May 24, 2019

The power of your pledge

(Originally published in the Summer 2019 issue of California Waterfowl.)


Fundraising is an important, if not the most important, activity that all nonprofit organizations must conduct on a continual basis: Without funding, they cannot do the work required to fulfill their mission.

California Waterfowl’s programs have been very successful in attracting and retaining a pool of devoted donors, volunteers and supporters – a huge thank you to you all! But as we stretch our goals, which we did aggressively in our 2018-23 Strategic Plan, we must continue to grow our base of support.

If you are like me, you have a strong desire and passion to protect and conserve nature and our ability to hunt, and you support several nonprofits whose missions align with those priorities. And, just like me, you are also busy with work, family and other commitments and have a hard time keeping up when your membership expires and when annual fundraising drives occur.

Recently, I’ve found a way to make my support for nonprofit organizations easier to manage: I have initiated pledges that are automatically collected monthly via credit card.

Make a pledge!

This has turned out to be a win-win for me and my favorite organizations, CWA being the top one, because it eases my mind and provides a steady stream of monthly revenue that can be relied on to help build the organization’s programs.

That last point is important: Imagine starting every month not knowing what your income will be, and having to scramble for every penny of it. For a nonprofit, a pledge with automatic payments is akin to the regular paycheck you get that allows you to plan for your future.

This is the future California Waterfowl is working toward:

• Doubling our advocacy impact at state and federal levels.
• Increasing waterfowl and wetland conservation by 50% – we want more homegrown mallards and wood ducks in California!
• Growing quality hunting opportunities for 15,000 people over five years. CWA provides a medium-sized refuge worth of hunting opportunity every year through our Hunt Program, but we need to do more to keep hunting strong in California.
• Reaching 100,000 aspiring hunters and school children with our education programs over five years. If Californians don’t come to love wetlands, whether through hunting or other means, there will be no one to fight for this critical habitat in the future.

I am personally a true believer in California Waterfowl’s mission and programs, so at the start of this year, I initiated a five-year, $25,000 pledge using automatic monthly payments. In addition, my wife Michelle and I have listed California Waterfowl as a beneficiary in our estate plan.

In the past year, nearly 2,200 people – more than 10% of our membership! – have donated to CWA beyond their annual dues or money spent at fundraising banquets.

Now consider this: Imagine the power of just 1,000 members making a $20 monthly gift to CWA through automatic payment. In a year, that would generate $240,000. If those gifts were five-year pledges, they would add up to $1.2 million!

How many more new hunters could we recruit? How many more kids could we educate about the value of wetlands and the role of hunters in conservation? How many additional acres of habitat could we restore or improve?

Are you willing to become one of the 1,000 new heroes for conservation? Whether you can pledge $25,000, $2,500 or $250, it will make a real difference in how much we can achieve together.

To initiate your pledge, please click here.

Have a great summer!