ReNew Leaf Collaboratory

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On the ReNew Leaf Collaboratory, almost anyone can find the network, the tools, and the funding they need to drive forward positive change in their community and in their world. To see how you can help, please reach out to us via email:

The earth is facing unparalleled environmental changes because of human consumption. Everything we do, from powering our cities to transporting goods, impacts our atmosphere and sparks global changes. Over the past 30 years, the average global temperature has risen approximately 1.70 degrees1. This shift in temperature has contributed to increased droughts, wildfires, flooding of coastal cities, and tropical storms of greater intensities. National governments have taken action to combat the effects of environmental crises but are still working to find long-term solutions to mitigate the causes.

Our biosphere is quickly becoming uninhabitable, and to address the growing demand for sustainable technologies and practices, people around the world need to have a freely available collaborative platform to share and build their ideas. Current approaches to nurture collaboration include the Global Platform for sustainable cities, HeroX, Google, Microsoft, Dropbox, and Miro. These collaborative spaces are either limited in the tools available for use or are marketed and structured for certain groups. These spaces have a particular niche that they cater to, require subscriptions, or fail to promote collaboration at all.

To address the shortages of collaborative spaces for environmental conservation, we propose the ReNew Leaf Collaboratory. ReNew Life Collaboratory will be a platform that operates as a social center, where users can connect freely and discuss environmental topics. It will also offer multimedia workspaces, an office suite, and CAD integrations to nurture peer networking and collaboration.

To become a member of the ReNew Leaf Collaboratory, new users will need to create an account from the trusted network. The account will be fully active once the user has confirmed their contact information.

The ReNew Leaf Collaboratory will offer security through blockchain. Blockchain is a cryptographic software that operates as a decentralized program. The nonnuclear format ensures that the program can’t be corrupted by malware or hacked. Blockchain also creates a ledger of information from the users’ activities on the platform. This information is stored as blocks. These blocks must be approved by the nodes, the trusted network of computers on which the blockchain is founded before they are added to the ledger.  This ledger can then be used to establish Intellectual Property protection of any technology and ideas developed in the Collaboratory. Additionally, the ledger can be used to create a tokenized currency, that could then be used to compensate the creators of significant ideas.

                ReNew Leaf Collaboratory will be structured as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the Internal Revenue Service and will receive approximately 50% of its funding through grants, 15% through direct email and social media fundraising, 10% through crowdfunding (via multiple crowdfunding websites), 10% through corporate philanthropy, 10% through in-kind donations, and 5% through events.

                Direct email and social media fundraising continue to be ever more viable funding options for nonprofits. From 2017 to 2018, overall online fundraising revenue increased by 23%, with 45% of worldwide donors enrolled in a monthly giving program. Event fundraising remains viable as well since 57% of worldwide donors regularly attend fundraising events. Additionally, corporate philanthropy nets nonprofit organizations over $20 billion annually, and while $2-3 billion of that is donated through matching gift programs, an estimated $4-10 billion in matching gift funds goes unclaimed every year. With over 18 million individuals working for companies with matching gift programs, this unclaimed capital poses a unique advantage to nonprofits that target marketing to these individuals and that spread awareness of the unmatched gift funds.

                Additionally, 2020 alone saw over $34 billion raised via crowdfunding.

                There exists a wealth of grant sources for green organizations, and some of the top awarders for green organizations on our radar can be seen in Table 1.

Table 1: Grant Sources for Green Organizations and Projects

Table 1: Grant Sources for Green Organizations and Projects
Environmental Protection Agency  National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationThe John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
The Nature ConservancyNational Institutes of HealthBloomberg Philanthropies
Bill and Melinda Gates FoundationThe David and Lucille Packard FoundationEnvironmental Resource Management Foundation
Tree FundThe Rockefeller FoundationGoogle: Global Impact Awards
Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ)Surdna Foundation Environments ProgramNational Fish and Wildlife Foundation
River NetworkMosaic MomentumCoca-Cola Foundation
Green Mountain Energy Sun Club GrantWoodard & Curran FoundationRobert Wood Johnson Foundation

                The platform’s development will be spring boarded by crowdfunding (largely via Fundly, Patreon, and Kickstarter), open-source programming (via Github), and grants such as the EPA’s Healthy Environmental Living Program Grant, which awards between $25,000 and $100,000; the National Institutes of Health’s Virtual Consortium for Translational/Transdisciplinary Environmental Research (ViCTER) grant, which awards up to $475,000; and the NOAA’s Environmental Literacy Program: Increasing Community Resilience to Extreme Weather & Climate Change grant, which awards between $250,000 and $500,000.