2023 was a year that we will look back on as a dramatic turning point for Delaware. Now, we look to 2024 to build on that momentum and create even more long-lasting change. But before we dive in, I wanted to tell folks about some behind-the-scenes victories that some may not have realized were won here at the Delaware Chapter.
First, we can’t talk about victories without talking about getting through the hiring process and bringing the amazing Marissa McClenton into the Delaware Chapter family! I think most folks have met or heard from Marissa at this point, but if you have not you certainly will this year as she really leans into her role as our Environmental Justice Organizer. She will be working to ensure that justice, equity, and joy are a part of our movement here in Delaware as we look to tackle some of the biggest issues facing our state.
We also had a huge year in terms of fundraising. Compared to last year, we had a 53% increase in our fundraising results! When we look at the change from two years ago, that number jumps to over 61%! This is huge news since the general story of fundraising across the nonprofit world has been one of declining revenues. This just shows the power of our movement in Delaware and provides a testament to the hard work of our volunteer-led fundraising committee and the generosity of you all, our members and supporters! This year we look to grow that number even more by applying for our first-ever external grants and ensuring that all of our members and supporters feel valued by our organization.
We didn’t just increase our fundraising work in Delaware though, we also increased our work in organizing the fight on the ground. Thanks to the efforts of extremely dedicated volunteers and the hiring of an amazing new organizer, we also saw an over 30% increase in actions taken overall throughout the year in 2023. That means more phone calls were made, more emails were sent, more lobby visits were booked, and more people turned out when it mattered most! In 2024, we hope to offer even more opportunities to engage in the important work of saving the planet and our home state of Delaware from the ravages of climate change (more on that later).
We also worked hard to create more internal infrastructure in the chapter to help center the people in this movement and provide guidance to budding organizers. We created or reinvigorated key teams and committees. That work included bringing on a new outings leader to help get more people outside from communities that we have historically not engaged with. We also created a new Political Committee to oversee our endorsements, with a long-term plan of training and educating elected officials to be stronger environmental champions. We also grew our Fundraising Committee to include volunteers with specific experience in grant management and events planning. And of course, we should mention the amazing work done by our re-energized Nominating Committee that worked hard to find fresh volunteers to serve on our Executive Committee.
With all that change, what can you expect from the Delaware Chapter in 2024?
Well, we have a lot to do this year and we certainly don’t plan on resting on our success in 2023! This year we want to roll out a new teams-based structure in some of our committees to really help folks plug into the work and find their unique sense of purpose in this vitally important moment in our collective history. Those teams will be run through the existing committee structure, but will provide increased opportunities to help folks find their niche and passion. The teams will work on issues like offshore wind and electric vehicles and other clean transit options, for example, and also undertake work around events planning, activist opportunities, and policy development and lobbying, amongst other things.
We also have a couple of new additions to our Executive Committee who are joining us in the new year. Cora Castle and CJ Myers were elected last year after another member, Liz Shields, had to step down due to a new job located out of state. For those who know Liz as the Climate and Energy Co-Chair, fear not, she is still going to be helping us here at the Delaware Chapter. More to come on that later. For now, we welcome Cora and CJ who are both super energized to fight for clean transportation for all and the cleaner air that comes with it!
There are also a host of policy-related issues that we have to step up to and lean in on. This includes: fighting to protect our progress on EV access in Delaware through the Advanced Clean Cars program, which is now being attacked by far-right Republicans in Dover; creating an offshore wind project specifically for Delaware so we can meet our climate and clean energy goals; fighting back against unsustainable over-development; and ensuring that our climate bill that was passed last year is actually being followed and implemented by all state agencies and other branches of government.
That is just SOME of what is to come in 2024, but we have much more in the works. So make sure to follow us on social media (Facebook, Threads, X, and Insta) and sign up for our emails on the sidebar on our website.