Strategic plan 2023–2025

For a world where people and nature thrive

AEGN strategic plan 2023–2025

Our new strategic plan details ambitious goals commensurate with the threats we face, and a series of bold initiatives to realise our vision. Our ultimate purpose? To grow effective funding to the environment and climate. 

Our strategy statement

By 2025, we will drive a rapid step change in effective giving to climate and environment by providing trusted connections and information tailored to our diverse members to maximise the impact of their giving. 

Our goals

As we enter this critical decade for action, our strategy focuses on growing our network and harnessing our members’ resources and influence in even more effective ways. 

We will do this in partnership with our members and other organisations and individuals by:

  • growing the amount and impact of giving to climate and the environment;
  • growing our profile and influence to be the go-to organisation for environmental giving; and
  • further strengthening our trusted, connected and respected organisation.

Our values

Our values guide how we work, partner, hold events and develop our strategy. We are:

  • Ethical in all we do
  • Respectful of our partners, practitioners, experts and each other
  • Collaborative in the way we work and recognise outcomes
  • Inspiring in our activities and outreach
  • Sustainable in our day-to-day work
  • Ambitious in our programming
  • Focused in our strategy
  • Innovative in our thinking
  • Acknowledging and respectful of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Will the world act on climate? Yes. Will it act fast enough? That’s highly questionable at this stage, but I think in the Australian context there’s some real hope out there. I like to think the good forces finally do win.

Robert Purves AM, Founder and Director, Purves Environmental Fund

Robert Purves AM

We know this is the critical decade for the climate crisis … I like to think that in these unprecedented times, the innovation and the thinking that will come out of it could be a positive.

Hayley Morris, Morris Family Foundation

Hayley Morris
Hayley Morris

Goal 1: Grow our impact

We will grow the amount and impact of giving to climate and the environment.

The wicked problems of today’s escalating climate and biodiversity crises are so complex that systemic change is the only way to restore planetary health and enable people and nature to thrive.

Philanthropy can catalyse the change needed to move the global system. Its financial resources — but also its courage, patience and agility — can provide a base of support that raises ambition and mobilises action within governments, businesses and communities. 

Give more, and more effectively

Despite the sector’s best efforts to date, we still face an enormous investment gap that must be closed by 2030 to spare the planet from cataclysmic warming and ecological collapse. With climate funding still making up just 2 per cent of global giving, we need far more resources to win. 

In sum, we need to give not only more, but more effectively.

Our new strategy = maximum impact

Over the coming years, the AEGN will work to rapidly build a more sophisticated and impactful philanthropic sector. We will do this by providing members with tailored funding opportunities — from large strategic projects to innovative start-ups — that appeal to specific interest areas as well as varying appetites for risk.  

We will support our members to make the best decisions about funding by building their confidence and knowledge of strategies and projects for impact, enabling communities of practice for better collaboration and providing access to experts with the latest information on current and emerging issues.

This will include continuing to build relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and providing our members with opportunities to grow their knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and cultures. In doing so we aim to encourage more effective and respectful funding of First Nations organisations and projects, acknowledging their vital knowledge of land and sea management, climate change, agriculture and food systems. 

We will optimise the Project Clearinghouse and Showcase — our premier opportunity for members to collaborate on funding projects — improving both member experience and real-world outcomes for our environment and climate. 

We will further develop our funder frameworks for nature and climate, providing the basis for funder group programs, small-group convening and one-on-one advice, and we will build and strengthen relationships between the community sector, First Nations-led organisations and funders — ultimately to drive a rapid step-change in effective giving to climate and environment. 


1.1 Identify what our members and partners need and tailor services to maximise their effective giving.

1.2 Optimise the Clearinghouse and Project Showcase. 

1.3 Create and amplify new effective giving opportunities outside the Clearinghouse to accelerate a substantial increase in effective giving.

1.4 Build and use funders frameworks for nature and climate change.

1.5 Implement new giving campaigns to grow the dollar value of giving.

1.6 Develop and share an effective giving guide. 

1.7 Build the capacity of NGOs to access philanthropic funding.

1.8 Develop our community’s cultural capability to better support and grow funding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.

Success measures

  • 75% of projects presented proceed
  • 65% of members increase effectiveness of giving
  • 25% of members give all funding to climate and environment
  • 65% of members increasing giving amount (over three years)
  • $550M by 2025 and $2.5B by 2030

Philanthropy has the ability to change perspectives and change systems, and when you bring people together, and they’ve got an issue or an area they really want to create change in, working collaboratively, you can really change the dial.

Jill Reichstein, past AEGN Chair

Jill Reichstein
Jill Reichstein OAM

Goal 2: Grow our influence

We will grow our profile and influence to be the go-to organisation for environmental giving.

The AEGN was established over a decade ago and today we have more than 180 members. Every year our membership has grown, as more and more Australians and international partners donate their time and money to protecting Australia’s precious natural environment and stabilising our climate. 

Grow our collective effort

There is still so much room to grow the philanthropic pool of funds for environment and climate if we harness all our networks to the critical collective effort. Our challenge — to avert climate catastrophe and create a better world — represents a historic opportunity. We believe you can seize it, and inspire others to as well.

By actively creating a sense of community among members, connecting donors, convening and supporting special events and providing ways for donors to work together, the AEGN will support our members to achieve more as part of a powerful network.

Harness concern, catalyse action

Over the coming years, the AEGN will work within the philanthropic and wealth sectors to harness  concern and spur funding and action for a sustainable world. To do this we’ll raise the profile of what can be achieved when capital backs climate and nature, and normalise the practice of effective granting and investing in the environment.

Champion change

 AEGN members are increasingly interested in using their influence in political and corporate spheres. By investing in a dedicated and well-resourced advocacy program, the AEGN will equip members will the skills, knowledge and opportunities to be effective champions for change. 

Bring corporates on board

The corporate sector is increasingly playing a leadership role in calling for and taking action to address climate and environment issues. We will create meaningful ways for the corporate world to support the natural world through our network —  to ultimately grow effective funding for environment and climate. 


2.1 Establish and implement an outreach strategy to grow the number of members, funders and partners (in all states) to achieve our mission.

2.2 Build the organisation’s profile as the thought leader on environmental giving, including through our conference and events. 

2.3 Help members to advocate and use their influence by developing a well-resourced advocacy program. 

2.4 Construct and implement a corporate membership concept.

Success measures

  • 50 philanthropy partners 
  • Advocacy effectiveness and participation
  • Geographic diversity of members aligned to opportunity
  • Brand sentiment and recognition
  • 400 members by 2030 and 255 by 2025

My wish is that the AEGN continues to expand, with its positive impact on the environment increasing exponentially as more of the philanthropic dollar is directed toward environmental issues.

Josette Wunder, individual philanthropist

Josette Wunder

Goal 3: Strengthen our organisation

We will strengthen our trusted, connected and respected organisation.

Using resources — time, talent, funds, new technology, strategy and processes — as efficiently and effectively as possible is essential to achieving rapid transformation toward a sustainable Australia. The AEGN will do its best work when our organisation is running as efficiently as possible and when members are engaged and connected with each other and to the AEGN.

Review, refresh, grow

To underpin the delivery of our ambitious new goals, and to grow the amount and impact of climate and philanthropy, we will review, refresh and grow our organisational capacity. This work will see us adopt a new organisational structure and expand our staff team and board, applying best practice processes and standards regarding remuneration, employment conditions, training, policies and good governance. 

Collaborate for collective impact

By its very nature, philanthropy is about working in partnership. Funders often work together towards shared outcomes; our role is to help facilitate this collaboration for maximum impact. Over the next three years, we will provide more opportunities for members to connect and engage both with us and with each other through face-to-face experiences as well as digital platforms. 

Fund the ambition

Extra funds will be required to achieve this ambitious plan. The AEGN will be calling on all members to ramp up their support of the AEGN so collectively we can reach our 2030 goals. 


3.1 Implement a refreshed organisation structure that gives us the capacity to deliver our strategy.

3.2 Attract and retain great people to our staff, Board and committees.

3.3 Improve collaborative processes for members, including facilitation and digital platforms.

3.4 Construct and implement a comprehensive fundraising strategy. 

3.5 Implement a CRM system to improve our effective engagement with members and partners.

Success measures

  • 85% renewal rate
  • Staff and Board retention
  • AEGN fully funded
  • Organisational effectiveness (including appropriate organisation design)

As a network, we’re increasing our confidence, coordination and influence to push more deeply and effectively at the levers of change.

Amanda Martin OAM, CEO, AEGN

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