Last month this section described how companies donate to the communities in which they operate. (See "Charity Begins at Home," [Article link].) But many also donate to the planet on which they operate. More and more companies are adding Earth Share -- an assemblage of otherwise unaffiliated environmentally concerned nonprofit agencies -- as a payroll-deduction alternative to causes like the United Way.

Earth Share was created in 1988 as a pool of 18 environmentally oriented organizations. Now it boasts 40, including the World Wildlife Fund and the National Audubon Society. An employee can designate one, several, or all of those organizations to receive his or her donations. Many employees already do so: in 1992 Earth Share netted more than $8 million after paying a modest 8.7% overhead charge. Its staff provides brochures and pledge cards and will help organize a drive by sending a representative to make a pitch. -- Robert A. Mamis