Why so many organizations are vying for your attention right now and how your support drives what we do
It’s December, so you (and everyone else) are getting mail and emails about year-end charitable giving. It’s easy to find this annoying and immediately send them to the trash bin.
Before you do this, I’d like to share more about why we ask you to give.
At TRCP, we have an annual budget of about $7 million. This pays for the 37 staff members across the country who mobilize hunters and anglers around key issues, like conserving migration corridors, enhancing private land habitat, or protecting the base of the marine ecosystem. These are the folks who organize small businesses to weigh in and convene the disparate elements of the conservation community behind common causes.
Your funds pay for the government affairs and communications teams who design and implement complicated advocacy campaigns that help make ideas like the Great American Outdoors Act a reality and drive legislation like the pending MAPLand Act to expand your access to the outdoors. And your funds support the unseen infrastructure at TRCP that ensures the organization can maintain the highest levels of financial efficiency and transparency on Charity Navigator, GuideStar, and the Better Business Bureau. (Still have questions about how we solicit and handle donations? View our Gift Acceptance Policy or email our chief development officer, Jenni Henry.)
The TRCP is not like most conservation organizations. We do not have a funding model based on dues or banquets, because we don’t want to compete with our 61 partner organizations. We don’t do direct mail for the same reason, and because that process costs a lot of money to raise a small amount. In fact, membership is free at TRCP, because we want you engaged in and informed about the most important conservation issues. And we don’t have a beautiful quarterly magazine for you to enjoy around the holiday fire, because those are also expensive to produce.
About two-thirds of our $7-million budget comes from more than 40 foundations, and the great majority of this funding is restricted for specific projects—like migration corridor conservation in the Rockies or menhaden conservation in the Atlantic and Gulf. The remaining one-third of our annual budget comes from the more than 100 conservation-minded companies that support TRCP in some way and from you—our 125,000+ members, supporters, and advocates.
The importance of individual contributions cannot be overstated. Because your donations are generally not restricted, we can use the funds where we think they are most necessary. This could mean investing in key issues well before they are on the public radar. For example, the TRCP began investing in identifying natural infrastructure solutions more than two years ago, and this work came to fruition earlier this fall, when Congress passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
Your support also allows us to move quickly to address emerging threats and opportunities. We have done this in the past when, for example, a misguided member of Congress decided that it was a good idea to sell off public lands to help balance the budget.
So, before you hit ‘delete’ on an email from TRCP asking for your support, remember why your gift—no matter the size—is important. If you do choose to support our work financially, thank you. Click here to make a tax-deductible year-end donation to the TRCP.
Thank you for supporting TRCP’s mission of guaranteeing all Americans quality places to hunt and fish. Happy holidays!