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How is the global downturn affecting fundraising for river groups? Our experience is that groups with strong individual donor and pledge programs appear to be least affected. Idaho Rivers United, with a home office in Boise, Idaho, is an example of one such group.
This January, more than 200 people attended Idaho Rivers United's member pledge event. This was the best turn out ever. And while the commitments made that day are still being counted, the program is bringing in over $350,000 a year from a total membership of just 3,500 people.
Over the last eight years Idaho Rivers United built its income through a pledge program with a business-breakfast format. Volunteer table captains bring their boating-buddies and fishing-friends in for a free breakfast. A great program outlines how the group protects wild rivers, puts water back into dried-out trout streams and works to restore endangered salmon.
The program is held at the popular Cottonwood Grill, which donates a great continental breakfast served by the Boise River. The program is repeated in several towns throughout the state. As a result, Idaho Rivers United now has a solid base of five-year pledges from their members and a great chance of getting through these tough economic times.