Note: Yes, it’s Giving Tuesday today, and I have seriously mixed feelings about that as a longtime nonprofit professional, since it turns our charitable sector into a seething cauldron of competing, borderline hysterical messaging throughout the digital and print domains, with everyone desperately trying to get attention on what has probably become the very hardest day of the year for any one nonprofit to separate itself from the thundering herd. As I’ve written often before, I believe in charity as charity, and not in “what’s in it for me” or “today’s special offer” or “limited time only” types of marketing gimmicks when it comes to fundraising. I’m happy to receive a gift for my organization(s) any day of the year, and I’m just as happy to give when I am moved by a cause, and not by an artificial date that the hive mind internet advertising calendar says I am supposed to honor. But like it or not, this is where our industry sits today, and we must participate, lest we be left behind. So . . . all of my curmudgeonly sentiments aside, we are in the middle of our Year End Appeal at TREE Fund, and I’d like to take the opportunity to share, for your consideration, the text of a letter sent out over my signature in October to our list of current and recent donors. If it inspires you to “push the button” and give to TREE Fund today as part of your Giving Tuesday plans, then that’s great!! But you can also read it anytime, digest it, give to this appeal tomorrow, or next week, or anytime before December 31, 2018 and I’ll be just as grateful and just as pleased to count you among our supporters. And if you want to give after that, then I’ll be tickled to have you helping us kick off our 2019 campaigns. Any day, any way, I am grateful for those who support the causes dear to me, most especially TREE Fund.
Dear Friends of TREE Fund:
It’s a simple fact: people need trees as an essential component of their healthy, sustainable communities. But like anything worth having, the trees we live with require special care. Trees did not evolve to coexist with people, buildings, roads, and modern community infrastructure, so if they are to thrive in our urban forests, they need the best care possible, provided by professional arborists, drawing on fact-based, replicable research. That’s where TREE Fund comes in — but only with continued support from faithful donors and believers like you.
TREE Fund has been a leading source for tree science funding since 2002, with hundreds of projects awarded and countless valuable results shared across the global tree care community. To cite but one example, Dr. Brian Kane is a long-time TREE Fund Researcher who has contributed profoundly to the global tree care knowledge base over the years; I have attached an article from our September Research Report about Brian’s work to give you a sense of his progress.
This month, I asked Brian to co-sign a “new friends” appeal with me to about 5,000 prospective donors, asking them to join us in supporting the ever-expanding body of research and science necessary to keep our urban forests healthy, sustainable and beautiful. In that new donor letter, we noted that many practices in arboriculture and urban forestry will change in the years ahead as urban environments evolve, just as they’ve evolved since you first became a TREE Fund supporter. With your help, we have been one of the few organizations funding applied research to help today’s tree care professionals anticipate tomorrow’s burning questions before they detrimentally impact our trees — and the communities that benefit from them.
Our generous supporters allowed us to fund over two dozen research projects in the past year, including Brian’s crucial ongoing work. Can we count on your help again as we work to sustain our urban forests and empower the skilled professionals who care for them? You may make a contribution to support our work by clicking here.
Your gift will truly make a difference, now and for years to come.