Suntoucher Software and 1% for the Planet – Join Us

As part of LoaTree’s ongoing participation in and support of 1% for the Planet, we’re helping spearhead a 1%ftP membership drive in California’s south central coast to encourage new businesses to join this powerful network of changemakers.

Over 1,200 member businesses currently pledge 1% of annual sales to conservation-themed nonprofit organizations, using the power of business to protect our planet’s precious resources, open spaces and wildlife. Over 40 of these companies are located between Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties! See some of our tri-county members here!

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While the overarching goals of joining 1%ftP are similar for many companies, the exact reasons why businesses join are unique to that particular business. Below, we highlight Suntoucher Software from San Luis Obispo, CA. As long time 1%ftP members, Suntoucher has given thousand of dollars locally and has established a strong relationship with a particular nonprofit organization that best aligns with the company’s philosophy and interests. It is these unique and powerful relationships that 1%ftP seeks to cultivate and promote.

The article below was written by Kristen Hazard, Suntoucher’s CEO, and originally appeared on Suntoucher’s blog.

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Kristen Hazard, Suntoucher CEO

Kristen Hazard, Suntoucher CEO

Why do you live here? It’s certainly not affordable. Why do you work here? It’s not hard to find jobs that pay better just four hours away.

If you’re like me, you live here because – almost everywhere you look – it’s simply beautiful. I have friends and colleagues here whom I cherish. There are great shops and restaurants. But sometimes all I need to do to appreciate my life is look up at the hills, or hike Bishop’s Peak, or take my dog Raven to Port San Luis on a Saturday morning. Everywhere you look, it is indeed beautiful here.

Today’s blog is about that beauty. And my personal interest in preserving it. And my appeal to you to join me.

One Percent for the Planet

Long before the Occupy Wall Street protests brought the notion of the 1% to our nation’s attention, there was another 1% movement quietly building momentum of its own. I am a member of that group, and I’d like to plant the seed for you to consider joining me.

The organization I belong to and support is called 1% for the Planet. It was founded in 2003 by Yvon Chouinard (of Patagonia) and Craig Mathews (of Blue Ribbon Flies), who aimed to create a model for environmental responsibility among business owners. The notion is simple: member businesses donate at least 1% of their gross annual sales to nonprofit organizations whose work protects and preserves the environment.

My goal is to convince 10 Central Coast businesses to join 1% for the Planet this year. Whether you’re a small business owner or employed by a larger company, I am asking you to learn more about the many benefits this organization offers. And then join. – Kristen Hazard, CEO, Suntoucher Software

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 11.41.16 AM1% is a Tiny Number

If you raised your prices 1%, would anyone notice? If you had to pay a 1% eco-tax, would it really be that painful? When you consider your annual expenses – what you pay for coffee, or for electricity, or for a new cell phone – suddenly 1% of your annual sales is not very much money at all. Especially when you consider the impact that 1% can have.

1% is a Huge Number

Many of us enjoy and appreciate our natural environment, but don’t have the time to make a difference. Directing a small fraction of our revenues to environmental groups enables them to do what they do best.

The nonprofits that 1% for the Planet members support do vital, honorable work:

  •  they save land
  •  they protect forests, rivers and oceans
  •  they make agriculture and energy production more sustainable
  •  they get toxins out of the environment and plastics out of the ocean

When you join, you can choose the nonprofit organizations you wish to support, and even though you’re not out there personally saving the whales (or the trees, or the planet,) your donations will be.

1% for the Planet is:

  • 1,200 member companies in 48 countries
  • 1% of sales to over 3,300 nonprofits
  • More than $100 million over the past 10 years towards conservation
  • Over 40 member businesses in California’s central coast

Suntoucher’s Support

This philanthropic gesture sends a message to Suntoucher’s clients that the company truly values conservation, which is an important part of their business model…we are extremely grateful for their unwavering support.

– Kaila Dettman, SLO Land Conservancy

I don’t like to preach. And I don’t like to be preached to. But I believe our health and wellness is affected by the environment. I believe that businesses are responsible for positive change. I believe we owe respect to the people who came before us and protected the environment we enjoy today.  I believe we owe our children the legacy of a clean, safe and healthy planet for them to raise children of their own. And I believe, even as a small business owner in a small town, that I can make a difference that matters.

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Since I’ve been a member of 1% for the Planet, I have directed 1% of Suntoucher’s annual sales to the San Luis Obispo County Land Conservancy, an organization that has conserved over 15,000 acres of land since 1984. They recently raised $12.3 million to purchase the Pismo Preserve which will be permanently conserved and open to the public. Their work helps prevent poorly planned development, protects drinking water sources, restores wildlife habitat and promotes family farmlands and ranches. And at Suntoucher, we take the sting out by splitting our 1% into four quarterly donations instead of one year-end lump sum.

“Each quarter, The Land Conservancy receives a gift from Suntoucher. This philanthropic gesture sends a message to Suntoucher’s clients that the company truly values conservation, which is an important part of their business model,” said Kaila Dettman, Executive Director of the SLO Land Conservancy. “As a sustainable giver to The Land Conservancy, Suntoucher’s actions show that they are truly committed to our mission. We are extremely grateful for their unwavering support.”

Join Me – Become a Member Today

My goal is to convince 10 Central Coast businesses to join 1% for the Planet this year. Whether you’re a small business owner, or employed by a larger company, I am asking you to learn more about the many benefits this organization offers. And then join.

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Thinking Globally, Acting Locally

Here are the local businesses in San Luis Obispo County that are currently members of 1% for the Planet, as well as the local nonprofits their donations support (keep in mind there are many more in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties).

1%ftP Business Members

Elemental Herbs, Niel Dilworth Architect, Bridge Street Inn, Suntoucher Software, SummerLove Swimwear.

1%ftP Member Nonprofits

Central Coast Vineyard Team, Central Coast Concerned Mountain BikersEnvironmental Center of San Luis Obispo, Environment in the Public Interest, Central Coast Wildlife Rehabilitation Guild – Pacific Wildlife CareCoastal Alliance on Plant ExpansionLand Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County, LifewaterMorro Coast Audubon SocietyMorro Bay National Estuary ProgramSan Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition, San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace.

Won’t you consider joining this growing network of businesses pledging to make our community – and this planet – a better place? Call me (805-550-6381) or email me kristen [at] suntouchersoftware.com! I won’t give you the hard-sell, I promise, but I will happily answer any questions you have.

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