Case study

Leaders taking action against the climate crisis

ACEVO fosters connections, and represents the voice of third sector leaders in key policy areas, such as climate justice. 
Backbone Fund Funder practice
Organisations: ACEVO (The Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations) 
Project: Home Truths 2 (HT2)
Grant amount and duration: £30,000 over 29 months 
Year awarded: 2022 
Location: UK-wide, UK 
ACEVO logo and text underneath reads: imagine, inspire, improve

The Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) is a membership organisation for leaders of charities and social enterprises.

The Backbone Fund provides core funding to organisations that strengthen collaboration, champion voice and agency, and play key infrastructure roles in the sectors we support. Part of Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s commitment to civil society and its leaders, the Backbone Fund enables organisations to plan strategically for the long term, helping to build resilience in the voluntary sector.

We made a five-year grant to the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) through the Fund. Alongside supporting ACEVO’s core work with its 1700 members, this grant helped ACEVO to launch seven sustainability principles for civil society leaders and to urge other leaders to respond to the climate emergency. 

The principles ask leaders to take practical steps within organisations and networks to understand emissions and how climate breakdown intersects with charitable objectives. This framework aims to help leaders understand the scale of the crisis, be ambitious about the changes they make, and act wherever they can to create progress. The principles include championing the need for ambitious leaders within the voluntary sector and sharing and learning alongside peers in the sector.

Reach Volunteering is an example of an organisation that has adopted these principles in September 2021 following their release in July 2021.

Furthermore, ACEVO created a knowledge repository of tools, blog posts and a set of sustainability starter questions for leaders to explore where they can act quickly, and where they might need to prepare more; and some working-from-home sustainability tips for teams still out of office.

Additionally, ACEVO partners with Energycentric and UtilityAid, providing its members special discounts and easy access to energy management services and procurement advice, helping members to save money on their utilities.

Find funding

  • Backbone Fund

    Amount: Up to £250,000
    Duration: 5 years

    The Backbone Fund supports organisations who are working to strengthen civil society as whole and to play a part in shaping a more equitable future.