It has been estimated that restoration of the Baltic Sea will cost billions of euros. The foundation for a Living Baltic Sea, better known as the Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG), has since 2008 aspired to find effective means to speed up the recovery of the Baltic Sea.
One of our tools to save the Baltic Sea is called the Baltic Sea Commitment. A Commitment is an act or a process with a positive impact on the Baltic Sea. We have gathered over 250 Commitments, from Heads of state to small companies, to join our cause. We could never have been able to start and execute over 250 Baltic Sea projects or activities in ten years by ourselves.
Over the last few years BSAG has also started projects of our own to speed up the Baltic Sea work. These include e.g. Carbon Action -pilot project and Nutrient cycling business ecosystem. In addition to the Baltic Sea Commitment and projects, we work in several different ways to help the Baltic Sea. More about our actions here.
BSAG’s action model, which is mainly based on leverage, is hard to measure through traditional indicators that usually follow the portion of administrative costs in project expenses. This portion is rather large in BSAG’s activities since the core of our know-how is to activate actors and find new solutions through administrative activities.
Through us, a benefactor can enable significant processes with a relatively small donation. In order to gather more important actors for our Baltic Sea work, we need funds for reasonable salaries and to run the day-to-day activities at the office. Almost everything else needed we try to acquire from companies as Commitments, in other words they have helped the helper.
We want to be open about our activities to our benefactors and our annual report is available in Finnish on the website. Our financial statement is available on request and provides information on how our expenses are divided among different Baltic Sea solution areas.
As stated in the Foundations Act, BSAG’s Board decides on the allocation of the foundation’s funds and thus a donor cannot influence BSAG’s activities. Fundraising follows best practices and guidelines and we aim to keep our benefactors informed e.g. through BSAG’s newsletter.
Our core idea is that the best way to help the Baltic Sea is to let everyone do what they do best, and thus generate the most added value for the Baltic Sea and society as a whole. Baltic Sea Action Group is effective at engaging companies, organizations, Heads of state and government as well as decision makers in work that benefits the Baltic Sea. Each party can utilize and further develop its own strengths and know-how to solve problems.
By mobilizing the right actors from various sectors of society, we can accomplish more than by doing individual projects by ourselves. There are many people doing excellent work to save the Baltic Sea but the pace is too slow and all the necessary actors have not yet been involved.
In accordance with our fundraising strategy we actively seek monetary donations from companies and private individuals. In addition, we seek companies that have know-how, products, services or contacts that we can utilize to save the Baltic Sea, both directly and indirectly.
Utilizing BSAG’s action model, even the smallest donation can have substantial leverage. A donation can enable an employee to tackle and solve a problem. It can also help in finding a much needed expert to solve problems like nutrient esmissions or toxic waste. Progress is made, when an actor with both expertise and determination is found. We consider ourselves to be successful when concrete projects are done by those who have the best know-how.