Letter To Sponsors
March 9, 2003
Dear Prospective Sponsor,
This letter invites you to support the development and growth of our exciting new project ECOTECTURE: The Online Journal of Ecological Design. You may support the Journal either as a sponsor or a provider of seed capital.
Why would you want to support ECOTECTURE? Because we are the world's only journal devoted to saving and improving the planet through pro-active ecological design. At a time when humanity's social and economic well being, if not it's very existence is threatened by a host of environmental problems, we can no longer take the passive approach of preservationist environmentalism. We need to actively develop technologies and design systems that reduce environmental degredation and cultivate sustainable development.
ECOTECTURE's free Journal empowers its readers to solve environmental problems by reporting on exemplary projects at the same time that our Web site serves the world-wide ecological design movement by providing it with a virtual community. Through our Forum and Writer's Program, we connect designers with one another for an ongoing discussion of ecological design issues and to report on their own work and ideas. We also provde free information for students, especially helpful for those in less developed countries who may not have access to text books and printed source material.
We need your help to continue our work. ECOTECTURE has come into existence through the volunteer effort of its staff, and will continue its work at whatever level those volunteers can sustain. For the Journal to reach it's full potential, however, to provide the best service to widest audience, it must have a full-time, paid staff and sufficient resources for that staff to perform its work. ECOTECTURE needs funding.
ECOTECTURE always strives to create win-win relationships, and thus provides benefits for its sponsors. By supporting ECOTECTURE's work, your corporation or organization will associate itself with the foremost publication of the ecological design field. If your company or group works in an environmental or related field, you may find that an ECOTECTURE article can help you explain your work to the public. At the very least, all of our sponsors are given credit for their contributions on our Web site. And of course, we are working to make the world a better place for your children as well as our own.
We have prepared the following FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) introducing ECOTECTURE and its business plan to help you decide whether ours is a project you wish to support. Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Thank you for your consideration,
Philip S. Wenz, Editor and Publisher
and the ECOTECTURE Associates
• What is ECOTECTURE?
Ecotecture is an "ezine" Web site, updated with new articles and other content about once a month. We report on issues and developments in "ecological design."
• What is ecological design?
It is the design of human systems—from houses to cities—that are compatible with natural ecosytems. Based on ecosytem functioning, the principles of ecological design can be applied not only to architecture and city planning but also to transportation, communication and even economic systems.
• What is ECOTECTURE's mission?
Our mission is to "empower our readers to solve environmental problems."
•What does the ECOTECTURE Journal cover?
ECOTECTURE publishes articles about alternative energy sources such hydrogen fuel and wind power, solar and sustainable architecture, ecocity and bioregional planning, alternative transportation, sustainable agriculture, internet culture as it relates to environmental issues and other aspects of sustainable development.
• Who reads ECOTECTURE?
Architects, designers, city and regional planners, developers and builders, environmental planners and regulators, environmentally concerned citizens and students read ECOTECTURE. Though the majority of our early subscribers are from North America, our audience is international. In our first two months of publication we have received email from readers in South America, Egypt, India, Lithuania and Australia.
• Is ECOTECTURE only a journal?
No. ECOTECTURE is designed to be an online community for the worldwide ecological design movement. We invite the designers themselves to write articles about their work. Our online Formum encourages dialogue between designers who are addressing similar problems in diverse locations and situations. ECOTECTURE also maintains a free, on-site reference library for designers and students. We reach out to learning institutions and our readers for contributions of educational materials to the Library.
• Is ECOTECTURE available in printed form?
No. For environmental and economic reasons, ECOTECTURE is "paperless"—the journal is available only on the internet.
• What is ECOTECTURE's "business
Like many Web sites, ECOTECTURE allows free access to the Journal and some of its departments such as the Library while other parts of the site are commercial, offering various educational products and design tools for a fee. ECOTECTURE also advertises products and services of interest to ecololgical designers, architects and builders.
• What are ECOTECTURE's revenue sources?
ECOTECTURE plans to generate revenue by selling online courses in various aspects of ecological design, selling books and design tools through it's online store and publishing advertisements on it's web site.
Online Courses: In the beginning, our online course content will be created mostly by our Editor Philip S. Wenz. In the first two to three years of operation, Mr. Wenz plans to introduce the following courses. The courses will be downloaded for a fee, and will be well illustrated and replete with interactive features such as hypertext linking, interactive quizes and so on.
Creating an Ecological House. Based on the class of the same name that Mr. Wenz created and teaches at Berkeley, California's Building Education Center, this course is designed to appeal to homeowners or aspiring homeowners who want to work proactively on the enviroments and improve their own lives at the same time. After explaining the ways in which a house can be imporved for better "ecological performance," the course gives detailed instruction for designing and building passive and active solar systems, gray water and other water conservations sytems, sustainable gardens, natural habitat and environmental cottage industries.
Principles of Ecological Design: Based on the course he created and taught at the San Francisco Institute of Architecure, this course for design students and professionals introduces the subject of ecological design and outlines studio projects requiring various levels of participation and knowledge. Topics include Alternative Energy, Passive Solar Design, Bioregional Design, Water Management, Urban Ecology, etc.
Our unique bookstore: ECOTECTURE's bookstore is unique in that our titles are carefully selected and most of them are reviewed by our Editor. Readers who are new to the ecololgical design field may not know what books are available, and which titles among them are appropriate for their interests or level of knowledge. As a teacher and developer of the Ecological Design Program at the San Francisco Institute of Architecture, our Editor has made a thorough survey of the literature and reviews classics in the field and new titles as they are published.
We also select and review tools for ecological designers ranging from computers to solar charts and offer them through our on-line store. Our customers simply click through our store to Amazon .com and other sites for easy and safe online purchasing of our products.
Advertising: ECOTECTUREs advertising is also a service to our readers. Unlike most media, which advertises products people don't need, we specialize in products that our readers do need to for their ecological design and construction work. Our advertising brings the manufacturers of environmentally appropriate products such as recycled countertops, reclaimed wood and solar equipment together with those who specify or purchase those products.
Year 1 (January, 2003 to January, 2004)
• Get the magazine online and published on a regular basis, issuing new content "updates" about once a month.
• Increase the subscriber base from an initial group of about 1,500 to at least 5,000. (150 to 200%) Increase unique site visitors (non-subscribed readers) presence from x-y.
• Launch the Bookstore as an Amazon.Com associate and increase the number of titles and products carried.
• Set in place the infrastructure for an advertising sales department, and begin to actively seek advertisers.
•Seek seed capital and sponsorship
Year 2 (January, 2004 to January, 2005)
• Increase subscriber base from 5,000 to 30,000 (500% increase)
• Expand on the programs initiated in Year 1
• Create the business infrastructure for Ecotecture Publications, including incorporation, accouting and officer structure.
• Create and publish at least one online course as described above.
Ecotecture is a registered trademark of Philip S. Wenz in the United States.