Greens retool – Image facelift

Competing for donors with trendy new causes and with one another, environmental groups are revamping their images to attract a new generation of supporters, The Wall Street Journal reported July 5.

The aggressive new marketing push aims to overcome twin challenges that conservation groups say face — a sluggish economy that’s hurting charitable giving, and policies backed by President Bush that environmentalists oppose, such as oil-drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and construction of more coal-burning and nuclear power plants, the Journal said.

Environmental groups are the fastest-growing group of public charities, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics of the Urban Institute.

Of 200,000 public charities, the number of nonprofit conservation groups has grown at least 70 percent since 1992 to more than 4,000.

To boost its pitch, for example, Keep America Beautiful is adopting a new theme for its annual Great American Cleanup after decades of using the face of a tearful American Indian chief.

The new theme: Xtreme Clean, featuring scuba diving, jet-ski contests and other physical challenges to attract 18-to-25-year-olds, the Journal said.

And for the first time, the group is soliciting corporate sponsors, which will get special marketing opportunities and product giveaways, the Journal said.

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