This page is always a work in progress. If you have a question or suggestion, please email us at comments[at]hecweb.org. We’ll do our best to reply.
Q: How do I invite HEC to participate or speak at an event?
A: Please send an e-mail to Mary Brock, firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to the volume of requests that we receive, we cannot attend all events. But we’ll do our best to participate in some way.
Q: Aren’t you a liberal organization that’s just slowing down opportunities for jobs and economic prosperity in Indiana?
A: Nothing could be further from the truth. HEC believes that smart environmental policy is smart economic policy. We’re working hard to attract clean energy jobs and investment to Indiana because we believe that’s where job growth will occur in the future. We also believe that a great environment is attractive to businesses and their employees—that a clean, environmentally conscious state is a better place to live and work.
Q: Why isn’t HEC weighing in on an issue that I care about?
A: We have a relatively small technical staff and therefore cannot always address every environmental challenge facing the state. Although we wish we could. We often work in coordination with other organizations’ in-house expertise and resources.
Q: What are your organization’s priorities?
A: Right now, we’re focused on three strategic initiatives:
- Energy diversification. We believe Indiana needs an energy policy that’s at least competitive with our neighboring states—and the energy efficiency and renewable energy alternatives are an important key to sustainability, affordability, and energy independence for Indiana.
- Sustainable, responsible agriculture. The way we farm affects the way we live—and confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) affect the quality of our air, land, and water and endanger our public health. We are working to build more sustainable food and farm networks throughout Indiana.
- 21st Century Transportation. We need clean, sustainable mass transit throughout Indiana—and we need to spend our state highway dollars improving our roads and bridges rather than building unnecessary new-terrain highways.
Q: Do you really think anything is ever going to change in Indiana?
A: While Indiana has one of the most troubling environmental records in the country, it is a place that is brimming with people striving to green our state. From clean energy entrepreneurs to organic farmers, from paddlers to homemakers, people who love Indiana are ready and willing to clean our air and water, and protect our remaining wilderness. With sustained education, a redoubled effort at changing our environmental policies, and the emergence of a new generation of Hoosiers who see environmental stewardship as a core value of a good citizen, Indiana is poised to become truly sustainable.
Q: What sets HEC apart from other organizations?
A: HEC is Indiana’s largest environmental policy organization, and our members are likely the most geographically dispersed in the state, from big metro areas to small rural towns. HEC has historically represented many smaller organizations in the State House, to state agencies, and before statewide media. We get the word out.
Q: Is HEC an agency of state government?
A: No. We are a non-profit organization unaffiliated with any government entity.
Q: Is HEC allied with any political party?
A: No. HEC is a non-partisan organization that evaluates elected officials` records strictly with respect to their positions on environmental policies. Our membership is politically diverse. We’re not blue. We’re not red. We’re green.
Q: How many staff does HEC employ?
A: Hoosier Environmental Council’s 2010 staffing plan calls for 10 staff, 8 full-time and two part-time.
Q: Does HEC provide direct services?
A: Yes. HEC has led the development of a statewide program called “Our Place,” a unique method of training educators to teach science, civics and environmental awareness. This “Place-Based Education” requires HEC to screen teachers through a competitive application process to determine those who would best serve as “resource personnel.” HEC also provides limited technical assistance to its members, by helping to facilitate introductions with appropriate technical experts and experienced professionals.
Q: In a world of powerful economic interests, how does HEC expect to have influence?
A: We think we can have influence in lots of ways, including:
- Enhanced intellectual credibility – recruiting top quality staff and board talent collaborating with Indiana-based faculty; fostering a competitive internship program with Indiana’s top university students
- Partnerships with businesses and other stakeholder groups
- Greater presence in the community, with HEC staff and board members joining events sponsored by long-established organizations (e.g. the Indiana Energy Association, the Indiana Farm Bureau, etc.)
- Development of a strong, statewide grassroots network through successful use of web and online social networking tools, as well as enhanced presence in community events across the state (forums, workshops and tabling)
Q: I already support other environmental organizations. How are you different?
A: HEC is the only organization representing statewide environmental interests in the statehouse, in the classroom, and to Hoosiers of all walks of life, all across Indiana. Through our collaborations with other environmental organizations, we are the largest, strongest, most prominent environmental organization in our state. As the people’s voice for the environment, we have a chance to affect hearts and minds and actually change laws and create a cleaner, healthier, more competitive, better Indiana.
Q: What types of people support HEC?
A: Our members represent a diverse cross-section of professions and viewpoints from all across Indiana. Our board consists of individuals who have achieved excellence in their profession, many of whom have advanced professional training.
Q: Where does my money go and how will it be used?
A: Your money will help our efforts to spread the word about environmental issues in Indiana as we actively partner with businesses and non-profit groups to advance policies that attract green investment and green jobs, protect the health of our families, and make Indiana a better place to live and do business. HEC:
- Is the only organization representing the collective environmental voice of Hoosiers in the statehouse and in environmental agencies across the state.
- Is creating online tools, and publications geared to encouraging all Hoosiers to be aware of the environmental issues that affect us all.
- Is actively working with the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, Central Indiana Regional Transit Authority, and the Indiana Transportation Association to significantly expand public transit options.
- Devotes over 80% of our staff’s time to educating Hoosiers. We engage K-12 students through a unique program called Our Place that empowers kids to design classroom projects that simultaneously teaches them about the environment, science, and civics.
- Hosts statewide forums that educate adults about issues affecting Indiana and how they can be part of the solution.
- Engages in and funds environmental research through our partnerships with graduate & undergraduate interns at nearly every major college and university in Indiana.
Q: Does HEC provide grants to other organizations?
A: Unfortunately, we do not. However, HEC does work in partnership with dozens of organizations throughout the state, and offers limited internships for talented undergraduate and graduate students.
Q: How do I know that the HEC website is secure for giving donations online?
A: Our web site is secured with a Starfield Technologies Web Server Certificate. Transactions on the site are protected with up to 256-bit Secure Sockets Layer encryption. A high-tech way of saying your donation is safe.
Q: What benefits will I receive as a donor?
A: As a supporter of HEC, you will receive:
- Our monthly electronic newsletter & quarterly print newsletter, INvironment
- Invitations to special events, from nature hikes and canoe trips, to lectures and receptions
- Professional representation before the Indiana General Assembly, state agencies, and Congress, working to make sure that your voice is being heard
- The joy of knowing that your generosity will help pave the way for a cleaner, healthier environment, and a greener, more prosperous economy
Q: Where do you get your money?
A: 10% comes from individual and family memberships, 45% from grants/foundations, and 45% from private individual donors.
Q: How is it used?
A: According to our fiscal year June 30, 2009 annual tax filing, nearly 90% of our funds were used towards program services.