All About The Catalyst Project


The Catalyst Project works with a small number of large donors to help each of them develop and implement a strong philanthropic strategy on climate change.

Most of our donors already have a major philanthropic commitment to other social or environmental issues, and are interested in building a tailored and effective giving plan.

We begin any relationship by trying to understand what elements of this issue interest the donor. We then try to find projects or organizations that can help the donor achieve his or her goals.

We are happy to act at any level of engagement – from simply brainstorming strategies all the way through to managing the grant making process. Donors make no commitment to us, and we make no attempt to control their process.

If a donor is interested in making a significant commitment to any organization working on climate change, we will help build a portfolio of commitments that match the donor’s interests and structure a giving plan that matches the donor’s desired level of involvement.

Our aim is simply to engage more funds in the fight against climate change, and we hope to ensure that such funds are used in the best way possible to achieve maximum impact. To date, our donors are giving to policy change, education, scientific research, economic analysis, convening, outreach, advocacy and institution building.

We are not interested in ownership of any strategy or credit for any initiatives. We do not charge the donor or the recipient for our work, we act entirely confidentially, and we engage for as long as necessary to get the job done.

Because our time is limited and there is much to do, we have to limit our in depth engagements to donors who are interested in giving away significant sums. In the last three months we have worked with donors on US $50 million of commitments, and we anticipate that we will advise on over US $100million of donations over the year.
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Climate change is not going to be solved by any one leader, government, organization or policy. This is a very complex problem that needs a complex response.

We will be more effective and save time if those working on this issue have strong, open lines of communication and forums where ideas can be exchanged formally and informally.

To this end, the Catalyst Project convenes small summits, retreats and dinners for leaders of organisations and other groups working on climate change. These aim to ease communication and cooperation between the various stakeholders and build common roadmaps for action.

Our role in these events is to provide the forum and facilitate the discussion as a neutral party. Given that organizations have their own complex agendas and relationships, in our experience this can be extremely useful. Crucially however, it is the participants’ responsibility to ensure that the sessions are a success.
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We will only be able to make the necessary social, economic and structural changes to our society if we understand what we need to do and why we are doing it. Most people will look to their leaders – political, social, business, religious, creative, education, and so forth – to help them navigate their way through the conflicting claims and complex issues associated with climate change.

A Date with the Planet evenings - hosted by The Catalyst Project - aim to build a strong foundation for change by educating a broad-based global leadership group on the major issues related to climate change. These evenings combine succinct, informative lectures from respected climate specialists with working dinners in which participants can craft collaborative plans for action.
Interested? Read more about A Date With the Planet