Dig into your wallets to support Freshwater


Diane Lynch
‘Your financial suport
is vital to help us
maintain the
momentum we have
— Diane Lynch,
development director

For the past three years, the Freshwater Society has undertaken a rigorous restructuring process aimed at re-imagining the organization’smission and re-dedicating its energy and resources to valuing, protecting and conserving freshwater.

With the capable guidance of our Board of Directors and the inspiration and leadership of Gene Merriam, the Freshwater Society’s president, and Joan Nephew, our executive director, and plain hard work by the Society’s staff, we have done just that!

This year we embarked on a yearlong effort called 2010 – The Year of Water, designed to raise awareness about critical water issues in Minnesota. As partners with the Freshwater Society, all of you reading this article have enjoyed stimulating discussions about pressing water concerns in our Moos Family Speaker Series, which we co-sponsored with the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences. You have loved looking at idyllic scenes of nature in our Minnesota Weatherguide Environment Calendar and you have been inspired by the work of young artists in the Water is Life High School Art Contest. Some of you contributed sweat equity in an organic waste clean-up for the Community Clean-Ups for Water Quality project, and some of you probably were shocked at your water footprint when you took our online Water Audit. No doubt, many of you also were amazed when you watched the “Water Minute” features we sponsored on KARE-11 television and learned how much you can do as a citizen to protect and conserve water.

Recently a Star Tribune article noted that the Freshwater Guardianship Council’s 2008 report “sounded an alarm about how little we know about groundwater reserves.” The newspaper article cited that report as a major factor in state lawmakers’ decision to appropriate money for a series of new groundwater monitoring wells in the metro area.

How big is your water footpring
water pollution in the Land of Sky Blue Waters
Water sustainability
Poster series

Over the past year, we built the foundation for our development efforts. Development can be defined as “the total process by which an organization increases public understanding of its mission and acquires financial support for its programs.” We determined that for our fund-raising efforts to be successful, financial support needed to come from many different corners of the giving spectrum: individual donations, corporations, private foundations and public agencies.

Individually, and in partnership with Friends of the Minnesota Valley, we applied for multiple corporate, regional and state public grants to help us take our local Community Clean-Ups for Water Quality projects statewide. We are anticipating strong financial support for that effort.

Former board members and Freshwater Society members have stepped up to the plate to strongly support our ongoing 2010 – The Year of Water projects, and new members are showing their commitment to the Freshwater Society through first-time donations. On Nov. 16, friends old and new pushed the “Donate Now” button as part of Give MN’s “Give to the Max Day,” and we expanded our visibility throughout the state even further.

It has been at least five years since Freshwater conducted an Annual Membership drive. Given the support and visibility of our re-energized organization, we decided the time is right to ask for your support in a Year End Fund Drive. Your financial support is vital to help us maintain the the momentum we have achieved with our 2010 – The Year of Water projects as well as our legacy programs, such as the Water is Life Art Contest, the Minnesota Weatherguide Environment Calendar, our annual Road Salt Symposium and the Guardianship Council.

With your membership, you will receive:

  • Advance notices and invitations to upcoming events.
  • A subscription to our quarterly newsletter, Facets of Freshwater.
  • A discount on the Minnesota Weatherguide Environment Calendar.
  • A tax deduction for your donation.

Our membership structure is as follows:

Student $15 Sustainer $100

Individual $25 Steward $250

Family $40 Lifetime $1,000+

If you are interested in supporting particular programs, please consider the following guides:


Community Clean-ups for Water Quality

Community organizers are trained, receive toolkits and technical support to plan and carry out community clean-ups. Dedicated volunteers rake up leaves, grass clippings and other organic debris that, otherwise, would flow through storm sewers to lakes and rivers. Bagging and recycling the organic material saves those lakes and rivers from phosphorus that feeds suffocating algae.

Here’s how you can help:

$50 will buy 10 toolkits, train one community organizer or purchase 35 compostable lawn and leaf bags.

$200 will buy 40 toolkits (enough for three training sessions); train four community organizers, purchase 140 compostable lawn and leaf bags or purchase food for an after-the-clean-up celebration.

$1,000 will train 30 volunteers.

Water Poster Series

More than 4,000 prints of the provocative posters we produced for 2010 – The Year of Water have reached more than 70,000

Water is Life high school art contest winner
2009 art contest winner by Bradley Johnson

students in every county of the state at schools, community and nature centers, soil and water conservation districts, watershed districts, state colleges and universities, state agencies, cities and federal agencies.

We’d like to expand the distribution of those posters into rural areas of the state and include them in a water curriculum for fourth- and fifth-grade students.

Here’s how you can help:

  • $50 will reprint and distribute 25 posters.
  • $200 will reprint and distribute 100 posters.
  • $1,000 will reprint 1,000 posters.

Please go to our website www.freshwater.org and click on the “Donate” button, or send your donation in the attached envelope.

Your generous donation will be acknowledged with proof of your tax deduction.

For more information, please contact Diane Lynch, development director and senior manager at: 952-314-8134 or dlynch@freshwater.org.

(This post was updated on Aug. 2, 2013)