Friday 3 October 2014

Wader Quest: Where do your donations go?

There have been some concerns lately about whether donating to a charity of any kind really helps who, or what, it is intended to help.

In the case of Wader Quest we have always tried to make it abundantly clear that all donations and annual Sponsorship fees are ring-fenced for the donations and grants that we make to wader conservation projects. This year direct donations and sponsorship has given us an income of £1174.91 to date. From this we have donated £842.98 to the Hooded Plovers via BirdLife Australia, we have passed £257.37 to our Magellanic Plover project fund and we have purchased colour rings and measuring equipment for a project in Indonesia to the value of £70.81; a total of £1171.16.

We guarantee that 100% of money donated or received through sponsorship goes directly to wader conservation projects not one penny or cent is diverted elsewhere.

If you donate £10.00 then that amount will be passed on to a wader conservation project, even if the payment is made via PayPal where there is a fee we have to pay to receive that money.

Bird fair stalls, merchandising, postage and packing etc. all come from money raised either from merchandising itself or through our mobile charity shop where we sell items donated to us at car boot sales or via ebay. When necessary money from this source can be used to fund projects but not vice versa.

There are still some who suspect that donations were being sought during the travelling phase of Wader Quest in order to fund our trips. This is categorically not the case. ALL expenses for the trips came from the proceeds of the house we sold in Brazil and amounted to over £55k. This included buying pins from the WWT to give to children and groups around the world, paying for the intitial merchandising products for Wader Quest and in 2013 our attendance at the British Bird Fair. Help was sought from backers in order to allow us to make the already very special event even greater, but none was forthcoming except from family and some very special friends, especially in South Africa. Guides around the world were generous and people gave us accommodation where they could.

All donations for the Spoon-billed Sandpipers went through a JustGiving site so we did not handle the money at any stage. This was not the case with the Hooded Plover emergency appeal fund but individual donations were all recorded and donations made at talks etc. were all verified by the treasurer or other committee member of the club concerned.

Our recent trip expenses to The Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden were also self funded.

Wader Quest is purely a non-profit voluntary organisation. Trustees have been taken on to oversee what we are doing, to make our aims and procedures totally transparent and beyond doubt, our trustees too are volunteers and do not receive expenses for attending meetings or other expenses that they incur in their activities as trustees and for that we thank them warmly.

We do not personally take a wage or even major expenses from Wader Quest, this is sustainable for us as I have a Fire Service pension and Elis has a job at a conference centre so we can pay our bills.

Wader Quest is a BirdLife Species Champion, this means that a donation of £1,000 a year is made to BirdLife in the name of the company or organisation. Elis and I have committed to pay this from our own pocket for the first three years while Wader Quest is getting established.

Wader Quest is our passion and has become our life's work and so we are happy to subsidise it to an extent to make sure it gets on its feet in order that, as it grows, with your support we will be able to make a greater and more significant contribution to protecting the world's waders.

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