issues by targeting the UK curriculum, with ambitions to achieve change at a national level. We believe the impact of this will be huge not only for LGBTI+ children and young people but also for the broader children’s rights movement. Further down the line this would benefit society as a whole.
The Kreitman Foundation provided core funding during this pilot phase.
In June 2020 the Foundation made another one-off grant to help LL pivot in response to Covid and progress its mission.