Roosevelt University and its students benefit from the generosity of many people and organizations who donate money directed toward scholarships.
One organization, EALgreen, has produced money for scholarships in a unique way. The nonpartisan nonprofit employs an untraditional approach to philanthropy in a circular economy model with the triple impact of social, economic and environmental benefits.
EALgreen’s model engages corporate organizations, educational institutions and students with the following results: educated individuals contribute to society; organizations donate unused inventory or material ready for salvage, and receive a tax write-off; and the earth benefits from the reduction in resource consumption and waste reduction.
EALgreen’s origin was based on the concept of paying forward to others help you have received. Businesspersons Verlyn “Swede” Roskam and his colleague Dan Mickelson founded EAL in February 1982 on the premise that education is the single most powerful way to improve one’s life. Roskam wanted to help others reach their educational goals as he had been helped 30 years earlier by an Iowa couple. Roskam and Mickelson read an article about onerous corporate costs resulting from holding too much inventory, leading them to develop a philanthropic formula of asking corporations to donate excess inventory to colleges and universities, who would transform the budget savings into
Grainger was a critical early corporate participant and remains so to this day. Grainger’s extraordinary commitment to education continues to inspire other corporate donors to join in support of EALgreen’s socially innovative model to help students, society and the environment by giving landfill-bound obsolete inventory a new useful life.
After 34 years, EALgreen’s innovation has transformed the lives of more than 15,000 students at over 50 college and university partners throughout the United States. In the past seven years, EALgreen has taken recycling dollars from donated products too damaged for reuse and distributed the proceeds as additional cash gifts for scholarships to schools. In total, EALgreen has promoted sustainability in the corporate world to generate $20 million for deserving students.
Roosevelt University has a commitment to sustainable practices both in theory and in practice. Its Sustainability Studies program was founded in 2010 on three tenets: environment, economy and equity. Roosevelt’s partnership with EALgreen supports the University’s commitment to sustainability and education accessibility. Since 2012, Roosevelt has participated in EALgreen’s philanthropic model, resulting in nearly $1 million in scholarships for more than 540 students.
“Not only is the scholarship a great honor, but to read all about EALgreen and find that your mission is something I am deeply passionate about as well was incredible.”Aubrey Iwanicki (BA, ’17)
Aubrey Iwanicki (BA, ’17), now a Roosevelt graduate student in clinical psychology, wrote to EALgreen CEO Claudia Freed, “Not only is the scholarship a great honor, but to read all about EALgreen and find that your mission is something I am deeply passionate about as well was incredible. Preserving the environment is key to the future and I am proud to have received a scholarship from EALgreen.”
Roosevelt University’s relationship with EALgreen exemplifies both organizations’ commitments to sustainability and social justice. Innovative ways to produce funds for education and stories about the desire to “pay it forward” are inspiring. Scholarship money comes from individuals and organizations with their own stories that shaped their decisions to help current and future students achieve their education.
For more information about EALgreen, please visit their website at ealgreen.org.
You can help with a gift toward scholarships today by giving online at giving.roosevelt.edu.
If you are interested in telling your own Roosevelt story about paying it forward, please contact Anne Puotinen, director of stewardship, at email@example.com or (312) 341-3625