Cottonwood Foundation Newsletter
Volume 7, No. 1

Table Of Contents
Cottonwood Foundation awards $34,000 in grants in 2000
Celebrating the award of over $100,000 in grants!
What is Cottonwood Foundation?
Gifts of appreciated stocks are appreciated!
From Grant Recipients

    Cottonwood Foundation awards $34,000 in grants in 2000

    Thanks to your continuing support, Cottonwood Foundation was able to award a record number of grants this fall! Nineteen grants of $1,000 were awarded to grassroots organizations worldwide that are working for a sustainable future by meeting all of the following criteria: protecting the environment, promoting cultural diversity, empowering people to meet their basic needs, and relying on volunteer efforts.

    These 19 organizations were selected from 324 applications received for consideration this fall. Cottonwood Foundationís ten-member grants committee and its board of directors devoted many dozens of hours to reviewing and discussing the applications. This fall grant round brings the total in grants awarded by Cottonwood Foundation in 2000 to $34,000, far exceeding the $25,000 in grants awarded in 1999!

    Following is a listing of the 19 $1,000 grants awarded this fall: (Please note that organizations followed by "USA/[another country]" are based in the United States, but were funded for a specific project in another country.)

    Fall 2000 Grants

    • African Blackwood Conservation Project, USA/Tanzania — for purchase and installation of a water pump for use in a tree nursery in which seedlings of the endangered Mpingo tree are being raised for replanting in their native habitat.
    • Association "Green Alternative," Republic of Georgia — to support the installation of biogas equipment for cooking at a boarding school for 200 homeless children in the city of Dzegvi, as well as to promote the use of renewable energy in Republic of Georgia.
    • BIOTICA Ecological Society, Moldova — to help restore populations of the endangered fish species Umbra krameri in micro-reserves with the support of low-income women in a multi-ethnic region of the lower Dniester River.
    • ComitÈ Impulsor de ReforestaciÛn y Defensa del Medio Ambiente (CIRDEMA), Bolivia — to support the purchase of tools needed for reforestation and other activities of a grassroots organization protecting the Guadalquivir River and its watershed.
    • Cultural Survival, USA/Philippines — for reforestation of five acres of devastated land by the indigenous Higaonon people where they will plant and nurture Durian seedlings, a native watershed tree preventing erosion and replenishing lost soil nutrients.
    • EcoLogic Development Fund, USA/Belize — to strengthen a new community-based organization, Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, working for sustainable development and preservation of biodiversity and indigenous culture.
    • Environmental Legal Assistance Center, Philippines — to support the efforts of the indigenous Tagbanua Foundation of Tara to delineate and protect their inherited ancestral territory and marine resources from exploitation.
    • Gram Unnayon Sangathon (GRAUS), Bangladesh — for building a small school to enable 30 students to receive primary education from volunteer teachers, and to establish nursery and home gardens to help with better nutrition and income generation.
    • Green Lanka Nature Conservation Association, Sri Lanka — for construction of tunnel greenhouses in low-income tribal communities, tree planting and environmental education for children, reforestation, and organizational development.
    • Harvest of Hope, USA/Honduras — to support instructors teaching basic nutrition and simple organic vegetable gardening to elementary school children in La Lima and El Progreso, Honduras.
    • La Flor Mazateca, Mexico — to strengthen efforts by an indigenous campesino organization to reverse environmental devastation in several local communities in state of Oaxaca by expanding and establishing tree nurseries to be used for reforestation.
    • Los Cimientos Alliance, USA/Guatemala — to support a new child sponsorship program, managed by indigenous Maya Kíiche staff, seeking to assist 600 children with their basic needs, while also providing them with environmental and cultural education.
    • Nabichakha Women Group, Kenya — to help a grassroots sustainable development organization purchase materials for construction of a womenís center, which will also be a center for indigenous knowledge.
    • Planet Drum Foundation, USA/Ecuador — to support revegetation projects using native plants of the rare dry tropical forest, as well as volunteer sustainability efforts in two barrios of Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador.
    • Project Mercy, USA/Mexico — for a volunteer-based organization to purchase recycled building materials needed to build basic houses costing only $2,000 for very low-income families living east of Tijuana, Mexico, with heavy involvement by the families themselves.
    • Trees, Water and People, USA/Guatemala — to provide 25 fuel-efficient stoves (reducing deforestation and improving womenís and childrenís health) and training to families in Conrado de la Cruz, an indigenous community in Guatemala.
    • Wheels of Love, USA/Nicaragua — to assist in the development of a womenís center providing training and legal assistance in Nueva Vida, Nicaragua as well as to support installation of a donated, used X-ray machine in that country.
    • White Earth Land Recovery Project, USA [Land Fund grant] — to be applied toward purchase of 40 acres of property in Minnesota to be used for growing hominy corn through traditional harvesting practices and to help feed the White Earth community.
    • Wild Flora and Fauna Fund, Bulgaria — to help restore the population of Karakachan shepherd dogs, a rare, ancient breed that protects sheep from wolves, and to promote its use by shepherds as an alternative to wolf-poisoning.

    Celebrating the award of over $100,000 in grants!

    On Saturday, October 7, 2000, Cottonwood Foundationís donors and volunteers were invited to a special open house to celebrate the foundationís awarding over $100,000 in grants since 1992. Forty-five people attended. Thanks to Craig Miller, Cottonwood Foundation Vice Chair, for coordinating this event, and to volunteer Miriam Moss for taking photographs of the event!

    What is Cottonwood Foundation?

    Cottonwood Foundation is a tax-exempt charitable organization, run entirely by volunteers and with no paid staff, that provides small grants to grassroots organizations worldwide that are working for a sustainable future.

    Cottonwood awards grants to organizations that combine all of the following: protecting the environment, promoting cultural diversity, empowering people to meet their basic needs, and relying on volunteers. Support of such groups makes it possible to really make a difference in creating a better world.

    Cottonwood Foundation is proud that more than 90 percent of its expenditures go directly for grants. Less than 10 percent of all expenses are used to cover administration (such as postage, printing, supplies and postal box rental). The Foundation relies on donations of space, graphic design, computers, telephone, fax, and hundreds of hours of volunteer labor to operate!

    Gifts of appreciated stocks are appreciated!

    As a tax-exempt nonprofit organization, Cottonwood Foundation accepts tax-deductible donations of stocks. Gifts of appreciated securities held for at least one year can often provide significant tax benefits for the donor, and can make a huge difference for Cottonwood Foundation. If you would like more information on how to donate stocks to Cottonwood Foundation, please contact Paul Moss, Executive Director, at (651) 426-8797. (This information is not intended as legal or financial advice. Please consult your advisor on any financial decision.)

    From Grant Recipients

    Below follow some excerpts from some of the final reports and correspondence recently received by Cottonwood Foundation. These help to demonstrate how your contributions to Cottonwood Foundation are making a difference!

    "On behalf of our members we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the generosity of the Cottonwood Foundation in supporting the activities of Builders Without Borders. The Hogan building project conducted with the National Indian Youth Leadership Project was both challenging and rewarding. Ultimately, the project has inspired several new educational initiatives, a potential future building project with NIYLP, and the start of a new women-owned small business enterprise. We feel proud that the project was a success."
    —Builders Without Borders, New Mexico

    "We are very pleased to submit our final report to the Cottonwood Foundation for the grant support of $1,000 toward the purchase of coastal lands in the Gandoca region of Costa Rica. One hundred percent of funds granted were used for land acquisition. Your encouragement and support has been critical to our success in achieving overall marine protection as well as crucial protection for the nesting sites of sea turtles especially the sites of the leatherback turtle."
    —Center for Ecosystem Survival, California

    "After receiving the financial grant from THE COTTONWOOD FOUNDATION, we invited ten more tribal families under the expansion of our ongoing programme of bee keeping. Before the commencement of this project, these tribal ladies were hankering after employment. They could not afford their day today expenditure. When any misfortune befall upon them, they had to go into the lap of local moneylenders or landlords on heavy rate of interest. In this way, the entire population of this village is under the gyre of debt. All sorts of problems prevail there. INTWOT gave extension to this programme with the financial support of COTTONWOOD FOUNDATION. The selected ladies were given the training of modern style of bee keeping."
    —Indian National Trust for the Welfare of Tribals, India

    "This years has been good season working with farmers both new and old ones. Several project was accomplished despite the low rainfall experienced this year in some areas. Techniques leading to management of natural resources were most put into effort through the practical training. Agrobiodiversity and integrated system methodologies were also applied. The work was a success as per the participatory evaluation with the involved farmers. With the finance from Cottonwood Foundation very small and important community work has been done. Last the project would not have been a success if it were not the vital dedicated funding from Cottonwood Foundation, and therefore, the project sends special thanks."
    —Kaisagat Environmental Conservation Youth Group, Kenya

    "On April 22, 2000 the Mattaponi Indian Tribe was the gracious recipient of a $1,000 grant from the Cottonwood Foundation to assist us in our efforts to acquire approximately 2000 acres of land that adjoins the Mattaponi Reservation. The land in question is not just a piece of land, but it is a piece of land that is considered sacred to the Mattaponi People and in the past, was a part of the Mattaponi Reservation. By acquiring the land the Mattaponi will be able to protect a large part of the environment in our area as well as use small pieces to empower the members of the Tribe to build an economically sustainable community. We would like to thank the Cottonwood Foundation for your generous and continued support."
    —Mattaponi Heritage Foundation, Virginia

    "The Cottonwood Foundation made a grant of $1,000 to Minga Peru to assist in implementing a demonstration fishery and agro-forestry project at our rural training center 'Tambo Minga.' Cottonwood was the first Foundation to support this project, and subsequently led to other funds received from the Global Fund for Women, Mama Cash, Funding Exchange, and the American Jewish World Service. All of these funds pooled together have enabled us to implement the agro-forestry program, improve some of the structures at Tambo Minga and build a kitchen, as well as to increase our extension service among the communities in the Maranon. We believe this grant has made a real difference for us at Tambo Minga and in the Maranon. On behalf of all our project participants, the communities with whom we work, and the Minga Peru team, please accept my sincere thanks for this contribution."
    —Minga Peru, Peru

    "It is a great pleasure to this Organization to receive a grant of US $1,000. The grant of 73,744.65 Sri Lanka Rupees which we received in April 2000 utilized for providing loans to the poorest women community. We have selected 22 women and provided 76,760 Sri Lanka Rupees. The loans obtained were different amounts according to their needs. These women are having very low income and they are going to work in the agricultural fields of traders as labourers. They earn a very small amount and they themselves have expressed that their income is not enough to feed their children. Most of them have lost their husbands and some of them live with their husbands but they are not receiving sufficient income to run their families. As a result of receiving this small loan, these women were able to start their own self employment projects by their own. [A list of the names of the women, and purposes and amounts of the loans was attached.] At the initial stage all the beneficiary women reported that they were able to earn more income by these small projects. We sincerely thank the Cottonwood Foundation for their great financial assistance towards this project."
    —Samasevaya, Sri Lanka

    "While we have shown that it is possible to construct a 45sqm family home for around R18 000 ($2,400) + sweat equity using the TBS (Tlholego Building System), additional resources are needed to evolve this technology from a zero skills base. Tlholego has been able to initiate this system with minimal financial support. The Cottonwood grant has allowed us to complete one of our Prototype 3 units [a basic, environmentally-friendly family home] to a high level of refinement. The building team as well as two interns from the US spent two months finishing our institute house, installing solar hot water, completing the composing toilet, connecting shade and rain water collection to the building, completing the interior details and ensuring everything was in proper working order. This model now provides an opportunity for all people to experience first hand the comfort, energy efficiency and value for money that this technology provides."
    —Tlholego Development Project, South Africa

    Cottonwood Foundation Contributors Update
    Executive Director: Paul Moss
    Editor: Laurie Gustafson

Home | Annual Report  | Contribute | Apply for a grant | Newsletter | Questions/Information