Growing support for nature
Rebecca Munro, Director of Fundraising and Communications, explains how it's been a record-breaking year for RSPB memberships, helping us to do even more for the nature you love.
We ended the year in an unprecedented position, with RSPB memberships at 1,222,985 – our highest ever total. This is both humbling and uplifting.
It shows there are many people with a love for nature and that, together, we can help protect it for many years to come. Nevertheless, we are under no illusions. The sheer scale of the challenge to save nature means the projects reflected in this annual review need ongoing support in all of its guises.
Our members and supporters express this in a range of ways, whether they are joining, making donations, buying from our shops or volunteering.
Large numbers of people have also been creating homes for nature in their gardens and becoming citizen scientists by taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch. Around 500,000 people took part in the world’s largest wildlife survey in 2017, helping us to find out more about how garden species are faring.
Achieving more for nature
People continue to give very generously to the RSPB through making a legacy gift to us in their Wills.
This thoughtfulness is incredibly important in funding so much of our conservation work, so thank you if you have thought of us in your Will.
Supporters also continue to help us raise funds for specific projects, such as our recent appeal to extend our Mersehead reserve on the Solway coast. You gave us the confidence to bid for the land and the security of reaching the £285,000 target to buy a 112-hectare extension to this fantastic reserve.
Other projects have also received our members' generous support this year, including the Global Seabird Appeal. Donations to the appeal have been helping to fund the Albatross Task Force, which saves hundreds of thousands of seabirds from drowning in fishing gear every year.
You can help the RSPB in so many ways, including by buying RSPB products through mail order, retail and catering. Over the last financial year, this has brought in net income of £2.9 million for our conservation work.
Keeping in touch
The relationship we have with you, our members and supporters, is fundamental.
This year we will be asking for your consent to contact you in the future – this means we will ask you to "opt in" and choose the ways you would most like us to contact you, whether by mail, email, phone or text. Moving to "opt-in" gives you control of how you hear about conservation news, saving nature successes and ways that you can support us in the future.
You'll find more details about this over the coming months.
We are very grateful for all you do for nature and for your generosity in helping us deliver conservation work right across the UK and the UK Overseas Territories. The work showcased in this annual review would simply not have happened without you.
We hope that in reading all that has been achieved you will think your money and support has been put to good use.