Non-profit organizations like food banks, hospitals, community centers, schools, etc, play a huge part of civil society. While they probably have a surplus of good karma thanks to all the good that they do, especially for people who tend to fall through the cracks of the system, they still need cold hard cash to operate, which means that fundraising is important. Any new tool in the arsenal to raise some bucks is welcome, and the new SunRaising program by SolarCity seems like it could be a good one.
The idea is simple: Non-profits can sign up to the program, and when a supporter signs up for solar through the referral program, the non-profit gets money ($200) and the supporter gets their first month at no-charge (a good incentive to sign up through SunRaising rather than just directly). The solar installer can even plan 'solar events' where some of their employees can explain how everything works and help anyone interested to sign up. And they don't demand exclusivity, so if this model catches on, charities can also sign up with other solar companies.
According to SolarCity, more than 300 nonprofit organizations have already joined and made referrals under the SunRaising program. "These referrals have led to solar energy system installations projected to offset approximately 60,000 metric tons of carbon compared to energy produced from fossil fuels. In addition, the program has helped more than 400 homeowners take the first steps towards going solar while helping to raise thousands of dollars."
One of the first SunRaising partners is Riverkeeper, an environmental organization dedicated to protecting the integrity of the Hudson River and its tributaries, as well as the watersheds that provide drinking water to New York City.
“Solar is both viable and economical for most home and business owners in New York and can play a large role in protecting one of America's greatest rivers, the Hudson,” said Paul Gallay, President of Riverkeeper. “One of the greatest threats to the Hudson is an aging nuclear power plant so, not only does SolarCity lower New Yorker's energy bills, but when consumers opt for solar, it plays an integral part in replacing the power from this harmful plant and others like it."
If you help run a non-profit and want to learn more, check out this page, which includes a link to sign up to the program.
Of course, you need to be somewhere that is served by SolarCity (currently 19 states, plus Washington, D.C.):