Recently, the world celebrated Earth Day. And while we took another ride around the sun, we have also learned that we have to get serious about the sustainability movement. In other words, if we don’t address climate change, we face an existential threat to all life on the planet. One of the things we witnessed during the 2020 pandemic was that global emissions dropped by 7%. In so doing, we managed to arrest the toxins that get trapped and cause drastic climate change.
What’s Happening In the Sustainability Movement?
As we know, fighting climate change will take a lot of active action from all of us. For instance, everyone, including nonprofits, needs to consider green living. Governments and private/public partnerships have to get created so the public gets informed about what they could do for sustainability. Fortunately for the planet, there’s growing corporate movement into the circular economy. In short, the circular economy aims at eliminating waste, in total, and repurposing and extending the life of items.
Corporations, including oil and gas producers, know that the time for fossil fuels and waste passed. And that’s why they’re shifting toward sustainability. The sustainability movement and our efforts for the environment require everyone’s help. And yes, that also means that schools, religious groups, and nonprofits have to get involved. So, the obvious question is how social good groups, including nonprofits, can do it and still keep aligned with their mission.
Nonprofits, Schools, & Religious Groups Leading
The reality is that the sustainability movement needs nonprofits, churches, and other religious institutions, schools, and, well, everyone pulling in the same direction. However, because registered nonprofits have a special place in our society, they could lead in the effort. What we mean by that is that nonprofits are tax exempt. As organizations that benefit because their focus is social good, they could lead environmental efforts moving forward.
Let’s say that you lead a nonprofit, and you know you have to become sustainable. That’s all well and good, but you also know that your nonprofit board of directors might get confused or might not challenge you on the effort. For example, you may have some on the board who will say that ensuring your brand demonstrates sustainable leadership will only water down the mission. As a nonprofit leader, you need to inform and educate your nonprofit board on the reality.
What you could say about sustainability for your brand is that going green protects the brand. In other words, as the world moves to fight climate change and protect the environment, brands that aren’t joining in the effort will get called out. No one’s saying you have to change your mission. But, this is a chance for your nonprofit to get with the times around this issue and become a leader in the community.
How to Become a Sustainability Nonprofit Leader
Again, you want to protect your brand, and one of the ways you have to do it is by becoming a sustainable brand. So, let’s explore quick tips about what you could do to ensure you’re sustainable. Doing so will not only make you a leader, but it’ll also help you retain top performers.
- Before doing anything toward joining the sustainability movement, you have to get buy-in. And that concept begins with understanding. So, give your board and team the scoop about the challenges the planet faces. Before people could take action, people need to understand the challenge.
- Once you’ve done that, it’s time to set goals within your organization. Just as you develop annual plans for the programs and fundraising, you need to do them for sustainability. If you’re not sure where to start, do an internet search. Plenty of articles and guides exist about developing sustainability goals.
- Make sure you create measurable goals. Sure, it might not seem easy at first to measure, but measurement is doable and necessary for knowing if you’re doing your part. One measurement, for example, could be to decrease the use of printing paper by 50% in Year 1 and then 100% in Year 2.
- Once you’ve developed your sustainability goals, you’ve got to do it. But, you also need to promote it on social media and in your marketing. Why? Well, because you want to be accountable to your supporters. And you also want to educate and share positive environment actions with your supporters.
- Consider creating partnerships. The sustainability movement requires all hands on deck. And that means that corporations and others need to do it too. For instance, for fundraising, you could do a fundraiser focused on raising money and social responsibility.
Two Fundraising Ideas for Social Good
Nonprofit groups, schools, and religious organizations need fundraising dollars. There are two opportunities for them to do sustainable fundraisers. First, there’s a unique fundraiser with Takeout Promos that allows you to sell advertising space to local restaurants. Remember, so many people have gotten used to takeout food, and the brand also offers bio-degradable containers.
As you know, we’re the leaders in shoe drive fundraisers. Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems the sustainability movement has is textiles. So, in keeping with the circular economy aims, your shoe drive fundraiser raises funds for your cause using shoes as the currency. No one has to donate money. All they have to give you are gently worn, used and new shoes. In short, it’s one of the most innovative ways to raise funds—and help the planet!
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