Giving Tuesday: Encouraging Support of Leaders in Conservation

The Moore Charitable Foundation (MCF) was founded in 1992 by lifelong conservationist Louis Bacon to preserve and protect natural resources for future generations. MCF is proud to support visionary non-profits that truly champion land, wildlife, habitat, and water. We are honored to partner with passionate individuals and teams – scientists, explorers, activists, educators, thought-leaders, patrons, artists, litigators, lobbyists, politicians, students, historians – who dedicate their lives to making the world a better place.

In the spirit of the holiday season, and as we approach #GivingTuesday, we take this opportunity to highlight a few of our many incredible partners, all of which are worthy of attention and support.

Bahamas National Trust
The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) champions conservation and the sustainable use of the Bahamas’ natural resources through initiatives that range from fishing regulations to marine litter education. Conchservation, their national effort to ensure a sustainable Queen Conch population, raises awareness about the dangers of harvesting juvenile conchs from the water before they have had the opportunities to reproduce. The campaign has been broadly disseminated through Public Service Announcements (PSA) and children’s education. Learn more about BNT’s Conchservation.

Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF)
A partner for more than 15 years, BREEF works to conserve the Bahamas marine environment through research, environmental education and advocacy. BREEF is currently focused on protecting the endangered Nassau grouper population from overfishing around the Caribbean. BREEF’s body of research and ongoing advocacy directly contributed to a game-changing win: the legislature of a closed fishing season. This is a major milestone in marine conservation. Learn more about BREEF.

Colorado Open Lands
Colorado Open Lands​ works to preserve the unparalleled natural beauty and open spaces of Colorado through private and public partnerships, innovative land conservation techniques and strategic leaderships. COL primarily partners with private landowners to place conservation easements on their property, protecting their land in perpetuity. COL has permanently protected more than 378,000 acres throughout the state, defending landscapes, wildlife, farmers, ranchers, and sportsmen from the threats of development and the loss of open spaces. Currently, COL is employing an innovative technique by using conservation easements and other tools to protect acequia water rights, a system that treats water as a community resource that irrigators have a shared right to use, manage, and protect. Learn more about COL here.

Everytown for Gun Safety
Everytown for Gun Safety is a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities. More than 3 million mayors, moms, cops, teachers, survivors, gun owners, and everyday Americans have come together to fight for the changes that will save lives. Researching a range of vital issues surrounding gun violence, Everytown develops data-driven solutions, and works with lawmakers and civilians to pass common-sense laws and policies that save lives. Read more about Everytown For Gun Safety here.

Group for the East End (GFEE)
GFEE acts as a watchdog and community advocate dedicated to protecting the natural beauty and tranquility of Eastern Long Island. GFEE pushes local governments to rethink development proposals, overhaul local zoning codes, and adopt new open space preservation laws. Of recent concern is the imminent sale and development of Plum Island, which houses an Animal Disease Center that Homeland Security is set to close by 2023. GFEE is working strategically with all layers of government to turn a majority of the island into a National Wildlife Refuge, and thus protect osprey, bank swallow and painted turtle habitat and populations. Learn more about GFEE’s vision here.

Land Trust Alliance
The Land Trust Alliance advocates for the policies and incentives we need to permanently protect millions of acres of land across the country every year. At once the go-to source for conservation training, the trusted advisor for land trusts; and a networking body for connecting people to the land, LTA addresses the pace, quality and permanence of conservation. LTA is focsed on making making the Enhanced Easement Incentive Act permanent in order to ensure that landowners who donate a conservation easement on their land can claim a valuable federal income tax deduction. Across the country, land trusts have been building strong bipartisan support for this powerful and cost-effective incentive. Learn more about LTA’s work here.

MARVIVA
MarViva focuses on protecting coastal and marine ecosystems in Costa Rica, Colombia and Panama. A project that is of particular importance to MCF, MarViva is currently focused on a three-year plan to promote marine conservation in the Gulf of Chiriquí, Panama, a timely project that will contribute to the preservation of marine resources and poverty reduction in eight relevant communities. Read more about MarViva’s Panamanian initiatives here.

North Carolina Coastal Federation
Through education, advocacy and habitat restoration, N.C. Coastal Federation helps coastal residents and visitors to protect the water quality and critically important natural habitats of the Atlantic seaboard. The Orton Foundation, The Moore Charitable Foundation’s regional affiliate supports NCCF’s efforts to preventing the proposed Titan Cement, a heavy-polluting coal-fired cement manufacturing plant that would threaten the air and water of southeastern NC, from being built on the banks of the Cape Fear River. Learn more about NCCF.

Oceana
Oceana is the largest international advocacy group working solely to protect the world’s oceans, largely through science-based and policy-focused campaigns . Since 2001, Oceana has protected over 1.2 million square miles of ocean as well as innumerable sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and other marine creatures. MCF supports Oceana’s campaign to prevent offshore drilling and seismic airgun blasting along the East coast, including the sensitive coastal regions of North Carolina. Read more about Oceana’s Stop the Drill campaign here.

Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC)
A powerful and mobilized litigating body, SELC  focuses on many of our top priority issues concerns in the Cape Fear River Area: fighting Titan’s plans for a cement plant; coal ash clean up, the environmental and social devastation caused by Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation waste; and the threat of offshore drilling and seismic blasting off the coast of North Carolina. Learn more about the fearless work of the SELC here.

Waterkeeper Alliance
As champions for clean water worldwide, Waterkeeper Alliance unites more than 250 local Waterkeepers on critical issues impacting the basic right to clean water. In North Carolina WKA has been fighting for more than 16 years to regulate waste pollution from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) – swine, poultry, and dairy facilities, that are devastating communities, rivers, lakes and estuaries across the state. The Pure Farms Pure Waters campaign aims to raise awareness about CAFOs; encourage the public to question the provenance of their meat; and urge communities to defend their rights to swimmable, fishable, drinkable water. Learn more about Pure Farms Pure Waters here.

The organizations here listed are not exhaustive of The Moore Charitable Foundation portfolio of partnerships; but as a whole they do span the breath of our focus. We encourage you to learn more about each of these incredible organizations, and hope you will consider one that resonates personally for your charitable giving this year.

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How to Make the Most Out of #GivingTuesday

This year on Tuesday, December 1, 2015, non-profits around the world will celebrate the fourth annual #GivingTuesday – a modern charitable movement designed to incentivize giving in today’s digital age. The campaign aims to achieve the global recognition enjoyed by shopping holidays such as “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday,” and provide a meaningful balance to the consumerism of the holiday season.

#GivingTuesday emphasizes support of local communities, which bears particular importance to The Moore Charitable Foundation and founder Louis Bacon. Our many partners, who conserve land, water, and wildlife habitats, benefit from the heightened recognition of their work on this day.

#GivingTuesday best practices

Considering a charitable donation? Best practices can help you make the most out of your giving.

Since its inception, #GivingTuesday has been extremely successful—creating more than 15.4 billion global impressions in print and social media. Each impression encourages donations of time, resources, and talents and magnifies the importance of even the smallest acts of kindness. As you consider giving this season, we encourage you to make thoughtful decisions about the causes you support and find the best ways to make your gifts count.

In the spirit of highlighting charitable giving, and following Charity Navigator’s example, we would like to share four of our most valued giving practices in hopes that you might make them part of your #GivingTuesday efforts this holiday season:

1. Set targeted goals before beginning your research. Because of the sheer number of causes and organizations in the world today, most accessible online, it can be a challenge to choose those that align best with your vision. Before becoming overwhelmed by the options, compose a list of the causes or issues most important to you and envision potential solutions. Searching only for the causes that most interest you can help eliminate the paralyzation of choice.

2. Validate the organization’s legitimacy. It is critical to ensure that your donations are placed in the right hands. As the cyberspace becomes increasingly crowded with worthy causes, basic confirmations of validity can help assure you that your generosity actually makes a difference. Here are a few things to look for:

  • 501(c)(3) status – A 501c3 organization is a U.S. nonprofit that has been deemed tax-exempt under charitable purposes by the IRS. Donations to 501c3 organizations are (typically) tax deductible. You can verify 501c3 status on the IRS website or through Charity Navigator.
  • Transparency – An organization with a straightforward mission, clear policies and that demonstrates accountability is more likely to act with integrity and reliability. Do some research to make sure that 1) the charity follows good governance and ethical best practices; and 2) important information about the charity is easy to find.
  • Financial records – A significant majority of an organization’s budget should support programs in order to further its mission, yet it should also invest in outreach and growth opportunities. A good rule of thumb is a budget that devotes 75% of its expenses to programs and services and 25% or less on overhead costs (including fundraising and administrative fees).

3. Assess the organization on a personal level. A meaningful conversation over the phone or in person will allow you to truly get a feel for the culture of the organization. Further investigation of the group’s goals, challenges, and achievements can prove reassuring, and investment of your time in this effort will make your contributions all the more rewarding. Any legitimate organization will have multiple ways to contact them. Pick up the phone or send them an email – you’ll be glad you did.

4. Be a partner. The best outcome of a charitable relationship is a long-lasting and mutually beneficial partnership. To bring about the most change, you must be passionate about the cause and believe an organization’s mission. Strong relationships with members of the organization can allow you to integrate your goals and communicate your insights.

Whether you are an individual donor, or the Executive Director of a family foundation, these best practices can help ensure that your holiday giving makes a meaningful impact this year.

At The Moore Charitable Foundation, we cherish the charity partnerships we’ve developed over the years and we believe that passionate, well-informed donors make the biggest impact. And through the years we have witnessed the amazing growth and success of our partners in the environments and communities we care most about. You can learn more at moorecharitable.org.

To make a difference for the causes you care about, please help us share, give, and spread the message of #GivingTuesday this season.

 

 

 

 

Technology Boosts Conservation to Map Land Invasions in the Panamanian Rainforest

The Darien rainforest lies in quiet, splendid beauty along the border of Panama and Colombia. Its animal and plant cohabitants represent an extraordinary variety of wildlife, with species as diverse as jaguars and orchids. The natural diversity has provided a rich and magnificent home for the indigenous Wounaan and Embera communities for hundreds of years. Although the remoteness and impenetrability of the forest has long preserved the natural order of this unique ecosystem, recent and increasingly widespread invasions by loggers, poachers, and farmers threaten its sanctity.

Encroachment began in 1987, when foreigners began to illegally occupy indigenous land. To protest such invasions and demonstrate these threats to the authorities, indigenous communities attempted to map their territories. However, the inefficient methods and independent nature of the communities afforded them little progress.

With support in part from The Moore Charitable Foundation, the Rainforest Foundation and the national federation of indigenous peoples in Panama (COONAPIP) have designed a training program for indigenous mapping teams, who will aid the native rainforest communities. Armed with drones and software, the teams create documentation and 3D maps to accurately convey information and prepare evidence of invasion. Illegal deforestation, agricultural waste, and illegal settlements are all made visible by the technology and thus can be reported to the government. Furthermore, teams provide technical support for communities seeking defense of their lands and help to create land management plans to promote sustainable economic development.

This cooperative effort between indigenous peoples, the Rainforest Foundation, and COONAPIP highlights the increasingly important connection between conservation and technology. Preserving ancient traditions and the health of exceptionally diverse wildlife has always been a priority— yet, as these organizations have proven, tangible results are often achieved through the use of advanced technology like drones and 3D mapping. The proper use of technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we approach conservation. Read more here.

New York Harbor School Awards Dinner 2015

We were inspired by students, teachers and graduates honored at the Harbor School Awards Dinner last week. With advocates image001and supporters, we celebrated the New York Harbor School and the innovative Billion Oyster Project.

The visionary Billion Oyster Project (BOP) is a large-scale plan to restore one billion live oysters to New York Harbor over the next twenty years. Oysters were the original ecosystem engineers of New York Harbor, improving the marine environment by filtering water, removing nitrogen, and providing habitat for other marine species. Today, oysters are practically extinct in NY Harbor due to overharvesting, dredging and pollution.

Louis Bacon and The Moore Charitable Foundation are proud to support the Billion Oyster Project which will engage thousands of local students while restoring the Harbor. BOP will return oysters and their reef habitat back to restore the harbor’s natural maintenance mechanisms, resulting in cleaner water and greater biodiversity. To date BOP has grown 11.5 million oysters, restored 1.05 acres of reef, recycled 93,600 pounds of shells, and filtered 10.9 trillion gallons of water in our Harbor.

Congratulations and thank you, Murray, Harbor School and all the students for their hard work and dedication to clean water.

VIDEO: A Tribute to Louis Bacon – 2013 Audubon Medal Honoree

At National Audubon Society’s 2013 gala, philanthropist Louis Bacon received the esteemed Audubon Medal. The Moore Charitable Foundation, of which Louis Bacon is the founder, will provide a new gift to Audubon to create a resource center and powerful new advocacy tools for citizens who want to take action to minimize the impact of energy development on communities and wildlife.

“It is a wonderful honor to receive the Audubon Medal from the National Audubon Society, which for more than a century has fought tirelessly to protect and preserve our natural resources and environment for future generations,” Bacon said. “Much like the conservationists who previously have received the Audubon Medal, including Stewart Udall, Rachel Carson and Ted Turner, I realize that this recognition cannot be a cause to rest, but a spur to continue our work.”