Thursday, December 30, 2010

End of year donations

It's that time of year when good concerned citizens get out their checkbooks and write a few checks to conservation organizations. We are no exception and though our checks tend to be on the small end (i.e. we don't get invited to too many 'big donor' parties), we like to think that our (by which we mean yours, too) collective action keeps these important organizations solvent. A few of our chosen recipients:

Great Old Broads for Wilderness. You don't have to be great or old or a broad to join them and we consider these folks the charismatic megafauna of the movement. While their commitment to protection and conservation is never in doubt, they ALWAYS look like they are having fun doing it. Bless 'em, and send them a check, too.

Western Watersheds Project
. Readers of DL know that we've got profound respect for these folks and their "take no prisoners" approach to public lands ranching. They basically kick ass with a small, committed staff and a smart advisory board. Check out the 2010 summary of successes. Good stuff.

Advocates for the West
. Despite the ridiculous claims by Karen Budd-Falen, environmental attorneys are rarely well-paid for the tremendous work they do. Supporting them is a way of acknowledging the need for court victories when it comes to changing the west.

Buffalo Field Campaign. These folks are on the front lines in the battle between native species and the "white man's west." We've got nothing but respect for their efforts and we send them checks and anything we can from their "wish list" every winter. Someday we'll join them in the snow.

We also try to send a few gifts to regional conservation groups working on specific campaigns in the places we live. These are the folks we want to be able to call and kvetch about local issues and it helps to grease the skids with some bucks each year, as well as to show a local commitment. We are sure you have a few of those too.

As far as the organizations getting a lump of coal this year, well, our Facebook friends know we've got a big bone to pick with Defenders of Wildlife. First, we received six sample greeting cards from them, encouraging us to order our own for the holidays. Then, we received wrapping paper, stickers, and mailing labels from them asking us to join/renew our membership. And then, last week, we received a plastic pen in a bunch of mailing packaging asking us to sign a petition and join/renew. If we joined/renewed at a certain level, we'd get a messenger bag or a thermos. But if we only joined at the $25 level- well, it sure seemed like they had already spent nearly that much on the greeting cards, wrapping paper, postage, pen, and paper they had sent us encouraging us to support them. We support some of Defenders' work, but the membership methods are appalling. For a conservation organization to send unsolicited crap in the mail like this is a real turn off. And it makes us think you don't really need our money.

Please feel free to suggest additional organizations in the comments section. We're an Equal Opportunity Donor; just spare us the plastic crap.


Anonymous said...

I agree that it's annoying and inconsistent for conservation groups to send endless "stuff" in order to solicit donations---especially anything made of plastic! Yuck.

In order to make lemonade out of some of those lemons, however, let me suggest that until the groups stop sending stuff, people take unwanted cards, notepaper, gift wrap, calendars, etc., to their nearest elementary school or teacher. These are wonderful sources of pictures for collages, art projects, posters, and classroom science and nature displays. They are generally of much better quality than the cheesy stuff you find at "teachers' stores" and similar places. In this era of shrinking budgets and stagnant salaries, nobody has the money for that junk, anyway.

Many teachers also appreciate receiving back issues of colorful magazines and newsletters from conservation groups, e.g. Defenders, Audubon, Sierra, and others.

So, after you tell the groups to knock off sending unsolicited merchandise, give it a new life at school.

Demarcated Landscapes said...

Great idea, Anon. Thanks!