Most of us understand the value of being a DU member.  You believe in the cause, enjoy the outdoors and for $25.00
a year, you get a membership card, a window decal and six issues of DU magazine.  It’s pretty simple.


For those of us who want to make a little extra commitment, plus get a second decal and a pin; we give $250.00 each
year.  We walk a little taller, hold our heads a little higher and proclaim we are “Sponsors.”  It’s pretty cool.



As I am sure there are those who have been DU members for many years, there are also people who have been
Sponsors for many years.  Then, there are those who have been Sponsors for a VERY long time.  Like the guy in
Dorchester County that has been a sponsor for 42 years.  That’s right, he has given either $200.00 or $250.00 every
year for the last 42 years.



Now why on earth would someone give all that money to an organization just to get an extra decal?  Well, I’ll bet it
has nothing to do with the decal at all.  It’s probably more like the fact that he believes in what DU stands for and that
100% of his donation goes directly toward conservation efforts.  (A mandate in the Ducks Unlimited charter.)




The easiest way to understand and define the term Life Sponsor is to mix the words up a little.  You are a Member for
or more appropriately, you are a Sponsor for Life.




Instead of paying $25.00 or $250.00 every year for the rest of your life, you consolidate the bill and pay it off in either
four or seven years.  (Plus, the pin is a whole lot nicer!)




Life Sponsorships start at $10,000.  For those with a deeper commitment to the resource, you can contribute even




Now $10,000. might sound like a lot of money for us regular folk.  However when you think about the 45-year-old
guy from Harford County that has been a Sponsor for the past eight years, he has already donated about $2,000 in
membership money to DU.  Given the fact that he’ll probably be around another 35 or 40 years, he is clearly a
candidate to be a Life Sponsor.





Let’s take a look at how that can happen.  You see in April of 2003, DU decided to give everyone credit for any
membership money they have given to DU so far (previous Sinkbox article.)  So our 45-year-old friend can score a
lifetime of DU benefits for only $8,000 at this point.  After some quick calculations, he would pay about $1,400 a year
for a little over five years and be instantly recognized as a Life Sponsor.




With this guy’s commitment and some matching conservation funds (another previous Sinkbox article) DU would be
able to parlay that money into as much as $50,000 to restore wetland habitat immediately.  What’s more, with an
accelerated payment plan this guy would be able to designate which project his donation is applied to.



The key to becoming a Life Sponsor is simple:




1)      Remember that you became a member because you know that DU is the premier, member driven wetland
conservation organization in the world.



2)      Recognize that you will probably be a member for the rest of you life because giving money to well run,
highly productive charities never go out of style.



3)      Think about how cool it would be to be a Life Sponsor and that you have started to leave your legacy long
before you are gone.


For more information on the various major gift programs and payment options contact:



Michael J. Galante, State Major Gifts Chair
Ducks Unlimited-Maryland  
Office: 410-770-3351