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Skagit Valley Hospital

A Great Example of Donor Communication



Like many of you, I have been following the news of the offshore oil gusher in the Gulf with alarm, sadness, anger, and a sense of hopelessness. This past weekend I was sent the below email from The Nature Conservancy (TNC). It’s a fantastic example of strong, targeted donor communication.

I am a TNC member, affiliated through Washington State. I receive the Washington TNC publications and my communications from the organization have, until now, been localized.

While many nonprofits don’t have the scale of TNC, most have the capacity to send “plain talk” updates to donors on issues that relate to their missions. TNC, as a whole, is demonstrating that the gift I have already made has helped them respond quickly and given me confidence that they are at the forefront with the science needed to limit the disastrous impacts of this environmental crisis.

May 1, 2010

Dear Aggie Sweeney,

Thank you for the outpouring of concern during this time. The first waves of oil started to come ashore here on Friday around noon, approximately 45 miles south of New Orleans on the Mississippi River.

Conditions along the coast since Thursday’s nightfall have not been conducive to doing a lot of preventative work — the seas are running six to eight feet high, and that plus an abnormally high tide has made it basically impossible for the responders to deploy the booms that would contain the slick.

I think about how last week’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill off the coast of Louisiana is going to affect one of the most treasured ecological landscapes in North America and the people who depend on it and my heart sinks.

We are putting to work all of The Nature Conservancy’s best knowledge and expertise in this region. Thanks to the support of caring members like you, we have tremendous science expertise and data to lend to efforts in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and other states surrounding the Gulf of Mexico.

We have placed our shellfish restoration team at the disposal of the U.S. Department of Interior and other federal agencies to try to prevent impacts where we can, assess damage where it’s occurring and figure out how to restore as many of these natural areas as possible.

View this map to learn more about the relevance of shellfish ecosystems and the essential role they play in providing a healthy marine ecosystem for our natural world and for so many local fisherman and businesses.

Although it’s just hitting the coast and will be weeks before we’re able to fully assess the impacts of this oil spill, I want you to know we’re doing everything possible to contribute to an effective response.

Thank you again for all your concern and support. I hope you will read our blog and visit our web site to keep updated on our latest progress.


Keith Ouchley
Louisiana State Director
The Nature Conservancy


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About the Author

Aggie Sweeney

Aggie Sweeney CFRE

President & CEO

Aggie is a sought-after consultant and speaker. Nonprofit leaders trust that she can tackle complex campaign issues and give them solid advice.


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