There are many shades of Green and if you’ve read this blog you know my focus has been mainly on the energy side, e.g. replacing fossil fuels with renewable and sustainable sources like solar, wind, and geothermal. It’s not that I don’t care about other environmental issues, I do, it’s just that there are only so many hours in day and so much money in our piggy bank. I thought if there was some way I could combine or leverage my full agenda with an organization or a program that will have a bigger impact on the environment and the causes I support – it might be worth my time.
Like most, I can’t write enough checks to support the multitude of good causes that exist in our country today; however, I did just donate to Climate Solutions during their recent GiveBig online fundraising campaign. Climate Solutions mission is “to accelerate practical and profitable solutions to global warming by galvanizing leadership, growing investment and bridging divides.” http://climatesolutions.org/ Despite that ambiguous statement, I believe in the work of this group and this is a worthy investment, but no matter their scope, this is still a single organization.
I wondered if an organization exists that acts as a fundraising umbrella for many of the Treehugger groups who provide environmental stewardship. That’s how I found out about EarthShare Oregon and it was right under my nose all the time.
EarthShare Oregon was looking to fill an open Board of Directors position with a member representative and it just so happens that Solar Oregon is a group member. So long story – short … I’m happy to announce that I am now one of 18 people who sit on the EarthShare Oregon Board of Directors!
In 1989 a group of 13 conservation organizations officially launched a small nonprofit called the Environmental Federation of Oregon. The idea was to offer Oregonians an easy way to care for the environment – by giving at their workplaces. In 2000, with 32 local conservation member groups, the Environmental Federation of Oregon decided to take another step forward in supporting the quality of life in Oregon by joining EarthShare and becoming Earth Share of Oregon. With this change, supporters now had the benefit of choosing to fund national and global conservation causes as well as local efforts.
Today, they’re simply called EarthShare Oregon (ESOR) and they’re still Oregon’s only nonprofit environmental federation for workplace fundraising.
EarthShare Oregon is … an independent 501(c)(3) organization working statewide with a 4 person staff, including Executive Director Jan Wilson, and an 18-member volunteer Board of Directors representing 70 environmental groups (including Solar Oregon) and local businesses that govern the organization.
EarthShare Oregon provides a convenient way for Oregonians to support conservation and healthy communities. Through workplace campaigns, conservation groups reach new audiences and supporters in nearly 100 public and private organizations in Oregon. ESOR has raised over $10.5 million and is actively engaging thousands of Oregonians in giving, volunteering, and sharing a responsibility for Oregon’s environmental legacy.
An EarthShare workplace giving campaign helps businesses: it allows them to attract and retain dedicated employees; it helps employees feel respected when their employer honors (or even enhances, through a corporate match) their giving choices, thus resulting in a workforce more dedicated to the employer; and it allows the business to credibly market its commitment to a culture of sustainability.
EarthShare Oregon does more than just facilitate workplace giving for the environment. They provide the connection between the business and the environmental member groups, by organizing volunteer events and “green team” trainings and lectures, as well as disseminating environmental livability tips through our website and other communications.
Solar Oregon has been involved with ESOR practically since inception, but it’s been almost ten years since one of our own sat on the ESOR Board of Directors. That changed when I was elected to the ESOR Board at the June annual meeting attended by myself and staffers Claire Carlson and Imogen Taylor. ESOR bylaws require that 50% plus one of the ESOR Board of Directors be comprised of member group representatives and I am proud to be seated at this table of committed individuals and organizations dedicated to protect the health and quality of life for Oregonians through environmental projects with three important objectives:
- Keeping people healthy
- Reducing global warming and its effects
- Preserving natural habitat
This is an important relationship for Solar Oregon – especially for our funding. Workplace Giving is a revenue stream for the member groups and we can work directly with the campaigns to drive more donations towards Solar Oregon as a “designated” donation. Our share is based upon a sophisticated point award system for activities such as: new business development, presentations & campaign support, marketing, and administrative support including meetings.
Solar Oregon, like all EarthShare member groups, has to undergo programmatic and financial scrutiny each year, in order to remain a member. Thus employees can give with confidence that their contributions are going to screened, effective, worthy groups whose work truly benefits the environment.
I’ve been assigned to the ESOR Marketing and Communication Committee, so Solar Oregon should be able to reap the maximum possible points which will amount to thousands of dollars in donations per year. If we participate in initiating campaigns with businesses we work with everyday in the renewable energy space, we can grow our allocation accordingly.
More campaigns = More donors
More donors = More $$$
More corporate match = More $$$ and donors
= More environmental benefit!
Look for an EarthShare Campaign in Your Community
EarthShare Oregon is one of a dozen EarthShare environmental affiliate organizations throughout the country dedicated to supporting environmental nonprofits through workplace giving campaigns. The National EarthShare office is located in Bethesda, MD. www.earthshare.org
Contact the EarthShare Oregon office at 503-223-9015 if you’d like more information about opening a campaign at your place of business.