Lights. Water. Action!
Our Theory of Change, Strategy and History
LRAM believes that low-income renters / homeowners, who stand to benefit most from the cost-savings of energy-efficient and water conservation technologies, are least likely to adopt them due to the initial costs of the investment. On a limited budget, such residents often opt for cheaper alternatives, even though energy-efficient products will save more dollars over the life of the product.
Theory of Change [ˈTHēərē] of [CHānj]: Our Value Proposition and Overview of Unmet Need (Problem Statement) to explain a set of assumptions about our activities and intended results.
LRAM believe that low-income renters / homeowners, who stand to benefit most from the cost-savings of energy-efficient and water conservation technologies, are least likely to adopt them due to the initial costs of the investment. On a limited budget, such residents often opt for cheaper alternatives, even though energy-efficient products will save more dollars over the life of the product. By delivering “green solutions” to these stakeholders we take advantage of the untapped potential of strategic demand-side management programs to reduce load and save low-income residents money on their utility bills while increasing their “environmental intelligence” in a way that reduces alienation and fosters trust. But more importantly, we are activating an untapped pool of future stakeholders, volunteers, members, and voters from diverse communities.
Strategy [strat-i-jee]: a plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result: a strategy for getting ahead in the world.
Households of modest means + energy & $$$ saving solutions + education = reduced green house gases, reduced energy bills, and healthier air!
The most significant environmental challenge faced by the planet is climate change. And one of the largest contributors is wasteful energy consumption. One of the easiest ways to reduce energy consumption is to change from incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs. A compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) uses 75% less energy than an incandescent bulb and lasts 10 times longer and that saves money on a home’s energy bills. More than $45 savings is typical over the life of the bulb.
CFLs usually cost more than incandescent bulbs so households with limited income typically don’t buy them. By providing free CFLs along with education on the economic and environmental benefits of using these “clean bulbs”, households can save $10 to $15 each month on their electricity bills and become more aware of ways to help save the environment.
Founded as a student-led, nonprofit organization on Morehouse College, a historically black college (HBCU) in Atlanta, GA at the height of the US youth climate movement, the then, Let's Raise a Million Project (hereinafter referred to as "the Project") recognized a void at the intersection where "movements" collided; the environmental conservation/preservation movement, the green jobs movement and the environmental justice movement, particularly seen through the lens of underrepresented communities. Identifying that need required an in-depth analysis of the compounding internal issues of that intersection. By packaging conceptually simple opportunities to activate a historically underrepresented youth-led volunteer pool, the Project craved out it's unique role in the larger movement. Our theory of change assumes that informing, engaging then enlisting a historically underrepresented youth-led volunteer pool "where they are" isn't merely enough. We maintain that awareness must be coupled with direct action, observable change and changing unsustainable consumption habits in order to preserve natural and economic resources. After a three-year incubation period, in the summer of 2011, the Project transitioned into an Education Fund to add capacity to emerging youth-led and community-serving, social justice organizations committed to environmentalism.
The LRAM Fund is proud of its collaborative efforts with numerous college campuses. In its 2007-2010 pilot program, LRAM involved student volunteers at Agnes Scott, Clark-Atlanta, Emory, Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Morehouse, Spelman and Grambling. The volunteers installed CFLs and educated residents of limited income in neighborhoods surrounding the campuses. In teams of six, student-volunteers canvass an assigned neighborhood by going door to door to discuss the benefits of using CFLs, and change every incandescent light bulb that the resident shows the team. Now, the proven and scalable model is preparing to launch on 50 program sites across the country. Other partners include: 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Energy Action Coalition, Majora Carter Group LLC, National Wildlife Federation—Campus Ecology & Fair Climate Project, Campus Progress, Southface Energy Institute (Sweet Center), The Prana Group LLC, and many, many others.
The LRAM Fund recognizes that social, economic, and environmental sustainability are linked in communities of modest means. LRAM works to make these solutions accessible, affordable, and practical by connecting limited-income residents with green solutions in their homes, places of worship, and other community places in a relevant and engaging way. LRAM understands that the global climate crisis is not solved by the wealthy or the educated alone, but by engaging all communities, regardless of income.