It's that time of year when non-profits of every environmental stripe come looking for donations, and not surprisingly I've already seen gift guides, requests to "adopt" animals, purchase green holiday cards and plain old-fashioned solicitations sent to help raise money. Every year it seems to be more requests than the year before, and it turns out it's probably not my imagination playing tricks on me again.According to research performed by the Urban Institute, an economic and social policy research group, the number of nonprofit organizations dedicated to conservation and the environment rose faster than the number of nonprofit groups overall since 1995, growing by 4.6 percent per year compared to 2.8 percent per year for all nonprofits. In fact, the environmental movement has expanded in the number of organizations, members and total revenue almost every year since 1960.
The study shows there is a core group of prominent national organizations but that more interestingly, a larger, more rapidly growing group of regional, local and other specialized groups. These smaller groups tended to be lightly-staffed or all volunteer and focused more on education and projects than advocacy. And intriguingly, environmental groups are also more dependent on private grants and contributions than the nonprofit sector in general.
Clearly, it's a heartening study in many ways, particularly for anyone who thought the environmental movement was becoming too corporate: There are growing numbers of local volunteer groups out to save — and watchdog — your land, water and air.
Who knows, the info above just might make a difference when you get that next request in the mail.
Via: The Boston Globe
Image Credit: Jordan Pond
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