By Jocelyn Langer, NOFA/Mass Executive Director

Painting of a sillouhette on a grassy hill at sunset

On September 22, NOFA/Mass Communications Director and Fundraising Coordinator Christy Bassett sent out a link to her Human Health and Climate Action Challenge crowdfunding page to our whole staff and board. It didn’t take long before other staff and board members started setting up their profiles, many of them personalized with photos and comments relating to their specific challenge. Soon participants from outside the NOFA/Mass staff began signing up to fundraise as well, and even before the official launch on October 1st the momentum started to build.

With a goal of raising at least $20,000 for NOFA/Mass’s education and advocacy programs during the month of October, the Climate Action Challenge is both a fundraiser and an educational opportunity. Much of our promotion involves educating friends, family, and the public about human health and climate health, and the countless ways that we can make a difference through individual actions and systemic change. NOFA/Mass staff and board have formed 5 different teams, each promoting a challenge relating to human or climate health, including: Pollinator Protection, Healthy Soils, Physical Feat, Food as Medicine, and Become an Activist. Funds raised through the Challenge will support:

  • Helping growers build living soils that sequester carbon
  • Educating growers and consumers, on-farms and at our two annual conferences
  • Ensuring access to healthy food for underserved populations
  • Training the next generation of organic farmers and gardeners
  • Fighting for our legislative priorities including the Healthy Soils Bill & Pollinator Protection Act
  • Supporting our grassroots, membership-based, non-profit focused on organic since 1982!

While it may at first feel daunting for each individual to set their fundraising goal and set about promoting their team, the amazing thing about crowdfunding is that it can take on a life of its own, inspiring people that the initial organizers have never met to promote and donate to the cause. While the world is certainly facing a range of unprecedented events, from pandemic to economic crisis to a massive call for racial justice, climate change is also at the forefront of our concerns on a global level.

NOFA/Mass aims to not only raise money, but to raise awareness through this month-long event. Current levels of atmospheric carbon are so dangerously high that we cannot choose between reducing emissions and sequestering carbon. We must do both. Farming, gardening and landcare practices that cultivate the healthiest foods ALSO build the healthiest ecosystems. For decades, NOFA/Mass has organized to challenge corporate power, break the chemical treadmill and our food system’s reliance on fossil fuels.

Through the Human Health and Climate Action Challenge, we invite our members to take stock of how they are a part of this movement and how they might increase their active participation. We have assembled a list of individual actions to take on for one month, as a starting point. While impacting global health or the climate of our planet are part of a movement that is beyond the scope of any individual, we believe that we must all work together to dramatically shift our culture and our economy. Assuming these challenges long-term, as part of a greater movement, WILL make a difference.

NOFA/Mass members – and in fact anyone beyond our membership as well – can support the challenge throughout the month of October in several different ways:

  1. Simply sharing our links with friends on social media is one simple step, which both supports NOFA and raises awareness about the cause as a whole.
  2. In addition, donations in any amount are a huge way to make a difference, and each small donation will add up to help us meet our goal of $20,000.
  3. Finally, for those who would like to take on a more active role, anyone can set up their own profile through RallyUp, a user-friendly fundraising platform.

We truly appreciate your support, both financially and through helping us to get the word out!