A humbling moment: Reaching 1 million members in 2014

Sam Parry

What made 2014 special? EDF staff share their best moments from the year.

In our world of environmental advocacy, where clear victories are few and the battles everlasting, it’s important to seize the good moments – any time and any way we can.

The highlight that will appear on page one of my 2014 scrapbook is the moment we, for the first time ever, officially surpassed 1 million members and activists.

I’m not going to lie: It was not a glamorous moment.

In fact, I don’t even think it was technically a “moment” since it involved several email threads involving five or six Environmental Defense Fund colleagues who ran several reports from our two databases, cross-referencing the active files to confirm the counts.

Only then could we say it out loud: 1 million.

But, in a certain way, it seems fitting that the process of counting and declaring this major milestone was more similar to painstaking scientific laboratory research than a splashy “landing on the moon” moment.

That’s because EDF is the kind of place that attracts people who are capable of winning big victories often in small, carefully considered – and precise – ways.

As EDF’s membership director, I’m deeply touched and honored that this unique, solutions-focused, get-the-policy-right approach has earned such widespread trust and respect.

It warms my heart to think of each of you out there in the country, busy with your lives, but willing to protect the quiet meadows, boundless seas, mysterious forests, and all the critters of all shapes and sizes that share this fragile, beautiful, wondrous planet.

So even as we confront some daunting challenges in the year ahead – not  least of which will be holding the empowered climate denier caucus in the new Congress in check – this engaged and energized base of EDF members and activists, 1 million strong and growing, is what makes me return to work, day after day.

You give me hope.