Earth Share was founded in
1988 by a group of 18 national environmental and conservation groups
that recognized the importance of forming Americas first national
environmental federation. As such, Earth Share works to promote
environmental education and charitable giving through workplace
giving campaigns. It is an opportunity, a system and an answer for
environmentally conscious employees and workplaces to support dozens
of environmental groups at once through a charitable giving drive.
Its continuing goal is to provide and expand opportunities for working
people to have an easy and effective way to help the environment,
and in doing so, help ensure the preservation of the worlds
Earth Share encourages employees of the companies involved to pledge
a small amount of each paycheck to help solve environmental problems.
In allowing employees to make donations through workplace payroll
deduction campaigns, Earth Share raised approximately $4.5
million in its first year and now raises more than $8 million dollars
per year for
its member charities.
Importantly, with Earth Share, you dont have to choose between
air, water, land or wildlife because its member charities represent
a wide array of environmental issues; just one general donation
to Earth Share can touch all of these causes. Employees can choose
to allocate their tax-deductible gift among all of Earth Shares
agencies. On the other hand, if you have a preference, you can direct
your gift to a specific member agency and cause. Surveys show that
employee giving rises dramatically when greater choices are presented
in an existing campaign. Giving more choices means that more money
is raised overall for charitythe ultimate goal of any workplace
The choice is yours. Think about the following questions and answers
for more insight about the program:
WHO'S INVOLVED IN EARTH SHARE?
Earth Shares member charities are not just any organizations
that form suddenly and want funding. The Earth Share federation
functions as a screening agent, ensuring its donors
that only those agencies with qualifying environmental and conservation
programs will be participating in a companys campaign. Earth
Share requires applicant agencies to meet 17 different criteria
before even being considered for membership in the federation (see
sidebar, page 15). Its strict eligibility criteria were established
so donors could be sure that Earth Share only represents outstanding
charities that operate with the highest possible ethical and professional
All current members undergo annual reviews to ensure their continued
adherence to the membership requirements. Representing the most
respected and responsible environmental and conservation organizations
in the country, Earth Shares member agencies work locally,
nationally and internationally to pro-tect and preserve all elements
of the environment.
Earth Share partners with hundreds of corporate, federal and public
workplaces across the country to give employees the choice and satisfaction
of supporting vital environmental programs and initiatives. Its
workplace campaigns boost employee morale and help establish a workplace
as an environmental leader.
In addition to businesses, Earth Share has state partners in California,
New York, Texas and Washington. They can include local environmental
and conservation charities from their states in addition to Earth
Shares national members. Thus, employers in these states can
offer their employees an expanded list of environmental charities
as well as receive local campaign support.
Earth Share has also partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) to inform businesses about the cost-saving and pollution-reducing
benefits of the EPAs Energy Star and Green Lights voluntary
With the Advertising Council, Earth Share gets the word out through
environmental public service campaign, which is distributed to more
than 11,000 media outlets twice each year. To date, Earth Shares
public service campaign has received more than $270 million in donated
media since being launched in 1992making it one of the largest
environmental public service media campaigns in history.
Its ads can be seen and heard across the country. Earth Share National
Council member, actor Harrison Ford, has narrated three of Earth
Shares public service announcements (PSAs), including the
latest release, This Is. Also, actor Keifer Sutherland
narrated its PSA entitled Reflections.
HOW CHARITIES MAKE THE
MIMIMUM ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
FOR EARTH SHARE MEMBER CHARITIES
- It has conducted programs in at least
15 states or one foreign country.
- It is tax exempt under 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3)
as a scientific, educational or charitable
organization and is eligible to receive
under 26 U.S.C. 170.
- Its primary mission is to protect and
enhance the natural environment or
conserve natural resources.
- It accounts for its funds using generally
accepted accounting principles (GAAP)
and is audited annually by an independent
certified public accountant.
- It is governed by an active and responsible
governing body, a majority of whose
members serve without compensation and
who have no material conflict of interest
- Its fund-raising and administrative costs do
not exceed 25 percent of total support and
revenue. (The overhead rates of most
agencies are much less, and Earth Shares
overhead is less than 10 percent).
- It affirms that it is a human health
and welfare organization that provides
services, benefits or assistance or
conducts activities that benefit human
health and welfare.
- It affirms that its fund-raising practices
protect against unauthorized use of its
contributor lists and permits no general
telephone solicitation of the public and
no payment of commissions, finder's fees,
percentages, bonuses or similar practices
in connection with fund-raising
- It affirms that its publicity and promotional
activities are based upon its actual
programs and operations, are truthful
and non-deceptive, include all material
facts and make no exaggerated or
- It affirms that the funds contributed
are effectively used for the announced
purposes of the organization.
- It prepares an annual report that is made
available to the general public, includes
a full description of the organizations
activities and supporting services and
identifies its directors and chief
- It provides a copy of the organizations
most recent IRS Form 990 tax return.
- It has been in existence for three
years prior to applying to Earth Share by
providing copies of the IRS Form 990 for
- It is established as a permanent
organization (i.e., one whose mission is
not limited by the termination of some
project or campaign).
- It meets all other requirements for
membership in Earth Share as set forth
in its by-laws and is committed to working
cooperatively and positively with all other
Earth Share members, though they may
disagree on organizational policies and
- It is not a private foundation, private
private operating foundation or communnity
- It does not advocate illegal direct action.
- It can and wll pay all application
and membership fees.
WHY SHOULD MY COMPANY GET INVOLVED?
Its good for the world.
Earth Share is a preserver, a protector and an educator. Health,
environment, diversity, international development and relief and
social justice issues that affect companies, communities and families
are not fully addressed through the traditional United Way-only
Its good for business.
Nearly 80 percent of surveyed Americans favor companies with a pro-environment
image, and of those, almost 75 percent said theyre more likely
to support companies and products associated with an environmental
group. A company can position itself as a leader on the environmental
front by including Earth Share in its charitable campaign. Employees,
managers and shareholders alike consider the environment vitally
Employees want it.
More and more employees are becoming concerned about environmental
causes and issues. Introducing an environmental choice to a campaign
means that employees who were not previously participating will
now get involved. Because most employee groups include a diversity
of race, culture, gender, age, interests and beliefs, employees
should be able to choose from a variety of charities that reflect
their own interests.
Employees can donate conveniently through a payroll deduction program
that Earth Share can help your company set up. Earth Share has a
team of volunteers and staff available to make presentations; provide
posters, brochures and videos; and offer new and vital energy to
a campaign. Earth Share and its agencies can be easily added to
existing campaign materials, or it can provide its own brochures
and pledge cards for distribution to each employee.
Many companies have already gotten involved in a big way. Forth
Worth, TX-based American Airlines hosted its first combined campaign
in 2000 that featured Earth Share and other charity federations.
The charity agency fair enabled employees to learn more about the
charities and encourage their participation. Earth Share received
from the major airline support to the tune of $110,036.
Entercom, Bala Cynwyd, PA, a nationwide owner of radio stations,
ran an active campaign with several presentations by Earth Share
and its member agencies throughout the country. Entercom has already
raised $42,000 for Earth and its COO, David Field, has become a
National Council member.
In addition, look at these results. Compaq, Houston, TX, hosted
its second Earth Share campaign, tripling its previous years
donations from $15,431 to $46,842. Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA,
increased its campaign contributions by $9,000 from last years
pledges. Also, the Metropolitan Museum of Arts Earth Share
campaign saw an increase of 44 percent in 2000.
WHAT CAN I DO?
Having Earth Share in a workplace charity drive is easier than you
think. The federation makes it its business to ensure that Earth
Share can be added swiftly and simply to company giving options.
Earth Shares expertise is working with companies to minimize
costs and customize campaigns to meet a corporations needs.
Earth Share offers on-line tips and resources to companies hosting
Earth Share campaigns to help make each campaign a success, including
free campaign materials such as posters, videos, brochures, pledge
forms and give-away-items for campaign raffles.
Even if your company does not want to get involved on a grand scale,
you, as an individual, can do your part. At the least, you can feature
Earth Share on your Web site. The Ad Council offers free, downloadable
Earth Share public service banner ads for placement on Web sites
interested in fulfilling a social responsibility and/or filling
remnant ad space.
On the other hand, if you would like to help support environmental
causes now, you can make a direct donation to Earth Share. Your
gift to Earth Share will be distributed among all of its member
charities or to those that you designate. Either way, your support
will have an immediate impact on protecting the environment and
improving peoples lives.
The contributions to Earth Share through workplace campaigns are
making a real difference. Every little bit helpsjust $2 per
pay period adds up to an annual gift of $50 or more. Still, many
wonder, How much of my contribution really goes to the charities?
Earth Share has one of the lowest overheads of any comparable federationmore
than 90 percent of
donations go directly to environmental programs.
For more information about setting up the program in your company,
or to give support to it and the environment, call (800) 875-3863;
e-mail: info@earth share.org; or visit www.earthshare.org.
CHARITIES WAITING FOR YOUR HELP
|.African Wildlife Foundation
American Farmland Trust
Americans for the Environment
Center for Health, Environment and Justice
Clean Water Fund
Conservation Fund, The
Defenders of Wildlife
Earth Day Network
Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund
Environmental and Energy Study Institute
Environmental Alliance for Senior Involvement
Environmental Justice Fund
Environmental Law Institute
Friends of the Earth
Izaak Walton League of America
|Land Trust Alliance
National Audubon Society
National Parks Conservation Association
National Wildlife Federation
Natural Resources Defense Council
Nature Conservancy, The
Ocean Conservancy, The
(formerly Center for Marine Conservation)
Peregrine Fund, The
Pesticide Action Network
Rocky Mountain Institute
Safe Energy Communication Council
Sierra Club Foundation, The
Student Conservation Association
Trust for Public Land, The
Union of Concerned Scientists
U.S. PIRG Education Fund
Wilderness Society, The