Starting an environmental movement might not be easy, but it’s possible. In fact, with the right funding, your movement could really grow some roots. Unfortunately, cash is a necessary evil in order to, really get the word out, structure a plan, create a website, purchase materials, and even support other worthy causes to web those meaningful common interests.
Though it might seem like every movement in the world runs solely on donations- most of them begin with loans or a sacrificial investment on behalf of the founder. During its 21-year existence, the Environment Support Center (ESC) gave out over $822,000 in loans and $2.5 million in grants to small environmental organizations.
Here is an overview on what to do with your passion and ideas.
It takes something to get a movement going. At first what you need are a few more people. Getting your first follower is critical- you’ll need someone that can advocate for your cause just as much as you can. Once your organization has grown to at least a handful, you’ll need a plan.
- Define what you want. Be specific. When people are going to donate, they like to know exactly where their money is going to go especially if your organization is new. A physical goal, like building a well or rescuing a sick animal, is better to start out with too. This first goal should be reachable within a few months if not weeks. A larger, inspirational goal can be there, too but starting with small wins will help get people on board. This is the start of your momentum.
If your goal is conservation based, you may want to start local, find a lot of support, and then branch out. Heartwood and Living Rivers are good examples of a regional approach to reaching a big goal.
- Set up a platform. You’ll need some way to get the word out and organize your followers. Social media is a great, free option. Your website, also, is even better. Depending on the size of your group and its goals this might be where you’ll want to start thinking about a base of operations, too.
- Think about the future. Now that you have some momentum but before you move ahead a bit. Do you want your group to be a nonprofit? Do you plan on producing a product or turning a profit? Not all movements and organizations are charities. The Great Seed Bomb in Texas isn’t but they still do a great job at supporting their cause.
- Funding. Depending on the structure you chose, your method of fundraising maybe a little different. However, you can and always will be able to ask for donations. For most environmental movements this is the core of their financial strategy–after it gets going. Meeting those initial goals may require a bit more.
- Goal Met? Repeat. Once your first goal is reached, it’s time to celebrate. Though soon after, charge straight into the next goal. Use your accomplishments to prove your credibility and show that yes, you can make a difference. The more you accomplish, the larger your movement will grow.
Non-profit v. For Profit
Choosing how to structure your organization is a big decision, but it all comes back to one issue: fundraising. While non-profit groups take donations and have no expectations to return the money, for profit groups are expected to give something back. It can be a product or a share, but it’s supposed to be something.
Non-profits are also tax exempt (in most ways). This comes with restrictions: their efforts cannot interfere with political campaigns and how they spend their money is monitored more closely than that of a for-profit organization.
It’s never a bad idea to consult with an experienced accountant or attorney regarding your goals and what the financial benefits of each strategy would be. This is especially true if you produce a product or plan to in the future.
Funding Options Beyond Donations
Accomplishing something, whether it’s for a good cause or not, takes money in nearly every case. The larger the movement, the more it takes. The #NoDAPL protesters needed funds for food, housing, warmth, sanitation, medical services, and more. If you’re trying to get one of your goals accomplished now but lack resources, you don’t just have to wait for donations. You have options like:
Installment Loans – The fastest way to get cash when you need it. Installment loans can fund your first big win and give you plenty of momentum. With predictable payments over time, you will have a longer window of opportunity to gather donations for immediate goals.
Grants – You can search for federal, state, and local grants or those provided by local businesses and organizations. Though the grant process can be lengthy, it can also provide a significant funding boost when (or before) you need it.
Corporate Funding and Sponsors – Any movement can be funded by a business. Even if they don’t offer, you can ask. It offers them a way to support the community or even a cause that aligns with their interests. As a registered nonprofit or charity you can also provide valuable tax deductions. Think about what businesses your movement or organization might benefit if it succeeds.
Partnerships – Partnering with another organization can give you a lot of exposure and a potential rush of donations. Finding a partner doesn’t mean you have to find another group with the same goal- similar goals can inspire the same groups of people.
If you have a good cause and your goal is to build on it, than don’t hold back. There’s only one way to resist unethical practices and that’s by standing up, making sure your voice is heard and making the difference in the community however small your movement is.
A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon
Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.
There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.
1. The Rise Of Smart Windows
When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.
If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.
2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs
If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.
Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.
3. Low-E Windows Taking Over
It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.
They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.
4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges
Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.
The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.
5. Improving Our Current LEDs
Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.
That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.
Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too
Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.
ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244
IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”
IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.
Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.
Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.
Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:
“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.
We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.
There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.
We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”