How It Works

April 22: What is Earth Day?

Earth Day, April 22, was first observed in the USA in 1970—when an estimated 20 million people attended events around the nation to advocate for environmental causes. Since then, Earth Day has become a heartbeat, every spring, reminding us to take action to make our world a better place.

What we do

At Earth Day Oregon, we use the occasion to celebrate our favorite planet—and the people working tirelessly to protect it. We already have great nonprofits working hard for our state. Let’s celebrate and elevate their contributions! Each spring we invite local nonprofits in Oregon to join us (for free!), and we garner attention for their amazing collective work and promote donations to them, too.

We also encourage these nonprofits to build long-term relationships with sustainability-savvy local businesses and we host an “action hub” of event listings from these organizations and businesses, so all Oregonians can find ways to be involved. We bring together over 80 nonprofits, hundreds of businesses, and countless Oregonians.

Why it matters

Oregon is brimming with talented nonprofit organizations working year round to better our environment and our communities. Earth Day is the perfect time to unite these voices and showcase their remarkable contributions to the state we love. It’s a chance for businesses and Oregonians to get involved, too.

Through this coordinated effort, we are building a tradition of inclusive celebration and we encourage Oregonians to generate a wave of support for the nonprofits leading us to healthy environments, equitable communities, and sustainable economies across our state.

Doing Earth Day differently

Our future is interconnected. Creating a sustainable Earth requires a lot more than traditional environmental pathways. We also need a reduction in poverty and hunger, better education, gender equity, and good health and wellness. All of these attributes build a better Oregon. We use the 17 Sustainable Development Goals from the United Nations as our guide for a sustainable future for our state.

Our nonprofit partners are on the front lines of transformational change. They are accelerating us on the path to equitably achieving the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, right here in Oregon. These goals are a blueprint for action in intersecting areas to achieve sustainability—from climate justice to clean energy, and more.

Who Does What During the Campaign?


We unite nonprofits

Earth Day Oregon recruits nonprofit partners to join the campaign and then facilitates informational and orientation meetings. There are no fees for nonprofit partners to participate. See registration page here. 

Oregon nonprofits that engage with and benefit marginalized communities who are impacted by systemic racism, discrimination, inequities, and other forms of oppression are encouraged to participate. Earth Day Oregon provides additional support to nonprofits that are small, rural, community-benefit (CBOs), culturally-specific, and/or advancing environmental justice.

Eligibility Requirements (See the nonprofit registration page for full eligibility requirements):

  • Nonprofit partners must be 501(c)(3) organizations based in (or with a location in) Oregon; or are located in Oregon and are fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
  • They each advance one or more of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in Oregon.
  • Nonprofit partners are prepared to fulfill the campaign commitments (details below).
  • Nonprofit partners’ policies and practices must provide equal opportunity to all qualified individuals in leadership, staffing and service, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, and any status protected by law. They must not require attendance or participation in religious/faith activities as a condition of service delivery, nor require adherence to religious/faith beliefs as a condition of service or employment.


Nonprofits find business partners

Each nonprofit partner invites and secures at least 3 business partners who agree to participate and support the nonprofit as part of the Earth Day Oregon campaign. They coordinate to make sure the business is registered by the deadline (March 22) to be included in full campaign partner promotion.

Each business partner commits to:

  • Making a meaningful monetary contribution directly to their nonprofit partner in honor of Earth Day; and 
  • Getting the word out to their audience about their partnership and ways people can engage with the broader campaign during Earth Month (April).

There is no minimum dollar amount required for the contribution in honor of Earth Day; but it should be meaningful to both the business and the nonprofit partner. The amount is up to the partners to determine. The contribution can be a flat dollar amount, proceeds from a product or service, a percentage of revenue on Earth Day, a match for employee April volunteer hours, etc. Business partner donations are to be made directly to the nonprofit no later than May 10th.

Nonprofit partners are responsible for vetting and linking up with business partners who value their work, who are committed to achieving sustainability in Oregon (no greenwashing), and who will receive visibility through the campaign. Business partners support no more than 3 nonprofits. While monetary donations are preferred, one of the three required business partner donations can be in-kind (non-cash).


Nonprofits and business work together

At Earth Day Oregon, we encourage and help our nonprofits make relationships. But after that, we step away. We encourage authentic, long-term relationships between Oregon nonprofits and businesses—and we know they don’t need a third wheel! These partners plan and carry out their own individualized Earth Day Oregon programs, together,  that fit their own goals and needs.

Many nonprofit and business partners team up for virtual or in-person events to celebrate Earth Day, too. We help publicize their work, and encourage public support. Earth Day Oregon’s online action hub features these partner events in April. Creative partnerships, especially ones that include ways for the public to engage, tend to attract the most media interest!


We promote it all

We promote this collective celebration through:

  • A robust campaign to gain media coverage—pitching stories and content statewide
  • Social media content to highlight partners
  • Coordinated campaign branding
  • Hosting a collective website with nonprofit partner and business partner directories on the website—so the public can easily see who’s involved, give, and take action
  • Populating our action hub’s events calendar featuring partners’ Earth Month activities

Additional support
We have onboarding, training, resources and more for all of our nonprofit partners. We provide a collection of language, content and branded items for all partners to use and share easily. Earth Day Oregon also organizes free regional partners-only networking events to celebrate and strengthen connections among the nonprofits and business partners.

We also secure sponsors who support the campaign overall and they help raise Earth Day Oregon’s profile—as we do not receive any money directly from our nonprofit partners or the business partners themselves. After Earth Day each year, we distribute need-based mini-grants to eligible nonprofit partners who meet their campaign commitments.


Everyone benefits

By bringing people together to celebrate the organizations, state—and planet—we love, we all benefit. When we lean into the good being done in the world, we magnify the results. We are firm believers in the power of partnership, creativity, inclusivity and action. Thank you for being a part of it all.