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Climate justice in the field: An interview with the Hive Fund 

Group of protesters fighting for climate justice

With the climate crisis making headlines every day, the urgency of tackling this issue is clear. But for many in philanthropy, finding solutions to its complexity and enormity can feel overwhelming and uncertain. Without an understanding of how to begin creating equitable strategies to address its impacts, many funders are hesitant to even engage. But it does not have to be that way. 

Candid’s comprehensive guide, Centering equity and justice in climate philanthropy, details approaches that have worked for experienced funders, including how intermediaries can help funders get started and make progress.  

Recently we interviewed Erin Rogers, co-director of the Hive Fund for Climate and Gender Justice, one of the intermediaries featured in the guide, to share insights from the Hive Fund’s work supporting groups—many of whom have been historically overlooked by funders—that are playing impactful roles in scaling back dirty energy and speeding an equitable transition to clean, renewable energy. 

Using an intersectional lens to climate funding 

According to Rogers, one of the essential elements of a just approach to climate funding is to work in an intentional way to acknowledge and account for the way racism and sexism have impacted whose leadership is amplified and whose work is supported. In this video, Rogers speaks to the importance of working at the intersection of climate and gender. 

Working in solidarity to address today’s climate crisis

Several experts in the guide also emphasized the concept of grant support for movement building and the importance of mutual accountability with grantee partners. Rather than the traditional donor-beneficiary paradigm, today calls for funders to provide the kind of support that extends beyond the check. Watch this video to hear Rogers explain how funders can strengthen the impact of their climate justice funding efforts by “working in solidarity” with their grantees, and what that looks like. 

“What being in solidarity means, is asking, listening, responding, and then providing the kind of support that’s needed.”

– Erin Rogers, co-director of the Hive Fund for Climate and Gender Justice 

Learning from listening to advance climate justice 

As Rogers outlines above, a key way to be in solidarity with grantees is to take the time to connect and listen to them. Insights the Hive Fund gleaned from its recent listening tour with 60 grantees across the South helped to inform Hive’s grantmaking strategy to advance climate, gender, and racial justice, as well as how they show up as a funding partner. 

There is such an onslaught of issues that these groups are dealing with… One of the themes that we’ve really picked up on is the need for funders to acknowledge that collective care and well-being is a really important part of what’s needed to support all of this work.”

– Erin Rogers, co-director of the Hive Fund for Climate and Gender Justice 

In this video, Rogers shares what Hive learned from the listening tour that can inform how other funders can support this kind of work most effectively. 

If you found these videos helpful to your work, you can learn more from the guide, Centering equity and justice in climate philanthropy. This field guide for funders identifies common barriers to supporting climate justice strategies, describes ways to overcome them, and shares insights and case studies from experienced funders who have helped their institutions use a climate justice lens for greater impact within their existing grantmaking priorities. 


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