Media Design

Brave Philanthropy: Swimming Against the Tide

Divest-Invest Philanthropy is an international movement of 140+ foundations and family offices that have joined forces to divest from fossil fuels and invest in climate solutions.  

A few weeks ago, I sat down with the Educational Foundation of America, one of the original foundations to join Divest-Invest Philanthropy.  Board president Barbara Hapgood, board member Matthew Hapgood, and executive director Melissa Beck shared why their foundation decided to make the moral and economic choice to divest from fossil fuels and reinvest in clean energy.  

As Barbara Hapgood put it, “Our grandfather told us to focus the foundation’s efforts on the issues of the day.  That issue is climate change.  We want to use ALL of our assets to make a difference, and that means aligning our investments with our mission.  Why would we undercut our own environmental grant-making by keeping fossil fuels and other polluters in our investment portfolio?”  

Matt Hapgood noted that while divesting from fossil fuels is a moral issue, it’s also been good for their bottom line, “We’ve seen the fossil fuel industry losing money while renewables like wind, solar and battery technology have done well.”  

Last month, the 140 foundations of Divest-Invest Philanthropy won the Nelson Mandela-Graça Machel Civic Innovation Award for Brave Philanthropy—an incredible recognition of the work the movement has done to challenge the fossil fuel industry while simultaneously accelerating the clean energy transition.

Support the movement and SIGN THE PLEDGE to join Divest-Invest.

"In social movements, we're better together," says Melissa Beck, executive director of EFA.

The Educational Foundation of America released their message to 20,000 Chronicle of Philanthropy subscribers today.  Check out the full video here.

Behind the Scenes: Divest-Invest and The Educational Foundation of America

I'm on a mission to capture exciting stories from investors around the country who are moving their money out of fossil fuels and into climate solutions.  

The Educational Foundation of America was one of the first foundations to join Divest-Invest Philanthropy.  This week, I'm making a short video featuring EFA's board members and executive director discussing their ethical and financial commitment to support the new energy economy.  

And we had fun, too!  

The Director's Cut

Building a powerful movement depends upon telling our stories—that’s why it’s critical for organizations working for social change to share their work in a fresh, vibrant, exciting way.

The UNITEHERE! HEALTH Better Living video shares the transformation that's happening in the lives of the union members I work with everyday.  It is a valuable tool to encourage other members to join. And now it’s being used by health organizations across the US and internationally!

Power of Story
One of the reasons the video tells such a great story is because it captures a holistic picture of the leaders featured.  As director, I collected hours of conversational footage with Barbara, Elizabeth, Mark and others to make sure that we honored their fears, their motivations, and their hopes.  That essence, that heartbeat, is still present, even when it couldn’t be included in the short final cut.

Leadership Development
Behind the scenes, creating this video strengthened my leadership team.  Intensive story collection is profoundly empowering.  Veteran leaders, and new people who are just getting involved, have the experience of seeing their stories lifted up, to recognize themselves as vital and important to the movement, and to know their example is guiding deep change and inspiring others to join.

The communities we work with are transforming!  Capture the story and make it the fuel for the wide-scale change we imagine!  

The Value of Relationship Building

Wow, the Better Living promotional video I directed is kinda going viral in the world of people who follow the Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program.  It's not even officially released yet, but already has close to 900 views, and The National Council on Aging featured it on their website!

I'm pretty sure the video tells such a great story because of the relationship building and teamwork taking place behind the scenes with the UniteHere! Healthcare Committee.  Bravo!

better living comments page.png