Give a Big Gift to the Earth
It all started with a birthday party. In 1989, Earth’s Birthday Project organized the first birthday party for our Earth. It took place on Earth Day in New York City. That day, thousands of 4-5 year old Head Start students gathered in Central Park to share a giant birthday cake and say “Happy Birthday!” to our planet. They also raised and released thousands of butterflies as a birthday gift.
What have we been doing since that first birthday party for the Earth? Every year since then, thousands of students, teachers and parents have participated in our conservation fundraiser, Big Gift to the Earth. By collecting coins, sending in their donations and learning about stewardship work around the world, students learn that small, individual efforts combine with those of others to collectively produce a big impact! In its very first year, Big Gift to the Earth purchased 8,571 acres in the Sierra de las Minas Cloud Forest Reserve in Guatemala. Since then, student donations have been responsible for protecting more than 700,000 acres of critically endangered habitats in nine countries on four continents. Now that’s an awesome birthday gift for the Earth! It makes us want to celebrate!
Donating to the Big Gift to the Earth
You are also welcome to donate with a credit card through our secure site at
Donate to the Big Gift Online.
Or you can mail it in with a check - Print a Donation Form.
All donor classrooms will receive a certificate honoring your Big Gift to the Earth—within four weeks of sending your donation.
Our Conservation Partners
Earth’s Birthday Project has joined with many conservation partners to protect endangered species and habitats in critical locations across the globe. Since 1990, we’ve worked with the World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, World Land Trust-US , The Leatherback Foundation and The African Wildlife Foundation. We partner with these organizations because each of us has a specialty. At Earth’s Birthday Project, we can mobilize students, teachers and families across the United States to raise funds for conservation work with our Big Gift to the Earth. Then our partner organizations get that money directly to the people and places where help is most needed.
In 2011, Earth’s Birthday Project began working with a wonderful conservation organization focused on protecting South American resources: Nature and Culture International.
Why do we trust Nature & Culture International (NCI) with our donated funds?
First, we fully support their mission to preserve biologically diverse ecosystems in concert with local peoples all across Latin America. Next, we appreciate the process by which they perform their conservation work. NCI staff conducts on-site scientific research to document ecosystems and the details of why they are in danger. They make sure that lots of people, all over the world, learn about the endangered area that has been documented. NCI collaborates with governments from the local to national level to create legal protection for the identified endangered ecosystems. They also work closely with the local population to make sure they are educated, enthusiastic participants in the conservation programs that will protect the environment all around them. NCI’s work in Latin America has proven to us that they really are saving the rainforest.
Some of the unique, endemic plants and animals that we will be protecting this year include:
- Spider Monkeys - long-limbed, long-tailed monkeys that live in the Amazonian rainforest. These monkeys live in large groups and find their food in the treetops. Spider Monkeys are endangered due to hunting and shrinking habitat.
- Lots of Beautiful Birds - including the Golden-plumed Parakeet, Spot-winged Parrotlet, White-chested Swift, Coppery-chested Jacamar and Orange-throated Tanager.
- Podocarpus Trees - one of the very few Latin American conifers (like a pine, spruce or Douglas fir tree). This beautiful tree is now endangered in Peru and Ecuador due to the high quality of its wood and the shrinking areas of undamaged rainforest in which it can live.
- Bromeliads - tiny, bright flowers with stiff leaves that can grow on the ground, on other plants, on rocks and even in trees. They can absorb food and water from the air around them, so are sometimes called “air plants”. They provide a home for tiny worms, snails, insects and frogs. Each penny donated will add 1 square yard of rainforest to the Reserve.
$50.00 purchases and protects 1 acre of Amazonian rainforest. Contributions of any amount help, from $1 to $100—your small actions add up to a Big Gift for the Earth!