A Guide to Organizing a Thriving Community
350.org is an international campaign building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis--the solutions that science and justice demand.
Its mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet.
American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA)
The American Independent Business Alliance is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization helping communities launch and successfully operate an Independent Business Alliance® (IBA), “buy independent, buy local” campaigns, and other efforts to support community enterprise.
Ban the Bottle
Ban the Bottle is an organization promoting the environment by advocating bans on one-time-use plastic water bottles.
Build It Green
Build It Green is a non-profit membership organization whose mission is to promote healthy, energy- and resource-efficient building practices in California. They work with mainstream stakeholders in the housing industry to accelerate the adoption of green building practices. They offer trusted green building training, tools, technical expertise, and partnership opportunities for key stakeholders including public agencies, builders, developers, architects, contractors, affordable housing advocates, real estate professionals, suppliers, and homeowners.
Business Alliance for local living economies (BALLE)
An organization that catalyzes, strengthens and connects networks of locally owned independent businesses dedicated to building strong Local Living Economies.
Cal Healthy Communities Network (CALHCN) A project of the Tides Center, an independent non-profit, CALHCN is made up of organizations and individuals who share common concerns regarding poorly planned, environmentally unsustainable, economically discriminatory and socially unjust land use and development practices in California. There is also a deep commitment to social justice and economic rights for communities. The Network’s goal is to advance the interests of communities in the State of California by projecting a unified voice in support of programs and policies that set new standards and raise the bar for the people of California.
Center for Non-Profit Success
A non-profit organization whose mission is to provide the training, knowledge and resources to help non-profit organizations succeed. Provides resources, case studies, and even very inexpensive access to mentoring via a network of mentors.
The Center for Volunteer and Non-Profit Leadership of Marin
Promotes volunteerism, strengthens non-profits, and enhances community leadership in Marin County.
Cittaslow is a growing network of 135 towns in 20 countries that have adopted a set of common goals and principles to preserve and enhance the quality of life for their residents and visitors. Cittaslow originated out of the concerns of four mayors for preserving the unique identities and sustainability of their small towns. It was formed in Italy in 1999, with the contribution of Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food.
Cittaslow Sonoma Valley
The first community in the US to become a Cittaslow. Fairfax was approved for membership in the global and USA networks in 2010.
City of San Rafael Climate Change Action Plan
A strong example of a city’s Climate Change Action Plan.
Community At Work Offers consulting and training for community organizations. The organization’s own Sam Kaner wrote Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making.
Community Choice Aggregation Alaw that allows communities to purchase electricity for its residents and businesses.
An international declaration of fundamental values and principles considered useful by its supporters for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century. The Charter “seeks to inspire in all peoples a sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility for the well-being of the human family, the greater community of life, and future generations.”
The Earth Charter Initiative
An extraordinarily diverse, global network of people, organizations, and institutions that participate in promoting and implementing the values and principles of the Earth Charter.
The Initiative is a broad-based, voluntary, civil society effort. Participants include leading international institutions, national governments and their agencies, university associations, non-government organizations and community-based groups, city governments, faith groups, schools and businesses – as well as thousands of individuals.
The mission of Earth House, in Oakland, California, is to build healthy, just, and sustainable communities through education, training and multi-media communication tools. Earth House was founded in 1990 by Dr. Margaret Paloma Pavel and currently conducts local, national and international projects in a variety of print and visual media.
Environmental Forum of Marin (EFM)
A non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the quality of the environment through education. Provides an intensive training program and public educational services that increase understanding of ecology, environmental issues, and the planning process. Supports and advocates citizen action for the environment.
EPA’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Tools for Schools program The EPA developed the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Tools for Schools (TfS) Program to reduce exposures to indoor environmental contaminants in schools through the voluntary adoption of sound indoor air quality management practices. The IAQ Tools for Schools Program is a comprehensive resource to help schools maintain a healthy environment in school buildings by identifying, correcting, and preventing IAQ problems.
Green Sangha Green Sangha is dedicated to restoring our sense of oneness—healing our communities and the earth through mindful practice and awakened action. Green Sangha runs a powerful educational program on the realities of plastic in our world.
Idealist – Tools for Starting A Non-Profit
Idealist is a project of Action Without Borders, a non-profit organization founded in 1995 with offices in the United States and Argentina. Idealist is an interactive site where people and organizations can exchange resources and ideas, locate opportunities and supporters, and take steps toward building a world where all people can lead free and dignified lives.
International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI)
ICLEI is an international association of local governments as well as national and regional local government organizations that have made a commitment to sustainable development.
International Union for Conservation of Nature
Helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. Supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world and brings governments, non-government organizations, United Nations agencies, companies and local communities together to develop and implement policy, laws and best practices.
Local Power, Inc. Local Power Inc. is an Energy Service Bureau helping cities adopt, implement and manage Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) energy networks.
Marin Clean Energy Formed by Marin County communities to provide more clean, renewable electric power at competitive rates, decrease emissions that cause global warming, and ease dependence on dirty fossil fuels. Provides consumers a choice between 25% and 100% renewable energy.
New Rules Project - Designing Rules as if Community Matters
A program of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance that brings fresh new policy solutions to communities and states.
Non-profit Voter Engagement Network (NVEN)
Dedicated to expanding the role of America’s non-profits in voting and elections. NVEN works with state non-profit VOTE initiatives and its national website to provide resources and tools for 501(c)(3) non-profits to help their communities participate and vote.
Our Common Future - Report of the Brundtland Commission This UN commissioned report first defined sustainable development and addresses the change of politics needed for achieving it.
Pesticide Free Zone A coalition of Marin County organizations and businesses working to change the way people view the use of pesticides. Succeeded in working with the County of Marin to reduce the use of pesticides in public spaces, implement an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy and pass and IPM ordinance. Their goal today is to reduce the use of pesticides in schools and in private homes.
Plastic Bag Bans
A resource for municipalities considering local ordinances banning the commercial us of plastic bags.
Safe Routes to School
National program encouraging children to safely walk and bike to school.
The “Step it Up” Campaign
An annual day of action dedicated to stopping climate change.
Stopwaste.org is the Alameda County Waste Management Authority and the Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Board operating as one public agency dedicated to achieving the most environmentally sound solid waste management and resource conservation program for the people of Alameda County. Within this context, the Agency is committed to achieving a 75% and beyond diversion goal and promoting sustainable consumption and disposal patterns.
Teens Turning Green A student led movement devoted to education and advocacy around environmentally and socially responsible choices for individuals, schools, and communities. Seeks to promote global sustainability by identifying and eliminating toxic exposures that permeate our lives, often unknowingly, yet threaten public and environmental health.
What began in the Bay Area in 2005 now has a presence at elementary, middle and high schools, universities, and student organizations across the country, as well as a strong virtual platform and media presence. The TTG chapters lead grassroots efforts that aim to raise awareness, encourage behavior change, and lobby for policy that will lessen local and global impact.
Transition US The Transition Movement is a vibrant, grassroots movement that seeks to build community resilience in the face of such challenges as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis. It represents one of the most promising ways of engaging people in strengthening their communities against the effects of these challenges, resulting in a life that is more abundant, fulfilling, equitable and socially connected.
United Nations Environment Programme
Program providing leadership and encouraging partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.
US Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement Scientific evidence and consensus continues to strengthen the idea that climate disruption is an urgent threat to the environmental and economic health of our communities. Many cities, in this country and abroad, already have strong local policies and programs in place to reduce global warming pollution, but more action is needed at the local, state, and federal levels to meet the challenge. On February 16, 2005 the Kyoto Protocol, the international agreement to address climate disruption, became law for the 141 countries that have ratified it to date. On that day, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels launched this initiative to advance the goals of the Kyoto Protocol through leadership and action by American cities.
Women’s Energy Matters
Women’s Energy Matters (WEM) is a network of women and men who approach energy issues from a woman’s point of view. WEM works for a rapid transition to an efficient, renewable energy system, in order to promote healthy communities and ecosystems and improve international relations. WEM also celebrates the ways women have used their own energy through the ages to work for the public good.
World Wildlife Fund for Nature
An international, non-governmental organization building a future where human needs are met in harmony with nature. Its experts are active at every level – from field work to government - conserving the largest tropical rain forests, the most diverse coral reefs, and the world’s most endangered species.
Sustainability Organizations (featured in this guidebook)
Online Low Cost or No-Cost Tools