[act-ma] Multi-School Divest Fund Launches TODAY 12/23

Bobby Wengronowitz bobbywego at gmail.com
Tue Dec 23 08:18:48 PST 2014

Hi Folks,

We are pleased to let you know that TODAY, 12/23, we launch the
Multi-School Fossil Fuel Divestment Fund <http://divestfund.org/>!

We now have 13 schools participating and the DivestFund.org
<http://divestfund.org/> website is live. You can donate here
<http://www.divestfund.org/donate/>! We also have a twitter handle (
@DivestFund <https://twitter.com/DivestFund>) and are using the hashtag

our press release and I've also pasted it below.


Main Contact:     Sarah Vukelich, Williams, sarah.m.vukelich at gmail.com,

Secondary:     Becky Romatoski, MIT, rrromatoski at gmail.com, 651-587-7172;

    Bobby Wengronowitz, BC, bobbywego at gmail.com, 630-464-5875

Website:     http://divestfund.org/

Cambridge, MA – Alumni, parents, and students from universities across the
country have launched a bold new Multi-School Fossil Free Divestment Fund.
The Fund facilitates tax-deductible donations for those who would like to
give to an educational institution but are hesitant because the institution
invests in the environmentally, financially, and morally hazardous fossil
fuel industry. The Fund will hold and invest donations until a school’s


   Immediately freezes any new investment in fossil fuel companies and

   Divests within five years from current holdings of fossil fuel companies.

For participating schools unable to stand up to fossil fuel companies by
the end of 2017, their funds will go to participating schools that have
divested. Morgan Curtis, a Dartmouth student, explains the timeline: “Back
in 2011, the IEA [International Energy Agency], hardly a radical
organization, found that 2017 was the cutoff for building any new fossil
fuel infrastructure if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. We
haven’t even hit 1° C yet, and it’s already been disastrous and lethal,
especially for those least responsible.”

The Fund allows parents, alumni, faculty, staff, students, and others to
leverage their donations to help universities do the right thing. As
Brandeis alumnus Naveh Halperin explains, "I want to give to Brandeis
because I had an amazing experience there, but I can't donate knowing
they're investing in morally unjust industries that undercut their mission
to strive for social justice." Since donations will go to other
universities if a given university has not divested, the Fund creates a
friendly competition to push for action at a level commensurate with the
urgency and magnitude of the deepening climate crisis. “Money donated acts
as a financial carrot, but if universities continue to support the rogue
fossil fuel industry, those donations turn into a stick” says Chris Nidel,
an MIT alumnus.

While financial contributions are important, the number of donors is
equally powerful. College rankings
are important for many institutions. Five percent of those rankings are
derived from alumni giving, meaning even small donations matter. Boston
College student David Corbie says he is “working on getting others to use
their ‘senior gift’ as a way to encourage our school to stand up for
climate justice.”

Fossil fuel divestment campaigns have been underway for years. Their aim is
to stigmatize the fossil fuel industry and loosen the iron grip they have
on our political and economic system. Hundreds of institutions--from
schools and churches to public pensions and philanthropic
foundations--participate in divestment. Many have already divested
<http://gofossilfree.org/commitments/>. The Fund, carefully designed over
18 months, adds one more arrow to the quiver in the fight for climate

Here's the main meme we'll be using:

A sample tweet (with the right number of characters to allow for the image)
is this:

Donate to @DivestFund Your Alma Mater receives the $ only when they stand
up to #FossilFuels #divestfund.org

Thanks so much for your donation, spreading the word, and all the good work
you do.

Peace and Justice,

Bobby, for the whole DivestFund <http://divestfund.org/> team

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