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Creating Exceptional Leadership for Natural Resource Conservation

Raised toward our $8,400 Goal
134 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on November 15, at 09:00 AM EST
Project Owners

We did it, and more!

November 15, 2017

Dear Virginia Master Naturalist program supporters,


Our crowdfunding campaign period has officially ended.  Thanks to you, we not only reached our goal, but exceeded it by about 22%, raising $10,318.  Our 134 donors used their gifts as an opportunity to both honor and remember many wonderful people who have been a part of our program over the years or who have supported our volunteers in other ways.  You can see the list of those honorees on our Donor Wall.


Your gifts are already being used as we hold our Leadership Days for our VMN chapter leaders this fall and work on creating new resources to help our chapters run more effectively.  The photo I've included here is of chapter leaders from our Holston Rivers Chapter (based in Abingdon), full of excitement after our recent Leadership Day in Radford and making plans to implement what they learned back in their chapter.  Please contact me at any time if you wish to know more about what we are doing to support our volunteer leaders.  If you want to stay connected to the Virginia Master Naturalist program, be sure to sign up for our quarterly newsletter.


As you know, our program is part of Virginia Tech and Virginia Cooperative Extension, which means we work closely with the Virginia Tech Foundation on any fundraising efforts.  Thank you to the Foundation for their assistance with our campaign and the opportunity to use the Jump platform, which really helped us get the word out!  Also, please know that although our crowdfunding campaign for this specific project was limited to 30 days, it is possible to give to our program at any time!  Visit our Give page for more details.


On behalf of our program staff and all of our volunteers, I again thank you very much for your gift.  Your support is incredibly valuable to us as we work to continue our mission as a cadre of volunteers engaged in natural resource education, citizen science, and stewardship!


Thank you!


Michelle Prysby

VMN Program Director & Extension associate Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation


VMN: Passing Our Goal, and Still Going!

November 08, 2017

Dear supporters,

I want to share two pieces of news with you.


First, thanks to 120 generous people like you, we just surpassed our goal for our crowdfunding campaign, "Creating Exceptional Leadership for Natural Resource Conservation."  Exceeding our goal helps us do even more to support our chapters and volunteer leaders, so we aren't stopping just yet.  We still have 6 days left in the campaign, and we will keep spreading the word.  Hopefully you will, too!


Second, I want to let everyone who supported us know that we just held the first two of four planned "Leadership Days" for Virginia Master Naturalist chapter leaders.  Last Friday, 31 volunteers from seven chapters came together in Gainesville, and on Saturday, 17 volunteers from seven different chapters joined us in Radford.  At each location, VMN program faculty and staff shared best practices for retaining volunteers and organizing projects, provided program updates, and facilitated volunteers in sharing their own ideas for being effective in their leadership roles.  Thanks to you, we were able to offer these events for free to all attendees.


We have two more Leadership Days coming up in early December to reach 15 more VMN chapters, and we are expecting 60 or more attendees at those events.  Thanks again for your support that has helped make these events happen.


Thanks again for giving, and for the many ways you are helping to let others know about our campaign!


Michelle Prysby

Virginia Master Naturalist Program Director

Extension Associate, Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Great Momentum...Two Weeks To Go!

October 30, 2017

We are halfway through our month-long crowdfunding campaign period, and we are excited to report that 97 individuals and groups have contributed so far, bringing us to 82% of our fundraising goal.  Many individuals have given in honor of another volunteer, or their chapter as a whole, or even some special native species like the rusty-patched bumblebee.  Others have given in memory of wonderful people who have been important to the Virginia Master Naturalist program, including Richard Hoffman and Holly Walker.  We need your contributions, of any amount, and we welcome recognitions of your favorite naturalist, friend, or species!


This Friday, we will hold our first 2017 Leadership Day in Gainesville.  We will be working with 30 volunteer leaders from seven different chapters on topics such as project management, volunteer retention, and best practices for different leadership roles.  Saturday, we travel to Radford for our second Leadership Day in the 2017 series, where we will repeat Friday's program with a different group of volunteers.  In December, we will hold two more Leadership Days to reach more chapters and volunteers.  Thanks to your donations, we offer these events with no charge to the volunteers.  Your contributions help us pay for staff time and travel, lunches, venues, and more.  


Please continue to spread the word about our crowdfunding campaign so that we can reach our goal!

Thank you for your support of the VMN program

October 23, 2017
Backers Only: Only backers of this project can see this update. If you are a backer please to see this update.

VMN: We're Halfway to Our Goal!

October 17, 2017

Dear Virginia Master Naturalist program supporters - 

Thank you for jumping in so quickly to support our Virginia Master Naturalist crowdfunding campaign, "Creating Exceptional Leadership for Natural Resource Conservation."  Thanks to your contribution, we  have raised $4,594, which is more than 50% of our goal!  And, it is only Day 2 of our campaign.

I am extremely grateful for your gift and the trust you show in our program.  Thanks to you, we are closer to our goal of providing more support for our Virginia Master Naturalist volunteer leaders.  You can continue to help us by sharing our project page.  Do you have friends, family, fellow volunteers, contacts at organizations that depend on VMN volunteers, or colleagues who would like to join you in helping us reach our goal?  You can direct them to our campaign page.

Thank you!  Our VMN program team members greatly value your support.

All the best,

Michelle Prysby VMN Program Director and Extension Associate Virginia Tech/Virginia Cooperative Extension

Choose a giving level


Mason Bee

Mason bees are important native pollinators! At this level, you are helping us efficiently share knowledge and opportunities amongst our VMN volunteers. (Equals the cost to email out one VMN opportunity.)


Eastern Hemlock

The Eastern Hemlock helps create habitat for brook trout and other aquatic species that depend on cool, shady streams. At this level, you are helping us create a program environment that supports a diversity of volunteers. (Equals the cost of one hour of time working with volunteer leaders.)


Eastern Oyster

One Chesapeake Bay oyster can filter more than 50 gallons of water in just one day! At this level, you are helping us keep our program healthy and thriving. (Equals the cost per person for our Leadership Day events.)


American Chestnut

The American Chestnut once provided a bounty of resources for both wildlife and humans! At this level, you are helping us create new templates and materials for use by our volunteer leaders. (Equals the value of 4 hours of volunteer time.)


Loggerhead Shrike

Loggerhead shrikes are small birds but fierce predators! At this level, you can make a major impact in helping us train and support new volunteer leaders. (Equals the value of 10 hours of volunteer time.)

Our Crowdfunding Groups