by Jake Bramante

If you want to know how complicated keeping track of local and national memberships, Great Fish donations, grant applications, etc have gotten, feel free to ask Mike Fanning (see article thanking the Fannings). We realized that, in order to manage all of these complexities and spread the workload amongst Flathead Audubon, we needed to move to a full-fledged donor database.

This move will result in two changes that will be affecting you. In the past, we’ve tied your membership to the times when we meet (September-May). We asked everybody to renew their membership in the fall, and this renewed membership lasted until the following fall. Things got tricky when we had folks renew late or become members part way through the year, however; for some it gave them only a partial year’s membership, for others it resulted in membership lasting more than a year. Our new record keeping system allows us to have more flexibility. Moving forward, your membership will simply start when you join or last renewed, and continue for the following 12 months. Our goal is to be able to notify you when your membership is going to expire so you can renew at the appropriate time.

The second change was inspired by Great Fish. We had a few folks who wanted to donate to Great Fish and use that to renew their membership. This seems fair. So we have decided to recognize anyone who gives more than $25 as a member. This means that when Great Fish comes around and you give $25 or more, it will renew your membership! And the added benefit is that your donation will also give FAS the opportunity for Great Fish matching funds.

So be on the lookout in the fall for more on these changes as we roll them out. If you have any questions feel free to email me at