BISMARCK, N.D. – October 13, 2020 – Chris Hildebrandt has been named Ducks Unlimited (DU) Great Plains Region’s Director of Development (DoD) of the Year. Hildebrandt, based in Belgrade, Mont., works with major sponsors in North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. In announcing the award, Regional Managing DoD Eric Lindstrom highlighted Hildebrandt’s exceptional past year.
“Chris blew the doors off his 2019 goals, helping raise more than $1.6 million in new commitments for waterfowl and wetlands conservation,” Lindstrom said. “He has worked tirelessly with DU’s volunteers to lead three of his state campaign committees to DU Presidential Merit levels, which recognizes growth in major donor support.”
Lindstrom cites Hildebrandt’s work with the Clairmont Family in Bismarck to secure the purchase of a natural area for a city park that will allow more people access and educational enjoyment to wetlands, prairies and other natural features. He was also part of the fundraising team that helped Montana volunteers raise more than $1 million in a year, which is a state record for DU.
Hildebrandt says fundraising is about building relationships with people. He says Ducks Unlimited volunteers help connect staff with people who have the capacity and the passion to support our mission.
“Fundraising is really all of DU. We are all fundraisers; I just happen to have that moniker in my title,” Hildebrandt said. “It is a team effort with our volunteers, especially those on our state campaign committees. I share this award with them and our Ducks Unlimited staff.”
He says he is most proud of moving DU’s mission forward, and it’s an easy mission to promote.
“We are blessed to work in a neat environment, Montana and the Dakotas are our prime breeding territory in the country, so there is lot to talk about with major sponsors,” Hildebrandt said. “We emphasize the importance of our mission to wildlife and people. We discuss how our mission can help control flooding and improve water quality.”
Hildebrandt, who is also a wildlife biologist, was raised in Southern California, which he says is “not very ducky.” A neighbor initially invited Chris on a hunting trip.
“Immediately, getting out on a wetland I fell in love with the habitat and birds, and realized I wanted to do something with wetlands in my career,” Hildebrandt said.
Seeing a Ducks Unlimited magazine on a coffee table cemented his career goals, and, he says, the rest is history.
For more information, visit www.ducks.org and be sure to follow DU’s Twitter feed - @DUNews1937 – to get the most up-to-date news from Ducks Unlimited.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved almost 15 million acres, thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.