The Western Great Lakes Bird & bat Observatory likes to think of our friends and supporters as “investors” in conservation science, and we are enormously grateful for the support they have shown for WGLBBO’s work over the past 14 months.
Most significant for the Observatory’s future was a three-year commitment from Lynde B. Uihlein, who seven years ago played a major role in helping the late Dr. Noel J. Cutright launch the Observatory. The renewal of her financial support comes at a critical time in the Observatory’s maturation process.
Her 2016 gift helped us to guarantee employment for both the fall and spring seasons of 2017 to Calvin Brennan, the highly-experienced and talented ornithologist who has led our Water Bird Watch Project for the last several years. It also provides support for Director William Mueller’s key role in training participants in the second Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas and for Bryan’s work in bolstering the bird banding program at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve.
The Observatory also received a large unrestricted gift from Ron Horn, a longtime member of the Riveredge (now Cutright) Bird Club and a good friend of Noel’s, which will go towards general operating expenses.
The Observatory also is enormously grateful to Atty. Stephen M. Fisher and the Arthur J. Donald Family Foundation for a significant grant that, among other things, will afford Bill and Dr. Bryan Lenz the time to complete a research paper documenting extensive offshore aerial observations of waterfowl conducted in recent years to inform decision-making on potential wind farm locations in Lake Michigan.
WGLBBO also has received a new grant from the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology, which had been a significant investor over the Observatory’s first five years, and from the Pieper Power Co. and the Besadny Grant Program of the Natural Resources Foundation (NRF) of Wisconsin.
Our recently-completed annual winter appeal raised a record $10,780 from more than 60 investor friends. While that total represents a welcome 10% of the Observatory’s annual operating budget, it demonstrates the ongoing challenge the board faces in securing not only the regular support of its friends, but also in cultivating larger donors and securing grant support from private foundations as well as state and federal agencies.
From Jan. 1, 2016 to March 1, 2017, individual investors donated more than $30,000 in amounts ranging from $25 to $1,000. Nearly $7,000 of that total was donated by members of the WGLBBO board in a strong demonstration of their personal commitment to the Observatory’s work.
Our thanks to each and every one of them:
Richard and Joan Abdoo
Margaret and Mark Amato
Jacquie and Jim Branchford
Cheryl and Mark Brickman
Dennis and Jean Casper
Gary Casper and Kim Koziol
Dennis & Susan Duffy
James and Karen Etter Hale
Chris & Jude Ford
Michael and Sara K. Gilman
Christopher and Nancy Gloe
Shawn Graff and Cheryl White
Kent and Sue Hall
James and Virginia Helland
R Tod Highsmith and Joan Braune
Eric Howe and Kristin Wegner
John & Laurie Johnson
Joanne and Dan Kline
Terry and Carole Knudsen
Kim Kreitinger & Eric Preston
Robert Litzau and Annie Salmona
Kris & Karen McKinney
William Mueller and Leah Klapperich
John and Nancy O'Donnell
Robert Retko and Kay Wienke
George and Dorothy Roth
John and Jennifer Rothstein
Larry and Marilyn Schlotfeldt
Glenn & Margy Schrubbe
Carl and Barbara Schwartz
Holger and Deanna Sommerfeld
David and Sarah Stokes
Jean and Stanley Strelka
Roger and Karen Sundell
Joel and Patricia Trick
Tom and Mary Uttech
Barbara and Marvin Wooten
For a fledgling institution, the Board of Directors of the Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat Observatory took a bold step in 2016 toward making sure that one of Dr. Noel Cutright’s major legacies is sustained for the long haul. Working through the Wisconsin Conservation Endowment and the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, the board worked with its friends and “investors” to establish an endowed fund to support the Observatory in perpetuity. Endowments are considered permanent sources of support because it is a percentage of the fund’s value -- not the principal of the fund -- that is available to the Observatory each year, leaving the principal preserved to continue to provide support year after year.
How Donors Can Give to the Observatory’s Endowed Fund
The Observatory encourages donors to send a gift directly to the Natural Resources Foundation either via the mail or through its web site, www.wisconservation.org, Donate Now, noting the intention of the gift. The Foundation will then acknowledge receipt of your tax-deductible gift.
Sample Gift Language and Gifting Instructions
The Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat Observatory Fund is a permanent endowment that was created by the Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat Observatory to provide a perpetual source of funding to advance the conservation of birds and bats in Wisconsin and throughout the Western Great Lakes Region through coordinated research, monitoring and education. The endowment is managed by the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. Contributions to the Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat Observatory Fund are tax-deductible and can be made by sending a check to the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, Attn: Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat Observatory Fund, PO Box 2317, Madison, WI 53701 or by donating online at www.wisconservation.org.
Sample Bequest Instructions
If you love the Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat Observatory and want to help support it for future generations, consider leaving a legacy gift behind by including the Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat Observatory Fund in your will. To leave a bequest to the Fund, simply incorporate the following language in your estate plans: “I give [describe the gift] to the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin [federal tax id # 39-1572034], a nonprofit corporation organized and existing under the laws of Wisconsin and with a principal mailing address of PO Box 2317, Madison, WI 53701. This gift shall be designated to the Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat Observatory Fund.”
For more information, call the Natural Resources Foundation toll free at (866) 264-4096, email or visit www.wisconservation.org
The Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory is in the process of incorporating as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a board of directors and scientific advisory committee.
We are soliciting partners, sponsors, and donors for several major coordinated research, monitoring, and education projects, including the second Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas, the Midwest Landbird Migration Monitoring Network, the American Kestrel Partnership, the Waterbird Watch, bat monitoring, and others.
By donating, you show support for the observatory’s goal of advancing the conservation of birds and bats in Wisconsin and throughout the Western Great Lakes Region. You can also help ensure the observatory's future work by including it in your estate plans. Bequests of any size are gratefully accepted.
Donations to the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory are tax-deductible through our fiscal agent and partnering organization, the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust, Inc. For more information on how to make a gift or a bequest, contact the Land Trust at (262) 338-1794.
Donate on our secure payment site