Thanksgiving Wishes to NWF Donors

Every year around Thanksgiving, NWF staff members phone a selected list of individual donors to thank them for their generosity in supporting the Federation’s conservation work.

In making these calls, we touch base person-to-person with the people who make our work on behalf of wildlife possible, allowing NWF to protect species from bison to bears, whales to wolves, and to save habitat ranging from the Chesapeake Bay and Appalachian Mountains in the East to Pacific shores and Puget Sound in the West.

Brown bear mother and cub
Coastal brown bear mother and cub in Katmai National Park. Photo by Kerry Statham. 
I’ve said it in previous blogs, but I’m going to say it again because it’s a vitally important point: About 75 percent of the money nonprofit organizations spend comes from individual donors—which is to say, in the Federation viewpoint, from people who sit down at home and write checks to NWF, or who give online or who join the NWF Wildlife Leaders Club by making monthly credit card donations. Individual donors are not just key components of the Federation’s conservation work, they are the basis of all that NWF accomplishes and hopes to accomplish.

You are More Than Just Donors

Each year, when I make my calls, I am impressed with the understanding and involvement of NWF donors.

One donor I talked with this year who really stood out for me was Joyce, a wildlife rehabilitator in West Allis, Wisconsin, who told me that earlier in the day, she had had to rescue a Cooper’s hawk that had crashed through a double-pane window in a private home, leaving a 12- to 15-inch hole in the glass. She turned the bird over to veterinary staff, who were checking it for injuries. It seemed likely to recover.

She also told me about a screech owl she had freed one time from a mouse sticky trap—a piece of heavy paper coated with a glue-like substance. Giving the owl its liberty was the work of minutes, but recovery of its feathers was a longer process. The mouse traps also had caught several sparrows. Joyce’s message: Don’t use sticky mouse traps outdoors, where they can capture nontarget species.

People like Joyce show that the commitment of NWF donors to wildlife is more than dollars deep, giving NWF staffers the gifts of inspiration and encouragement along with that of funding.

We can’t phone everyone on our donor list, which runs to thousands and thousands of people with a serious interest in wildlife, but with luck, our blogs can reach many more readers with a heartfelt thank you, and with wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving to you all!