2014 Funds For Forum August 25
Monday, August 25 2014 @ 11:32 AM EDT
Contributed by: JudyB
What Does It Take to Make a Forum...?
As many of you may have noticed, through much of June and July we were raising money to do the annual maintenance and updates on as many cams as possible at our four primary nests, Delta 2, Harrison Mills, Lafarge and White Rock.
And I want to say this part early on - we need help with fundraising! We have not raised enough for that maintenance, so some cams will not be cleaned this year. If you have thoughts or skills you can donate, please let me and/or Karen Bills know - those of us who did much of the fundraising this year are very committed to HWF's mission to promote the conservation of wildlife and its habitats through science, education, and stewardship, but fundraising is not our primary skill - and speaking for myself, I know there are folks out there who could do this so much better than I can!
Anyway, because of our focus on the annual cleaning and maintenance, it would be easy to think that's our major expense for the year. And it is a major expense - but not the only one.
I suspect that everyone who watches our primary cams has already given all they can right now to make sure we can do as much as possible to get the cams running smoothly before the eagles return (if not - there's still time! ).
But this isn't just a place to watch and report on four eagle nests - it's so much more! Here are images from a sampling of our hundreds of other threads (this clicks bigger):
How many nests/habitats do you recognize? (I'll post a list - and credits for the wonderful images! - in a couple of days.) We're watching penguins in Antarctica, albatrosses in Hawaii, eagles, osprey, pandas, falcons and more - not to mention having some spectacular pictures taken by our members of the wildlife in their own neighborhoods and back yards. And let's not forget our less formal areas, the Garden Fence Chat, Creative Inspiration, the Games Room and more.
We have over 600,000 posts here - and I'm guessing over a million attached images
For better or worse, there is a cost for all of that. I haven't seen a recent breakdown of the expenses, but last I knew, the basic systems costs - the servers that host our forum and website and the media gallery, the internet connections that link them to us and the world, and the technical support to keep it all running - were more than the $20,000 per year needed in order to do maintenance on all our current cams.
I know many of you have already sent in a donation - and suspect I'm not the only one who gave a bit more than I could really afford - and I thank you all for your support!
But I also think there may be some people who don't watch our primary cams (though we are hoping to win you back next year, if we can install the upgrades needed to make them run more smoothly) - and I'm appealing to you. We need your help to keep the forum and website running for another year.
I used this image below (which clicks bigger) last year (and my avatar and some others are now out of date) - but the message is still the same. There are now lots of cams on lots of nests all around the world - and lots of places and ways to gather to discuss what's happening at your favorite cams - and to paraphrase what forum member terrytvgal says so eloquently in her signature line - I'm here because of the friends I've made.
I think perhaps I'm not alone in finding the forum and website a great source of information about eagles and other wildlife - and a great place to chat with like-minded individuals who also are amazed at what we can see on the cams. And if you are one of the people who have posted on the forum or joined the discussion on Facebook or Chat - or just enjoy reading what other post - please consider making a donation in support of the costs of maintaining the forum, website and other infrastructure. We're encouraging people to use CanadaHelps to make their donations - you'll get a receipt almost instantly, and it saves HWF valuable time and resources. And you don't need to be in Canada to use CanadaHelps - just click the blue button! Or you can choose one of our other Five Easy Ways to Donate. There will be someone in the office to take calls to our 800 number (1-800-938-1114, toll free in Canada and the United States) today and Tuesday, so if that's the best way for you to donate, please try to call today or tomorrow.
And we do know that financial donations aren't the best way for everyone to contribute - so I'd like to take a moment here to also thank those who help out on the forum and website, and those who watch and control the cams and report and take s'caps and make videos - and make this the educational resource it was meant to be, and those who keep things running smoothly on facebook and the various chat threads and all sorts of places that I'm only now learning about, and our content providers who add a whole 'nother level to the data on our forum by reporting on an amazing variety of wildlife. Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart. And thank you all on behalf of Hancock Wildlife Foundation - it's you who make this such a marvelous resource.