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Where Does Our Funding Come From?

June 2019

Helen Applebaum

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Sierra Club Connecticut relies on financial support from our members right here in the Nutmeg state to lobby in the State Capitol, take legal action, organize and empower volunteers, lead conservation campaigns, and fight climate change.


So who supports us? On average, more than 300 of our members send in donations in response to our semi-annual appeals. Just 30 members support us by making monthly gifts of $5 to $50—we’re just started to build that program. Attendees at events, such as Celebrating Possibilities, the Benefit Concert held May 18th, and the April 28th House Party at the Old Mill in North Branford as well as the upcoming June 29th House Party in Barkhamsted, are also a source of funds from admission donations. We see events as a natural way to blend community building, fundraising, and activism. We plan to hold more in the future, so look out for opportunities in your community!

Our Donors

Learning about our donors is incredibly rewarding. Each has a unique reason for supporting our local environmental work. Here are just a few of their stories:

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Since 2016, Bernard Zahren of Avon has matched donations made by his investors from the management fees his company earns. In 2018, he added Sierra Club Foundation and Sierra Club Connecticut to the roster. Of his investors, Zahren states, “We are proud of them for reinvesting back into Mother Earth.”


Zahren supports our work because it promotes efforts to educate and empower people to protect and improve the natural and human environment. He likes that we partner with individual and institutional donors to align financial resources with strategic outcomes, provide flexible funding for innovation, build capacity in the environmental movement and create partnerships with a broad spectrum of allied organizations around shared values and goals.


Zahren also serves as the volunteer chair of the Avon Clean Energy Commission (ACEC).

James Osborn is an asset manager based in Ridgefield. Earlier this year he arranged an event at which panelists focused on advancing sustainability through state and federal legislation, corporate governance, product manufacturing and every-day living. Topics touched on how companies integrate sustainability into their business strategy and how individuals can add it to their lifestyle. The discussion featured State Senator Will Haskell and four local thought leaders in sustainability. Proceeds from the program were donated to Sierra Club Connecticut.

Osborn added, “My company recognizes that there are many grassroots efforts toward environmentalism. We happen to do so through personal investments focused on sustainability. We partner with organizations that unify toward an overarching sustainability mission.”

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Each and Every Gift Helps!

Thank you to Bernard, James, and each of you who have donated recently. Your gifts empower our voice at the State Capitol, allow us to take legal action when needed, help organize our volunteers and pay for issue experts. You protect Connecticut from offshore seismic exploration and drilling, and other extractive industries. None of our work is possible without you.


If you are not already, I invite you to become a monthly donor. Even $5 a month advances our goals. To give, Donate Here.


And while you’re at it, tell us your story. We would love to know what Sierra Club means to you. Send your comments to, or post them directly on Twitter@SierraClubCT.


We are so grateful for your support for our causes!

Helen Applebaum is Lead Volunteer for Advancement at Sierra Club Connecticut and a member of the Executive Committee.

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