When I was 21, I worked for an environmental nonprofit organization that really opened my eyes to a lot of the man-made destruction occurring on our planet. Not only did it educate me, but it showed me that there was a lot people, average people, could do about it.
The nonprofit I worked for did what many do: it went under. Funding dried up during the Great Recession and it couldn’t keep going. So there I was, all young and passionate, with nowhere productive to put that energy. So I created a Facebook page in March of 2012 and I called it what I was feeling at the time: Give A Shit About Nature.
I didn’t expect it to resonate, but it did. In its first month, it grew to 4,000 likes. It had 100,000 by the end of its first year. Today, it sits at a bit over 800,000. But in the six years since I began, a lot has changed. I’ve struggled with this decision for a while now, but it’s time to shift gears. But just ever so slightly. We’re now Give A Shift About Nature.
Because “shit” holds me back.
I love the word shit. I say it about a hundred times a day. But on Facebook, shit holds me back. Folks won’t work with me. Grandmas complain almost daily that they can’t share my uplifting little stories with the gals from their bingo clubs (or whatever.) I know it’s something that resonates with many, but each passing year, it’s getting harder to get my message of environmental stewardship out because of it. At some point, you have to decide that the Earth is more important than my favorite curse word.
Facebook doesn’t like it either.
When I got started in 2012, Facebook allowed pages to reach people organically much much more than they do now. My page’s organic reach, meaning the number of people I can reach without paying for it, has declined to about 5% of what it was. Facebook wants me to pay to boost articles, videos, and images. Which I can budget for. But they won’t let me do it with “shit” in my name. You might like the page, but the very name of the page might well be preventing you from seeing its posts. That’s a pretty huge bummer.
Give A Shit About Nature can be more than what it is now.
Give A Shit About Nature got off to a great start, but the time has come to become a more serious organization. I’d like to be able to hire people to help the page grow, engage with new people, and continue having a positive influence. We’ve planted 180,000 trees in 6 years all while being held back by the word shit. I can only imagine what we can do together if the page functions at its fullest potential.
So the time has come for us to shift gears. Change can be uncomfortable, and I know a lot of people really strongly identify with the simple message that we need to give a shit about nature.