Founded in Australia in 2012, The Sunrise Project is a global network of changemakers who believe in the power of social movements to change the world. We’re passionate about building networks who can drive the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy to reduce greenhouse pollution and create a healthy and prosperous future for everyone.

How We Work

Sitting at the intersection of social movements and philanthropy, we’ve developed a ‘directed network’ model that supports networks of people and organisations to work together to achieve large-scale change that wouldn’t have been possible by individual organisations acting alone.

We essentially do six things:

  • Analysis to understand the political, social and economic systems driving the climate crisis;
  • Strategy design for multi-partner efforts that create systemic change;
  • Partner with philanthropy to resource these strategies;
  • Fund a diversity of organisations and support them to work together for collective impact;
  • Support organisations and movements to sharpen their strategies and build their capacity to achieve real-world outcomes; and
  • Drive strategic interventions that will hasten the transition beyond fossil fuels.

From experience, we understand that complex webs of power shape our society, and many factors usually need to come together to achieve large-scale change. Our strategies start with a focus on understanding who has the power to implement the changes we need, what motivates them, and how they can be influenced.


“Power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose. It is the strength required to bring about social, political and economic change.” 

Martin Luther King Jnr

What We Do

We take a system-wide view of the causes of, and solutions to, the climate crisis and are continually looking for opportunities to catalyse transformative change.

At a top-level, our strategy involves building the capacity of social movements to shift the finance sector, change public narratives and shift the politics of climate change in order to strengthen laws and regulations, while at the same time driving immediate interventions in the real economy to hasten the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.

Our current programs focus on transforming Australia from laggard to leader on climate action, and shifting global finance out of fossil fuels.

As an example of how we work and what we do, this Changemakers podcast “The best climate campaign you’ve never heard of” tells the in-depth story of our insurance program from inception through to building a global directed network campaign to shift the insurance industry.

Charitable Purpose

The Sunrise Project Australia Limited is registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission and operates a fund listed on the Register of Environmental Organisations. Its charitable purposes are to:

  • Protect, preserve and enhance the natural environment;
  • Protect the natural environment from pollution and over exploitation;
  • Support and empower individuals, communities, governments and industry to make changes required to prevent dangerous climate change;
  • Facilitate public education about, and promote the transition to, a clean energy economy; and
  • Educate, empower and support communities to protect natural assets and promote the sustainable and equitable use of natural resources in their local areas.
  • Receive and grant funds for the achievement of the above purposes.

Annual Reports

For more on our work, see The Sunrise Project’s Annual Reports.

Our Values

The Sunrise Project is built on a foundation of 5 values that guide what we do and how we work:

Prioritise Relationships
We understand that the quality of our relationships determines the effectiveness of our actions. We actively nurture honest, healthy relationships of mutual respect in our team and with our movement and funding partners.

C’mon It’s 2023
We relentlessly ask: “What is required to solve the climate crises?” We push ourselves to imagine and implement the scale of action required. We move quickly and are willing to risk failing (fast) in pursuit of large-scale systemic change.

We Don’t Live Single Issue Lives
It is a long road to climate justice but we are committed to doing the work we can today so we are closer tomorrow. We challenge structural inequality and strive to bring justice in our programs, the movements we are part of, and our own organisation.

It’s Not About Us
We’re here to play a part in scaling social movements that can change the world. We prioritise enabling others to do their best work rather than trying to do it ourselves. We understand how much can be achieved if you don’t need to take the credit for it and we generously celebrate the work of others.

Dare To Lead
Powerful organisations and movements are leaderful. We back ourselves and each other to take initiative and to solve problems when we see them, and we do so with a deep spirit of humility, generosity and collaboration.