The Climate BRIDGE Programme: fuelling digital advocacy for environmental nonprofits

Róisín McGovern
Digital Training Lead
19 Nov 2023

In an era where climate change is one of the greatest challenges to our planet, the voices of environmental nonprofits need to be amplified louder than ever. Lightful believes in the power of digital to elevate climate justice, and we believe that every organisation deserves the skills, tools, and confidence to fully leverage digital to enhance their mission.

Organisations working in the climate space are catalysts for change, but recent research shows they lack the capacity, skills and resources to fully accelerate environmental action and advocacy online. This gap in digital literacy puts organisations at risk of digital exclusion.

The digital divide in climate advocacy

Despite the urgency of climate issues, there is a digital divide that so often hampers nonprofits from delivering their mission. The 2023 Charity Digital Skills Report highlights that upskilling staff and volunteers in digital skills is one of the most critical issues facing social impact organisations. This digital skills gap prevents grassroots nonprofits from fully transitioning to a more online way of working, communicating and fundraising. Digital literacy goes beyond basic online engagement. For environmental organisations it means the ability to leverage digital tools to drive awareness, influence policy, educate communities, and activate real-life change. Digital literacy is about storytelling and relationship building.

Bridging the digital skills gap within the climate sector is not just a necessity but a strategic imperative for climate action, and those wanting to support it. Empowering organisations with digital skills enables them to tap into the vast potential of the online world, and ignite global movements.

Lightful’s Digital Bootcamp

Lightful recently launched the Climate BRIDGE Programme (Building Resilience in Digital Growth and Engagement) for organisations focusing on biodiversity and the circular economy, funded by a generous philanthropist in our network. The first phase of the programme was a two-week Digital Bootcamp where participants developed digital strategies and created marketing personas based on their target audiences.

In collaboration with the Environmental Funders Network, we opened up applications with the aim of offering 60 organisations a place. The interest in Bootcamp exceeded our expectations resulting in over 100 organisations eager to participate. Embracing this enthusiasm, we decided to accept all 116 organisations (295 individual participants) as a show of our commitment to empowering as many climate advocates as possible.

There are many environmental organisations doing incredible work on the ground but struggling to communicate it effectively, which can limit both their broader impact and their ability to attract funding. By boosting their digital confidence, Lightful's BRIDGE program enables them to amplify their reach and connectivity, which not only helps the individual organisations but also supports efficiency in the sector as a whole. - Dr. Sophia Cooke, Environment Sector Programme Lead at the Environmental Funders Network

The Digital Bootcamp webinars were attended by individuals from 31 different countries, spanning six continents! We ask participants to rate their confidence out of 5 at the beginning and end of Bootcamp. The results have shown an increase in confidence in all three key areas: audience understanding, strategy, and overall digital confidence. 95% of participants didn’t have a digital strategy in place at the start of Bootcamp and we were delighted that after the two weeks, over 90% had used Lightful’s digital strategy canvas to kick-start their strategy development process!

It was a great exercise for me and my manager to reflect on our strategy and fill in the gaps in our current strategy. We were faced with questions we didn't think of previously and the canvas provided a good starting point for us to plan our strategy for 2024 - Reef Check Malaysia.

Advancing to the next level: the Climate BRIDGE Programme’s second phase

From this impressive group, 30 standout organisations will continue their Lightful journey, advancing to the full BRIDGE programme where they will receive an additional five months of digital training. This programme has been designed and adapted to meet the digital needs of environmental organisations, focusing on the power of storytelling to combat climate anxiety, green design principles, and digital advocacy ahead of World Earth Day. Watch this space for more updates on the upcoming cohort!

As we continue to navigate the complexities of climate change, the empowerment of environmental nonprofits through digital literacy is paramount. The Climate BRIDGE Programme hopes to foster resilience and growth for grassroots organisations, enabling them to articulate their story, activate their online community, and advocate for change. As these nonprofits elevate their online presence, they are not only advancing their individual missions, but weaving a stronger global community working towards climate justice. If you want to be part of this journey to empower organisations working in the climate space, we’d love to hear from you! Contact us at partnerships@lightul.com.

Latest articles

Building Resilience: helping nonprofits to create more equitable communities and a healthier planet

Today, Lightful is releasing our Building Resilience Impact Report. As the world around us continues to change at a rapid pace, we have been working to better meet the needs of nonprofits, so that we can all meet the needs of the current moment. I’m so grateful to my colleagues and all our stakeholders who have contributed towards making publishing this important report a reality.

Vinay Nair
29 May 2024
Powering feminist climate justice with Global Fund for Women

“Women and girls in Africa and the Caribbean are leading climate justice movements, but there aren’t many funders who will give money to young, emerging organisations and movements like these—who might not be formally registered or have long track records of doing this work. That’s why I’m focused on shifting money, power, and other non-financial resources to feminist climate activists so they can build their agency, control their narratives, and scale up their actions. It means meeting groups where they are while providing the resources for them to get to where they need to be to have the greatest impact.” Ayesha Constable, Technical Director for Climate Justice at Global Fund for Women

Nikhila Dega
Partnerships Manager
16 May 2024

Related posts

Powering feminist climate justice with Global Fund for Women

“Women and girls in Africa and the Caribbean are leading climate justice movements, but there aren’t many funders who will give money to young, emerging organisations and movements like these—who might not be formally registered or have long track records of doing this work. That’s why I’m focused on shifting money, power, and other non-financial resources to feminist climate activists so they can build their agency, control their narratives, and scale up their actions. It means meeting groups where they are while providing the resources for them to get to where they need to be to have the greatest impact.” Ayesha Constable, Technical Director for Climate Justice at Global Fund for Women

Nikhila Dega
Partnerships Manager
16 May 2024
Bridging gender gaps: celebrating women in science and engineering

As the world tackles some of society’s greatest challenges, from climate crisis to global health, the collective effort to bridge gender gaps in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) becomes ever more crucial. The global community recently marked the International Day of Women and Girls in Science which celebrates the invaluable contributions of women and girls to the economic development of the world.

Róisín McGovern
Digital Training Lead
13 Feb 2024

See who we help

Contact us

Want to learn more?

Email Pumulo and start a conversation

Pumulo Banda
Relationship Manager

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.