Giving to Advance Sustainability: A Special Earth Day Message
I just gave AASHE $1,000 dollars! And I feel like a million bucks!
One of my favorite times of the year is in early December when Colorado Gives day occurs. That evening my wife and I sit down at our computers and after deciding how much each of us will be giving. We sort through hundreds of organizations in Colorado and give money to the ones that best fit our personal and public agendas. At the end of the evening my Visa has a huge charge on it, I’ve come to appreciate the wonderful things non-profits in Colorado are doing, and I feel great about having helped advance causes I care about.
A few of years ago, I was asked by a colleague how they could give some money they had earned from consulting to AASHE. I was a bit stunned because we typically looked at our institutional members and various fees as our income sources and in truth, really didn’t have any system for giving to AASHE. Truly, my response was, “Just write a check to AASHE and send it to our business manager.” I have had a number of conversations with individuals since who want to individually support the work of AASHE. After numerous discussions, and fits and starts, last year we began planning a system for helping individuals support AASHE through donations.
Since mid-December 2012, you may have noticed a green DONATE button on the AASHE web pages. This was the soft launch of our Donations web page and online giving system. Now we have a system for anyone to make a financial gift to AASHE . Which begs the important question, WHY should you give to AASHE? After all, we have a budget of more than $2 million a year and income from institutional memberships alone in excess of $1 million. Do we really need your money?
In fact, the answer is a resounding yes! Your gift to AASHE makes it possible for AASHE to provide better and more extensive services to a greater number of people. Although you can envision your gift to AASHE supporting any of our efforts – the Resources Center, various databases, the (free) Bulletin and other e-newsletters, publications, STARS assessment system, and our many collaborations with other organizations – we have called out three ways that your donation supports efforts to keep AASHE affordable for all:
Your gift can help us keep the registration price of the Student Summit and student attendance at the annual conference well below what it costs AASHE.
Your gift can help us bring together some of the nation's leading sustainability experts during convenings via webinars and publications.
Your gift can support AASHE providing award winners with an opportunity to attend the conference to receive their well-earned recognition.
Not only does AASHE need my money but I need to give (some of) my money to AASHE. You might suspect that I support higher education sustainability efforts and believe that higher education should be empowered to lead the sustainability transformation (the AASHE mission). It’s one thing for me to support it by choosing a job in higher education sustainability. But it is also important for me to make a personal statement about my support that goes beyond my job choice. That I can do by giving to AASHE to support AASHE’s efforts to empower higher education to lead the sustainability transformation.
As we celebrate our dependence upon the earth this week I would urge you to join with me in supporting AASHE in its efforts to ensure a better future for us all.
Click here to see how our members are shaping sustainability with the help of AASHE tools and resources, and give whatever you can to advance sustainability and feel the joy of giving to something you really care about.
Paul Rowland, AASHE Executive Director
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