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Evening of Conservation Nets Dollars for the Ducks

Evening of Conservation Nets Dollars for the Ducks

At the 75th annual Ducks Unlimited national convention in May 2012, Brad White, who was State Chair for Massachusetts at that time, sat down with several staff members to let them know he wanted to help build DU's endowment and raise one million dollars in Feather Society pledges. There was, however, one catch; He wanted to do it in one night, and one event.

"The idea was not asking for more money," White said, "but to ask members to consider a different way of giving to DU; one with no upfront cost and that is easy to do."

Brad's plan was to invite a selected group of 10 to 20 Ducks Unlimited members to a dinner at an upscale steak house and ask them to consider joining the Feather Society by opening a new life insurance policy of $100,000 or more. Brad figured if ten members did so, he could raise at least one million dollars in pledges.

Mr. White and several DU staff and volunteers began discussing how to go about making this idea into a reality after the convention. By August they were ready to execute the event and invitations were mailed. Brad spent time calling, cultivating and educating the attendees prior to the event about his goal and how they could help him reach it.

After planning and logistics were taken care of, ten DU members attended the dinner on September 20, 2012 at Smith & Wollensky in Boston's Back Bay Harbor. Guests enjoyed a delicious meal and heard a testimonial from Fran Rich, Ducks Unlimited Heritage Sponsor, Grand Slam Life Sponsor and Feather Society member. Afterward, a presentation was made and information on life insurance policies were given to guests.

Brad's overarching goal, besides raising funds for DU, is to see this type of event reproduced in every state. "Overall", Brad says, "the main thing is to make it simple for the donors to make a gift to DU".

Naming Ducks Unlimited as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy can help you create a conservation legacy that truly reflects your wishes and values. Brad White and others found that by naming Ducks Unlimited as a beneficiary on their life insurance policies, they could make a commitment now that supports conservation in the future. They also enjoyed tax benefits by naming DU as the policy owner.

Ducks Unlimited is grateful to Brad White and all volunteers and members who helped raise funds to "feather the nest" at DU. For more information about hosting a similar event for Ducks Unlimited, please contact any the dedicated Ducks Unlimited Gift Planning staff below.

Chris Cole
Managing Director, Gift Planning

Sarah McCallum
Director, Gift Planning, Great Lakes/Atlantic Region