December 9, 2011 | By:

#36 Around the Campfire; The Yearly Fundraising Letter

This is a fundraising plea.

I write to ask you to once again or for the first time send as big a check or PayPal donation as you can to The Rewilding Institute.

Because you are getting this plea from The Rewilding Institute:

  • It is the only plea for donations you will get from The Rewilding Institute until fall of 2012 (other than the mailed version of this plea if you are on our mailing list).  Unlike other non-profits, including most conservation groups, we don’t fill your mailbox with one professionally written and packaged fundraising letter after another all year long.  We send just this one, but of course, you have the opportunity to contribute to TRI any time of year by check and mail or by PayPal.
  • This letter is not carefully disguised as an action alert on a critical issue that you must act on right away or all hell is going to bust lose, but you then find that the only action you need to take is to send a check to us so we can take care of it for you.  No, if you ever get a plea from us to act, it will ask YOU to do something and not just send The Rewilding Institute money.  In fact, those of you who get “Around the Campfire” have gotten just such a request from us by email to back a sweeping new Wilderness Area for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge—but it wasn’t a disguised fundraising letter.
  • Moreover, in this letter The Rewilding Institute is not going to brag that it has saved this and that and give the impression that we were the only team involved.  When conservation has a victory or stops something awful, it is usually thanks to much of the whole conservation network—individual lovers of wild things and many groups—not thanks to the work of one group alone.

Nonetheless, we have made a significant difference and I think you know what The Rewilding Institute does, so I won’t boast.  We do need your help, though, to keep working.  Remember that most of our tiny staff is wholly volunteer.  However, our other staffer (besides me), Christianne Hinks as associate director, has made all the difference in the world for The Rewilding Institute and for me.  I truly don’t know how we could have gone on without hiring her.  She’s only paid for half-time, but puts in much more than that.  Although they are not formally staffers, Roxanne and Monica Pacheco at Bosque Accounting take care of bookkeeping, mailing lists, and fulfilling book orders at a fee that almost makes them volunteers.  And without our selfless, generous, hard-working volunteer staff, foremost Susan Morgan, Jack Humphrey, and John Davis, we would have a hard time doing anything.  We know your money is hard-earned and The Rewilding Institute will be tight, not extravagant, with it.

By the way, my next book in the For the Wild Things series is entitled Take Back Conservation and it looks at what is wrong with our conservation groups and network because of too much professionalization, institutionalization, co-option, money-chasing, shying away from talking about deep values, and so on.  We’re very happy, by the way, that Man Swarm and the Killing of Wildlife is selling well and getting high praise.

As always, all donors of $250 or more may pick a complimentary book, which I’ll be most happy to sign.  Information is on the reply sheet.

Thanks so much for your support.  The Rewilding Institute has only 110 or so regular donors and help from two or three foundations at this time, so your check—whatever the amount—goes a long way to helping us meet our budget of about $140,000 for 2011-12.  Following this letter is a list of the books The Rewilding Institute sells and then an order/donation form with instructions on how to back TRI.

But thank you even more for what you do personally to keep, shield, and bring back the wild things with which we share the lovely and tangled Tree of Life we call Earth.  You are the grassroots, and the grassroots are the conservation network, not organizations or even hired staff like me.

Happy Trails
Dave Foreman
Executive Director and Janitor

Please click on the attachment below to read the entire “Campfire,” which includes the complete list of books for sale by TRI and a donation and order form.

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Alan Gregory - December 10, 2011

Well said, Dave. In my postal mail today were pleas for money from WWW, National Audubon, NWF, North Branch Land Trust (of Pa.), Adirondack Council, Adirondack Mountain Club, and a others. I respond to very very few of these now. Being retired is only part of my reason why.

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