join us for food and libations | meet fellow conservation enthusiasts | learn about and sponsor current projects
Below: Read testimony from a donor who attended one of our events.
Proof positive! Sometimes it doesn’t take big money to make a difference in what happens on the front lines of science-driven conservation activism!
Audrey B., 2022
“Last night I attended the 30-year celebration fundraiser for a locally-based, global biodiversity-focused nonprofit—IDEA WILD. The event blew me away! Hopeful and inspirational in equal measure! (https://ideawild.org/mission/). IDEA WILD has supported small-scale biodiversity research projects with basic equipment and technology (more than 22,500 projects over the past 30 years) in 140 countries worldwide. Look at the list of projects on their website!
The event was one of 4 annual fundraisers focused “just “on funding 33 small-scale research projects emphasizing species at risk in a world where biodiversity is imperiled.
This was NOT a nonprofit auction-style fundraiser in any standard sense. The donor receives nothing except the sublime pleasure of supporting wonderful projects! Yes, there were libations and appetizers. We were given a bid sheet with a check box for each of 33 different projects chosen for funding based on the scientific quality and potential impact of the proposed research project. The country-based young biologists and graduate students (not North American or European students researching abroad) who apply are specifically asking for funding the technology and basic research equipment (wildlife monitoring cameras, GPS, remote trackers and recorders, tree-climbing harnesses, drones, tablet phones, laptops, headlamps etc.) needed to achieve their research goals. Descriptions of the numbered projects were laid out on a table for our perusal. Each project description included a letter of recommendation from a graduate advisor or community leader and a list of the technology item(s) needed. The lowest dollar amount requested for a project was $350 (for laptop and GPS) and the highest was $1400 (for drones). You then checked the boxes of the projects you wanted to support at some level on your bid sheet.
The highlight of the evening, of course, was Wally’s visual and extraordinarily educational presentation of all 33 projects, one-by-one, and the bidding. We were asked to raise our bid card after each project presentation if we wanted to bid. The presentation was essentially a travelogue that introduced us to all the young researchers (often in their own words), photos of their research sites and target species (terrestrial to marine) that took us from Mexico to Central America, South America, Africa, Central Asia and Southeast Asia. It made you want to support each and every project. You could donate any amount towards a project. No limits. Some kids who attended donated $10 to a project and were proud to do so! If the amount donated to a project exceeded the amount requested, we all knew that the “excess” would roll over to fund future projects. IDEA WILD receives hundreds of proposals a month for consideration. It was inspirational to experience all the energy and passion generated last night in supporting emerging young scientists who can’t, in many countries, afford even the most basic research equipment! Wally has formed strong partnerships with technology providers who also help make this possible. Needless to say, they raised thousands of dollars beyond that expected for the 33 projects. Small and large—it all added up!”