As green efforts progress they’re moving toward a “tipping point” at which green takes off to transform daily life for all of us. Becoming a Zola Coordinator with Zola Goods (www.zolagoods.com) provides a new income for many and moves communities toward the tipping point where green truly becomes mainstream.
(3BLMedia/theCSRfeed) January 20, 2010 – The economy may be recovering but we’re not out of the woods yet; the December US jobs report suggests we’ve got a long way to go, with millions of people still looking for new jobs and a new direction. Environmental initiatives provide solutions by creating jobs, businesses and a better future. As green efforts progress they’re moving toward a “tipping point” at which green takes off to transform daily life for all of us. Becoming a Zola Coordinator with Zola Goods provides a new income for many and moves communities toward the tipping point where green truly becomes mainstream.
Founded in 2007 by Beth Remmes in Atlanta, Georgia, Zola: The Art of Living Green (www.zolagoods.com) provides people with an opportunity to share an empowering message and initiate change in homes across the United States, while also offering the chance to earn a supplemental income. Zola helps people to become more conscious consumers, making purchases more consistent with the long-term view of our impact on the environment and the world we’ll have in the future.
Embracing a grassroots approach, Zola Coordinators hold eco-home parties and workshops in their communities. With interesting and sometimes startling facts, a Zola Coordinator takes guests through the life of an average American consumer and demonstrates how to make small changes to improve their lives and surrounding environment. We often don’t see how much of an impact we have, or how we can make a difference. The conversation frequently turns to how people can participate in their local communities, from community gardens, to farmer’s markets, to recycling efforts in their schools and neighborhood.
Solutions and trends that transform society often come from the ground up. In The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell writes, “To create one contagious movement, you often have to create many small movements first.” Each Zola Coordinator brings together small groups of people to share ideas and take actions that create a greener and more sustainable future. Groups that connect at Zola Parties are centers of change, spreading the green message outward to the rest of their community.
Zola’s product line is carefully determined using the triple bottom line value system that focuses on People, Planet, and Profit. Featured are some of the best eco-friendly products on the market including, energy and water saving devices, reusable bags, recycled paper goods and soy candles. In addition to environmental benefits, many of these products will also save people money. Unlike other direct selling companies, Zola has no selling or recruiting requirements. Zola Goods continued to grow in 2009, despite the lagging economy, demonstrating the consistent interest in authentic green information and products and in new opportunities.
Tony Kvale, of Kvale Good Natured Games LLC remarks, “Zola is a direct-selling model that is focused on products and principles, rather than pure profit motivation. Zola’s message is a long-awaited breath of fresh air!” Zola Goods is also a Green America approved company, awarded this distinction because of its principles, policies, and practices that improve the quality of life for their customers, employees, communities, and the environment.
Zola, of Italian origin, means “piece of earth.” By making small changes, each of us can heal our own piece of earth and together create an abundant future for our planet. Each of us can make an important difference, starting with decisions we make every day in our homes. “People may be confused, suffer from green fatigue, or be under the impression that their contributions would be insignificant, so they do not act,” says Remmes. “By educating people about the green movement in a fun, non-political forum, Zola empowers people to realize that individual actions are imperative to the health of our environment, and lays the foundation for people to be more open to large scale change, such as alternative energy.”
Have your own green business and want to get involved? Zola also highlights other green companies. Is your green business listed? If not, add yours today. http://www.zolagoods.com/links.php
If you would like more information about Zola, or to schedule an interview with Zola founder, Beth Remmes, please call 770-715-4525 or visit www.zolagoods.com.
Corporate Social Responsibility News: LEED’s Status in China Construction; Home Depot Foundation + Sustainability Institute of South Carolina’s Sustainability Award to North Charleston.
Filed under: 3BL Media CSR Minute, News, Video | Tagged: Asia, China, Community, Conservation, Construction, Environment, Green Building, Home Depot Foundation, Homes, LEED, Service, South Carolina, Sustainability, United States | 1 Comment »
(3BLMedia/theCSRfeed) December 9, 2009 – The Green Business League is now unveiling their new Green Business Directory. This directory will have your companies information listed on the Green Business League website with a link back to your home page. This is not only a great way to get online advertisement for your company but it is also free. Thousands of people visit the Green Business Directory website every day and now the Green Business League is offering to put your website on their directory for free.
The Green Business Directory will give your company excellent online exposure to individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations, eco-friendly organizations, government affiliated programs, other green companies, and much more. If you have a Green Company that wants to be promoted online, then be associated with the Green Business League which is a nationally recognized authority. Having your companies name on this directory will give your company more clients because businesses looking for green products and services visit our website first for the most recent and trustworthy information.
The Green Business Directory is unlike other online directory because our website gets viewed by business professionals every day looking for Green companies products and services near them. Other directories are not as popular or have a well known name associated to them. If you are tired of not getting noticed online for being a quality Green Company the let the Green Business Directory give your business some credibility and brand recognition.
The TERMS and CONDITIONS are very simple. You need only CONNECT to the Green Business League networking program and commit to a program that will introduce Green and Sustainable Practices to your daily operation. Your involvement in a genuine program of Green compliance is very important as the business world becomes more concerned about Green certification.
There are more than 300 Certified Green Consultants nationwide. As we form a national Green Business Directory, our consultants are networking Green businesses locally. You will be invited to attend the local Green Business Networking events that are planning semi-annually or locally in your area. As a CONNECTED Green Business, you will be on the preferred invited list. During these events, you will be able to make very important business connections to other Green businesses in your community.
We reserve the right to remove any listing that is contrary what we consider to be Green Practices and Ethics, and your listing will continue for one year without charge. To insure the existence of a business and that there is at least a basic commitment to a Green program, one of our Certified Green Consultants will contact you in the next 30-60 days. There is no obligation, and you should get to know this person since they are capable of helping your business grow through their business connections.
To get your free listing on the Green Business Directory visit the Green Business League website. You will be taken to a page that explains the Free Connection program of the Green Business League. Obviously, it is our hope that your business will move from Connection to Compliance and Certification as a Green business. This offer has no hidden charges nor does our program have any products to sell. Green Business League is a nationally-recognized Green business program of education, guidance, and certification. We feel that the days of greenwashing will soon fall under public criticism and only an authentic Green Business Certification, such as offered by the Green Business League, will be the accepted standard.
Fidelity® Charitable Gift Fund and VolunteerMatch Form Alliance and Release Landmark Study on Volunteering
(3BLMedia/theCSRfeed) December 3, 2009 – Americans who volunteer their time and skills to nonprofit organizations donate an average of 10 times more money to charity than people who don’t volunteer, according to a comprehensive national study on volunteering released today by the Fidelity® Charitable Gift Fund (“Gift Fund”) and VolunteerMatch.
The study found many Americans have a strong commitment to community service, with 43% volunteering in the last 12 months. More than a quarter (28%) of Americans, however, has never volunteered.
The study marks the start of an association between the two organizations. The Gift Fund is the third largest public charity3 in the United States and VolunteerMatch is a national nonprofit organization and the Web’s most popular volunteer resource4. Under a new initiative launching today, visitors to the Gift Fund’s website, www.CharitableGift.org, can now search VolunteerMatch’s award-winning network to discover volunteer opportunities with 73,000 participating organizations nationwide. The Gift Fund is the first national donor advised fund to have such an association with VolunteerMatch.
“This is exciting data that reveals a tremendous opportunity to tap the American spirit of volunteering and giving,” said Sarah C. Libbey, president of the Gift Fund. “Most Americans are motivated to volunteer to support a cause they care about. Yet, three in ten can’t find an organization that matches their interest. Together with VolunteerMatch, we’re offering a solution.”
“We always knew that volunteers pour their heart into making a difference, and now we know they put their money there too,” said Greg Baldwin, president, VolunteerMatch. “We’re proud to be working with Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund to help people put their time and treasure to good use.”
The volunteer study, conducted Oct. 21-25, 2009, looked at the community-service commitments and perceptions of more than 1,000 Americans nationwide. It reveals some key insights.
Volunteers Donate Significantly More Money to Charities than Non-Volunteers
The study found that the average amount of money donated to nonprofits by Americans who have volunteered in the past 12 months is $2,593 annually, more than 10 times the average $230 donated by Americans who have never had a volunteering experience.
Two-thirds (67%) of Americans who have volunteered in the past 12 months say they generally make their financial donations to the same organizations where they volunteer. And, those same active volunteers say they are more likely to increase their charitable donations in 2010 when compared to people who have never volunteered (32% of volunteers compared with 26% of non-volunteers).
Most Americans Have Volunteered
The study showed that 72% of adult Americans (18 years old and older) have volunteered at some point in their lives, and 43% are currently volunteering or have within the past 12 months. More than a quarter (28%) has never volunteered.
Many Barriers to Volunteering
The top reasons cited by Americans for not volunteering, the study found, were lack of time (46%), lack of interest in volunteering (32%), pressure from organizations to give more time than people want to give (32%), and the inability of Americans to find the right organization to match their interests (30%).
The Gift Fund study also found that six in 10 (60%) Americans say that charities have become too much of a big business and nearly as many (56%) believe that many charities have disorganized management. These attitudes are especially prevalent among people 55 years old and older.
“There’s a tremendous opportunity for nonprofits to build greater awareness and understanding of how they manage their organizations by sharing insights into their funding structure, project management and volunteer coordination practices,” said Libbey. “Transparency through open and frequent communication with current and prospective donors should always remain a priority.”
More than a third (38%) of those surveyed say they want to see immediate results when they volunteer, while 44% indicate that if an organization cannot take advantage of their specific skills, they will likely volunteer elsewhere.
Changing Attitudes Toward Volunteering
Almost half (47%) of those surveyed say volunteers today are more motivated by what they get from the experience than by what they can do for others. Half (51%) are more likely to volunteer for an organization that has other volunteers in their age group. This attitude is especially prevalent among those under 35 years old (59%). Adults under 35 are more likely to volunteer in order to network professionally (33%) than adults 55 years old and older (14%).
Regardless of the motivation, the act of volunteering remains valued. Six in 10 (63%) Americans cite a renewed sense of the value and importance of community service within their network of friends and family. The study found that two-thirds (66%) believe “true philanthropy” includes the giving of both time and money, with one-fifth (19%) saying that every American should be required to give a certain percentage of both each year to nonprofits. When asked if volunteers should be provided an incentive, such as a gift card, to give of their time, the vast majority (84%) disagreed, believing there should be no incentive or reward attached to volunteering.
Top Reasons to Volunteer Include Supporting a Cause, Setting Family Example
Seven in 10 (72%) say supporting a cause they care about is among their top reasons to volunteer. Other top reasons include: because it’s the right thing to do (69%), to fill an unmet need in the community (54%) and to set an example for family and children (53%).
Almost one-third (31%) of the respondents say they are more likely to volunteer time given the recent economic downturn. Among those who volunteer, almost half (49%) do it monthly or more frequently. Nearly one-third (31%) volunteer a few times a year.
The mission and work of an organization is a big factor in whether people choose to support it (61%), as is the fact that an organization is serving local community needs (59%). Roughly half say the reputation of an organization and being able to use a specific set of skills are also key influencers on whether they volunteer.
Volunteering Habits Vary By Education, Age and Gender
Volunteering rates increase with education. Six in 10 (61%) Americans with post-graduate degrees volunteered this year, compared with 56% with college degrees and 36% with high school degrees. Middle-aged adults aged 35 to 54 years old are more likely to have volunteered this year (54%) than those younger (33%) or older (38%). Women are more likely than men to volunteer monthly or more often (54% for women vs. 43% for men).
Donations in 2010
While most people surveyed don’t plan to increase their charitable donations in 2010, nearly three in 10 (29%) do. Of those who expect to increase their donations, one in four (23%) plan to increase them by less than 5%, four in 10 (43%) by 5% to 10%, and 15% by more than 20%. Almost half (45%) of those who plan to increase their charitable donations say it’s because they’ve seen the good that donations can do.
Data for the Gift Fund’s survey was collected via telephone by Harris Interactive from Oct. 21 to Oct. 25, 2009. It included 1,005 respondents at least 18 years old.
About Fidelity® Charitable Gift Fund
The Fidelity® Charitable Gift Fund was established by Fidelity Investments® in 1991. The purpose of the Gift Fund is to further the American tradition of philanthropy by providing programs that make charitable giving simple and effective. As of Sept. 30, 2009, more than 56,000 donors had recommended grants totaling more than $9.5 billion to over 130,000 nonprofit organizations nationwide since the Gift Fund’s inception.
VolunteerMatch is a national nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities by helping good people and good causes to connect. Its award-winning online service, www.VolunteerMatch.org, makes it easy to find a way to make a difference by location, expertise, or availability. VolunteerMatch provides many of the nation’s most recognized businesses, campuses and organizations with Web-based solutions to facilitate and track volunteer engagement at local and national levels. As the #1 ranking for “volunteer” on Google and Yahoo!, the VolunteerMatch network regularly welcomes more than 180,000 visitors each week and has become the preferred volunteer recruiting service for tens of thousands of participating nonprofits across the country.
Harris Interactive is not affiliated with the Fidelity® Charitable Gift Fund.
The Fidelity® Charitable Gift Fund is an independent public charity with a donor-advised fund program. Various Fidelity companies provide investment management and administrative services to the Gift Fund. The Charitable Gift Fund logo is a service mark of the Trustees of the Fidelity Investments® Charitable Gift Fund. Fidelity and Fidelity Investments are registered service marks of FMR LLC, used by the Gift Fund under license.
1 Survey conducted via telephone by Harris Interactive from Oct. 21 to 25, 2009. It included 1,005 respondents at least 18 years old.
2 Volunteers are defined as those who volunteer currently or have volunteered within the last 12 months.
3 The Philanthropy 400, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, October 2009 (based on contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations)
4 According to data from Google, MSN and Yahoo! as of October 2009.