EarthTrust Mission & Methods
A vital mission.
A different toolkit of methods.
We strive to make the earth a better place for wildlife and mankind by tackling “impossible” environmental issues that others have given up on, repeatedly failed at, or never properly understood in the first place. We do this by bringing together donors who are passionate about wildlife saving with equally passionate, experienced and innovative strategists and advocates. The formation of these “impossible missions” teams often creates a better, more whole future.
EarthTrust is a a 501(c)3 nonprofit U.S. corporation which was incorporated in 1976.
It has maintained U.S. tax-deductible status continuously for the life of the organization.
EarthTrust’s EIN is : 99-0172970
That “jedi” thing…
ET campaigns an programs owe much of their flavor to the advocacy theories of its founder, who has lived a lot of environmental history and has dedicated the organization to the “impossible missions” which so urgently need doing.
Get to Know us.
ET is small, physically and financially; but it has an outsized track record of success.
That’s no coincidence. The organization was created by Greenpeace founders to specifically avoid the traps which can prevent effective advocacy. The goal was to create a better, more accountable, more efficient and more effective tool for the earth.
Run with Volunteer energy and Low overhead
There are no high management salaries paid at ET and no paid admin positions. Nor are there paid fundraising staff or any high fixed costs of operation. Really, why should there ever be? ET exists as a tool for saving species and helping reach a better human future. No more, no less.
Stable Management for consistent vision
EarthTrust is still directed by its original founder, after having made history repeatedly through four decades, and has a committed and experienced board.
EarthTrust is unusual in a number of good ways.
EarthTrust has an international focus, engaging with and frequently solving world-scale problems which have proven intractable to others. It’s regional programs can be wonderful, but they are always part of a global overview and strategy. With ET it’s “Think globally, act globally”.
EarthTrust goes where it’s needed at any given time, based on the issues it has committed to. It’s central administrative and executive office has always been in Kailua, Hawaii. It has had campaign offices in Auckland, Geneva, Honolulu, Kuwait, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, Taipei, Tokyo; ; as well as field workers in many other areas. These offices are opened and closed based on campaign needs. no office is kept open unless it is needed for one or more specific campaigns.
EarthTrust is based on valuing and preserving the earth’s evolved life systems as we humans inherited them. Its methods are informed by the scientific method, and directed by pragmatism and an ethic of responsibility for the earth’s future.
This means a planet with rainforests and ice caps, seas of fish, whales and other complex, stable-environment (K-type) species. A planet with the biological carrying capacity and stable climate to feed a stable population of humans without wiping out other species.
ET is structured with a small board of directors and a large number of advisors, to enable pulling together information quickly and adjusting course to deal with real-world crisis and opportunity. This is melded with long-term stability of executive management.
Physically, EarthTrust is organized electronically, and therefore not inherently limited. It doesn’t own buildings, ships, planes or other hard assets, though it rents or charters such things as needed to accomplish program goals.
The organization is literally run out of a network of electronically networked home offices, which is the most logical way to structure such an organization in the 21st century. ET pioneered this sort of structure and was written up many times in the early days of the internet, for doing impossibly cool stuff on low budgets and low overhead.
The overhead of the organization is ridiculously low compared with many other organizations, so low as to raise your eyebrows. Most organizations would have to cook their books to get anything like our real numbers. We have volunteer administrators, we spend next to nothing on fundraising, and there are very few fixed overhead costs. Why would anyone do it differently?
ET creator DJ White was also a founder of Greenpeace in the USA and internationally. His experience at the top levels of those and other groups caused him to want to do things differently with ET. Most nonprofit fundraising has extremely high costs associated with it, often high enough that the fundraising barely breaks even. This is especially true of mass mailouts and hiring professional fundraisers. For that reason, ET does not conduct mass mailings and has shut down any funding project that doesn’t produce a high percentage return, so you can be assured that a high percentage of your donation will go directly to saving species you love. ET has no paid fundraisers of any kind. Its philosophy is based on respect for the intelligence of its sophisticated donors, and respect for their contributions. If you aren’t inspired by our methods and our success, we don’t deserve your contribution.
The organization has extremely stable leadership over the years, while maintaining the ability to make quick strategic decisions and campaign pivots at the board level. The guy who created the organization in 1976 still directs it today, and his personal history coincides with a lot of environmental history being made.
ET is the “Impossible Missions” team for environmental crises.
ET is a one-of-a-kind resource for “impossible” tasks, because its leadership analyzes issues in ways which simply wouldn’t occur to most people. This involves:
- being grounded in cross-disciplinary expertise in the physical, biological, and behavioral sciences
- knowing how audacious to be; how far to push beyond normal boundaries
- understanding the way complex systems interact and how their effects propagate, in the abstract and in the real world
- employing a probabilistic framing of outcomes, and shaping a situation to resolve into a particular outcome
- analysis of a system’s stable states, potential cascades and phase transitions, and its overlap with systems around it
- a deep understanding of the working of the human mind, of realpolitik
- the ability to create and inject new iconic concepts into world cultures
- the chops to work productively in chaotic or high-risk situations
- the analytical awareness to often be first to frame an issue, and thus to define it
- the ability to move quickly and consolidate gains before they become contaminated by other systems and actors
- the ability to move from one logical phase of a stepwise campaign to the next with the same core team, enabling a full-field touchdown rather than a piecemeal effort.
- the discipline to stay under the radar and control information flow until an issue can be shifted into a new state, which is increasingly how crises in today’s world must be handled.
- the decision-making clarity to quickly take advantage of new information or opportunity