Mobilizing for Climate: What Role for Foundations?

Anne Monier, our Visiting Scholar from France who is spending 2 months with the ECI (until June 20th), will be presenting her research on climate philanthropy on Wednesday June 15th at 10:00 am in the Atmosphere Room. Her research aims at understanding the role of philanthropy in environmental issues, and in particular the mobilization of the European philanthropic sector for climate (see abstract below).

You are all invited to her presentation. This will be a hybrid event, so if you’re unable to join in person, please do join via Zoom or teams (a calendar invite will be circulated shortly). For those who cannot attend, please do not hesitate to contact Anne ( to meet with her at another time.

Research on climate mobilizations have examined the particularities of mobilizing for such an important, urgent and global issue as climate change. While the first mobilizations were conducted by environmental activists, the problem is tackled today by a growing number of actors in different sectors who try and mobilize to fight climate change. Among them is the philanthropic world. If foundations have been engaged in climate and environmental issues for a long time, philanthropic giving for environmental issues is still only 2% of total philanthropic spending (Morena, 2021). Moreover, climate philanthropy is a very understudied topic. This research, launched in October 2020, aims at filling this important gap by analyzing how the European philanthropic sector is mobilizing for climate, with a special focus on the coalitions of foundations for climate that have been created in different countries since 2019. Developing a systemic approach and using qualitative methods (ethnography; interviews; press, document and communications analysis), my project aims at understanding the mobilization and transition processes at different levels (sector level / community level / foundation level), the obstacles and catalysts of the mobilization, but also the role of symbolic aspects (images, ideas, knowledge, etc.) in the mobilization. To do so, my fieldwork relies on a collaboration with several national associations of foundations in the UK (ACF), France (CFF) and Spain (AEF), but also with transnational networks, at the European level (Philea) and the international level (Wings).

Ecole Normale Supérieure Alumna, Anne Monier holds a PhD in social sciences (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales), and is a Researcher at ESSEC Business School Philanthropy Chair (France). She has published two books on philanthropy (Nos chers Amis Américains. Une enquête sur la philanthropie transnationale, PUF 2019; and with Sylvain Lefèvre, Philanthropes en démocratie, PUF/VDI, 2021), as well as several scientific articles and book chapters. She also teaches at the School of Public Affairs at Sciences Po in Paris. She was a Visiting Scholar at different universities, including Harvard University, Columbia University and New York University.