Our journey began with our research identifying a mismatch between the urgent and complex nature of climate change and how philanthropy was responding to the challenge. Traditional philanthropic practices have resulted in most funding going to small-scale, short-term efforts that fall far short of what’s required to resolve the crisis. We were designed to break out from that mold.
We need breakthroughs. Philanthropy can catalyze them by funding novel, high-ambition, high-gain initiatives that can rapidly reduce emissions on a large scale in a timeframe that matters. We were designed for this purpose.
Our philanthropic model blends elements from innovation-focused government programs, the venture capital sector, and successful civil society efforts. We stand as a strong catalyst behind some of the world’s most visionary strategists who are working to reduce global annual emissions by hundreds of millions of tons, affect entire industries or regions of the world, and materially change the lives of millions of people.
The state of our climate stands at a pivotal juncture. Join us to reimagine climate philanthropy that could change the course of history. Let’s be bold, let’s be ambitious, and let’s break through.
our values and commitments
Our mission is rooted in recognizing the complex and intersectional nature of the climate crisis and the necessary need to champion efforts that not only confront environmental challenges but also root causes of injustice. Impactful climate endeavors must intertwine the values of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in order to forge a lasting positive impact on the planet and humanity.
Core to our theory of change is centering our grant program around redefining the power balance between funder and grantee. By fostering more equitable relationships, we not only nurture trust but also give our grantees the agency to contribute their distinctive expertise to the collective pursuit of a sustainable future. We award large, unrestricted, multiyear grants. We are not directive about strategy. We have minimal reporting requirements. We provide tailored capacity-building support.
Our selection process ensures that we support grantees of varying experiences and backgrounds, pursuing a broad array of strategies to address the climate crisis to the benefit of people across classes and borders. Internally, our human resources management process aims to build an inclusive culture for our staff.
We continue to evolve on this long journey with an earnest understanding that the path to betterment is infinite. Through strategic partnerships, collaborative initiatives, and a dedication to learning and growth, we are committed to living our values to create a more intersectional, compassionate, and effective response to the climate crisis.
frequently asked questions
We are both. As an intermediary organization, we form a bridge between major funders and those creating change on the ground. Our funding partners are able to maximize their ability to support innovative and transformative climate action by investing in Climate Breakthrough. Our model for and expertise in identifying and supporting brilliant individuals to launch breakthrough climate endeavors is unique in the field. This offers donors a powerful opportunity to leverage their funding for maximum impact and our grantees (awardees as we call them) the chance to pursue their boldest ideas from a firm foundation.
In defining a “breakthrough,” we look at the magnitude of an initiative’s potential. We look for ideas that could materially change millions of lives and transform entire regions or industries to mitigate climate change. We are interested in strategies that present significant emissions reduction opportunities and demonstrate significant scaling potential. Strong potential strategies might leverage culture change, policy change, or economic change to combat the climate crisis.