Fundraising for important communication projects, like Lights Out Cleveland, has gotten specific companies downtown to agree to turn out their lights during migration so that birds will not be hurt so much.
By Tom Romito, Board Member
Hi, I’m Tom Romito, a Board Member with Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society in Cleveland, Ohio. The theme of this short video is fundraising.
Low Cost, But Not Cost-Free
The cost of running of running a nonprofit organization like Western Cuyahoga Audubon is low, but it is not cost-free.
There are two kinds of fundraising I want to stress right now and the first is called, “non-earned income”.
Types of Non-earned Income
Non-earned income is the revenue we gain from dues and non-solicited donations. These things are automatic; they are going to happen whether we do anything special or not. They defray the costs of things like insurances, newsletters, and program meetings.
Types of Earned Income
The other kind of fundraising I want to mention is, “earned income”.
This is the income we get through the hard work of three things:
1) Direct Ask
This is where I ask a member of the Society, who is wealthy enough, to make a significant contribution to our Society if I can encourage that member to do so.
2) Grant Writing
This is the hard work of writing to organizations, such as foundations, to make a contribution to our organization for a special project.
3) Planned Giving
This is the notion of encouraging members now to make bequests in their estates so that down the road, those benefits will come to Western Cuyahoga Audubon for all time.
Earned Income Defrays Marketing Costs
This earned income that I’ve talked about, has the specific benefit of defraying the costs of a consultant we have who is doing marketing of all of our content on the Internet.
This is Betsey Merkel, who, anyone in conservation in Ohio, has already heard about.
Lights Out Cleveland
One outstanding project that typifies her work is Lights Out Cleveland.
She has marketed this project throughout the State of Ohio and it brought in forty volunteers to help the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center to go downtown this fall and conduct a survey of birds who have hit the buildings, when the lights are on, during peak periods.
The outcome of this work, is that Lights Out Cleveland has gotten specific companies downtown to agree to turn their lights out during high collision periods so that birds will not be hurt so much.
As a testimony to demonstrate the benefit of this particular project, and the importance of Betsey’s work, Andy Jones, the Curator of Ornithology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, told me, just recently, that what Betsey is doing is very important to conservation in Ohio because she’s getting the word out about important projects like Lights Out Cleveland.
So, thanks for listening to this important video about how an organization like Western Cuyahoga Audubon, raises funds.