December 2016

Dear Friend of Earth Island Institute,

Contribute TodayAt our 17th annual Brower Youth Awards in October, Earth Island’s New Leaders Initiative director Anisha Desai said: “There’s a lot wrong in this moment, but what is really right and on time and hope embodied is that there are a whole lot more people, in a whole lot more spaces, building power.”

As we face a dramatic new political reality in America, a reality that poses difficult and unexpected challenges for the environmental movement, Anisha’s words are worth keeping in mind. (See her full remarks at:

With a climate denialist President-elect who has placed anti-environmental goals at the top of his agenda, and who seeks to roll back decades of hard-fought victories, our strength lies in connecting with those working at the grassroots to build power.

Those of us working for a more just and sustainable world MUST step up our efforts, connect in community, and take action together. During these fraught times, we must rise above feelings of fear and isolation, and build strength by working together to save our imperiled planet. Seeing the fire in the eyes of our activists now gives us hope.

At Earth Island, we have always believed in the power of grassroots action. Everyone acts in everyday life, and the impacts add up. Which is why our core mission is to provide ways to connect and join in community to take meaningful action – whether you are one of our project directors working 60 hours a week on wildlife protection, or a parent wanting to make sure your kids eat healthy and have an unfiltered experience of the natural world.

Now more than ever the work of Earth Island and our leaders is key to the survival of the vital world we all cherish.

We invite you to make a generous a contribution now, to provide grassroots environmental leaders with the tools and resources they need to defend our land, air, water, wildlife, and people.

At Earth Island, we’ve organized our core program areas − Project Support Program, New Leaders Initiative / Brower Youth Awards, and Earth Island Journal / Membership − to grow environmental leadership, build grassroots power, and provide a space for people to take action:

Ours is a solutions-focused, supportive, and resilient community. Across all of our efforts, the strategies that inform our work include:

Please help Earth Island Institute continue our unique, leading role in the environmental movement, empowering a diverse community of passionate individuals to make a difference for a sustainable future. Let me quickly remind you of how we work:

See this infographic online at:

Project Support Program Empowering 70 Activist-Led Projects

Our Project Support Program is the heart of Earth Island’s efforts to nurture grassroots activism. The assistance we provide comes in three key areas: administration and finance, capacity building, and peer support. We calculate the overall value of our administrative services saves the projects $1.7 M cumulatively each year. That’s a large sum of money injected straight back into environmental activism.

By taking care of the behind-the-scenes, nuts-and-bolts work, we empower our project leaders to focus on their mission and succeed in their initiatives – whether it’s protecting threatened wildlife, demonstrating alternatives to food waste, giving kids powerful experiences in nature, restoring vital wetlands, working for effective climate agreements, or supporting native peoples in defense of their sacred places.

Since our founding 34 years ago, we’ve proudly sponsored more than 150 projects. Today, we have a record 70+ projects in the network, with more and more applications to join our global network coming in regularly.

In 2016, we took on eight new projects California Institute of Community Art & Nature, Cultivate Oregon, Kelly Creek Legal Fund, National Wildlife Rangers, Numi Foundation, Public Lands Media, Richmond Trees, and The Wild Oyster Project.

Please take a look at our project directory online at for much more information about their work and see for some the highlights and impact of our projects in 2016.

When you give a year-end donation to Earth Island Institute, you provide vital support to an entire network of committed individuals and their solutions-focused projects. We expect challenging times ahead, and your support helps us to fight for what is right.

New Leaders Building the Future

In addition to supporting established activists through project sponsorship, Earth Island’s New Leaders Initiative seeks to actively grow and diversify the environmental movement for the future.

At the center of our New Leaders Initiative is the annual Brower Youth Awards; the class of 2016 included Will Amos, Erica Davis, Karina Gonzalez, Heidi Kritz, Xerxes Libsch, and Susette Onate.

You can read more about them and 16 years of prior winners at

Learning from, working with, and supporting young people is critical to the success, relevance, and long-term viability of the environmental movement.

Your year-end gift will help us to support the most creative and energetic leaders who are building a more effective and far-reaching environmental movement.

Helping Members Make Informed Decisions and Take Action

Obviously, one of the more grim aspects of the election was witnessing the nefarious influence of “media” that often entirely ignores facts in favor of disparagement and false ideology.

Our award-winning quarterly Earth Island Journal, and daily online articles at, provide a crucial antidote to this crisis.

We practice deeply researched, fearless journalism that speaks truth to power. We’re doing the kind of on-the-ground reporting that is essential for giving citizens and policymakers the information they need to protect the environment and to refute the assertions of anti-environment ideologues.

We are happy to report that the 30-year archive of our print publication is soon going to be available on JSTOR, the prominent online research and teaching platform.

Your tax-deductible, year-end donation will help us to keep fact-based environmental advocacy journalism in the public eye.

United in the Face of Threatening Times

We are committed to moving the Earth Island Community ahead, but, at this critical juncture for our country and our planet, we need you to help us continue to grow environmental leadership.

We appreciate our readers, members, and supporters who engage with us in many ways throughout the year, affirming the importance you accord to our work and sharing your hopes and concerns for the future. Of course, while we are listening and learning with particular intensity right now, we still need to act, and act fast. To do the work, expand our community, and step up our efforts across the board at this critical historic moment is a big order.

Your year-end gift today will give us the resources to provide the tools our people need to protect our shared planet. We would be honored to be among the good efforts you support in the year-end giving season.

I invite you to contact me at or at my direct line 510-859-9108. Help us to serve you better.

On behalf of everyone at Earth Island, we send you our best wishes, and look forward to your partnership in the year ahead.


graphich of a signature

John A. Knox
Executive Director

PS: If you prefer, you can make a tax-deductible donation right now online at:

PPS: Many companies will match, or even double or triple your contribution. Visit and search for your employer’s name to get details on their matching gift program, or check with your employer and send in their matching-gift form along with your tax-deductible gift to Earth Island.