Mark Brandon is the Managing Partner of First Sustainable (http://www.firstsustainable.com), a registered investment advisory catering to socially responsible investors. In addition to Socially Responsible Investing (SRI), he may opine on social venturing, microfinance, community investing, clean technology commercialization, sustainability public policy, green products, and, on occasion, University of Texas Longhorn sports.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Sign Up to Save Gorillas, Rescue Endangered Girls, Liberate Child Soldiers, and More...

First Sustainable Teams Up With Alternative Gifts International in Membership Drive. Refer Your Friends, We Donate $1 To A Great Cause*

In an effort to increase our subscriber base, First Sustainable has created a promotion to donate $1 to Alternative Gifts International for each person that subscribes to our newsletter. For those that have not heard of AGI, they contract with various and screened non-profit agencies dedicated to specific relief or development goals. A whole catalog of worthy causes can be obtained from their web site.

My personal favorites among these causes include:

  • Saving Rwandan Gorillas. Twenty dollars (or referring 20 friends) can pay for one share of gorilla protection. Two hundred dollars pays for one day of poaching patrol.
  • Rescuing Endangered Girls in Southeast Asia. Fifty dollars (or referring 50 friends) provides the legal services to rescue one girl from forced prostitution. Twenty three dollars provides for one week of aftercare.
  • New Life for Child Soldiers in Columbia. Twelve dollars (or referring 12 friends) provides for counseling for one child at risk for forced recruitment. Sixty eight dollars is enough to enroll an at-risk child in one month of a workshop.
  • Medicine for Sudanese Refugees. Twenty dollars (or referring 20 friends) provides nutritional supplements for 75 children for one month. Ninety dollars supplies 45 men with antibiotics for one month.

If you find other causes that are more worthy of your support, then please select the appropriate option on the sign up form. Also, we can designate "where most needed" in the opinion of AGI.

The organization screens the recipients of the gifts. AGI received four stars from Charity Navigator for efficiency, and 90 percent of your gift goes directly to the cause you specify, with the rest going for AGI overhead and outreach. Renee and I gave many of these gifts to the people on our list that just don't need anything like a DVD or a fruitcake.

I hope that you can see that the real power of this promotion is not just in accepting the newsletter subscription and having $1 donated. You can really leverage the program by forwarding this message to your friends. We will send one email only, and a "double opt-in" is required. After that, they will never hear from us again.

All you have to do is sign up in the orange box to the right of your screen. Thanks.

-Mark

*Now for the unpleasant disclaimers. First Sustainable will aggregate the donations and make one lump sum donation at the end of each calendar month with the percentage weighting for each cause according to those specified by the readers. Doing so limits overhead for Alternative Gifts International. Opting in is required to both ensure the legitimacy of the email addresses and to limit unwanted emails. The promotion will be capped at $10,000 in total donations. First Sustainable reserves the right to end the promotion at any time.

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