How can you take action on Florida’s climate change and conservation?

Posted on March 1, 2019

By Carlos Batlle and Sharon Treiser, J.P. Morgan Private Bank, Naples

The relationships that societies develop with the environment are complex. In Florida, rising sea levels, warmer temperatures on land and in water, and changes in seasonal rainfall patterns and storm events have already begun to show their wide-reaching impact on the region’s citizens, businesses and community culture.

Private philanthropy

Private philanthropy has long been a driving force in addressing environmental issues. With environmental changes accelerating, private funders have scaled up their giving. Philanthropists are exceedingly diverse in their environmental interests, approaches, and geographic foci.

Altering the direction of climate change is a long-term effort with many short-term milestones. Within this issue area, philanthropists may find opportunities to raise climate awareness and increase engagement, inject creativity into solutions and accelerate promising technologies or evidence-based policy to combat climate change. Philanthropy can also play a critical role in driving consumer demand for clean energy and ensuring that proven renewable energy sources are adopted more broadly.

Opportunities for impact

Florida’s residents and business community have a deep connection with its environmental ecosystem, and many state citizens find that organizations focused on the conservation of wildlife and lands or the restoration of ocean health particularly resonate with them. Donor advised funds (DAFs), administered by a public charity that manages donations on behalf of individuals, families or organizations, may also be a solution for your personal gifting.

Choosing a cause and identifying philanthropic vehicles whose activity tracks toward your charitable goals can present an initial challenge. With so many potential opportunities, we recommend that you:

  • Assess your interests and concerns to identify priorities. Reflect on which issues resonate the most with you. Explore the work of leading funders, and talk to others to help refine your areas of interest.
  • Consider whether to work globally or locally—or both. You may want to invest deeply in one locale, target multiple countries, or focus on ecosystems that cross borders, like mountain ranges or oceans.
  • Find the right approach to launch or expand your giving. Identify ways to use your professional expertise, or discover intersections with other areas of giving, such as the impact of climate change on people living in poverty.
  • Consider collaboration and coordination. Joining funds or building partnerships may prove effective ways to achieve larger goals.

The Naples Private Bank at J.P. Morgan works closely with the firm’s Philanthropy Centre to help our clients and their advisors navigate how to maximize the impact they intend for their wealth. J.P. Morgan’s Philanthropy Field Guide: Climate Change and Conservation includes more information on the various ways individuals can make a difference, highlights notable funders in environmentalism, and provides helpful resources for those who want to explore more.

The Community Foundation of Collier County Changing Needs Fund, established in 1985 as a visionary way to address emerging gaps or issues, makes grants that impact our community today and tomorrow, whether it’s for a hurricane or red tide relief, or whatever the future may bring. Donations to this fund allow the Foundation to continue to be proactive and forward thinking in how to best serve Collier County.