Getting Involved: Things to Consider
Learn All You Can About the Organization
What is the first way to get involved? Sign up for an organization’s newsletter and look at their website. Research the animals, plants and habitats they protect. You can attend lectures or workshops being given by the organization. Upcoming seminars might include identifying and growing native plants, making a bat house or learning about the stages of the monarch butterfly migration.
And maybe the group sponsors hikes or animal encounter walks you can join. It is a great way to get outdoors & meet like-minded neighbors.
What Is the Mission of the Organization?
Next, ask “what is the mission of the conservation group”? Is it in alignment with your values? We support the NC Zoo whose mission is to “protect nature’s diversity”. While you might not think a zoo & conservation go together, the NC Zoo’s wildlife conservation programs span the globe. They are protecting a variety of species including gorillas, red wolves, vultures, elephants and even Puerto Rican crested toads.
If You Donate Money, Will It Be Used Wisely?
Then, research Charity Navigator or other charity rating groups to understand the financials of the organization. With Charity Navigator, a 4-star rating is best, then 3 stars and on down. Some organizations will not be rated so you will need to dig further. Another consideration? Is the organization a 501(c)(3) so the donation is tax deductible?
Doing your homework is important. As a good friend advises, follow the money. Know how the money you donate is being spent. And don’t be afraid to ask questions. You have a right to understand how your money (or time) is being used.
Get Involved In Volunteering
Next, you might look into volunteer opportunities if you have time to commit. One of our local land preservation organizations, Conserving Carolina, has great volunteer programs in which to get involved. You might help eradicate invasive plants from forests or work on trail maintenance. In our case, installing hellbender nest boxes in local streams was lots of fun. Plus you feel a sense of accomplishment.
But wait, what the heck is a hellbender? Learn about these wonderful creatures on our Did You Know page.
Share Your Passion
And lastly, help spread the word. Share your passion, experiences and knowledge with your friends and everyone who will listen.
Let others know you support an organization. If you are working with a group to help save owls (and you can learn more about owls on our Did You Know page) post interesting facts about them on social media. You can also share how your group is helping protect them.
You can find tons of free photos on sites like Pixabay and Unsplash for your posts. Google the animal’s name to learn more about it. By sharing your passion, you help others fall in love with nature and get involved.
Conservation Organizations We Support: