What we will work on

Aim 1: Catalyse collaboration

We will boost connection and collaboration among our members, enabling them to work together on projects and major issues.


By actively creating a sense of community amongst members, connecting donors, convening and supporting special events and providing mechanisms for donors to work together, we can support our members to achieve more as part of a powerful network.


To achieve this aim we will:

  • support member-to-member collaboration by:
    • convening signature events including the annual conference and field trips
    • connecting individual members with common interests
    • exploring collaborative funding models developing effective funder collaborations with clear objectives, including the establishment of annual plans and budgets, strong governance and adequate staff or consultant support
    • managing the our Project Clearinghouse, including regular reporting
    • supporting members to hold their own events and workshops
  • collaborate with other philanthropic organisations and community sector affinity groups and alliances either by playing a thought leadership role or as an active partner. We will do this by:
    • working with Philanthropy Australia, Australian Communities Foundation and others
    • exploring the potential to take a more international approach
    • where appropriate, convening collaborations on the big issues.
  • collaborate with specific sectors including different levels of government and potentially universities
    • to offer opportunities for member advocacy, especially as it relates to environmental philanthropy, in line with a new advocacy strategy.

Aim 2: Build and share skills and knowledge

Our members will have a much clearer understanding of environmental issues and effective funding approaches and will be more confident and skilled in their funding decisions.


By providing funders with a trusted and safe space to build their confidence and knowledge of strategies for impact and by providing access to experts with up-to-date information on current and emerging issues, we are equipping them to make the best decisions about funding. Sharing funding experiences and knowledge of what does and doesn’t work can rapidly build a more sophisticated and impactful philanthropic sector.

To achieve this aim, we will:

  • provide tools and resources to meet members’ critical skills and knowledge needs regarding both issues and funding approaches
  • continue to foster and use external relationships with experts and practitioners, including fostering the knowledge and experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • enable sharing of good grantmaking practice, experiences and outcomes by providing case studies and stories on platforms such as the website and newsletter
  • connect members to global philanthropic networks
  • explore the use of systems thinking, the Sustainable Development Goals and other tools

Aim 3: Raise the profile of environmental funding and investing

The broader philanthropic sector takes the environment and sustainability into account in its giving and investing decisions.

Sustainable cities


Australians are greatly concerned about the future of our natural environment, but many people don’t know how to put this concern into action. The AEGN can be a thought leader and work within the philanthropic and wealth sector to catalyse this concern into funding and investing for a sustainable world. To do this we need to raise the profile of what can be achieved by using capital for good sustainability outcomes and normalising the practice of granting and investing in the environment.

To achieve this aim we will:

  • partner with other philanthropic institutions and the wealth sector to promote environmental philanthropy and investing
  • develop and implement a strategy to research environmental giving trends
  • produce giving stories and case studies for distribution to the broader sector
  • build the profile of environmental grantmaking in the mainstream media
  • broaden awareness of the AEGN to non-environmental grantmakers

Proportion of donation revenue by Charity sector, 2016

Chart - description below
Environment highlighted and the top three causes labelled for scale.
Source: ACNC 2018 (2016 is the most recent year for which in-depth information on charities through Annual Information Statement data is provided).

Aim 4: Grow the amount of funding and investing for a sustainable Australia

Some $50 million extra funds will have been raised for targeted and game-changing projects and organisations based on May 2017 figures. The number of members divesting from fossil fuel industries and investing in sustainable development will have grown.


By increasing the amount of philanthropic funds given to environmental sustainability issues and by using philanthropic corpuses and other capital to invest in a sustainable economy, we can assist a rapid transition to a sustainable future. This will include impact investing and responsible investing across all asset classes.

To achieve this aim we will:

  • implement the Environmental Giving Pledge campaign including reaching out to all members and potential new donors to join the campaign. This will include a specific web presence, recording and sharing pledges and stories, and celebrating milestones
  • outreach to other sectors such as the social justice, health, housing and financial sectors by testing and developing a range of tools including a “climate lens”
  • offer a divestment and impact investment noticeboard and tailored or general workshops

Aim 5: Investing in innovation

Together with our members, we will be using state-of-the-art collaboration, information-sharing and funding tools and approaches.

Bike share


Using resources — time, talent and new technology, strategy and processes — as efficiently and effectively as possible is essential to achieving rapid transformation toward a sustainable Australia. We play a role in disseminating and facilitating innovative techniques and opportunities.

To achieve this aim we will:

  • showcase innovative approaches to achieving sustainability
  • use technology to improve philanthropic collaboration. This will include building a new website with a digital platform for members to communicate with each other, along with other digital communication tools
  • develop an approach to measure environmental grantmaking impact
  • use new network thinking (a subset of systems thinking) and design in all that we do