Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How the Student Conservation Association Works


Other Ways to Help the Student Conservation Association

Each student who works for the Student Conservation Association (SCA) gets all of his or her expenses paid for the duration of the internship.

For each position, the National Parks Service (or agency partner on the project) pays 75 percent of the student's expenses. The SCA raises the other 25 percent through donations from foundations, corporations and private donors.

Private donors who give at least $250 are matched up with a volunteer, and they receive a personal letter from the volunteer that details his or her experience in the program. You can give in a lump sum through the Web site or make arrangements to make payments, having as little as $5 per month automatically deducted from your bank account [source: SCA].

You can also donate appreciated stock or mutual funds that you've owned for more than one year. On your taxes, you can deduct the full value of the appreciated securities up to 30 percent of your adjusted gross income [source: SCA].

The SCA is also a member of EarthShare, an alliance that allows government and corporate employees to donate to major environmental organizations through payroll deductions. In some cases, the employer will match the donation.

Or if you're worried about your carbon footprint, you can buy an offset for the pollution you create when traveling by car, plane, train or bus through the SCA's partnership with Native Energy. There's a travel calculator on the SCA Web site that will tell you how much to pay [source: SCA].

Most of the money will go to renewable energy projects like wind farms and dairy methane converters, and 15 percent of donations funds conservation initiatives.

For more information on how to volunteer, intern or donate to the SCA, see the links on the next page.