All over the internet. All over the news. On every lip I pass in the supermarket to the school pickup line, everyone seems to have an impending sense of doom.
The economy is doomed. Immigrants are doomed. Women are doomed.
And in my circle, the environment is doomed.
It may be that all those things will come true.
But, what if such an enemy actually encourages people to join your ranks?
What if the next pipeline or air quality regulations or abolishing the Paris Agreement is proposed… and your organization is involved in stopping it?
Turn Bad News Into a Rallying Call
I’m already seeing this happen in my environment news feeds. To an incredible degree.
The donation requests have been fast tracked through editing and are landing in my inbox at breakneck speed.
So, why not join them?
Many people’s emotions are primed to respond to the gloom and doom that is predominant in these appeals.
Why not turn this moment in history into your best yet?
People, especially the majority of people on your mailing lists, have an amazing ability to rally around bad news.
It’s true you may have a gigantic uphill battle. But uphill battles are incredible fodder for fundraising dinners, emotionally moving stories, blog posts, interviews, videos…
Please believe me when I say I’m not flippant about what may turn out to be incredible dangers in the years ahead of us, nor am I discounting the fear many who’ve been outright targeted are feeling.
But I’m optimistic at the ability of Americans to fight for what they believe in.
And I’ve got my eye on you…the environmental organization or green business that believes in fighting for a better environment for America.
And I’m not alone.
Here are just a handful of your peers who’ve already harnessed this defeat into action:
The Sierra Club, who’s pretty consistently one step ahead of everyone else, came out with an email just days after the election.
The first article was titled, “Determined, Not Defeated” where Executive Director Michael Brune said, “We will not mourn (for too long, anyway) — we will organize.”
It’s succinct, captures our emotions, and inspires hope for the next step.
And to cement their genius, their very next article in the same newsletter is titled “Fight Back With a Monthly Donation”.
My guess is they’re going to get a lot more donations in the months to come.
And you could too.
The Student Conservation Association demonstrated they also have their finger on the pulse in an email appeal on November 16th.
After last week’s divisive presidential election, it is clear that there is a lot of change ahead of us. Despite the change and uncertainty, one thing remains unchanged: SCA’s commitment to protecting our national, state and local parks and green spaces.
Notice they used the same formula as the Sierra Club. Empathize, inspire, and ask for money.
Friends of the Earth used the same formula in an email on November 15th.
So we must join together, combine our strength, and stand proud to protect our precious Earth and all the life it supports.
Aaaaand so did the Conservation Law Foundation on the very same day.
The fights will be harder, the odds narrower, and the outcomes uncertain – but we’ll never give up on New England’s people and communities. We’ve come too far.
I could go on. Countless environmental organizations are putting their best minds together to figure out how to fight together, better.
Sure, the election was a shock, maybe even devastating.
But, like I’ve said before, everyone loves a good villain. Hero’s are made when villains appear.
And a follow up email from the Sierra Club on November 21st proved that.
Dear Danielle –
In the days since Trump won, there hasn’t been much good news.
But I’m heartened by one thing: you. Your response has been jaw-dropping. 26,862 donations. 13,487 new monthly donors. $1.5 million in total donation commitments.
We met our $1,000,000 match goal thanks to your generosity. Now a new donor has offered an additional $100,000 match!”
When Trump’s time is up, you may find your list of supporters to have grown, your donations to be unprecedented, and the sense of community you inspired to take your organization to new heights.
So please, no more wallowing. I want to see environmental organizations across the world become the heroes I know you are.