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Climate crisis working group

In November 2020, ACEVO formed the first member working group on the climate crisis. The purpose of the group is to inform and steer ACEVO’s work in this space, advising on key decisions made by ACEVO staff and trustees concerning the outputs and offers we provide to our members. The working group will contribute ideas and act as a sounding board to proposals made by ACEVO, as well as help to elevate the issue of sustainability across the sector through their individual networks. Scroll down to read the terms of reference. 

In January 2023, a new cohort came together. 

The members of the working group are: 

ACEVO: sustainability and climate crisis working group

Terms of reference


ACEVO outlined our internal environmental commitments in 2019. The purpose of the member working group is to inform and steer ACEVO’s external-facing work in relation to sustainability and the climate crisis. The working group will advise the climate justice staff group on the outputs and offers provided to ACEVO’s membership. This will include developing new priority areas, such as toolkits, training, events and communications. The working group will contribute ideas and act as a sounding board to proposals made by ACEVO, as well as help to elevate the issue of sustainability across the sector through their individual networks.

Membership and selection

The working group will be made up of civil society leaders from ACEVO’s membership. It will include individuals leading organisations with an environmental focus, and organisations who work in other cause areas. The group will also include small, large, national and local organisations. By including leaders from a variety of organisations, we hope the working group will be representative of the variety of organisations across the sector as well as their varied progress on this issue. This will help ACEVO to design member offers that appeal and support across a spectrum of experience and understanding of the climate crisis.

The working group will be selected through a simple recruitment process, which will involve:

  • A call for expressions of interest circulated via ACEVO’s Leader to Leader newsletter, asking members to submit an expression of interest to join the group of no more than one A4 side. This should include:
    • The organisation’s focus and mission, including any specific environmental focus
    • What the individual hopes to contribute and learn through membership of the group
    • Visions of change for the sector more broadly or their organisation, and how they would like to see civil society take a bolder position in this space.
  • Expressions of interest will be considered by ACEVO staff. The group will be selected to ensure a balance of organisational size and focus, a diversity of experience and backgrounds, and the answers submitted in the expression of interest.

The group will consist of no more than 10 members, plus ACEVO staff. ACEVO will ask members to commit to the group for two years, after which time they may be asked to step down so that others can participate and contribute. This is to ensure new ACEVO members have an opportunity to join the group, and to ensure that the group continues to include a diversity of people and perspectives.


Working group members will be asked to:

  • Advise on ACEVO’s approach to provide support on sustainability and climate crisis for civil society leaders, including events, training and other products that the sector needs;
  • Engage with colleagues within their individual networks about what they need, and bring their views to working group meetings;
  • Promote the work of climate justice programmes, organisations and activists through their links across the sector, acting as ambassadors for strengthening the links between civil society’s social justice focus and climate justice;
  • Take part in quarterly meetings of 90 minutes maximum to discuss progress on agreed outputs and potential new ACEVO projects;
  • Help develop a pledge or commitment for civil society organisations, and subsequently sign up to the pledge and encourage others to do so;
  • Commit to publicly sharing your organisation’s progress on the issue, your learning from membership of the working group, and encouraging others to share their journey to encourage peer support amongst civil society leaders.

Working arrangements

To avoid creating significant additional carbon emissions and ensure members from across the country can be represented, the working group will only engage digitally via conference calls and video calls. This commitment has been made by ACEVO for the majority of events concerning climate and sustainability, to keep carbon emissions low and ensure accessibility to joining the group. ACEVO will consult with the group on the best platform to use for these meetings.

The group will meet once per quarter (4 times per year). When the group is selected, all of these dates will be booked in advance.


The working group will receive secretariat support from ACEVO’s policy team and climate crisis staff working group. The working group will be chaired by ACEVO staff for the first year, with the potential for member chairing or co-chairing when it is fully established.

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