Christmas Yule Log Plea
THE LOG FRIENDS OF ECOLOGICAL RESERVES NEWSLETTER AUTUMN/WINTER 2014
Christmas Yule Log Plea
By Mike Fenger
Thirty-one years is a long time and it is how long Friends of Ecological Reserves has been a registered charity and devoted to BC conservation. This is a sincere thanks to all the current and past members, supporters, wardens and board members who have kept Friends of Ecological Reserves relevant and viable. Without memberships, wardens and donations we could not carry on and we thank you all so much for your support.
This year we are facing budget shortfalls as the cost of producing the LOG and our expenses for bookkeeping are currently surpassing our income from memberships, sales and donations. This is a plea or challenge to all members to help us change this. We want you to think about ways to help FER now at Christmas, or throughout the coming year, either by recruiting new members or gifting memberships to like-minded friends and relatives this Christmas Season.
We are also creating a new category of membership – the “Sustaining Member” which is a step up from the current student/senior, individual and family memberships of $15, $20 and $25. We would ask you to consider becoming a sustaining member for $60 annually which is equivalent to $5 a month. As an inducement to becoming a sustaining member, FER will mail you, free of charge, a set of the four wildflower placemats as listed on our website at $2.50 per mat. (Please see the images placed throughout the pages of this LOG.) If you choose not to take the placemats, the $10 value of them will be added to your tax receipt. While basic memberships are not eligible for a tax receipt, the difference between your sustaining membership and the regular membership will receive a tax receipt, less the $10 value of the placemats if you choose to take them. (Example: If you are buying a regular individual membership, and pay the sustaining member price, and take the placemats, your tax receipt will be for $30 ($60 – $20 – $10). If you choose not to take the placemats, the tax receipt would be for $40 ($60 – $20). Please indicate whether your normal membership would have been for a senior/student, an individual, or a family.
FER has contributed so much to conservation in BC, performing a role of raising awareness of and protecting the Ecological Reserves system. During these three decades, there have been many people supporting FER who have the conviction that the environment needs their support and would be in seriously greater crisis without organizations like FER. This is the time of year where we are all asked to make contributions to charities and I am asking that you consider a contribution to FER this season. I know at this time of year all charities are seeking support and that there are so many good causes. It is perplexing to me that of all the good causes there are, environmental charities like FER receive less than a one percent of funds collected by all charities.
Why are we not breaking even? FER had in the past received the bookkeeping services of Tom Gillespie who sadly died last year and so now we are paying for accounting services which are at a very reasonable rate but not free as gifted by Tom. Our largest expense is the LOG newsletter which we are loathe to drop as we have already cut back from three to two publications per year. It is a principal communications tool and considered complementary to the FER website. FER has no paid staff but without more members and more support, our current annual expenses are not covering our annual costs – plain and simple we are slowly sinking and want to reverse this trend with your help.
The Board of FER has been very successful in obtained funding for projects such as the ER system map, restructuring of the FER website, projects to capture research held in government offices and working with Parks staff at a provincial level. We are proud that FER has applied for and received in the last few years between $20,000 and $30,000 in grant funding. This plea for support is simply to keep the newsletter and bookkeeping costs equal to our income.
Thank you for considering this call out for your support. We appreciate it. The website payment page has been re-structured to accept sustaining members as well as make it convenient for members to renew. If you prefer to send us postal mail, we appreciate that too. Please visit the website or mail instructions to Friends of Ecological Reserves, P.O. Box 8477, Victoria, BC, V8W 3S1, if you would like to proceed with a renewed membership, gifting a membership, becoming a sustaining member or making a donation. As a registered charity we will issue tax receipts for donations.
Thank you for considering this plea.
Thank you and seasons greetings to you and yours in conservation.
Mike Fenger, President of FER