I've made many attempts to get them to stop sending me mail, and they have ignored all of those attempts. One of the letters included a nickel for the sake of making a point. If I had donated, I would not want such a huge percentage of the budget going towards mailings that could be regarded as harassment for the people that don't want them! The only reason that I give them two stars, rather than one, is that I agree with much of what they do. But until they change their policy on mailings, I will think of them as just another massive charity that is fraught with waste.
I joined because I was interested in volunteering. If you do so, expect to be inundated with junk mail. I receive 5x as much junk mail as before I signed up. So much for the environment! And they sell your info to other groups like the World Wildlife Fund. Expect junk like old paper calendars and mailing labels (who uses that stuff any more?). And even though I opted out of the free backpack offer, they still sent me one.
I belong to many scientific, clean energy, and nature groups. The Sierra Club is by far the most informed, well organized, and well focused group. If I could belong to only one group, it would be them. The awareness that they provide on Tar Sands, Fracking, Clean Jobs, etc. is invaluable.
I often receive letters from the Sierra Club requesting donations and take great issue with their requests for the following reason. With their correspondence, a nickel is attached with the following message: “It costs less than a nickel a day to become a Sierra Club member and help protect America’s wildlife and wildlands.” I typically remove the nickel and recycle the letter. However, if one million of these requests for donations are mailed out with a nickel attached and half of those are tossed in the garbage, Sierra Club is throwing out $25,000 of donors’ money. Is this a good way to spend money donated to the Sierra Club? They are throwing the donors’ money in the garbage. Why isn’t the Sierra Club spending this money in a way that benefits the environment? I cannot in all good conscience make a donation to an organization that uses money in such a wasteful manner. I have sent letters to them regarding this and they typically do not acknowledge my letters. However, they recently responded and said I should send them my address the way it appears on the envelope and they will remove me from their mailing list. They obviously don’t care what their donors or prospective donors think.
Review from Guidestar
The Sierra Club is an extremely radical group. For example they are trying to totally destroy the coal industry and using very unethical methods in the campaign. They scare parents by claiming that emissions from coal plants will damage their kids brains. They are totally hysterical on the subject of global warming but their understanding of the science is sadly lacking. They are basically elite people who care far more about the welfare of birds and insects than they care about the welfare of people. Don't believe anything coming from this group.
As two long-term volunteers with the Sierra Club, Joan and I spend much of our time with the Club’s Trade and Workers’ Rights Team, a national committee. Our introduction to Sierra Club’s trade campaign occurred in the late ‘90’s when a group of volunteers gathered near San Francisco for a training on globalization.Â This experience was a real eye opener for all of us. Back in those days the terms “WTO” and “NAFTA” had a ring of respectability.Â Even our Democratic president whole-heartedly supported these trade policies. But we learned about what we could really expect to see happen, and,Â unfortunately, it all came true:Â jobs leaving our country as corporations seek cheaper and cheaper labor markets, deforestation, species extinction at a rate never before seen, and poverty and human rights violations.Â The Sierra Club played an important role protesting the WTO in Seattle and at other demonstrations against an undemocratic global economic system. Â Our Trade and Workers’ Rights Team has the daunting task of keeping abreast of current trade policy and educating others on the resulting environmental and social impacts.Â We work closely with impressive and dedicated Club staff and trade and environment issues. Together we have accomplished a lot by pointing out the inequities caused by flawed trade policies to our fellow Sierra Club members, congressional offices, and those interested in learning more on these issues. Just a few highlights of our work over the years include:Â organizing a weekend campout on the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation in Arizona to highlight the attempts of a gold-mining company to destroy native lands, and bringing several Mayans from Guatemala who testified what that mining company had done to their lands; coordinating two international “Border Tours” in Tijuana, Mexico to highlight the effects of NAFTA on Mexican workers; organizing speakers to address issues of environmental degradation and trade (such as the impact of illegal logging in Indonesia); and producing materials making the connections between trade, climate and the need for green jobs and clean energy.Â Â Â The Sierra Club is unique among environmental organizations.Â We are involved in a myriad of issues which we must tie together to show that all of our many campaigns are really interconnected.Â
I have volunteered for the Sierra Club as an international trip leader and as a member of the India Advisory Council. I cannot think of a better way to spend my time; the organization is fantastic, the staff dedicated, and fellow volunteers inspiring. It is such a pleasure to feel your efforts are helping to produce a positive outcome in environmental conservation in the world.
Last year, I went through the training to become a leader in a very specific chapter of the Sierra Club. I believe that the training that I went through equipped me with the skills that I need to fulfill my roll in taking kids out into the wilderness and keep them safe. I especially love the organization for it's diversity in age; there were people in my training class there were as young as 14 all the way to their mid-40's. The organization helped me build a friendship with many different people, and helps me reach out to many different types of people. I love the organization that I belong to, and I am glad that it is sponsored by the Sierra Club.
I worked as a volunteer as chair of the Mississippi Chapter of Sierra Club for a number of years working on issues like wetlands protection and toxics when we were devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Soon after people starting receiving FEMA trailers, many people were getting sick. After one couple tested their trailer and found high formaldehyde levels, we were able to get funding to purchase test kits to see how widespread the problem was. What we found was shocking. About nine out of ten trailers initially tested were over recommendations for even 15 minutes of exposure. Sierra Club helped us publicize those testing results, and we followed up with testing over the next four years that confirmed a continuing problem. Sierra Club also helped us bring witnesses to Congressional hearings on this to put a personal face on the problem. And, very significantly, Sierra Club followed up with major campaigns to encourage EPA to develop standards to protect Americans from toxic formaldehyde exposure. The club has also supported legislation now in both the House and Senate to adopt formaldehyde regulations that should have been in place decades ago.
I have been in leadership roles at both the local and national levels of the Sierra Club for ten years. My capacities include chair of MA Chapter Local Outings (5 years), chair of the Northeast Subcommitte for National Outings (5 years), and member of MA Chapter ExComm and Boston Group Excom (multiple terms during this same period). The Club is unique for a structure and volunteer philosphy that empowers folks to self-fulfill in the capacity that each is comfortable and qualified for, for its legislative activism, for the community that it brings given its national and local presence, and for its history that dates back to John Muir. When I became a life member in 1988, I evaluated all the options and found the Sierra Club to be the most worthy of my support. I still do.