14 Apr Coronavirus and Fundraising – Letting Emotional Words Flow
By David Allen, Development for Conservation
First off, I hope that you, your family, and your extended family is well and stays that way. Hunker down, wash your hands, stay six feet away from others. Stay well.
If you have a question about fundraising in these challenging times, please consider me a resource. Either include it in the Comment section below or pop me an email at David (at) DevelopmentForConservation (dot) com.
I’ve used this space these last few weeks to advocate communicating personally with your members and donors. And you have responded. Today I want to share with you some of the email I have received that I found particularly well done. Perhaps their writing will inspire you. Perhaps there are some ideas here that you can pick up and run with.
In the general interests of space, I am not including the entire emails, but I am including the best parts.
From Tim Gliddon, Maine Coast Heritage Trust:
You and others in the Maine Coast Heritage Trust community have been very much on my mind lately. While I don’t know exactly what you’re going through right now, I know it’s a lot, and my heart goes out to you.
Maybe like me you’re grasping for a sense of certainty wherever you can get it. I don’t know how this pandemic will play out—none of us knows—but there’s one thing I’m able to promise you: the land we’ve protected together will still be here when we are on the other side of this. And, in the midst of so much uncertainty, we continue to protect and care for land along this coastline we love.
Here’s another thing I know for sure: conserved lands have been a powerful source of connection and relief for so many Mainers over these past few weeks. To help people safely get outside right now, we’re continually monitoring the situation and updating guidelines on our website. While events have been cancelled and postponed, and we’ve suspended cabin rentals indefinitely, MCHT preserves remain open.
As I write this, spring’s returning to the lands we’ve conserved together. The ground is thawing and buds are swelling on branches; weary migrating birds are stopping over for rest and food; the tide keeps coming in and going out.
The Maine coast is still here for you, and we’re still working to protect it.
With best wishes and deep gratitude,
From Jill Boullion, Bayou Land Conservancy
I’m thinking of you.
As I write this from my home office, the thought of a walk in my neighborhood later today makes me happy. Like me, you know that access to outdoor space is important to our health and well-being, perhaps now more than ever. Bayou Land Conservancy’s public preserves, and the Spring Creek Nature Trail, have been a lifeline to families during the Coronavirus crisis. Thanks to you for making these special places possible!
To stay connected during this difficult time we are sharing photos, videos, and stories from the BLC preserves you helped us to protect. We are also creating content for you and your family, like our weekly “Ask An Ecologist” segment on Facebook Live. You are also encouraged to share photos of how you are social distancing in nature by tagging us on Instagram (bayou_land_conservancy) and by using the hashtags #conservetexasland and #Land4All. Please join us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Your investment in land conservation supports our whole community. Protecting land along streams helps keep our drinking water clean, so even when we’re stuck inside, there is one less thing to worry about. Your investment is more vital than ever, so thank you!
Although I am working remotely, I want to hear from you. Drop me an email, a voice mail, or a social post. You and your family are important to me, and to all of us at Bayou Land Conservancy. You are important to our community. I am filled with gratitude for your support.
From Jim Welsh, Groundswell
As we all adjust to the new normal created by the pandemic, Groundswell continues its work. Our staff and office volunteers are working from home and we stay connected via Zoom and the phone. We are converting our field trips into virtual events but have postponed outdoor volunteering. Our spring round of visits to our easement properties is delayed but Tony and BJ are laying plans to complete this important work as soon as they can return to the field. We are moving forward with our friends in the Town of Dunn on two more farm easements and adding land to Hook Lake Wildlife Area. Volunteer Nancy McGill and I are wrapping up our application to renew our accreditation with the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission. And we have received tentative approval from the Small Business Administration for a Payroll Protection Program forgivable loan that will help us keep protecting special places in the weeks ahead.
I got out on Saturday to see pasque flowers and stare down garlic mustard (Mustard 1, Jim 0). The arrival of spring is a tonic for me and I hope you are able to experience that too. And I hope that you and your family and friends stay well.
See you soon!
I started this post with Maine, and I’ll end it with Maine as well. Tim later shared a link to a poem by Megan Grumbling called Where the Land Meets the Sea. In it she writes that:
I grew up finding at the coast words that I wanted to hold in my mouth. Rose hip, and barnacle, and heron. I grew up finding in the coast a beauty that I wanted to learn how to speak and how to share. And so it’s no exaggeration to say that as a poet, the coast gave me both words and a reason to use them.
Today the LAND is giving all of us both words and reasons to use them.
Cheers, and be well!
Photo by ArtTower from Pixabay