CCLers get creative with peer-to-peer fundraising
By Ashley Skoch
Did you know that gifts from individual donors fund about two-thirds of Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s work? It’s true! At CCL, no donation is too small, and our supporters are full of creative ways to encourage those donations. From school projects and birthday parties to sporting and art events, these volunteer stories prove that successful grassroots fundraising efforts can share a key ingredient: fun!
Classmates Skye and Elliot decided to raise money for CCL as part of their eighth-grade community project in Goshen, Indiana. Students had the option to pick any cause that mattered most to them, so Skye and Elliot chose climate change because they want a stable climate for their future. After being introduced to CCL by Skye’s father, the young climate advocates decided that supporting CCL’s work was important for long-lasting climate action.
As part of their community project titled “Climate Change in Goshen and the World,” Skye and Elliot conducted a “Greening Goshen” interview with their mayor, created a detailed presentation sharing what the city of Goshen was doing to improve the environment, and fundraised for CCL. When they told community members about their CCL fundraiser on Facebook, the positive response was overwhelming, allowing them to exceed their fundraising goal by more than double!
Skye and Elliot offer this advice to new fundraisers: “Just go for it. Even if you don’t raise the most money, you’re supporting an important cause for the betterment of our planet. It matters and will help us in the future.”
In New Jersey, Buyi Zhang wanted to give a more meaningful gift to his son in celebration of his 10th birthday instead of something that may not have long-term value. Buyi worked to collect funds from various family members and was able to make an impactful contribution to CCL in honor of his son. The decision to give to CCL was made under the consideration that investing in a livable climate was one of the best gifts for his son’s future.
“Instead of more material items, it felt right to use the birthday gift money to support an important cause. For us, that cause is fighting the climate crisis,” says Buyi.
Sporting for climate
What started out as a celebration of Minnesota CCL volunteer Paul Thompson’s 40th American Birkebeiner ski marathon turned into a five-month fundraising and educational campaign. Known as the Birkie 40 Campaign, this effort was led by a team of 12 intrepid skiers, which included CCL staff and volunteers, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, and engaged citizens. Over 300 donors contributed funds that were equally distributed to Citizens’ Climate Education (CCE), Braver Angels, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers for Environmental Action, and Cool Planet.
“Raising these funds is great, but the real measure of success is growing the movement for bipartisan citizen action and breaking through the barriers that keep people separate and afraid,” explains Paul. He adds, “The work of CCL/CCE and the other Birkie 40 groups is essential to bringing our country and planet back into balance, keeping skiers and winter lovers smiling. With [CCL/CCE Founder] Marshall Saunders‘ photo on my skis, it was easy to remember what’s really important.”
Other CCL volunteers nationwide have also joined Climate Ride’s charitable cycling and running adventures. As a result, these volunteers have helped raise significant funding for CCE, as a member of Climate Ride’s beneficiary network.
CCL Montana hosted an “Arts for the Climate” fundraiser event — an evening of art, music and climate action on Giving Tuesday. The event boasted an impressive array of musicians, including a pianist, flutist, and cellist. Sculpture art and poetry were also featured.
In accordance with this event, CCL Montana held a Facebook fundraiser to support CCL’s work. The page explained, “Interspersed throughout the evening, we’ll learn about Citizens’ Climate Lobby and its hallmark bipartisan climate solution, carbon fee and dividend, which can help preserve this world we love.”
Creative ideas, big impact
These CCL volunteers, along with many others, have made a significant impact through their peer-to-peer fundraising efforts. Since the beginning of 2020, over $40,000 has been raised to fund CCL’s climate solutions work – just by asking friends and local community members on Facebook!
Resources are available on the Community website if you’re interested in creative fundraising ideas or would like to learn more about how to raise funds nationally for CCL. Thank you for all that you do to support our important work!