Volunteerism and Donating

  • Posted on 1 February 2024
  • By mgoodwin

Every corner of the Angeles Chapter is held up by members who are passionate about volunteering their time towards conservation, outings, activism, environmental justice, elections, and countless other areas of importance, all of which makes the Sierra Club so special, powerful, and enduring. 


At the same time, we all know that these programs and projects require a steady stream of funding in order to be successful. 


Typically, the first people we invite to fundraising events are our volunteers, mostly because we know how much fun volunteers are at events and we like having them see us raise money for the programs that they are working on. When the question is asked: who will come to the event, inevitably a long list of volunteer names appear. Recently, one volunteer spoke about being asked to buy tickets to an event that raises money for the program they work on. I truly appreciated their honesty: volunteers are already doing so much, it sometimes feels like they’re the only ones we ask for money; and it feels pretty overwhelming.


When faced with feedback like this, honesty and gratitude is my best - and only - response. The truth of the matter is, by the nature of this being a non-profit organization, asking for money is the only way to sustain our work. Especially now: we not only need more donations, we need more donors. It’s never easy to ask for money from someone who’s giving their time so generously, and it’s hard on volunteers to keep being asked for more and more and more. 


I like to think of fundraising as the opportunity to inspire generosity. I want more than anything for us to be able to grow our base of donors - extending our financial resources far beyond the shoulders of our volunteers. I want to welcome more people into this space of donating to the Angeles Chapter. In a way, this is a great way to say thank you to our volunteers. 


Our Fundraising Committee spent the last part of 2023 working diligently on this year’s calendar of events so that we could meet 3 goals: raise enough money to support our volunteer-run programs, inform our donors about how funds are used, and engage members in activities that are accessible and meaningful. 


The Fundraising Committee is really excited about creating events this year where donors of all levels of giving and participation can find joy and connection. We hope that the events we host will be welcoming to new members and friends who we don’t see as often. We hope you will invite your friends and family and people from your community! Please know, when we invite you to an event, you are more than welcome to extend the invitation, even if you yourself can’t come. 


As audacious, creative, and grateful hosts, we have got a few events up our sleeves that we think new donors might really enjoy! Mark your calendars, come meet our amazing volunteers,  and invite a friend or two:


April 13th-14th Weekend at Harwood Lodge. Join us for hiking, relaxation, delicious food, and a special guest speaker! Money raised at this event will support our ever-growing Outings program. Reserve your space!


April 27th-28th Whiskey Tango Fondo, Phil Gaimon’s gravel cycling event in the Eastern Sierra. The Angeles Chapter will be up there as event volunteers, cyclists, and activity hosts. Volunteers are welcome to sign up. On Saturday, we’ll have a booth at the registration festival and then go out with cyclists to talk about water in the Owen’s Valley. We’ll be camping at Portuguese Joe campground in Lone Pine on Saturday night where we’ll co-host a campfire gathering with the Range of Light Group. Sunday, some of us will be riding in the gravel event while others will hang out at the festival and support our Sierra Club booth.


May 18th 11am-3pm - Angeles Chapter Annual Banquet and Awards Celebration at the Friendship Auditorium, Information, tickets, and table reservations can be found at sc.org/AngelesBanquet2024.


I look forward to sharing details about more activities in the months ahead. Summer is already looking like a season of cool fundraising events. I hope to see you and your friends at one of our fundraisers!


Got an idea for a fundraiser? Please share your ideas with our volunteer fundraising committee chairperson Elizabeth Neat at ean1948@gmail.com. All are welcome to join our Fundraising Committee. We meet virtually for one hour on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. 


Can’t come to an event? Please consider becoming an Angeles Chapter Monthly Donor. 100% of monthly donations given directly to the Angeles Chapter stay within the Chapter. This is the one of the easiest ways to give, because you choose the amount that works for you. Every donation is meaningful - just ask our volunteers!


To all of our volunteers, thank you for everything you do to protect the planet. It is an honor to fund your hard work.

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