Level 2

Fundraising Tips for Citizen Monitors

Local service organizations such as Lions, Kiwanis, Rotary clubs or faith-based service groups are often very willing to help out with community-based efforts like Citizen-based Stream Monitoring - both financially and with volunteer time. 
Here are a few tips to help you if you are considering seeking funding to support your efforts:

Approaching service organizations where you have existing connections to members is easiest. The best way to obtain quick results is to meet a member in person, but most clubs would like your request in writing for their records. We would recommend a follow-up call if you have not heard a response in a timely fashion.

Organizations like to know what their donations are being used for. A contribution of $1500 from a local sponsoring organization will allow you to purchase a full set of equipment (i.e., YSI dissolved oxygen meter, pH meter, transparency tube, and 2 thermistors), allowing you to expand your efforts. Remember to express the significance of your efforts to the organization (e.g., in the past 2 years we have helped discover 2 illicit discharges to the local stream and actions have been taken to stop future inputs from those sources). 

Your efforts can result in financial sponsorship for additional monitoring equipment, allowing you to increase the impact of your monitoring efforts in your community.

An example donations request letter was developed as a resource to help you with this process. You can copy and paste the text into a Word file to personalize it. View this sample letter >> (12 KB pdf)

In addition, a presentation was developed for you to use to share stream monitoring program information with potential contributors in your local communities. You can view a pdf version of this presentation (826 KB) to assess its content, or download a ppt version (1.8 MB) to make changes to it and use it locally.

Alternatively, your group may be interested in seeking funding through grant sources. For a listing of several grants that other citizen monitoring groups have applied to for funding in the past, visit our webpage on funding opportunities.

Other resources that may be useful to you:

Many other groups have compiled resources about fundraising for use by local citizen-led groups. View a compilation of some great resources and tips in a fact sheet produced by the Extension Volunteer Monitoring Network >> (2.3 MB pdf file)

Some guidelines developed for finding river clean up and storm drain stenciling sponsors also apply for stream monitoring. View these guidelines >>

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