Become a Project

Starting and running a non-profit organization requires a great deal of administrative and logistical effort. This effort limits the time and energy that can be applied toward actually carrying out program objectives. Our Project Support Program eliminates this obstacle by providing projects with non-profit status, administrative services, training, technical assistance, and a peer community. In addition, we provide our projects with assistance in planning, public outreach, fundraising, and other resources and services that maximize the effectiveness and quality of our collective efforts.

Earth Island projects function with programmatic autonomy while receiving governance and fiduciary oversight from Earth Island. Sponsored projects are responsible for raising their own funds, a portion of which goes to support the administrative services and support programs provided by Earth Island. Projects are charged a standard ten percent administrative fee on project revenue, reflecting their share of the overall cost of providing these programs and services.

Sponsored projects are responsible for raising their own funds, a portion of which goes to support the administrative services and support programs provided by Earth Island. Projects are charged a standard ten percent administrative fee on project revenue, reflecting their share of the overall cost of providing these programs and services. Federal funding is subject to a slightly higher fee. Large projects (those with budgets more than $500,000/year) may be eligible for a reduction in administrative fees.

“We recently attracted the notice of a large foundation; they would never have looked at a group our size if we were not part of EII. It provides name recognition and credibility with donors and other supporters.” –Alyson Ewald, The Altai Project

The following conditions must be met in order to be considered for project sponsorship:

  • Earth Island Institute provides sponsorship to projects that support our environmental mission and are consistent with our 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.
  • New projects should plan to stay at Earth Island for at least one year.
  • Project Directors must have regular access to phone and email in order to maintain communication with Network Services staff.
  • In general, projects must have a US-based representative and / or base of operations (see ‘Note Regarding International Projects” below).
  • Projects must agree to conduct all business through Earth Island Institute and relinquish any pre-existing 501(c)(3) status.

In reviewing project applications, we consider the necessity of the project within the broader environmental movement, the capacity of the project’s leadership, and whether it’s a good fit with our existing projects. The following questions are illustrative of the kind of things we look at in each of the categories.

  • Is there a need for this project? Is this need clearly stated? Is the approach innovative?
  • Does the project have the capacity to successfully implement this project? Is there access to resources (money, time, expertise)? Have the project directors illustrated an appropriate knowledge of the field?
  • Is the project a good fit for Earth Island Institute? Does the project support our organizational mission? Will it fit within the organizational culture? Are there opportunities for collaboration or for conflict with existing projects?