The missing opportunity

I’ve been doing a lot of donating lately – mostly to organizations fighting climate chance, preserving natural wonders and the like.  I’ve completed a lot of donation forms and the one thing that’s always missing is the choice to make my donation recur quarterly or yearly.  In fact, only the Center for Biological Diversity had a quarterly donation option, which I happily clicked.

Monthly donations, which at first sound like a good idea, leave a lot of money in the hands of credit card companies that are taking a snip out every monthly gift I give.

Many organizations also spend an inordinate amount of effort and money re-enrolling their members on a yearly basis. The Museum of Science in Boston is the notable exception that has figured out that all they need to do is send us an email with a reminder that our membership renews in 30 days, then charge our card. We never object and it’s far easier for us to support their work and much easier for them to collect our membership fee.

For most non-profits, the cost in the software and process changes that would make the automatic yearly donations possible would be easily covered by the increased returns. This is the same strong force (some call it nudge) behind the Opt-Out systems that increase retirement savings rates, clean electricity participation, etc. It’s time for the non-profit sector to get on board.

Sanity saving measures

[This post has been updated to reflect the urgency of action on climate.]


We have a moral obligation to protect our children from climate change by swiftly transitioning form fossil fuels to locally generated renewable energy. Here are some of the organizations that are working to make the needed change.

Environmental Voter Project – contribute to this non-partisan effort to get voters who consider the environment to be their 1st or 2nd priority to vote.  Turns out they don’t. – grassroots organizers for climate action.
NRDC – Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice – lawyers for Earth, Center for Biological Diversity (species + habitat preservation), Green Energy Consumers Alliance – group buy-in for an electric car program + other clean energy solutions, Mothers Out Front – my work – moms for a livable climate, NPCA National Parks Conservation Association – the parks are already facing a long list of necessary but unfunded repairs and it’s about to get worse, The Nature Conservancy – restores/preserves ecologically valuable places worldwide.
If anyone in government or the utility sector tells you it’s impossible to have clean electricity at competitive rates, they don’t know about Green Mountain Power, a utility in Vermont which is providing its customers with excellent service, at competitive rates, and as of this writing, their electricity mix is 90% carbon-free.
There are also many, many other people and organizations that are buildling the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Find them and amplify their voice by adding yours.