We know it’s a tough year with COVID-19 keeping most of us at home or working under unusual conditions. Back on March 23, I wrote a blog post in which I said:
This begs the question: are you prepared to “shelter in place” until 2021?
Unfortunately, our concerns proved to be correct, as we are looking at a long winter with resurging COVID-19 cases and exhortations to stay home if you can.
We used to hold classes and table at events where we not only let people know about our research but also sold items and accepted donations. This year we haven’t been able to do that, and it is putting a dent in our already tiny budget.
Luckily, this year the IRS is allowing individuals to deduct up to $300 in charitable giving if you don’t itemize (and all qualified donations for those that do).
Last year, an estimated $511 milllion ($1.9 billion total, globally) was donated to nonprofits and charities on Giving Tuesday, following on the heels of the Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. We can all think of worthy organizations that deserve our support, but I’d like to give you five reasons why you should consider donating to the Low Technology Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that develops solutions for the world after fossil fuels.
1. We’re Small.
As a small organization, your donation goes a long way. While we raise funds for our research through our educational workshops and grant writing efforts, this can only cover so much. As a young nonprofit, we do not have endowments or the institutional recognition of large, international organizations. Every single donation is important to us and put to careful use.
2. We’re Committed to Open Access.
The work we do at the Low Technology Institute, from researching home-scale solar hot water heating to maximizing garden potato yields, is open access. That means our plans, instructions, and data are all available on our site for anyone to use. Take a look at the menu on any page of our website, we offer a podcast, building designs, and a library full of reference PDFs. Our YouTube channel has a growing number of informative videos. Everything is free and will remain so, but this means we’ve committed a portion of our budget to keeping things that way. Your donation will help us keep everything open access.
3. We’re Creating Proactive Strategies for a Fossil-Fuel-Free World.
Unlike environmental organizations, which are involved in the important work of preserving what we have today, and research and development think tanks, which try to design for a future without acknowledging the realities of fossil fuels, we’re working on solutions to house, clothe, and feed ourselves in a world independent of finite fossil fuels. As far as I know — and please point me to any similar organizations — the institute is unique in its mission: developing approachable strategies for taking care of our selves, families, and communities without fossil fuels. This puts us in an unusual funding category, and your donation helps free up staff time, allowing us to pursue research and educational programming instead of trying to fit our square peg of an organization into the round hole required by grant-making agencies.
4. Members get Benefits.
Becoming a member is one way to donate. Members enjoy early and reduced registration for workshops, access to the tool library we’re building this winter, and other perks (see “Memberships” here for more information). Memberships start at $35 per year and make a great gift for your hard-to-shop-for friend.
5. Donating is Easy.
Supporting the institute couldn’t be easier. Simply click on this link or the “Store” tab in the menu above, which will take you to our secure online store. Simply scroll down to where you can select your desired donation amount, enter your payment details and check out. You’ll get an email confirmation now and an end-of-year tax document for the amount of your donation, as the institute is a 501(c)(3) organization and all donations are tax deductible.
Thanks for reading all the way through and considering donating to the Low Technology Institute. Even if you’re not in a position to help us out financially this year, we’re always looking for volunteers to help with projects, workshops, or blog posts. Even easier is helping to spread the word about our organization by sharing our posts on social media. Thank you.