Environmental Client Spotlight: Forest Founders

Updated: Jul 22, 2020

For UN World Environment Day, June 5, Good Counsel posted an infographic on Instagram and Facebook about this year's theme of biodiversity and how consumers can contribute to the climate movement. Good Counsel works with a variety of organizations ranging from theatre companies to sustainability groups, and to continue celebrating the Earth, Good Counsel is highlighting one of its environmental clients, Forest Founders! Read more below about this environmental organization, its work, and Good Counsel’s role.

Forest Founders is a non-profit dedicated to innovation, education, and empowerment in the environmental non-profit field. "We provide educational resources and tools to help people become carbon accountable," said President and Founder, Ford Seeman. One of Forest Founders' main methods of rallying support is gamification of the environment, or the concept of applying elements of a game to other activities, such as adopting sustainable habits.

This gamification mainly consists of a subscription model that allows members to plant trees on a monthly basis to negate their carbon footprint. For $20 a month, Forest Founders plants 25 trees and rewards the subscriber with 400 bonus points, which can be used to plan extra trees. For $10 a month, the organization plants ten trees and rewards the subscriber with 200 bonus points. More than 90% of the profits fund the mission, and according to Forest Founders, planting ten trees is enough to negate a single person’s carbon footprint.

The trees are planted through a partnership with the National Forest Foundation (NFF), which is the non-profit branch of the U.S. Forest Service. Through the NFF, the U.S. Forest Service contracts Forest Founders’ tree planting through a network of planters to ensure that only native tree species are used and planted at strategic times to optimize tree survival. With a ‘Planet Over Profit’ mentality, all trees are planted on National Forest land, which certifies that the trees will never be used for profit.

As a part of his educational efforts, Seeman is also creating a school curriculum to teach children about the importance of forestry, as well as producing the pilot episode of a docuseries focused on the environment and carbon impact. "We hope to start partnering with large companies to create reward programs for our members who choose to become carbon accountable," Seeman said.

Q: How has Good Counsel helped?

A: Good Counsel has helped guide us in our mission by always pushing us to innovate while also supporting us with legal compliance help. GC continues to be an integral partner in fulfilling our mission.

Q: What advice would you give to another organization considering Good Counsel?

A: Many firms can handle different components needed to create a nonprofit but few have the expertise to handle them all. Before GC I was dealign with four different attorneys for my needs, now I only have one.

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