The Couchiching Conservancy is backed by the power of our members. So, why do they matter and what part do they play in all this conservation stuff? Well, I’m glad you asked.
Members are an essential part of our organization. Members pay a yearly fee in order to vote at our Annual General Meeting. Seems simple but there is so much more to it than that. Our members keep our organization accountable and transparent. For a charity it is essential to publish financial reports and findings, which we do in our Annual Report. Without our members we would not have the quality input on the report that we do now. It wouldn’t be under the same essential scrutiny. And we wouldn’t push ourselves to be the leading land trust that we are, if we weren’t working to make our membership proud.
For individuals, membership means belonging. You have made a decision that thirty or fifty of your hard earned dollars should go to something bigger than yourself. You want yourself to be part of a lasting legacy to protect the world, which can’t protect itself. By purchasing your membership you have made it official; you are on the side of conservation. It’s as simple as that. Membership gives you the opportunity to have a say in what work we are doing and what is important.
“There is nothing more humbling than nature, and nothing more empowering than protecting it.”
Membership allows individuals to meet like minded people who are working toward a common goal. Members often become volunteers because they grow more and more interested in this work and are inspired to take part in every aspect of it. There is nothing more humbling than nature, and nothing more empowering than protecting it
As for the organization, we benefit greatly from our members. They are our finger on the pulse of the community. Our members provide us with support, networking and connections in the community. We are a not-for-profit, so every single member helps us to continue the work we do. For an individual or family it is not an exurbanite amount of money, but collectively the will and donations of our members spur us on. Also, having a strong membership helps us to apply for grants. With strong membership we can show that local people support what we are doing. We can show that people stand behind the work that we do and that there is every reason for funders to support us as well. These grants go toward us protecting land right here in our region. In the City of Kawartha Lakes, in Severn and Severn Bridge, in Orillia and Oro-Medonte. The places members are protecting are the places they live. The places we at the conservancy are protecting are the places we live. We have a common goal, to not let the beauty of home slip away.
People say that small changes lead to big things. An ant alone can’t carry away your picnic, but when they work together they will get it basket and all. One member doesn’t make a land trust, but with no members there is no Couchiching Conservancy. You give us your support and we give you results: acres protected, species living in healthy habitats, programs run to better steward land, and education for adults and kids. We also give our members pride in great places to go snowshoeing, walking, or bird watching.
Why not take advantage of this? Why not become one of us? As a past president, Gord Ball, said at our Annual General Meeting ‘We just want you to feel as good as we feel.’ So join us, become a member and check out all that the Couchiching Conservancy has to offer.
Courtney Baker is the Administrative Assistant at The Couchiching Conservancy, a non-profit land trust dedicated to protecting nature for future generations.