It has been estimated that cleaning the Baltic Sea will cost billions of euros. Foundation for a Living Baltic Sea, better known as the Baltic Sea Action Group, has since 2008 aspired to find effective means to speed up the saving process of the Baltic Sea.
Our core idea: 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 the society as a whole. Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG) 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 its own strengths and know-how to solve problems and be good at it.
BSAG is very good at engaging different kinds of actors from various sectors of the society. By harnessing the right actors to our activities, we can accomplish more than by doing individual projects 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 been involved. We have gathered approximately 250 different actors of the society, from Heads of state to small companies, to join our cause. We could have never been able to start and execute over 200 Baltic Sea projects or activities in ten years by ourselves.
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 or get a skillful actor to help us tackle e.g. problems concerning nutrient emissions or toxic waste. When an actor who has know-how and the will, is found things usually start happening – especially if there is something to be gained e.g. networking or process polishing.
A benefactor can – through us – enable significant processes with a relatively small donation. All this creates prerequisites for having edible fish on our plates and swimmable seawater. In order to gather more important actors for our Baltic Sea work, we need funds for reasonable paychecks and to run the day-to-day activities at the office. Almost everything else needed has been acquired from companies as commitments, in other words they have helped the helper.
We want to be open about our activities to our benefactors. Our financial statement is available on request and provides information on how our expenses are divided among different Baltic Sea solution areas.
BSAG’s action model, which is mainly based on leverage, is hard to measure through traditional indicators that follow the portion of administrative expenses in project expenses. This ratio 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. We consider ourselves to be successful when the work has concentrated on building and gathering leverage and concrete projects are done by those who have the best know-how.
According to 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.
As is stated on 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.