Re-Volv program for Solar crowdfunding campaigns in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and South Carolina. Led by college students that receive Matching Funds from LDF.

First off, College students in South Carolina and Pennsylvania are launching solar crowdfunding campaigns. They support the Solar Ambassador program which is a training course. This course was created by RE-volv ; a San Francisco-based nonprofit that campaigns to bring the benefits of solar energy.  They are funding local nonprofits that support underserved populations in the community. In addition, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is funding the program. Further, Leo’s Foundation will give matching funds for a limited time. That will allow donors the opportunity to double their contributions.

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As well all know Climate Change affects every community. It also affects everyone but regardless of income or demographics. However, most know we do not see an fair distribution of solutions. This was said parenthetically by Gregory Lopez, Climate Program Director of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. “We are pleased to continue supporting RE-volv in bringing affordable solar power to diverse communities across the country.”

In addition, two new projects include the Village of Arts and Humanity in North Philadelphia, Pa. and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10804 in Little River, S.C. Also, LDF will also apply matching dollars for the remaining funds needed for two campaigns that started last week. Those campaigns are Mission of Mary Cooperative in Dayton, Ohio and Project Home in Madison, Wis.

Four nonprofits will benefit from the solar campaigns.  All of them play critical roles in their community. As well, the VFW Post 10804 in South Carolina provides needed support for Veterans. Finally, the Village of Arts and Humanities in North Philadelphia provides skills training and rehabilitation programs for formally incarcerated people. The Mission of Mary Cooperative in Dayton is teaching community members how to grow their own food. Project Home in Madison provides low-income families with affordable home improvements and energy-efficiency retrofits.

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“RE-volv’s financial model is a fantastic way to allow community members to support clean energy while also helping a nonprofit increase their ability to support its community. It’s a win-win,” said Adam Tholen, the project lead for Project Home and a student at UW-Madison.

RE-volv’s Solar Ambassador program trains college students from campuses all across America. The program is a year-long fellowship that provides valuable career skills to college students by training them to bring solar to nonprofits in their communities. Students from over a dozen schools have participated in the program.

“RE-volv’s Solar Ambassador program empowers college students to bring clean energy to their communities, and by doing so, we’re training tomorrow’s clean energy leaders” said Andreas Karelas, RE-volv’s founder and Executive Director.

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Furthermore, an estimated 1.5 million nonprofits in the U.S. face financial barriers to obtaining solar power. More important and hence they do not qualify for solar tax credits. Another excuse is that they are too small to attract traditional investors. So nonprofits miss out on the financial benefits of solar.  This energy savings or money could then be used to further support the communities they serve. RE-volv’s model helps bridge this funding gap for organizations.  These groups must provide valuable public services to vulnerable communities, including:

•homeless shelters


•community centers

•and houses of worship.

RE-volv is working with nonprofits where policy barriers make it difficult for solar companies to provide attractive financial options to new customers. By partnering with nonprofits in swing states, RE-volv is tapping into the local communities to educate about the benefits of solar.

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Finally and most important, RE-volv has crowdfunded 11 solar projects (150+ kW of capacity) in four states.  That program  has signed 17 solar leases in six states. In conclusion, it’s thanks to solar installations that 11 nonprofits are to save between 15 and 50 percent on electric bills. In total, they will save more than $1.5 million over the life of their solar energy systems. It also seems that this solar revolving fund (the Solar Seed Fund) is worth over $700,000. That value is also in future lease payments from these 11 projects. Also and most noteworthy, the payments are used to finance at least 20 more solar energy projects.

Sources: RE-volv the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 1080, The Village of Arts and Humanities, Project Home, Mission of Mary