During 2014, Audubon asked for your support to protect birds throughout North Carolina and you responded! We had nearly 200 people donate to Audubon North Carolina for the first time and more than 800 donations altogether. Please welcome Audubon North Carolina Director of Development and Communications Karen Smith Fernandez.
Finding more supporters
For 2014, Audubon North Carolina sought to increase the number of people supporting our mission with a financial contribution. The fundraising and communications teams worked to educate more folks about the great work Audubon does across our state, encouraged more individuals to make a donation, and asked more people to join the Cardinal Club monthly giving program.
Our core programs are where we conduct research, monitor the well-being of birds, share our data with other organizations, and help people take action where they live to help birds survive and thrive. Most people may not know it, but almost 90% of the money contributed to us comes from individuals. There are 1.5 million bird watchers in North Carolina. If we can reach more of them, and gain their support, we can take bird conservation to another level.
The Development team tried a few new ideas to reach more people with Audubon’s mission and success stories this year. And the result was more donors, more donations and more folks signing up for the Cardinal Club. Our fiscal year operates from July 1 through June 30, and during the first six months, we raised over $400,000 from about 800 individuals, with about a third giving to us two or more years in a row! Loyalty is something we really appreciate and count on.
We are also moving closer toward our goal of gaining 100 Cardinal Club members, with 70 people signed up through December. Only 30 more to go to meet our goal for this fiscal year!
How Donations Help Birds in NC
As a state office, ANC is responsible for our entire $1.6 million budget. Contributions made to the National Audubon Society are used for work at the national level, but money donated to Audubon North Carolina specifically stays in our state and is used within our state budget. We don’t receive any funds from the National organization although we do receive many services.
We also receive money from foundations and have some investment income. The rest comes from individuals, who are concerned about the welfare of birds, believe in conservation, and know that Audubon can be counted on to be the voice for birds in North Carolina.
Carl the Cardinal: Our Carl the Cardinal campaign has run each December for the past three years. It has been fun and exciting for us to see people signing up to support Audubon all year long. We really count on those monthly donations and want to reach our goal of 100 members this year.
Audubon Sanctuary in Corolla: We have begun fundraising efforts for the Donal O’Brien, Jr. Sanctuary and Audubon Center in Corolla. This nearly 3,000-acre sanctuary supports more than 167 species of birds and we are still counting. We have been grateful to see the support from people all over the state to protect this special, pristine property.
Contributions to the Sanctuary will go toward improvements that will let us open the campus to the public and renovate existing historical structures on the property. Our plan is to have a residential research facility for scientists from all over North America. There will be immersive ecology and arts programs at the facility too.
New in 2014
This year, Audubon revamped our newsletter from a multi-page document discussing our programs in depth to a shorter, more photo-oriented publication. Folks seem to really like the new publication, and they can always find in-depth information on our website and fantastic blog. We also created a number of specialty e-bulletins to give folks more information on topics they are particularly interested in, such as the Brown-headed Nuthatch, Growing Bird-Friendly Native plants, the Coastal Program, the Sanctuary in Corolla, and the Working Lands.
We are consistently expanding our multi-media communications including developing promotional videos to highlight the staff and programs. Watch our latest projects on our YouTube channel.
And last but not least, Audubon’s Executive Director Heather Hahn has joined Twitter! Follow Heather as she tweets about all things bird-related and leading our state office.
Partnering For Success
There are many conservation partners who helped make 2014 a success. We received some wonderful grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the North Carolina Forest Service, Toyota TogetherGreen and other private foundations. Also, our T. Gilbert Pearson Society comprised of donors who make a gift of $1,000 or more are the heart of our fundraising work with their loyalty and significant financial support.
In Store for 2015
With some additions to our fundraising staff, we are setting out to make 2015 a record year for contributions to Audubon North Carolina. We’ll be putting a lot of effort into raising funds for the sanctuary in Corolla, a multi-phase, multi-year effort. And, we will continue to count on our existing supporters for their loyalty. Watch our social media channels (Facebook, the Audubon blog, Twitter and Pinterest) for even more updates!
We are so grateful to have the support that we do and look forward to making new friends in the coming year. Thanks for your support!
Get inspired to help birds where you live. Click here to make a donation to Audubon today. Remember to select North Carolina from the dropdown menu.