German foundations edge towards joint action on climate change and gender equality


Alliance magazine


The German Association of Foundations has endorsed collective action on climate change and gender equality during its annual meeting held this year in Manheim.

Members approved a resolution to ‘act sustainably by taking responsibility for future generations’ at its general assembly in Manheim. The climate resolution, which formed a part of its ‘Principles of Good Foundation Practice’ calls on foundations ‘within the means at their disposal’ to ‘work in accordance with the UN’s Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to preserve natural resources…’ The resolution comes as a German-led group of foundations, the F20 group, travel to Japan to lobby the G20 to fulfil commitments to address climate change.

A separate resolution was also approved stating that foundations should ‘strive to implement gender equality in their work and to realize the opportunities offered by diversity’. However, an amendment proposing that foundations ‘implement gender equality and strengthen diversity’ was rejected. In a statement, the Bundesverband said it was committed to ‘invest the necessary additional resources in order to make gender equality a lived reality among all our members’.

The Manheim conference also saw the launch of a campaign backed by German consultancies Phineo and Wider Sense together with philanthropist Ise Bosch, calling on German foundations to be more diverse, participatory and share power.

Calls to improve the performance of Germany’s 23,000 foundations mirror similar efforts underway in the UK foundation sector, where the Association of Charitable Foundations has been praised for its Stronger Foundation initiative – a member led reform agenda to re-think diversity, transparency and responsible investment, among other issues.

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