by Rod Wallette, Treasurer

Flathead Audubon Society (FAS) participated in the Great Fish Challenge for our second year and this has now become our primary fundraising source. Once again we raised enough funds to qualify for a percentage of the Great Fish matching funds by raising $24,430. The matching amount of $11,200 brought our total amount for last year’s Great Fish to $35,633. The Whitefish Community Foundation’s Day of Giving has been discontinued so our only other sources of revenue were membership dues, other donations and our year-end silent auction. 

Our education program continues to be FAS’s primary focus and our only paid position is a ½ time Education Coordinator contractor, Denny Olson. The education program comprises 67% of our expenditures with the remainder supporting the Jewel Basin Hawk Watch, Owen Sowerwine, Birds of Prey Festival and our overhead expenses. This past year was one of our strongest years ever for revenue but with some large one-time expenditures for audio/visual equipment, education equipment and a $5,000 donation to Flathead Land Trust, we realized only a small net gain in revenue. Our financial statements, tax returns and FAS policies are available for review on our website.

The FAS board had voted previously to set aside $50,000 for investing with the Whitefish Community Foundation and the decision was made this past year to use those funds to open a permanent endowment fund rather than an investment account. The permanent endowment fund was officially started last April and is now available for contributions. Watch the newsletter in the next few months for more information on this great new opportunity to make a permanent difference in supporting Flathead Audubon Society’s mission statement and goals.