Monday 27 April 2015

Roz Hutchinson, the BCT's Trusts and Grants fundraiser discusses: Fundraising for BCT       

I have been fundraising for BCT for nearly five years and I can say hand on heart that this has been one of the most challenging roles that I have taken on.  Bats do tend to polarize people’s opinions.  It seems you either love them or hate them – a bit like Marmite.  But, as with most things, there is an interesting back story about why we should conserve these mesmerizing creatures that are so rarely seen but if you are lucky they are near where you live, work and play.  If they are not, you should be worried because it means that your environment is failing.  Bats are one of the UK’s Biodiversity Indicators of a healthy environment and their success or failure is an indicator of how well the UK’s environmental health is doing.  They are also legally protected, so all 17 species that are known to be  flying around the UK really should be flourishing.  However, rapid modernisation and urbanisation has meant that in the last century we saw their numbers dwindle to dangerously low levels.  So after nearly 25 years’ hard work, BCT is beginning to see conservation efforts based on effective monitoring, study and guidance having a stabilizing effect - albeit that the numbers are at a much lower level than in the early 20th century.  So we can see that concerted and effective efforts to conserve the bats’ habitats does work.

Australian Fruit Bat

Thus we have a good news story.  Remember even though bats may not be the most popular species in the UK, they are unique, they are living on the edge and they are the most effective natural insecticide we have.

I work in a specific field of fundraising with a range of funders who can be quite well known or entirely confidential.  Some need to know very little about our everyday activities understanding the strategic impact that we make and others are more interested in specific projects.  Their contributions together with our supporters’ donations - both individual and corporate - are vital to our activities to ensure that bats and people not only survive together but thrive together.

Grey long-eared bat (©Hugh Clark)

We currently have a small but growing number of organisations that support our work and we are always looking for new ways to engage organisations and their work forces; again we have a small number of volunteer fundraisers who donate their time to our cause.  We would love to hear from anyone with new ideas about how we could work with corporate organisations in your area or if you would be prepared to help us as a volunteer fundraiser – do call or email (and then put in relevant contact).  If you think you might want to get involved.

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