In October 2005, the Charture Institute staged “The State of Our Community,” a two-day conference presenting the work done through Sustaining Jackson Hole in its first two years.6
The event’s keynote speaker was Yvon Chouinard, a noted mountaineer and the founder of the Patagonia sporting goods company. In his talk, Mr. Chouinard described an effort called One Percent for the Planet, something he had recently launched with Craig Mathews, owner of Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone, Montana. A marketing organization, members of One Percent for the Planet donate at least one percent of their total sales to environmental organizations around the world.
Shortly after Mr. Chouinard’s talk, Jackson business owner Sean Love and Jonathan Schechter conceieved of the idea of doing a local version of One Percent for the Planet. After receiving Mr. Chouinard’s blessing, in June 2006, the Charture Institute launched 1% for the Tetons.
1% for the Tetons is the first local branch of One Percent for the Planet. The two share the same fundamental membership criterion: in order to belong to either, members must donate at least one percent of their sales to environmental-oriented non-profits approved by One Percent for the Planet. The fundamental difference is in where that one percent goes. Member businesses of One Percent for the Planet may donate their one percent to any organization they choose; member businesses of 1% for the Tetons must donate their one percent to 1% for the Tetons. In turn, 1% for the Tetons aggregates those funds into a granting pool, and grants the money to organizations doing sustainability-oriented projects in the Tetons region.
Since its start in June, 2006, 1% for the Tetons has raised over $250,000 for local sustainability projects, and granted over $246,000 to 19 separate projects. This quarter-million dollars has been matched by over $400,000 in additional monies, and a similar amount in in-kind labor.
Because the Charture Institute/1% for the Tetons is considered an “approved environmental organization” by One Percent for the Planet, members of 1% for the Tetons also automatically become a member One Percent for the Planet.