DONATIONS: CONFIRMATION / RECEIPTS / CERTIFICATES
We put a lot of emphasis on the fact that your donation benefits nature directly. In 2019, this accounted for 81% of our income! We also work hard to keep costs for personnel (1%), administration (4.7%) and advertising (2.1%) as low as possible. In order for you to see and check this at any time, we are registered with Transparency International Germany. This means that we fully disclose where our funds come from and how we use them. Our current use of funds is always available on our homepage in the Transparency section. This is where you will also find current annual reports 2019 – In Brief..
The GREEN FOREST FUND e.V. is recognized as a non-profit association by the Heidelberg tax office, so your donation is fully tax-deductible. Our tax number is: 32489/51866.
DONATIONS UP TO 300 EUROS
SIMPLIFIED STATEMENT WITHOUT DONATION RECEIPT
We do not send out donation receipts for donations up to 300 euros, as this is not necessary. The German tax office accepts proof of payment (e.g. bank statement) and the so-called vereinfachter Zuwendungsnachweis (simplified statement of eligibility) in order to relieve non-profit associations.
You can download and print out this statement by clicking here (German only).
DONATIONS 300 EUROS AND MORE
For donations of 300 euros and over, the tax office requires a donation receipt from the GREEN FOREST FUND. We will need your full name and address, so simply send them to us via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. When a calendar year has ended, you will receive your donation receipt in the post by 31 March, so you can claim it from the tax office in good time.
Every donor gets a confirmation email with a link to the certificate immediately after we receive the donation. Please check your spam folder; sometimes our mails with the certificates end up where they shouldn’t go. Also, experience tells us that sometimes you need to log in directly to your mail provider and not via third programs such as Outlook or Safari!
Unfortunately, immediate adjustment is not possible at the moment. We automated our processes, which saves us a lot of time – time that we can spend working to save the environment.
But if you wish to change your periodical donation, you can simply cancel it and start another donation at whatever amount you want.
Unfortunately, it is also not possible to suspend your periodical donation for a certain time. In this case, please also cancel your donation and start a new one whenever you are ready. Thank you very much!
If you wish to terminate your donation altogether, we are very sorry to hear this. But of course we can understand that money is tight sometimes.
In any case, please note that canceling donations is only possible by writing a mail to email@example.com.
PROJECT AREAS / TREE AND FOREST TRACKER
You can find your tree or your forest area with our tracker on our Tree Tracker and Forest Tracker pages. There you can view the exact spot where your tree is planted or where the forest area is located that has been protected thanks to your support. By clicking on the map, you will be redirected to Google Maps.
You can find our protected sites on our page The Project. In the side bar, you can view our graphics illustrating the exact locations of our sites. By clicking on the map, you will be redirected to Google Maps, giving you a bird’s-eye view of the site.
Important note: We’d be happy to welcome you to one of our protected sites, but please keep your distance! Our sites are nature reserves – protected areas for plants and animals to live and grow without being disturbed. Thank you very much!
First off: don’t worry. If you’ve made a tree donation, your tree is already firmly rooted. Unlike others, we only plant trees that already are between three and five years old. We use your donation to order it from a forest nursery. Orders currently take about four to six months. In the meantime, your tree keeps on growing there.
Then it will be planted on one of our sites. But this only makes sense during certain seasons of the year. In summer, for example, many of the saplings would run the risk of drying out. We wouldn’t want that! After all, we bear responsibility for every single tree. So we need to wait until spring and fall when it’s planting season. In the fast-paced world of today, we are used to a higher speed in many ways. But in nature there are different laws that we need to stick to.
If you want to learn more about how your tree becomes part of tomorrow’s forest, read our blog: How does my tree become part of tomorrow’s forests?
Thank you for your kind offer! But unfortunately, that’s not possible right now. We don’t arrange planting days anymore, because organizing the events took up too much time and effort for us to manage with our limited resources. We’re really sorry. We enjoyed them very much! But now we need to concentrate on what matters most. So we invest all our time and energy in nature – and plant all our trees ourselves. There are exceptions for schools, businesses and our sponsors only.
And apart from that we don’t need voluntary help at this point in time. We’ve realized that the training takes up too much time. Also, we would have to set up an honorary contract, make equipment available, provide a workplace, keep an eye on data protection policies, etc. Unfortunately, all of this is just not possible with only 1.5 full-time employees.
We’re really sorry about this. The simple reason for this is that we want nature to benefit from your donation as much as possible. That’s why we only have 1.5 regular full-time employees. In consequence, they need to take care about a lot of things: We order and plant our trees ourselves, we look for the best planting spots, sort everything out with the local civil service offices, plan new projects, and even do the marketing ourselves. Unfortunately, this cuts down on our time available on the phone. Sure, we could hire someone else to answer every phone call straight away. But an additional assistant takes up extra money – which we would rather pass on to nature.
That’s why we have decided to limit our availabilities on the phone to prior appointment via email: Thanks for understanding!
LOGO USE, COOPERATION, SPONSORING AND ADVERTISING
Every form of cooperation with us is subject to certain rules. We do not tolerate any statements, content or offerings that are racist, nationalist, antisemitic, in favor of certain political parties, in support of warfare, or in any other sense discriminating or illegal.
The foundation of our cooperation with companies or individuals is a dialog that is as constructive as it is critical. We consider ourselves an independent partner. If we have any doubt about the seriousness of the environmental commitment of one of our partners, we reserve the right to question or terminate the cooperation. We owe this to our members, donors and supporters!
We’re deeply sorry but as a non-profit association, we are not allowed to have others use our logo for their websites or advertising for tax-law reasons. The only exceptions are for our sponsors or when purchasing a paid license. Of course, we would like to support your cause, but we need to keep an eye on our responsibility for our donors in order not to risk our non-profit status. Thanks for understanding!
The Green Forest Fund is a non-profit association that puts all its energy into helping the environment. We are very pleased that you appreciate our commitment so much that you want to advertise with us. And we know that you do – because we get lots of requests. Unfortunately, we need to focus on what we can do to protect the forests and the climate: This is the only way we can reach our goals. We owe it to our supporters to invest all the energy and funds we have in the protection of the climate. That’s why we can’t offer free sponsorship of events or the promotion of profiles, projects, events, campaigns or websites – we’d rather stick to planting trees! There are exceptions for our sponsors only.
We really hope that you can understand that we can’t compromise on this. This is the only way we can succeed in doing what we love and what needs to be done: planting forests! For you, for all of us and for the environment. Thank You for Your Trust!
No. We guarantee to all our supporters that our trees may grow at our own sites for as long and tall as they want. This is very important to us. That’s why our plots will always be our non-profit possession – permanently and without exception.
State funding / CO2 certificates
No. We deliberately do without state funding. The reason is that we want to dedicate ourselves to saving the environment with all our hearts and without cutting corners. That’s why we won’t enter into any form of dependency relationship. To meet government standards, we would have to do just that.
Keep in mind that the state is also the biggest supporter of industrial forestry, hunting and agriculture. Most application processes for funding are actually designed to suit just these industries. In consequence, even with the best of intentions, working with state funding may result in a clash of interests. We don’t want that. We want to stay free and independent in our decision-making. Only this allows us to be one hundred percent in line with everything we say and do. For the best of nature. Not for the industries.
Plain and simple: No.
The reason is that we are only interested in real actions to save the environment. Trading CO2 certificates, as far as we’re concerned, is nothing but greenwashing. Anyone who owns a piece of woodland, which has been compensating CO2 all along, can be granted certification for their premises. But this doesn’t mean that a single extra m3 of CO2 will be compensated only by certification. Moreover, many such woodland areas continue to be used for industrial forestry.
This is the exact opposite of what we want! We plant and protect woodland and forests, which add to those sites that are already compensating CO2. Our forests become nature reserves and protected habitats that are withdrawn from industrial exploitation. Here, all trees may grow as tall as they want for all their lives. After all, we do not want to make money with our forests. We want to stop climate change. This – our conviction – is the reason we don’t take part in trading CO2 certificates.