Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fall campaign warm-up

This week has been truncated by marginal weather and too many administrative things to take care of. I will summarize our weeks 9 and 10 next week. Meantime, here is an important announcement.

I consider part of my job answering questions and providing educational materials to the public. This includes the RRBO web site; this blog; postings on the local birding lists, Facebook, and Twitter; giving public presentations and programs; and answering questions posed to me directly. These things all consume time, and I am responsible for raising money for every activity I engage in. I am not supported by University base salary.

On top of the difficult state budget situation, there are new faces at the top of the UM-Dearborn administration. This year in particular, it's extremely important for me to show them that RRBO is "value added" to the University by demonstrating community support. As you might imagine, donations are the metric most easily understood. While grants fund specific research projects, individual donations "pay" for the time I spend serving the community.

We send out only one mailing a year (three times in 18 years, we have sent out two), and it is our annual fall campaign to solicit donations. Please consider adding your name to the RRBO mailing list using the form below to receive this letter. Of course, we'd love a donation, however modest (if you are a Michigan resident, donations to state universities are subject to additional tax deduction benefits -- make sure to check that out when you do your taxes). But even the addition of names of potential donors is worthwhile! The RRBO and the University will not share your information with any outside organization.

The other thing I can do is show them that I get this many hits on the web site and blog, I have that many followers on Twitter, there are loads of fans on the Facebook page, and so many people have copies of my book. So if you are a fan of social networking, follow us on Twitter, become a Facebook fan, visit the web site often, and buy a copy of my book.

If you value RRBO, the research, and the public service it provides, these are the ways to let the University know!

As always, my personal thanks for your support.


Sally Scheer said...

I signed up for the mailings and will send a donation. I trust many others who value your scientific contributions will do so as well.
I follow you on Twitter and will friend you on Facebook too. We can always count on you to answer identification and other bird questions.

Julie Craves said...

Thanks, Sally. The typical individual donation is between $25-$50, but there is power in the number of people who donate! There is very little grant money available (especially in these times) for ongoing is nearly always for specific projects. That means all the day-to-day stuff, including regular banding, has to come out of unrestricted funds like donations. It's how we get things done!

Bob Tarte said...

I just joined your Facebook group, signed up for the newsletter, and printed out a donation form (and I'll even fill it in!)... Thanks so much for the very good work that you do and for all of the help that you have given me on the 'birders' email list.

Julie Craves said...

Thanks, Bob. I have been asking for, and should finally receive, a direct link to online giving that I can put on the web site, etc. for credit card donations. I hope to be able to announce a barrage of new ways to donate in a couple of weeks. This might turn out to be like the annual NPR pledge drive!