“People feel good about donating to Greenpeace.” This is a quote by Paul Watson who is an environmentalist and co-founder of Greenpeace. I am sure some of you have donated to this organization and know what he is talking about. However, do we completely know how this donation is used? Not really.
In one of my classes, we were discussing how Greenpeace and other nonprofits working for a more sustainable Earth are not always straightforward and so I decided to research more about it since I have been donating 20$ every month for the last two years.
Greenpeace fundraises through different means. According to Greenpeace 2014 financial report which was accessed on October 24, 2015, Greenpeace has earned around 7million dollars through fundraising and donations. There are a lot of different ways to collect donations so I will going over a few of them.
The first one is street fundraising. Those are the people in the street or on campus trying to stop you and get you to donate. I interviewed one of them when he was trying to persuade me to donate. His name was Peter, he had been standing in that street for about three hours and he was happy to take a break for a while. They are trained to be educated about whichever campaign Greenpeace is working on to be able to answer any question you may have but also to fill their quota. Peter mentioned that when the street fundraisers do not reach their monthly quota, they get fired. This makes for an efficient way to get donations
The second way is table fundraising. This is when someone holds a table at an event catered to environmentally conscious people that are usually already interested. The public is more receptive to this according to an article from the French magazine “Figaro” . People who engage themselves to monthly donations get stickers and other to thank them for their donations.
The last method I will be talking about is phone fundraising. This is usually done when someone donated in the past and cancelled their subscription or made a one-time donation instead of a monthly one. According to Gail Perry, who writes the internet blog “Fired Up Fundraising,” this is one of the most efficient fundraising method along with face-to-face fundraising but a bit tricky. People do not want BAD phone calls so Greenpeace gives intensive training to their employee to increase their chances.
Last month, I tried cancelling my subscription and asked the person on the phone to tell me where my money is going. My donations are used on lobbying, renting a boat if the activists are protesting against overfishing (for example), organizing protests, and also marketing and advertising which helps with fundraising as well. 18% go to encourage donor relations so that they will keep helping Greenpeace and to keep them informed as to what is going on. 9% is organizational support which is designed to help employees be committed to the organization and perform well. The last 4% goes toward administration which is management and other functions that keep the organization running.
Greenpeace uses a lot of different means to fundraise and uses the money earned in many ways across the whole organization. This is important to know since a lot of people choose to donate to more well-known organizations such as Greenpeace or WWF but don’t get informed about what happens behind the scenes! So get informed and support an organization focused on an issue you see as a problem!