Philanthropy Must Stop Fiddling While the World Burns

Philanthropy Must Stop Fiddling While the World Burns

Organizations supported by philanthropy have unquestionably had a meaningful positive impact on our world and society. Yet everything nonprofits and foundations have achieved and everything we hope to do has been possible only because we could assume a relatively stable physical and social environment that makes long-term planning, investment, and commitment feasible. We have, indeed, taken this for granted, often working to improve this foundation, but always able to count on its baseline existence and durability. Without this, nothing could or would have been accomplished.

But what if the foundation is itself at risk? What should grant makers do when the social and political and environmental circumstances that have made our work and progress possible begin falling apart? Because, make no mistake, that is what’s happening now as a result of climate change. The damage to our planet is already burdening our political and economic systems, but these stresses will grow exponentially in the coming years — ravaging the lives of our children and their children for many generations unless we act to mitigate climate change now. One needn’t believe that global warming will cause the end of civilization as we know it to recognize the crushing demands it will put on our physical, economic, political, and social systems, with devastating consequences for everyone.

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Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy


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