SEED Ohio pilot allows orgs, individuals to donate to saving the planet

SEED Ohio, a pilot program to help raise funds for Ohio environmental nonprofits, will wrap up its inaugural campaign at the end of this month.

“Only three percent of all philanthropic giving goes to environmental causes,” says Jon Cocina, COO of 1% for the Planet, a global network of businesses, nonprofits and individuals working together for a healthy planet. “With this pilot, we wanted to increase impact and innovate to tackle environmental issues in a bigger way."

1% for the Planet not only targets Ohio residents, but also shares the SEED Ohio campaign on its global platform, which provides visibility and awareness of Ohio causes to its members and social media channels.

“SEED Ohio targets people who might not be familiar with environmental organizations so they would be hesitant to pick one nonprofit or one issue to support," Cocina explains. "We created a mobile-friendly, engaging donation platform, and are working with organizations that provide knowledge around their issues that we can share with the donors.”

Donations to the SEED program are split evenly between six Ohio environmental organizations, each one addressing 1% for the Planet’s key issue areas: land, water, climate, food, pollution and wildlife.

The six Ohio organizations include Cuyahoga River Restoration and Western Reserve Land Conservancy in Cleveland; Clean Fuels Ohio and Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association in Columbus; and Building Value and Ohio River Foundation in Cincinnati.

“The SEED partners were already working with 1% for the Planet and doing great, innovative work,” says Cocina. “Each participant will provide metrics on how the donations were used and every donor will receive an impact report.”

1% for the Planet began in 2012 with the idea that companies would donate one percent of their sales to environmental causes. “All businesses take from the environment in some way,” says Cocina. “1% for the Planet offers a way for businesses to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.”

1% for the Planet has over 1,200 business members and recently launched an individual membership program for people to commit one percent of their salary to support environmental nonprofit organizations.

“We realized that not everyone is ready or able to give one percent of their sales or salary,” says Cocina. “This pilot is a new platform and engagement opportunity for individuals to give. SEED Ohio lets anyone be part of the movement.”

SEED Ohio will accept donations through Dec. 31. 1% for the Planet will be evaluating the six-month pilot and planning next steps in 2018.

Read more articles by Julie Carpenter.

Julie Carpenter has a background in cultural heritage tourism, museums, and nonprofit organizations. She's the Executive Director of AIA Cincinnati.