Fossil fuels are responsible for greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change.
Therefore, taking climate action both on an individual and organisational level is pivotal in order to help tackle the climate emergency and establish sustainable and renewable energy sources as the leading form of power generation in Australia.
To address the detrimental effects that greenhouse gases are having on our climate, fundraising initiatives are critical. Installing solar panels and switching to renewable energy can be costly, which is why donations from the public and the active involvement of non-profit climate charity organisations are important.
CORENA’s goal is to provide a simple mechanism that enables everyone to help collectively achieve prompt and tangible climate outcomes.
Our strategy is to organise practical projects that achieve carbon emission reductions that would otherwise be unlikely to occur, and to invite everyone to chip in to collectively pay for the project costs.
What Are Climate Action Projects?
Climate action projects are initiatives that are designed to mitigate the impact of climate change by introducing more environmentally conscious and sustainable technologies and infrastructure.
Climate action projects can be undertaken by governments, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), private companies, and community organisations. Generally, they require collaboration between various stakeholders to achieve more meaningful results on a larger scale than what individuals can usually achieve on their own.
Common climate projects involve the installation of things like solar panels to generate renewable energy, or getting off gas initiatives which involve the implementation of all-electric technologies in order to reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency. Transitioning to electric vehicles to reduce reliance on fossil fuels is another significant and growing area in regards to tackling the climate emergency.
Why Is Fundraising For Climate Action Projects Necessary?
Many climate projects save money through reduced energy costs over their lifetime, however there is still an upfront investment to be made.
As a result, implementing climate and renewable energy projects is often unaffordable for many individuals and organisations. Therefore, to ensure that they can be financed, innovative funding models need to be developed, partnerships need to be forged, and outside-the-box thinking needs to be employed in order to ensure that these types of projects can go ahead.
While significant capital investment is needed for the installation of renewable energy infrastructure or the changeover to more energy-efficient technologies, the savings that accrue over time through the day-to-day operation of such technologies ensure that the upfront cost can be repaid fairly quickly.
This is why a revolving fund, such as the one employed by CORENA, works so well. Your donation doesn’t just help fund one project. Your gift will be used over and over again as loan repayments return your money to CORENA’s revolving fund. A donation of $100 to our first project has already been re-used many times and achieved over $424 in climate impact! We even have a impact calculator you can use to find out the impact of your specific donation.
However, despite this, donations and fundraising are still required to ensure that more projects of greater scale can be funded to ramp up the fight against climate change.
With that in mind, let us look at different ways that funds can be raised for climate and renewable energy projects.
How To Fundraise For Climate Action & Renewable Energy Project
Crowdfunding is a highly effective means of raising money by gathering small amounts from a large number of people. In the modern era, this is typically done through online platforms, whereby the organisation or person seeking funding can seek the support of the public. By gathering a large number of individuals or organisations willing to contribute relatively small amounts each, you can raise a significant amount of money to help pay for a climate or renewable energy project.
For a crowdfunded climate action project to succeed, it must have a clear mission and tangible goals to attract a broad audience of environmentally conscious entities and individuals. Crowdfunding involves marketing campaigns and the utilisation of compelling visuals, engaging stories, and, importantly, highly transparent project plans designed to build trust and encourage contributions.
While crowdfunding is effective, it can be difficult to achieve due to significant competition from other crowdfunding initiatives seeking funding for various causes. A strong campaign push is needed for such a funding approach to work.
CORENA is a registered charity which means, if you like our work and would like to run your own fundraiser on our behalf, you can easily run one via Facebook’s fundraising function or GoFundMe. Just search for the Citizens Own Renewable Energy Network Australia when you set up a fundraiser and are asked to select a charity.
2. Corporate Partnerships
Corporate partnerships provide another potential source of financial support for climate action projects. It is possible to forge partnerships with other environmentally conscious and responsible businesses and organisations.
If these organisations’ goals align with the goals of your particular project, it might be possible to elicit their support.
Many companies might want to support a corporate social responsibility initiative and even have a budget to do so, but they will require the project to align with their own ESG targets and marketing agenda. If such an alignment can be achieved, collaborations with such organisations could bring significant financial support and help raise much-needed awareness about the project, which, in turn, could attract additional donors and partners.
If your workplace has a corporate giving program, an easy way to support CORENA is to recommend us for these programs (noting that CORENA will assess the donor to ensure it meets our ethical criteria). In the past this has provided much needed funds for projects and our operational costs. We can also multiply the impact of large donations even further by using them in a donation matching campaign. If you would like to make a corporate donation and you would like your donation to be used in this way, please contact us to find out more.
3. Grant Funding
Grant funding is another important way of funding climate action projects. Many local and national governmental departments, state-owned entities, non-governmental organisations, and philanthropic foundations support climate action and environmental sustainability and therefore frequently have grant funding available for successful applicants.
While various grant funding opportunities might exist, specifically designed to support climate initiatives, promote renewable energy and the conservation of natural resources, there is once again significant competition to secure them.
Grants also come with a bevvy of administrative requirements before an application can become eligible and even more bureaucratic red tape before the money can be dispersed. This means that you need to ensure that the climate action project in question aligns with the criteria laid out in the grant to ensure the funding is secured.
Grant funding is a useful and important way of funding climate action projects, but the downside is that it can be administratively burdensome.
If there are appropriate grant programs available, CORENA encourages our loan recipients to apply for them first. CORENA may be able to “top up” the amount if the grant fund is not enough, provide a co-funding component or even fund the entire project if it is not successful meaning that the time spent preparing the application is not wasted. CORENA keeps our potential loan recipients informed of grant opportunities in our monthly “project” e-news. If you are interested in receiving this e-news you can sign up here.
4. Individual Donors
Individual donors are possibly the most difficult type of funding to secure. This generally refers to philanthropists or organisations with a desire to donate to a specific cause.
Appealing to individual donors who are passionate about climate change and who desire to make an impact on conserving the environment requires a significant amount of networking and interpersonal engagement.
This can be achieved, or at least initiated, through social media and email campaigns. However, the most effective way of securing individual donor funding is through in-person meetings, which can be difficult to achieve when the individual is in high demand or has a busy schedule.
Attending in-person events where one can network is an effective way of gaining an audience with wealthy individuals who might be convinced of the importance of the vision for addressing climate challenges. In-person networking events provide an opportunity to meet with such individuals without the need for appointments.
CORENA has a large community of generous repeat individual donors. These donors are the reason CORENA exists, to allow everyday people the opportunity to tackle the climate emergency in a tangible and practical way, no matter how big or small their donation. Every donor is appreciated and listed in an honour roll on the relevant project page.
5. Impact Investing
Impact investing is where climate-related investment opportunities are presented to investors, where the project can generate financial returns in addition to positive social and environmental impacts.
Providing a return to investors necessarily reduces the energy savings returned to our loan recipients so it is not an approach that CORENA takes in our revolving energy fund. However in many situations it can work well.
Learn more in How CORENA Works
Help CORENA Fund Climate Action & Renewable Energy Projects
As a non-profit climate fundraising organisation and registered renewable energy charity, CORENA uses its revolving fund to help non profit and community organisations finance climate action projects, such as the installation of solar panels and other energy efficiency initiatives, among other things. If you would like to help us on our mission in funding renewable energy projects, you can make a tax-deductible donation now.