Learn how to create a Bright Funds Fund in this easy walk through (and donate to help the world's forests!)
Ever since I joined Bright Funds, I wanted to create a Fund to support the world’s forests. Here’s why: I believe that forests are the key to mitigating the biggest challenges we face today – climate change, drought, extreme weather, pollution, poverty, hunger, the spread of disease and more. And, although I completed the research on “Why Forests Are Key to Solving Global Challenges Like Climate Change” several years ago, I am confident these insights still hold true today – our planet is better off with intact forests.
Forests are essential for tackling major global challenges like climate change and biodiversity collapse. They feed us, keep us healthy, clean the air and water, reduce heat islands and absorb carbon. Donate to this group of highly rated nonprofits to support the world's forests through conservation, market and legal protections, reforestation and support for indigenous people.Donate now
A Bright Funds Fund is a bucket or collection of nonprofits for charitable giving. It can contain one or several nonprofits, and any donations to a Fund are split evenly among the nonprofits. Anyone can create a Fund, and it’s a great way to start a fundraiser for something you are passionate about. If you want to skip the research and just pick a cause, the Bright Funds nonprofit team has also created a set of pre-vetted Funds as follows:
Each of these Funds contains carefully selected nonprofits doing exceptional work in the defined cause area. They are built through in-depth analysis and research to evaluate which nonprofits are the most effective and will have the greatest success in tackling the issue. Nonprofits are selected based on insights gathered from five independent organizations – GiveWell, Charity Navigator, Guidestar, Universal Giving and Charity Watch.
Creating a Fund on Bright Funds is super easy, but here are some things to keep in mind to ensure your fundraiser will support the right nonprofits.
This may seem like a no-brainer but it’s an important first step. I knew my giving goal was to help the world’s forests, but that wasn’t specific enough. As I started to research the nonprofits (step 2), I realized I needed to further define my goals into sub-categories. Thinking about questions like this helped me refine my goals:
This is where I landed:
When you have refined your goals, it’s time to vet the nonprofits for your Fund. While I didn’t research quite as thoroughly as the Bright Funds nonprofit team does, I did check three sources (Charity Navigator, Guidestar and Charity Watch). I also included the One Trillion Tree Pledgei in my analysis of forest nonprofits as I view it to be a critical accelerator to the work of conserving, restoring and growing forests. In some cases, a nonprofit I had in mind fell out because of lower ratings, while other nonprofits were added because they ranked highly. After I finished collecting the different metrics, I sorted by the Charity Navigator score and grouped the nonprofits into different sub-categories. When I realized I was missing a nonprofit for carbon offsets, I searched for one and decided to add CarbonFund.org to the list as it had decent ratings. Feel free to re-purpose my analysis for your own vetting exercise. There may be other sources you’d like to include such as reviews on Glassdoor or BBB’s Wise Giving Alliance (give.org). Be sure to copy and paste the mission of each nonprofit into your analysis sheet as you’ll need it later when you create your Fund.
You’ll also need to provide a description of what your Fund is about. While I’ve been thinking about forests for years, I decided to include a story that recently inspired me from David Attenborough’s Our Planet show on forests.ii The fact that a mere 30 years of leaving nature alone could reverse 100 years of damage (not to mention a nuclear meltdown!) is a testament of how resilient nature can be if given a chance. I also included an overview of my Fund goals as part of the story.
Now it’s time to put all that research to good use and create your fundraiser. Here are a few tips as you go through the Fund creation process:
After you create your Fund, be sure to make it public so you can share it with your family, friends and colleagues.
That’s it – your Fund is ready to accept donations now.Please join me in helping the world’s forests so we leave a livable planet for our children and grandchildren. Thank you!
The trees act not as individuals, but somehow as a collective. Exactly how they do this, we don’t know yet. But what we see is the power of unity. What happens to one happens to us all.Robin Wall Kimmerer, Professor at SUNY Environmental and Forest Biology
i One trillion tree pledge – a platform for the trillion tree community and the U.S. pledge tracker.ii Netflix, Our Planet: Forests full episode – Chernobyl story starts at 40:55.