Impact Report 2020 Header
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Greetings,

Concern about climate in America has doubled in the past few years.
People see impacts — supposed to happen in the distant future — around them in their daily lives. At the same time solutions abound. Ten years ago, all new utility energy was coal and natural gas. Now it’s 100% renewable. Not enough Americans know this.

Americans want solutions. ecoAmerica empowers people to action and advocacy by reaching out to them where they live, work, pray, and play through truly trusted messengers. Our broad coalition of national organizations brings great leverage, scale, and credibility to our work.

Our unique strategy of building public support and political resolve for climate action fills the gap between climate activists and deniers. We still have time to reverse climate change and be rewarded with a thriving planet, healthier people, equitable prosperity, and a more just society. Let’s work together to ensure this future.

Phil Sharp

Chairman
ecoAmerica

Meighen Speiser

Executive Director
ecoAmerica

Bob Perkowitz

President
ecoAmerica

ecoAmerica Mission

Build a critical mass of public support and political resolve for climate action in the United States by developing and supporting a network of trusted leaders and institutions that will act and advocate for climate solutions with their stakeholders and policymakers. Our priorities are:

Ambition

We need to move from mitigation to greater ambition. Our US goals are too weak and too far away. We all need to achieve 100% clean energy by 2035, and to begin taking carbon out of the atmosphere at scale as fast as we can. There is no such thing as overcorrecting when it comes to climate change.

Restoration

We need to move from adaptation to restoration. Healthy nature can restore itself and heal the planet. We need to help it by reversing pollution we’ve caused and restoring our forests and waters. The biggest thing we can do to restore the planet is to simply stop burning fossil fuels.

Justice

We recognize that our climate, health, economic, democratic, and racial crises are intertwined, rooted in systemic injustice. Effective solutions for climate change require us to reset our thinking and bend action toward social justice — bringing forward urgency, scale, and systemic change that addresses racism, education, income and health disparities, and climate change.

What We Do

ecoAmerica builds institutional leadership, public support, and political resolve for climate solutions — achieving leverage, scale, and credibility through partnerships with leading national organizations. We empower health, faith, and civic leaders in communities across the country to make climate solutions relevant and actionable for all Americans, particularly beyond the traditional climate movement.

We recruit prominent leaders to guide and support our core programs. Women make up nearly half of our 120 members, and over a quarter are from diverse racial and ethnic constituencies. These leaders connect with Americans where they live, work, and pray.

ecoAmerica helps national organizations engage their members, professionals within their networks, and millions of stakeholders in climate action. Our network reaches into communities in every corner to educate, advocate, and accelerate a rapid, just transition to a clean energy economy.

Why It Works

Most Americans share the same core values — family, community, prosperity, and security. These provide meaning and significance and serve as a foundation for addressing common threats — like climate change.

We now see the direct impacts of climate change in our lives. Floods, droughts, wildfires, and extreme weather events are daily news. Concern is growing, and Americans want to solve the crisis. But they don’t see others acting, so they don’t.

People act as a community. When our trusted leaders and institutions say that climate change requires that we all need to do our part to stop carbon pollution and restore nature, we will.

ecoAmerica makes the connection between those core values, the impacts of climate change, and addressing the crises together in our existing cultural circles. We are grounded in social identity theory that provides leaders and institutions with the rationale, resources and support they need to build collective action on climate change.

Achieving Ambitious Goals

We need to activate mainstream Americans in climate action if we want to be successful. At ecoAmerica, we cut our teeth helping higher education lead on climate with programs at over 700 colleges and universities. Now we’re tipping other large sectors into successful climate action, helping them go 100% clean and activate their networks.

Faith denominations, health and medical associations, and community associations in America typically have tens of thousands of professional members and millions of constituents. Climate change is coming to the forefront of all of these organizations, challenging the values, their missions, and their stakeholders.

What can they do? They can lead by example and engage their members in climate mitigation, adaptation, and advocacy by joining dozens of their peer organizations in ecoAmerica’s Climate for Health, Blessed Tomorrow, or Path to Positive Communities programs. Along with a plethora of resources and support, including the knowledge and best practices in the sector, they get almost weekly “shareable content” including blog posts, webcasts, and forums for their members.

“Thank you Jennifer, and thank you to all of the ecoAmerica staff. If there are some folks who…have not gone to the website and looked at [their] communication tips, you’re missing out — there’s great information there!” — Jonathan Parfrey, Executive Director, Climate Resolve

Effective Climate Advocacy

Advocacy is much broader than just reaching out to elected officials or championing legislation. Open any of ecoAmerica’s Moving Forward Guides or skim through our blogs, you’ll find information on how to engage your profession, your workplace, your community, and with policy makers — tailored to you.

Faith, health, and community leaders all have values and goals aligned with climate solutions, and they are increasingly eager to take up the mantle and advocate for action. ecoAmerica provides them with guidance and information they need to make a difference.

It’s not enough to just say climate change is a problem — ecoAmerica actually helps people act.

Climate information, talking points, voter guides, advocacy plans, action guides, research and resources for contacting your elected officials are embedded in all of ecoAmerica’s programs. Our Climate Ambassador trainings mint new leaders to act and advocate for solutions. And our Let’s Talk Climate webcast series keeps them on top of current issues and developments.

“So many of us out here are just waiting to be asked to participate, we want to do something. We’re lucky enough to have an organization like ecoAmerica to give us a start.” — Bruce Bekkar, M.D., Chair, Public Health Advisory Council, Climate Action Campaign

Climate for Health mobilizes health and medical institutions and their 1.5 million members to lead and engage Americans in advocacy for climate solutions.

43

Prominent health experts guide and support the Climate for Health program

39

National professional health associations with over 1.5 million health professionals

22

Of those organizations have partnerships with ecoAmerica to support their climate programs

17

National and international health and climate associations

The world is watching public health more closely than ever, and the role of health professionals as trusted messengers has never been more important. While those on the front lines of COVID-19 response must dedicate resources to fighting the pandemic, those of us who can, must continue to lead on climate.

Climate change is impacting our health now, disrupting global systems and altering the physical and social landscape in communities. Understanding climate impacts as personal and community health issues — longer allergy seasons, more frequent and severe storms and wildfires, mental trauma — motivates people to act.

Climate for Health supports a diverse network of health leaders and organizations from across the health sector to support their members in climate action and advocacy. Always grounded in climate justice and health equity, Climate for Health offers innovative and dynamic tools, resources, and programming to health professionals at all levels to elevate and accelerate their climate leadership.

> See our PARTNERS and LEADERS.

Blessed Tomorrow partners with major faith denominations to catalyze climate action by providing strategy, guidance, training, and resources tailored to each faith tradition.

49

National faith leaders guide and support the Blessed Tomorrow program

13

Denominations with over 115,000 clergy and 50,000,000 congregants participate

14

Of those denominations have partnerships with ecoAmerica

32

Faith, interfaith, and multi-faith organizations participate

People of faith are core to every community. Houses of worship are where the hopes, beliefs, needs and injustices are shown, known and attended to in faith.

Blessed Tomorrow harnesses this moral responsibility to care for neighbor and all Creation by helping faith leaders and denominations inspire communities across the country to act on one of the greatest moral challenges of our era: climate change.

Blessed Tomorrow offers compelling tools and resources to increase ambition on climate solutions, restore God’s creation, and to seek justice in the transition to a clean energy economy.

In 2020, Blessed Tomorrow trained nearly 600 individuals around the country to be Ambassadors in their communities. Ambassadors share their call to care for Creation and invite others into concrete action and advocacy using the distinct voices of their faith tradition.

> See our PARTNERS and LEADERS.

path_to_positive

Path to Positive Communities reaches communities through national and regional partnerships helping civic leaders raise public awareness, share best practices, and build support for climate policies.

28

National and local leaders, including elected officials, guide and support Path to Positive Communities

21

National, state, and local community organizations reach over 19,000 U.S. communities with resources

8

Of those organizations have partnerships with ecoAmerica to support their climate programs

14

Local government partners working in communities across the US

Americans know that the rubber meets the road at the local level. Informed, resilient, and caring neighborhoods are the backbone of local action. Path to Positive Communities focuses on motivating and empowering local action around climate solutions.

Path to Positive Communities helps local leaders engage their residents in climate action — to understand that climate solutions, whether they are wind or solar, backyard gardens, bike paths, or other equitable solutions, not only provide healthy air, water, and food, but also build community cohesion, resilience and property values.

We offer customized resources to support local climate action and train leaders to speak about climate impacts, environmental justice, and the future viability of their cities and counties, in a bi-partisan and inclusive way. Working in some of the most conservative areas of the country, Path to Positive has helped move communities to dramatic shifts in attitudes, resulting in public support for effective climate action.

> See our PARTNERS and LEADERS.

Maintaining Momentum

As ecoAmerica builds its network of partners, activists and ambassadors, we need to keep them informed and engaged on climate. We do that with a regular series of newsletters, and a weekly climate webcast — Let’s Talk Climate.

ecoAmerica introduced Let’s Talk Climate to diversify and energize the climate conversation and provide guidance and support to climate activists as they seek to expand public support and political resolve for equitable and effective climate solutions.

Let’s Talk Climate covers seven topics: people, politics, health, communities, faith, leadership, and nature/science in rotating weekly sessions with empowering information and fresh ideas. The weekly webcasts are hosted by ecoAmerica staff, and feature leading national experts in the topic at hand.

“This was one of the best webinars I have attended in a long time. The two speakers were superb and the moderator did a good job. I am a public health person so the topic was germane. I will attend next week’s.” — J.H. Climate for Health webcast

Spreading the Word

Nearly 80% of Americans now say they are concerned about climate change and over half — 54% — say they are very concerned. They need information and help turning that concern into action.

ecoAmerica health, faith, and community Ambassador programs train concerned citizens so they can become advocates and go out into their communities — workplaces, civic organizations, government meetings and more — and speak out about the challenges and opportunities in addressing climate change.

ecoAmerica has trained over 1,000 Ambassadors so far. We provide them with a 4 hour training program, presentations, and guides so they can speak with confidence and professionalism. They in turn agree to give at least 3 speaking events and take 3 advocacy actions over the next year.

“Thanks for putting together such an outstanding training! Thanks so much for your commitment to creation care and climate justice!” — M. B.

Ambassadors

Sharing Best Practices

Many thousands of groups and millions of Americans are working to build public support and political will for climate solutions — but you probably don’t know about them. They work to move their communities, workplaces, schools, and interest groups toward clean energy and a just and prosperous future. We can all learn from them.

ecoAmerica started the American Climate Leadership Awards (ACLA) to discover and share best practices on moving society toward climate solutions. In our first year, 2020, ACLA attracted over 200 inspiring applications yielding 35 semi-finalists, ten finalists, a runner up, and a winner with $155,000.

We want to highlight and thank the 2020 winners: CALPIRG Students, CivicSpark, Piper Christian’s Utah Concurrent Resolution on Environment and Economic Stewardship, Future Coalition, Green Teams, Keep LA Cool, Portland Clean Energy Fund Initiative, Regeneración, Don Sampson’s Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Climate Change Project, and Sunrise Movement.

These people/organizations have ideas and programs that can move their peers and all of us closer to climate solutions faster. Join us in recognizing and rewarding their work.

“[ACLA] was a wonderful ceremony. We are so honored and thrilled to be chosen as runner-up. What a gift to our community at this time of need.” — Nancy Faulstich, Executive Director, Regeneración

We're in This Together

Americans and climate activists often feel isolated in their battle for climate action. When you bring them together, energy builds and sparks fly — even in digital gatherings.

Bill McKibben, Naomi Oreskes, Bishop Staccato Powell, Senator Brian Schatz, Katharine Hayhoe, Georges C. Benjamin, MD, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Chistiana Figueres, and 64 other leaders joined the virtual American Climate Leadership Summit 2020 in August. Over 40 sponsoring partners and 1,000 attendees participated on a new platform that featured video feeds of the sessions, polling, chat, reaction, Q&A, the agenda, session descriptions, and speakers all in one window.

The theme of the Summit was Ambition • Restoration • Justice. In addition to the expert briefings on these topics, we recognized many frontline climate activists including our 10 American Climate Leadership Awards finalists and winners, and 30 activists in our Climate Scholars program.

Every speaker and every session focused on action — what we all can and need to do to make a difference on climate solutions now.

“I have it on my calendar and wouldn’t miss it — great content with tangible recommendations.” — E.G., Climate for Health Partner

“This was incredible! I greatly appreciate the opportunity to hold this space with you all and share. I’m so glad we got to begin building relationships!” — L.H., Atlanta, Georgia

Thank You - Foundations & Institutions

Thank you to our generous donors and to the entire ecoAmerica community for supporting our work and making this year’s impact possible. Together, we will continue to build institutional leadership, public support, and political resolve for climate solutions in the United States. Current donors who have given $1,000 or more.

African Methodist Episcopal Church
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
Allergy & Asthma Network
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Baptist Churches USA
American College of Sports Medicine
American Geophysical Union
American Psychological Association
American Public Health Association
American Wind Energy Association
Anthropocene Institute, LLC
Bonwood Social Investments
The William K. Bowes Jr. Foundation
Camalotte Foundation
Climate Central Conservancy of Southwest Florida
Disciples Home Missions
The Educational Foundation of America
Emmett Foundation
Environmental Defense Fund
The Episcopal Church

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Excelsior Impact Fund
Flora Family Foundation
The Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust
Friedman Family Charitable Trust
The Joseph and Susan Gatto Foundation
George Washington School of Public Health
Goldman-Sonnenfeldt Foundation
Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation
Hartfield Foundation
Kresge Foundation
Land Trust Alliance
Lostand Foundation Inc.
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health
The Harvey L. Miller Family Foundation
Moms Clean Air Force
Mountain Philanthropies
National Audubon Society
National Environmental Health Association

National Recreation and Park Association
The Nature Conservancy
New Visions Foundation
Norwottock Charitable Trust
Outrider Foundation
The Carl Victor Page Memorial Fund
The Pew Charitable Trusts
Planetary Health Alliance
The Prentice Foundation, Inc.
Frederick D. and Karen G. Schaufeld Family Foundation
Stephen M. Silberstein Foundation
SunLight Time Foundation
Mark and Amy Tercek Foundation
Trust for Public Land
Tuft Family Foundation
United Church of Christ
United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society
Vocal Minority
John and Carol Walter Family Foundation
Wellcome Trust

Thank You - Individuals

Norman and Elizabeth Anderson
Anne Slaughter
Andrew Marcia Angle* and Mark Trustin
Anonymous (2)
Ed Begley Jr.
Crandall Bowles
Gay Browne
Lee Buck*
Paul Burdell
Craig A. Craze*
Harry Dalton
Mike and Carol Danaher
Peter Danzig and Lava Thomas
F. K. Day
Leah Missbach Day*
Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker
Antonio Flores
Mark T. Gallogly and Elizabeth B. Stricker
Clay and Deidre Grubb
Susan Harris

John Hunting
Fern Ingber
Sharon Kempner
Lorie Peters Lauthier*
Roger and Florence Liddell
Michael and Ann Loeb
Dale and Frank Loy
Jennifer McFarlane
Richard* and Judith Morrissey
Matthew C Mullenweg
Jan and Robert Newman
Hon. Gregory Nickels
Caroline Niemczyk*
Nancy and William Noble
Carl Page
Gloria Page
Stacy Pulice
Geof Rochester
Ted Roosevelt V
Dannah Rosales

Ms. Heather L. Ross & Mr. Edward L. Strohbehn Jr.
Guy* and Jeanine Saperstein
Philip R. Sharp
Guy Synder
Guy and Linda Snyder
Fred and Alice Stanback
John and Suzanne Steed
Edward Stern
Thomas Sturgess*
Whitmire Vo
Parker White
Andrew and Christine Winston

* Indicates ecoAmerica Leadership Council Members

ecoAmerica Board of Directors

Join Us!

You too can contribute to a sustainable future — with financial gifts to ecoAmerica as well as work in your own community. A large gift can help us equip a major national association with all of the tools it needs to prioritize climate and engage its members to act on and advocate for solutions. A mid-sized gift can help us make a short film to show thousands of parishioners how to green their churches and their lives. Contact us to learn more. We’d love to talk! For information on supporting our work, including gifts of securities, planned gifts, or tribute or memorial gifts, please contact:

Robbianne Mackin, Chief Development Officer
917-226-7595 | [email protected]

Visit ecoAmerica.org to learn about our latest program and research offerings, news, information and thought leadership on engaging Americans for climate and sustainability solutions. ecoAmerica is a 501(c)(3) organization. We depend on the generous support of donors and key constituents who share our philosophy that climate and sustainability progress starts with people.

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