Morgan Stanley and the Aspen Institute Release Climate Philanthropy Report to Drive Action

March 7, 2023

Report features profiles of philanthropic organizations and networks that provide helpful resources to climate philanthropists

Contact: Clarke Williams
The Aspen Institute

Miami Beach FL, March 7, 2023 – Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management and the Aspen Institute are pleased to announce the release of a co-branded report titled Funding Climate Action: Pathways for Philanthropy.  This report is designed to educate and activate existing and potential climate funders in order to catalyze greater philanthropic support of climate causes. The report is being launched at Aspen Ideas Climate.

While climate-focused philanthropy has increased in recent years, less than 2% of global philanthropy is focused on climate-related giving. A March 2022 survey of 188 U.S. based foundation leaders by the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) found that 85% of all US foundation funders stated that climate change was a top three issue domestically. However, only about a third reported that they were “open to considering funding efforts” to address climate change.

“We are pleased to sponsor this report with our partners at the Aspen Institute,” said Liz Dennis, Head of Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management. “This report is designed to help philanthropists overcome barriers to action by providing tools, case studies, and encouragement. The goal of the report is to drive more philanthropists to action.”

Randall Kempner, Senior Advisor at the Aspen Institute and the report author, agrees. “We hope this report will be particularly helpful to the many people out there who want to contribute to meaningful climate action but don’t know where to start. We think the profiles of existing climate funders will inspire others, and the tools and resources will make it easier to ramp up philanthropy.”

“The solutions necessary to combat climate change are systemic and require collaboration across the public, private, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors,” said Dan Porterfield, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute. “The Aspen Institute is proud of our partnership with Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management and our shared belief that philanthropy can rise to meet the climate challenge.”

The report begins by reviewing the full scope of tools available to climate funders, including donations, investments, grantee engagement, and external advocacy.

It offers a taxonomy of climate funder archetypes complemented by profiles of actual philanthropic organizations and leaders. The case studies are designed to illustrate different pathways that funders can consider in their own climate journey. The five archetypes include:

  • Explorer
  • Climate Lens Applier
  • Climate Philanthropy Leader
  • Investment-Led Philanthropist
  • Climate Action Integrator

Interspersed throughout the report are profiles of organizations and networks that provide helpful resources to climate philanthropists. The report concludes by offering guiding principles for climate philanthropy that are relevant to emerging and experienced philanthropists.

About Aspen Institute
The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

About Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing a wide range of investment banking, securities, investment management, and wealth management services. With offices in 41 countries, the Firm’s employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions, and individuals. For more information about Morgan Stanley, please visit

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