Spring 2013

Dear Friend of Earth Island Institute,

Contribute TodayWhat if I told you that you could write one check to a single organization and your donation would support the work of almost 60 different grassroots groups working for ecological sustainability? Well, that’s exactly what happens when you make a gift of support to Earth Island Institute.

Earth Island’s Project Support program now serves 60 projects that address a wide-range of critical environmental issues. Our projects are tackling climate change, conserving the biodiversity of our lands and oceans, protecting water quality, fighting plastics pollution, boosting food security, and engaging young people in the environmental movement. Earth Island projects range from brand new start-ups to well established campaigns under sponsorship for 25 years or longer, such as our International Marine Mammal Project and our Sacred Land Film Project.

“At Earth Island, we are part of a community of creative environmental activists with a great track record and cutting edge world view. This community also provides us a great network of peers and opportunities for cross-pollinations.”

– Toby McLeod, Sacred Land Film Project

But there is so much more we could do. As Earth’s environmental crises become more acute, more and more people are turning to us for support. In 2012, we received 50 applications for fiscal sponsorship – a doubling from the 25 applications we received in 2007. Unfortunately, we can’t possibly accommodate everyone who seeks to join our global network. The demand for Earth Island sponsorship exceeds the support we can supply.

That is why we are asking for your financial help today. By making a donation to Earth Island Institute, you make it possible for emerging and experienced environmental leaders to shape their dreams into successful strategies for a sustainable future. Your generosity will help us to continue providing grassroots environmental leaders with the tools they need to protect our shared planet.

Confronting the most challenging threats to the natural world and its communities is not easy work, especially when you’re working alone. Grassroots leaders are turning to us in record numbers seeking fiscal sponsorship.photo of a group of people of various ages Over the past five years, we have grown from 45 projects to the 60 operating under our organizational umbrella today. In 2012 we added seven new projects. This growth is a validation of our model, and an endorsement from environmental visionaries of the value of the services we provide.

Earth Island fills a unique niche in the environmental movement. We’re not simply an organization working on a single issue. Rather, Earth Island serves a network of many organizations working on a wide array of environmental issues. And unlike other organizations that focus on a single approach to social change, our projects employ many solutions-focused strategies. Some leverage litigation. Others rally activists into the streets. Many provide educational resources and training. Some engage in hands-on activism such as planting gardens or restoring creeks.

Our theory of change mimics the thriving biodiversity that is key to a healthy ecosystem. The diversity of our projects and their goals is part of the work of sustaining a vibrant planet and healthy communities.

Here is just small glimpse into some of our Projects’ successes during the last 12 months:

Big Wildlife:
Spearheaded a campaign that led to the passage of a new California law that bans hound hunting for black bears and bobcats in the state.
Changing Gears:
Reused or recycled more than 1,000 bicycles and diverted tons of bicycle parts from landfills into reuse or recycling.
Burrowing Owl Conservation Network:
Recognized by the California Department of Fish & Wildlife as responsible for forcing the state to develop, publish and implement the first and only updated Mitigation Guidelines for Burrowing Owls since 1995.
Bay Localize:
Successfully lobbied the City of San Francisco to offer 100 percent renewable energy option to its residents.
Baikal Watch:
Helped with the construction of an additional 44 miles of the Great Baikal Trail, while training 96 international and 277 local Siberian volunteers to complete this construction.
EcoVillage Farm Learning Center:
Implemented an educational campaign to educate residents of Richmond, CA about the health risks (obesity, diabetes, etc.) associated with sodas and other sugary beverages consumption.
Food Shift:
Arranged for the donation of more 10,000 pounds of food to food assistance agencies.

With your support we can take this work even further.

We plan on once again convening a Project Directors summit to provide skills training and an opportunity for our global network of Project Directors to share resources and build community. A great strength of our organizational model is in the peer-to-peer interaction and the sharing of experiences and expertise that often leads to collaborations and coalition building.Contribute Today

We are actively involved with our sponsored projects, offering leadership development including project staff orientation and planning, workshops in fundraising, and mentoring/networking with seasoned campaign strategists. With your help, we will continue to invest in expanding the range of support services that help our projects to succeed and that attract new projects.

“The EII staff is incredibly knowledgeable and has helped our organization grow its understanding of non-profit management. They have provided advice in organizational strategy, financial planning, and much more.”

–Melinda Kramer, Women’s Earth Alliance

EII is a founding member and our Project Support director Susan Kamprath sits on the steering committee of the National Network of Fiscal Sponsors. The network leads this still-emerging field that EII pioneered 30 years ago by developing best practices and establishing guidelines for efficient alternatives for nonprofit management.

We have consistently demonstrated that we are a uniquely powerful organization that is lean and strategic.  In recognition of our efficiency, Charity Navigator, the largest independent evaluator of charities, states in its 2012 review of Earth Island:

charity navigator logo“Only 3% of the charities we rate have received at least 6 consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that Earth Island Institute consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way, and outperforms most other charities in America. This “exceptional” designation from Charity Navigator differentiates Earth Island Institute from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust.”

—Ken Berger, President and CEO, Charity Navigator

As we add projects and enhance our support services for our project network, of course we will integrate Project Support with our other core programs – Earth Island Journal, Restoration Initiatives, and New Leaders Initiative – that comprise our integrated approach to Growing Environmental Leadership.

Earth Island Institute incubates and nurtures the most exciting environmental leadership of our time, and we give you and our donors ample social returns on your investment toward a thriving planet.

We thank you for as generous a contribution as you can make now, and we always welcome your comments and questions.


scan of signature

John A. Knox
Executive Director

Contribute TodayPS: As always, it’s the actions of individuals that make Earth Island what it is – the bold project director with a visionary idea coming together with the bold donor really wanting to make a difference. We appreciate your partnership! Thank you for making a donation now.

Earth Island Institute Projects

Animal Protection

Big Wildlife, Burrowing Owl Conservation Network , International Marine Mammal Project  (includes Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project and Save Japan Dolphins), Project Coyote, Raptors are the Solution, SAVE International, WildFutures

photo of well-dressed young people

Education/Youth Development

Bay Area Wilderness Training, Changing Gears Community Bike Shop, Children in Nature Collaborative, EcoVillage Farm Learning Center, Kids for the Bay, Kids vs. Global Warming, Los Angeles Wilderness Training, Rooted in Community, Sustainable World Coalition, True Colors Mural Project, Youth Empowered Action Camp

Energy/Climate Change

CarbonfreeDC, Climate Wise Women, CoalSwarm, Connect the Dots, EcoEquity, Energy Action Coalition, Project Survival Media, Renew Missouri, Solar Campus Initiative

International/Indigenous Communities

Altai Project, AlterTerra, Armenia Environmental Network, Baikal Watch, Borneo Project, Center for Safe Energy, Ethical Traveler, Global Service Corps, Resilience Fund, Sacred Land Film Project, Serengeti Watch, Viva Sierra Gorda, Women’s Earth Alliance


California Urban Stream Partnership, Center for Ecosystem Restoration, John Muir, Nature in the City, South Coast Habitat Restoration,  Small Grant Project part of the California Wetlands Recovery Project, Urban Biofilter


All One Ocean, Bay Localize, California Student Sustainability Coalition, Campaign to Safeguard America’s Waters, CoCo San Farm, Food Shift, Green Café Network, Hempstead Project HEART, Plastic Pollution Coalition, Safe Food and Fertilizer, Ultimate Civics, Wholly H2o