Leadership in Philanthropy

The role for philanthropy in responding to the global polycrisis

Philanthropy is grappling with the role it must play in responding to what is being called the polycrisis - climate and environmental crises, entrenched economic inequalities, and social injustices. The material role that philanthropy can play – the provision of resources, the creation legislation, etc – is obviously limited, but does it have a leadership role to play?

There are broadly three aspects to leadership in philanthropy: one is leadership within individual philanthropic organisations, the second is leadership within the sector and the third, the most ambitious, is leadership in society, setting examples of creative responses to problems and patterning behaviour.

For all these three, it is vital that philanthropic leaders are provided with space and support to reflect on the ways in which they can rise to these challenges.

Leadership is often talked about, but it is rarely explored in great detail within the philanthropic community. When it is, the discourse tends to focus on donors like Bill Gates or Mackenzie Scott.

This webinar will explore: What about the leaders and senior leaders of philanthropic grantmaking institutions - how are they being supported with their responsibilities?

What examples are there of encouraging thoughtful leadership practices within the philanthropic community and foundations/philanthropists displaying leadership of wider issues?


  • Sufina Ahmad
    Director, John Ellerman Foundation
  • Georg von Schnurbein
    Founding director of the Center for Philanthropy Studies (CEPS) University of Basel
  • Renata Minerbo
    Head of philanthropy, Be The Earth Foundation


This event takes place at 14.00 GMT (18:00 GST). It is hosted by Alliance. You can register here.