Fighting the Good Fight with Environmental Nonprofit Foundations
I love living in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Just a short drive away is a world of scenic beauty, hiking, biking and kayaking, all activities I enjoy with my son.
I’ll never forget taking him on the first hike where he could actually do the whole trail under his own steam. He was in first grade, and it was Abrams Falls. I spent the drive through Townsend and Cades Cove telling him of the sacred trust that is our national parks system, the responsibility we have as Americans to safeguard and care for these lands, the gift they represent to future generations.
Then we started hiking. We saw trash on the trail and picked it up as we went along. I talked about today’s volunteers and the CCC workers long past who made the trails and bridges we walked.
And then we got to the falls and saw a teenager and his girlfriend carving their initials into one of the signs.
I saw red. I was trying so hard to get my son excited about national parks, and here was a guy demonstrating the opposite.
“Hey, man,” I said. “That’s vandalism, and you shouldn’t do it. It’s disrespectful to the park.”
“I’m not hurting anybody,” he replied. “Anyway, what are you going to do about it?”
Taking a Stand
Indeed, what could I do about it? In that moment, nothing. There wasn’t a ranger in sight, and I had no cell phone signal. But I took my son aside and told him that even though that guy didn’t care, he should care.
That’s what our environmental nonprofit foundation clients at Orange Orchard do every day. They look at people who don’t care and tell them why they should care, and they pass their message along to those who may one day take action.
For these foundations, the response to, “What are you going to do about it?” is, “Everything we can.”
Honing the Message
But just like that teenager, the public can be resistant to environmental messaging, especially when it calls them to change their habits or do without something they want.
“It’s not hurting anybody,” they say.
That’s where environmental public relations comes in. Environmental nonprofit foundations need carefully crafted messages to let the public know who it’s hurting and why they should donate to the cause or change patterns of behavior.
You don’t have to go it alone like I did on the trail that day. Fine-tuning the message with the help of an environmental public relations agency like Orange Orchard will help your cause, bringing you more engagement and less resistance. Call us today at (865) 977-1973 or contact us online to find out why we’re so passionate about the environment and how we can help you.