Environment Forum

Audubon employees dig deep for the cause

March 17, 2009

You won’t see this on Wall Street folks.

Times are tough for U.S. non-profit organizations, so tough that some employees at one are donating their own money to help stave off layoffs and keep their projects going.

Employees at the National Audubon Society, an environmental group dedicated to habitat conservation, have pledged about $800,000 through voluntary payroll deductions in an internal donation drive to help see it through the recession. You can see my report here.

Conservation groups are often staffed by people who are passionate about their cause and many are facing tough times as the recession bites.

Audubon president John Flicker told me that for many U.S.-based conservation groups, the recession could not come at a worse time as the season is ripe politically for their agenda.

The Democratic-controlled Congress and President Barack Obama are regarded by most conservationists as more friendly to their cause on a range of fronts than former president George W. Bush, who worked with Republican majorities for most of his eight years in office. 

The fight against climate change and safeguards for endangered species are among the many areas where greens see new political opportunities in Washington.

There are so many opportunities to make great strides in conservation right now … We have the new Congress which is presenting some terrific opportunities to do things which we haven’t been able to do in a long time,” Flicker said.

Do you know of any other conservation groups where the employees are donating from their own salaries? And in an age when many are angry at “Wall Street greed”, what do you think of this staff effort to keep things rolling?

(Photo: Undated National Audubon Society picture of a purple finch. REUTERS/National Audubon Society Handout)

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