Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Non-Profit Groups Making It Very Big; Conservation Groups for Hunting and Fishing Surprise Analysts with Revenue Increases

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Non-Profit Groups Making It Very Big; Conservation Groups for Hunting and Fishing Surprise Analysts with Revenue Increases

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Julavits, The Times-Union

Non-profit conservation groups representing hunters and fishermen offer more bang for the buck than most charities, according to a recent study.

Charity Navigator, which evaluates the efficiency of 3,600 charities nationwide, conducted the study. It found that groups such as Quail Unlimited (QU), the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and Ducks Unlimited (DU) generally spent more on programs and less on administrative costs than other charities.

The study also found that hunting and fishing-related charities are growing significantly faster than other charities. According to the study, the revenue of the average conservation group has increased by 17 percent over the past several years as opposed to 5.6 percent for the average general charity.

"That was the most glaring result," said Trent Stamp, executive director of Charity Navigator. "They're growing their revenues at three times the national average.

"There are a lot of groups that would like to have 17 percent revenue growth."

Stamp said he was somewhat surprised that the small sampling of conservation organizations fared so well in the studies. Normally, he said, charitable groups that operate the most efficiently are direct-service organizations that deal with the poor, the hungry, etc.

"I think it's a bit of a surprise," he said. "It tells me this is a dedicated constituency who are watching the books."

Jacksonville's Gordon Vines, a long-standing member of several conservation groups, said the study confirms his observations.

"I've seen the meteoric rise of the National Wild Turkey Federation over the past 30 years to where we now have half a million members," Vines said.

"The dedication that outdoors people feel toward their particular area of interest is tremendous."

The nine hunting and fishing groups included in the ratings were the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation, Pheasants Forever, QU, NWTF, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, DU, Trout Unlimited, the International Game Fish Association and California Waterfowl Association.

The Northeast Florida area includes several DU and NWTF local chapters and a QU chapter. …

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