How Vote Solar Landed Support From CREDO

It’s safe to say that climate-change-tackling non-profit Vote Solar is among a handful of organizations that has no problem with hefty cell phone bills.

That’s because the Tides Center-sponsored group has just received a $59,984 grant to promote the wider adoption of solar power in California through a unique philanthropic funding model from call provider CREDO, which directs a percentage of customer charges to non-profits focused on progressive causes such as environmental protection and social justice.

Each month its directors and “activist friends” choose a list of three groups that advance such causes and asks its customers to vote on which they would prefer funding to be directed toward.

Vote Solar was quick to mobilize (excuse the pun) its supporters to join up with CREDO and get out the vote, which they could do via a website, by calling a toll-free number or texting their support, in a decidedly Gen Y fashion.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the CREDO customers seem an egalitarian bunch and donated about the same amount of funding to the two other groups in the May running – Amnesty International and Naral Pro-Choice America.

Among the causes that Vote Solar champions is the further adoption of net metering, which allows solar energy customers to collect credit on their utility bills for excess power they contribute to the grid, just like rollover minutes on a cell phone, to use an apt metaphor.

CREDO, meanwhile, has donated more than $76 million to progressive causes since 1985 through the cell phone process, as well as an earlier but ongoing credit card program that, again, diverts funding from customer charges.

As well as merely seeking funding, CREDO also provides customers with suggested state and national action on other causes through on their monthly bills, including the names and numbers of representatives to contact and rack up some more of those precious call charges.