It’s a very fair and valid question and our donors should know the answer though many of you have already given generously based on your love of the Deschutes and your trust in members of our Board of Directors.
The short answer is that your contributions are primarily going to pay for the scientific investigation plan we have planned for this spring. The cost will be fairly high, although we are looking for ways to minimize costs. We estimate the aerial imaging described in the plan could cost as much as $90,000.00. The instruments we need in order to do continuous water quality monitoring are expensive and we are looking at possibly renting instruments (also not cheap!). But we are actively seeking grant money to offset expenses. We are also trying to borrow or cost-share equipment and services. So we’ll do our best to keep expenses as low as possible without compromising the integrity of the scientific data collection.
We also need funds to pay for our first staff position. Dave Moskowitz has been kind enough to work for the past six months without pay, or even expense reimbursement. Without that kind of volunteer effort, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
What we won’t be paying for is office space. We’ve decided we’d much rather put money into the river than into offices, office furniture, office equipment and utilities like water and electricity. As you’ve noticed from our fundraising effort, we’ve elected to not use the traditional brochure sent via mail. This in part is to save costs so that your contributions go to protecting the river. In other words, we are looking at every means possible to run a very tight fiscal ship.
Please rest assured that our goal is to see to it that every dollar donated to the DRA will be spent wisely and for the work you want to support.
Thank you for your support!