Spring 2018

Dear Friend of Earth Island Institute,

Contribute TodayAs spring arrived this year, bringing with it warmer days and the gift of new life, there was much to look around and be inspired by. Tiny green shoots emerging from the ground, a riot of flowers unfurling their faces to the sun, fluffy fledglings filling the air with birdsong everywhere I turned, there was our living world, putting up a glorious show, modeling resilience and filling me with a sense of hope.

Despite the troubled times we are in, I know that hope is not in vain. The grassroots mobilization and exceptional leadership of emerging movements like #NeverAgain, Black Lives Matter, #TimesUp, and the Women's March are clear proof that the struggle to build a better world is gaining strength. These efforts are a powerful reminder of the importance of individual leadership and of community and collective action — all ideals that have shaped Earth Island's work since it was founded in 1982.

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Photo by Elizabeth Speed
The Mississippi Farm to School Network recently became an Earth Island sponsored project.
Learn more at earthisland.org/projects.

Faced with an administration that challenges the health of our society and planet on a nearly daily basis, we at Earth Island continue to believe that our strength lies in connecting with those grassroots individuals and communities who are working to protect our Earth.

No matter how hard my job seems at times, there's one thing that brings me back to my desk day after day, year after year: The knowledge that all these amazing men, women, and young persons who make up Earth Island's nearly 80 projects, are out there striving tirelessly to achieve that one goal that they have set for themselves be it saving a tiny burrowing owl, keeping our ocean and beaches free of plastic pollution, or fixing our broken food system.

None of this work would be possible without your help. I'm grateful for your past support of our efforts, and invite you to make a tax-deductible donation now, to help Earth Island Institute continue its truly unique role in the environmental movement — empowering a diverse community of passionate individuals who are committed to protecting our imperiled world and building a more just and inclusive environmental movement.

Three Decades of Supporting Bold Environmental Leaders

I often reflect on how Earth Island started in 1982 with a big idea from environmental visionary David Brower: Why not create a new home for dedicated environmental activists a place where bold people with big ideas can collectively build the awareness and change we need to take on the environmental issues of our time? Why not have that home serve as an incubator for those who want to test out new ideas and approaches to solving environmental problems, and at the same time, provide long-term support for established environmental projects?

Thus was born this unique movement support organization that, over the course of the past three-and-a- half decades, has provided support services, strategic advice, and encouragement to more than 150 projects in more than 40 countries around the world. Some of these projects continue to be a part of the Earth Island family, while others have spun off and become independent, self-sustaining, nonprofits that we are proud to have helped give a leg up. Our alumni include well-regarded and impactful environmental organizations such as, Rainforest Action Network, International Rivers, and Energy Action Coalition/Power Shift Network.

At the moment, Earth Island supports a vibrant network of nearly 80 projects run by incredible activists and entrepreneurial leaders who are driving the change that creates solutions for a sustainable future.

Please take a look at our online project directory at earthisland.org/projects. We've recently updated it to reflect our project's work by their focus areas: Agriculture and Food Systems; Clean Energy and Climate Change; Conservation, Preservation, and Restoration; EnvironmentalEducation; International and Indigenous Communities; Leadership Development; Ocean and Water; Pollution and Toxics; Sustainability and Community Resilience; Wildlife Projection; Women's Environmental Leadership; and Youth Empowerment.

photo of people together
Photo by Cherine Badawi
Project Support workshops are just one way that we share knowledge & increase the impact of our projects.

Earth Island's Project Support program provides our environmental activists with administration, financial, and human resource management training, as well as technical assistance so that they can focus on their program ideas and campaigns while leaving the bureaucracy to us.

Project Support helps our projects build capacity by organizing workshops and trainings on program management, proposal writing, and foundation research, and by offering technical assistance to project directors and staff via webinars, and a monthly e-newsletter. In addition to institutional support, we provide opportunities for our projects to connect with one another by encouraging community-building and peer support among the project directors in our network. We also regularly host project directors' summits that give people an opportunity to meet in person, learn from each other, and form strategic alliances.

This year, our project support team is piloting a new effort to enhance the work of our fiscally-sponsored projects by introducing affinity groups designed to focus peer learning opportunities and facilitate collaboration between projects enhancing our network, leveraging its impact, and building environmental leadership while developing a new generation of capacity building programs.

At a time when the environmental movement, more than ever, needs bold solutions that restore our ecosystems, and address the interconnected issues of social justice, the work that Earth Island does in supporting these leaders is critical. As more and more committed individuals are looking to get involved and take action for the environment, many grassroots activists are turning to Earth Island for assistance. By providing the kind of comprehensive, professional, movement support that we do to an ever-growing number of projects requires a lot of resources and, most importantly, funds.

Your support today will help us expand the scope of our work and the number of projects we help develop. When you make a tax-deductible contribution to Earth Island Institute, you provide vital support to an entire network of committed individuals and their solutions-focused projects.

Stepping Up & Providing Solutions

After more than 20 years at Earth Island, I am still excited by my work. Key to that is Earth Island's commitment to learning and its willingness to ask, and answer, critical questions about our place in the environmental movement: What are the most valuable contributions we can make? What can we do better?

It is this constant self-examination, this wish to do better, which led us to establish a new legal arm — Earth Island Advocates — last year. EI Advocates is already working closely with several projects to advance their work through advocacy and litigation. It is also building a network of law firms and legal clinics that are willing to provide pro bono services to Earth Island and its projects. For example, a team of associates at Fenwick & West is providing crucial legal research on wildlife killing contests to support Project Coyote's national campaign to ban these practices. And the environmental law clinics at Stanford and University of California, Irvine are working with Earth Island, Shark Stewards, and the International Marine Mammal Project to protect our marine national monuments.

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Donors receive quarterly copies of our Earth Island Journal that help inform & inspire us all.

I'm so proud that we now have the capacity to offer our projects legal support in their fight against the Trump administration's assault on the environment, and I'm hoping you will help us advance this work as well.

Earth Island relies on many individual gifts of all sizes to help us grow environmental leadership. Your support will not only allow us to better serve the projects in our network, but also enable us to help emerging leaders looking to take their next steps through our other core program areas — New Leaders Initiative / Brower Youth Awards, which works to encourage and uplift young environmental leaders, and Earth Island Journal, which inspires our members, supporters, and grassroots individuals to get involved, take action and stay informed via its quarterly print magazine and daily online news articles.

At this critical time, I firmly believe that Earth Island's unique role in growing and supporting environmental leadership is vital for building the sustainable future we all envision. Financial support from individuals like you now is crucial in helping us to step up and face the increasingly difficult challenge of protecting our environment. I hope you will make a tax-deductible donation to Earth Island Institute today.

Thank you for your continued support of our efforts to build a healthier planet.

Sincerely,

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Susan Kamprath
Director of Operations, Earth Island Institute

P.S.: Many companies will match, or even double or triple your contribution. Visit eii.org/MG and search for your employer's name or check with your employer and send in their matching-gift form.