European Environmental Funders Group

This transnational network brings together funders active or interested in the fields of environment, sustainable development and climate change. Its fundamental added value is to provide a safe space for funders to network, exchange experiences, reflect on strategies, build synergies, and engage in both formal and informal collaborations.

Environmental Funding by European Foundations Vol. 6


  • Advance peer-learning on strategies for environmental grantmaking
  • Improve coordination and strengthen cooperation among environmental funders
  • Increase the level of philanthropic support for environmental issues
  • Share and build knowledge on funding for the environment


Focus areas

The network focuses on five core strands of work:

  • Networking
  • Environmental issues
  • Status of environmental philanthropy
  • Strategic outreach
  • Peer-learning



Aggregates intelligence on European environmental philanthropy to:

  • identify needs, gaps, overlaps, and where philanthropy can make a difference
  • provide inputs for funders’ strategic thinking
  • catalyse collaborations


This work is published in the mapping series: “Environmental Funding by European Foundations”:

  • Scans the policy horizon for emerging issues that may affect the environmental agenda.
  • Brings funders together and in dialogue with leading actors in the field, such as NGOs, think tanks, policymakers, industry, and others.


Network background

The process for the establishment of the network started in 2007 with a mapping of the grants of major environmental funders in Europe. The mapping project revealed areas of common interest and led to the official launch of the network in 2010. The network also reaches out to similar funders’ networks in Europe and other parts of the world. The network’s meetings are open to all funders active in areas linked with environmental issues.


Relationship with the SDGs

Understanding European philanthropy, and how its work relates to the Sustainable Development Goals, is essential when it comes to finding ways of leveraging existing and potential areas of synergy.

The work of the Philea’s Thematic Networks cover the entire range of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (even if they don’t always refer to them explicitly), which are a key part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The work of the European Environmental Funders Group touches upon the following SDGs:


Steering Committee (Chair, Stiftung Mercator)

Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer pour le progrès de l’Homme
Fondazione Cariplo
Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Cuneo
Oak Foundation
Open Society Foundations
Stiftung Mercator GmbH
VELUX Foundations, The
Related Events


Giulia Lombardi
Senior Programme Manager – Climate Collaborations
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