Save the Earth October 2016
After a lot of blood, sweat and tears in the past few months, the 8 co-founders of the Save the Earth Cooperative, and it’s adjoining not-for-profit organisation – the Save the Earth Foundation – are happy to report on our progress and what you can expect from us in the next few months.
First Steps and Volunteer Co-Founders
It’s been a hard slog for us 8 volunteer co-founders who came together through the Facebook group, Save the Earth 1 Million Members is Our Goal. to form the Save the Earth Cooperative and the Foundation too. We’ve all given up a lot of our free time for most of 2016 – many on top of full-time jobs – to make this happen. As unpaid volunteers with many other commitments and responsibilities (children, jobs, and life in general) it has been tricky to co-ordinate our campaign and to regularly communicate. Not only are we all volunteers, but we also live in different locations – continents even! Not an easy feat, to be sure.
Online Board Members Spanning 3 Continents
But we have managed and flourished despite difficulties and we would like to celebrate that fact. Since our first official Skype meeting back in March 2016 ( our co-founders span the globe and we have to navigate various time zones), we have been regularly meeting online around twice a week for our official recorded board meetings In addition, we liaise separately as necessary. Quite an amazing communication success when you consider most of us have never met in person. We have built up amazing working relationships online nonetheless. What unites us is the vision and determination to create a cooperative structure that can empower our members and the wider community to affect change at grassroots level. A truly member-owned “People’s Cooperative”.
Our First Successful Crowdfunding Campaign.
As complete novices (none of us had ever done a crowdfunding campaign before) we did exceedingly well to succeed on our first attempt. Our first Crowdfunding campaign via Crowdfunder.co.uk, successfully raised £4,500 ( approximately $5,500 USD or $7200 AUD). We would again like to thank our 93 donors, and our fully signed up members. The generosity was astounding and we are excited about what the future has in store. 2017 is going to be an exciting year in many regards for the Coop and its members, as well as the Foundation.
Save the Earth Foundation and Future Funding
We are happy to announce that the non-profit arm of our organisation, the Save The Earth Foundation, has formally and legally been incorporated. This means that the Foundation will be able to start developing its strategy, and to begin the process of grant and funding applications in 2017. It will also enable our Save the Earth Cooperative individual and creator members (ethical organisations wishing to partner with us) to benefit from our grant and funding application services. We hope to tap into available resources to empower individuals in making creative change in 2017.
Save the Earth Cooperative
The cooperative registration documents are currently with Companies House and formal incorporation is imminent. We’ll let you know when it is signed, sealed, and delivered! Incorporation will mean that we will be able to officially start trading as a multi-stakeholder cooperative. Our initial focus will naturally be on creating revenue streams for the business so that we can operate sustainably and provide value for our members. For those not already signed up as members, you can register your interest here. As soon as we have officially incorporated, memberships will most likely start from November 2016 when we will hold the first member cash draw.
Member Cash Raffle
The £6 (currently around $7.30) monthly membership comprises a £1 allocation into a monthly member cash raffle. One lucky member will win the cash raffle each month. The first draw will likely be at the end of November 2016. We’ll keep you posted! If you win, but are not interested in the cash draw, you can always donate the money to the Foundation, or to an active Cooperative campaign.
Save the Earth Cooperative Campaigns Section
All Save the Earth Cooperative members will have the chance to run campaigns through the Campaign Section of the website (currently under construction and due for beta testing early 2017). This will allow members to set up a project in the members hub, create a fundraising page and/or an events page, and make contact with other members who have similar objectives. Then a committee and a council can be formed to get things off the ground. Other people can sign up with their interest and potential funders can access details of your project. This way, we create a network.
What does this mean? It means that whatever your vision, we will do our best to connect and empower people. It could be an eco-village, an educational project, a clean-up project, a community group, an animal shelter, an aquaponics set-up, a help-the-homeless project, a permaculture farm, a wellness retreat, a food forest, an organic bakery…. anything that is in line with the policy and mission and objectives of the cooperative. Or it could be an activism campaign, a petition and/or events which you will be able to coordinate through our new petition site the TPP – The People’s Petition site.
TPP – The People’s Petition site
The TPP – a play on words based on the insidious and largely secretive trade partnership deals the TPP, TTIP, and CETA – was the idea of Founder Emlyn Mousley who came up with the name after being offended by the way these trade deals were being carried out away from public scrutiny and without the people’s consent. The People’s Petition site – TPP – will be the Save the Earth Cooperative’s very own petition site. It will allow not just members, but anyone who wants to start an online petition or activist event, to do so. (TPP is also currently under construction and due for beta testing early 2017). Unlike other petition sites, the cooperative will only use the email lists of people using the site for organisational goals. In other words: we will not sell your details to third parties so your inbox will not be full of spam on our account.
Save the Earth Cooperative Member’s Solutions Hub
But perhaps you’re not ready to start your own petition, but want to learn more and find advice and support for ideas? The Save the Earth Members Solutions Hub is currently in development and should be available for testing with members very shortly. But what is it? It will be a space for both paid members and free-to- join supporter members who sign up to be on our mailing list. In this space people can discuss solutions to saving the earth. It will be open to everyone to join and will allow for discussion about how to make the problem the solution. People can ask questions, and garner responses from those who have more informed answers. People can share knowledge and inspire others to act, regardless of whether it is within the coop structure, or not. Sharing really is caring!
We hope you have enjoyed this update. We are certainly looking forward to developments within the Cooperative and within the Foundation over the next few months. Obviously, the real work hasn’t started yet. The goal now is to get operating swiftly, to generate revenue, and to start some great worthwhile campaigns that can help provide solutions. If you’d like to be informed of our developments as they happen, please check back here on our blog regularly, or sign up for either free or paid membership here.