This is the editorial for our most recent special edition: Philanthropy, Climate Change & the Environment
Philanthropic behavior is far reaching and exists on many levels as a means to help others, from a small community coming together and raising money for a sick neighbor to a multinational corporation donating millions of dollars to a charity that aligns with their values. The question often remains: What motivates these individuals or entities to engage in this type of behavior and why? With regard to environmental philanthropy, the question is often reframed to understand the motivations of individuals contributing (either in monetary donations or time) to organizations / causes supporting the environmental movement (Greenspan, Handy, and Katz-Gerro, 2012). This Special Edition: Philanthropy, Climate Change, and the Environment highlights ongoing work in the philanthropic sector specific to the fight against climate change, and building a more sustainable future.
Given the urgency of the climate change crisis worldwide, a recent article highlights a shift among philanthropic organizations. They are more interested in making a difference in the world now as opposed to leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come (Williams, 2020). In this context, it is important, then, for scholars to recognize trends that have emerged in recent years around environmental philanthropy that can better inform organizations in pursuit of their mandate or vision.
As this edition of the newsletter gets ready for publication, PhiLab’s Atlantic Hub welcomes a new Director as of December 1st, 2020. Dr. Kelly Vodden is the Associate Vice-President of Research and Graduate Studies at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Professor (Research) with the Environmental Policy Institute. She also serves as a Research Associate and advisor to Municipalities of Newfoundland and Labrador, a board member with the Indian Bay Ecosystem Corporation, and a former board member with the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation. Kelly’s research and publications relate to governance and sustainable community and regional development, with a focus on rural, coastal, often natural resource-dependent communities. Dr. Vodden has worked on issues surrounding sustainability and community development for many years and has a wide range of experience in community-based research.
Dr. Vodden is currently engaged in national and sub-national regional projects looking at philanthropy and its impact on rural Canada – with one project specifically investigating environmental philanthropy in Newfoundland and Labrador. This is a great time to welcome Dr. Vodden as the director of the PhiLab Atlantic Hub as her work directly contributes to this edition of the newsletter.