At the last New York Green Drinks event I attended, I finally had the great pleasure of meeting Michael De Jong, The Daily Green's Zen Cleaner. Michael has been blogging for us since our alpha launch, but this was the first time I met him in meatspace, though, of course we've had great email rapport for some time. Michael writes very funny blogs based on a holiday or anniversary occurring that week -- and always somehow manages to sneak in an eco-effective, green cleaning tip.
In many of his blogs, Michael refers to his partner Richard (the slob to his neat freak), and Richard was at GreenDrinks as well. It was great meeting him, and he was very excited that the OneCleanWorld Foundation had just received its approval letter from the Attorney General allowing them to begin working as a charitable organization.
As Richard explained, the OneCleanWorld Foundation was established to support, raise awareness of and encourage eco- and sustainability projects in the United States and abroad through grants, technical assistance and/or micro-financing in the areas of education and outreach, advocacy and public health, and building or enhancing green economies and infrastructures. Their goal is a charitable organization that will help determine a better future for generations to come.
Richard, though on full-time disability, has taken on this project with Michael because he has his masters in not-for-profit management from the Wagner School at NYU, and wants to keep his chops up and feel productive. Like he said, it's like having a job, only one in which he can nap whenever he needs to. But regardless of his disability, his passion and commitment for the OneCleanWorld Foundation is clearly evident. After 20 years of working on the social services side of the philanthropy equation, he's thrilled to be on the grant-making side, able to provide resources to organizations that could benefit from the foundation's support.
I asked Richard to tell me more about the foundation, and he sent the following:
"With a committed and motivated board of directors, staff and advisory board, and junior board (to train the next generation of philanthropists) as well as generous and enthusiastic donors and corporate supporters the world over, the foundation will be developing a strategic plan with attainable, measurable goals and objectives designed to truly impact our planet in a 'clean' way by supporting direct action, raising public awareness and nurturing grassroots initiatives meeting local needs.
"The Foundation's philosophy reads as follows:
"The OneCleanWorld Foundation's vision is to support environmentally friendly projects, causes, entrepreneurs and activists worldwide. I feel that it is imperative that the foundation's board of directors be as reflective of the diversity of their grantees as possible with individuals who also bring experience and knowledge of the eco-field, as well as those who bring specific professional skill sets that would be helpful in strengthening the philanthropy. If interested in finding out more about the OneCleanWorld Foundation board of directors, please email a cover letter and resume to: RHaymes@OneCleanWorld.org.
"During our start-up year, the Foundation will be seeking many levels of financial support, including individual donors from a growing online community, major gifts, and corporate and foundation support. We also hope to offer services to manage Donor Advised Funds (DAF) as well as small family foundations. Since many DAF and small private foundations often don't have a specific philanthropic focus, the OneCleanWorld Foundation will be targeting those that want to concentrate on or learn about supporting environmental issues.
"Experts in the field -- Scott McCleary, a partner in the law firm Meyner and Landis, Ken Rogers and Stephen Mango of My Fiscal Office and Bill Mattle, executive director of The Stonewall Community Foundation - generously offered the professional support we needed to establish the nascent OneCleanWorld Foundation here in the U.S.
"During the start-up period, we will be building the infrastructure needed to sustainably establish the foundation, creating guidelines for grantmaking, and constructing a strong board of directors who are not only committed to the environment but are equally committed to the OneCleanWorld core operating principles. Our immediate goal is to begin to raise significant funds to give away for philanthropic purposes. By the end of calendar year 2010, the foundation will make its first grant.
"To sustain the foundation, a portion of royalties from Michael De Jong's "My Kind of Clean" series of books published by Sterling Publishing will go towards an endowment for the OneCleanWorld Foundation in perpetuity. Proudly, Michael and I negotiated with Sterling to print books 2 to 20, and any reprints of book 1 in a sustainable manner using recycled paper made from pre- and post-consumer waste and soy-based inks.
"Further, profits from the sales of products manufactured from the recipes in De Jong's book series (2 of the 20 are already for sale, and the 3rd will be released in fall 2009) will go towards underwriting the foundation's overhead and administrative expenses, to free up as much money raised from donors to go towards supporting eco-projects as possible.
"As a special incentive to The Daily Green's readers, Michael and I are offering a free, signed, first edition of Michael's first book, Clean: The Humble Art of Zen-Cleansing to the first 1,000 people who donate $50.00 or more to the OneCleanWorld Foundation.
"To make a secure on-line donation, visit the contribution page of the Stonewall Community Foundation, and make sure to write "OCWF/Daily Green" in the box marked "My gift is made in honor/memory of."
"Or send a check made out to "The Stonewall Community Foundation," and write "OCWF/Daily Green" in the memo portion of the check. Then mail your donation to:
Stonewall Community Foundation*
119 West 24th Street, 7th floor
New York, NY 10011
"On behalf of Michael and myself, as we like to say, "Thank you for helping to build one clean world with OneCleanWorld."
*Stonewall Community Foundation is generously serving as the OneCleanWorld Foundation's fiscal conduit until OCWF receives its tax-exempt status from the IRS, which will take about 6 months. In the interim, Stonewall will be able to issue the donation letter you'll need for filing your 2009 taxes.
Check out the OneCleanWorld Foundation on Facebook.
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