By Beth Daley, Globe Staff
It’s that time of year when the environmental (and all) non-profits come a-knocking for donations. I’ve already seen gift guides, requests to “adopt” animals and purchase green holiday cards to help raise money for these groups. Every year, there seems to be more requests than the year before.
It turns out it’s probably not my imagination.
A landscape worth saving
A new analysis from the Urban Institute, a economic and social policy research group, shows that 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. Overall, the environmental movement has expanded in the number of organizations, members and total revenue almost every year since 1960.
The study show there is a core group of prominent national organizations but 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. Environmental groups are also more dependent on private grants and contributions (hence the request for donations) than the nonprofit sector in general.
The Urban Institute's National Center for Charitable Statistics took on the study in part because of the lack of information about these smaller groups was focusing attention on national groups, leading to charges the environmental movement has accomplished little in recent years and has become part of the establishment in Washington.
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.
It just might make a difference when you get that request in the mail.
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Helping Boston live a greener, more environmentally friendly life.
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