Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Call to Action

We need your help to expand mountain bike access in Washington State. Like most non-profits, we are struggling in the economic downturn and are at risk of losing future trail projects that we've worked so hard to develop.
From now until July 15, the Evergreen Board of Directors will match every donation, dollar for dollar, up to $14,600. Help protect and create mountain biking opportunities by donating to Evergreen today and help us reach our goal of raising $29,200 through this challenge.
The last few years have been a time of growth for Evergreen and mountain biking in Washington. We've been instrumental in developing projects such as:
Mid Fork Snoqualmie, North Bend.
Duthie Hill, Issaquah/Sammamish (in progress).
Paradise Valley, Woodinville.
I-5 Colonnade, Seattle. Even more exciting are the projects that we're working to develop such as the South Fork Snoqualmie area and the Kent Skills Park, to name just two. In the coming weeks we'll go into detail about the projects we're developing and the advocacy work we do. Today, because we're asking for your financial support, we want to provide you with answers to two questions. 1) Why does Evergreen need my donation? 2) Where does the money go?
Why Does Evergreen Need My Financial Support?The short answer is that the current recession hit us at a time of growth and new opportunities. Evergreen has always been a very efficient and lean operation, so when our sources of revenue are impacted, there isn't much fat available to trim, and our only option is to reach out to our generous supporters and ask for help. Evergreen receives support from four major sources. Our bread and butter has always been membership dues and donations from individual mountain bikers. This portion of our financial base has remained stable, but now it needs to grow. Our second revenue source is skills classes such as our popular Bootcamp program for new mountain bikers, and this program remains strong. Our other two sources of revenue have been significantly impacted by the economic downturn. Corporate support is down, as many of our generous business partners are forced to cut back. Government funding through grants is also down sharply as many trail programs are being cut at the state and local levels. Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR), State Parks, and King County have had to cut programs that Evergreen has been involved with.

Where Does the Money Go?
There are two separate ways Evergreen spends money. The first is projects such as Colonnade and Duthie Hill. Funding for these projects comes from grants and government agencies, and does not come from our operating budget or membership dues. In the case of Duthie Hill, we received two grants from King County to build the park. In addition to the grants, we will also be launching a Duthie-specific fundraising program similar to what we did at Colonnade. The second category is Everything Else Evergreen does, and we do a lot. John Lang and Jon Kennedy are your program staff and they work hard to run an ambitious organization on a lean budget. We only spend about 15% of our operating budget on overhead and administration. I'm going to go into detail about how your Evergreen office staff spends their time. It is important to us that you know what Evergreen does and how hard our staff works, so that you can determine for yourself that we are deserving of your support. We could ideally use another staff person to fully exploit all of our opportunities, but right now our focus is on preserving the capacity we currently have so that our current projects can be sustained.
John Lang, your Executive Director, is responsible for:Fundraising
Grant research, writing and reportingCorporate sponsorship developmentTrails project contract negotiations Outreach
NewsletterAdvocacy alertsWebsite developmentCorporate outreachMembership Development/Support
Member supportBike shop outreachTrailhead eventsRace community outreach Events Planning
24 hour raceEvergreen film nightAnnual meeting/partyAdvocacy
DNR trail building standardsDNR Sustainable Recreation Work GroupDNR Reiter ForestDNR Snoqualmie Unit Advisory Committee (SUAC - Tiger Mountain)Issaquah recreation planningRedmond recreation planningSouth SeaTac trails issueWilderness issuesOlallie Classification And Management Plan (CAMP)McDonald MountainProject Development
Redmond dirt jumps Redmond trail opportunitiesParadise Valley Conservation AreaTacoma Mountain Bike ParkColonnade phase 3 feasibilityKent Mountain Bike ParkSouth Fork Snoqualmie - phase 2Current Project Oversight
Duthie Hill Mountain Bike ParkColonnade drainage projectSouth Fork Snoqualmie - phase 1Olallie mountain bike trailsPartnerships/Planning with Local Mountain Bike GroupsFinance and Administration
Budgeting and monthly financial tracking Supervise staffSupport board of directors at monthly meetings
Jon Kennedy, your Communications Director, works on:Advocacy
Tiger/local DNRSnoqualmie Unit Advisory Committee (SUAC - Tiger Mountain)South SeaTac and South Correctional Entity (SCORE)MTB guidelines on DNR landsWhatcom Trails Coalition supportReiter ForestDNR Recreation Advisory CommitteeGeneral advocacy response and issuesEducation
Manage team scheduleManage instructorsWeb postings and outreachManage attendee issues and PaymentsFacility relations with State ParksProgram development Member Outreach & Development
Member services Fundraising Communications
Monthly newsletterWebsite updates and managementAdvocacy AlertsForum monitor/replyEvents Management and General
Evergreen also has Mike Westra, Project Manager, and Josh King, Crew Chief. Both Mike and Josh are funded from project-specific budgets and are not supported through Evergreen's general operating budget.As you can see, this is a lot to do for two people, and it's highly productive work. Any one of the advocacy, trail development, or land manager opportunities and issues can take years to move forward. If we take our eye off the ball, for even a moment, we may miss out on a new trail opportunity or risk losing an existing riding area. It is slow, hard, sometimes frustrating work, but as Evergreen has demonstrated through our recent successes, it is important and worthwhile work. If we bring in enough donations to keep doing what we are doing, we will get more places to ride throughout Washington.

Donate Today and Leverage Your Investment!The Evergreen Board of Directors has committed to matching each donation up to $14,600. On top of that, Evergreen further leverages your money through government matching grants and the power of you, our volunteers. Please donate by July 15 and see your donation doubled through our matching challenge. Help us meet our goal of bringing in $14,600 that will be doubled to $29,200 so that Evergreen can keep creating and protecting mountain bike opportunities. If you have already donated during this matching challenge, thank you! Your gift will help ensure that mountain biking in Washington has a bright future. You will continue to receive this series of emails that provide a look under the hood at the workings of Evergreen. There are three ways to donate:
Click here to securely donate online with a credit card.
Mail a check, made out to Evergreen, to 418 NE 72nd Street, Seattle, WA 98115. Please include your mailing address and email so we can send you a tax receipt.
Call the Evergreen World Headquarters and pay via credit card. (206) 524-2900 Thank you for your ongoing support!
Justin Vander Pol, and the entire Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance Board of Directors

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