Why I Give to IEC: Sustaining Members Speak

posted by Jordan Bles on Monday, April 11, 2022

One of the reasons being a fundraiser comes easily to me is because, at its heart, it is all about developing relationships with people and helping them use their resources to make a difference in the world around them. At IEC, one of my favorite things to do is to spend time with our donors, and really dig into the WHY behind their financial support. 

Pro H2O 2018For some folks, they have been supporting IEC since we were founded in 1995, and they believe deeply in our mission to make Iowa a better place to live, work, and explore. For others, they were asked to support IEC by someone they know and love. Some came to one of our events, and got engaged that way. 

As a part of our recent sustainer campaign, I had the opportunity to reach out to a couple of our sustaining donors and ask them directly – why did you commit to a recurring gift to IEC, and why do you continue to give? 

Bill and Joan NassifBill and Joan Nassif have been active in greater Des Moines and Iowa for a long time, and recently came to one of our house parties – and then became sustaining donors. Here is a little of what they told me (you can read their full list here): 

Climate change is the existential issue of our time, and IEC is working on that locally, making it easy to get involved.

This is one reason why Bill and Joan support IEC. 

They give monthly because they know from experience the importance of sustaining donations, it keeps it front of mind regularly, and helps both IEC and themselves budget. You can see all five reasons why they choose to be sustaining donors at the end of this post.  

I also spoke with Molly Hansen, an active change-maker in Des Moines, about why she makes a recurring gift to IEC: 

Molly Hanson, IEC sustaining donorThe Iowa Environmental Council is working hard for all of us every day. On the policy side up at the state house, educating us with the latest in science and technology  breakthroughs and building coalitions to fight for clean water, clean energy and a better future. I believe in this organization because they believe in Iowa.  I know from experience how challenging the environmental non-profit world can be in this state and every little bit helps. That's why I'm a sustaining donor. I hope you will be too! 

I also got to ask Molly to share her favorite outdoor space in Iowa – and she couldn’t name just one! Take a look at this great list of places. Maybe you will find a new place to visit: 

  • Whiterock Conservancy 
  • Pammel State Park 
  • Yellow River State Forest 
  • Whitewater Canyon Wildlife Area 
  • Browns Woods 

These are just a couple of the stories behind the sustaining donors who make IEC’s work possible day in and day out. I hope you will join them by making a monthly gift to IEC today. And then drop me a note, and let me know why YOU support IEC. Maybe you will show up in my next blog post! 

As always, thanks for all you do for IEC, for Iowa, and the environment we all share. 

The Nassif's 5 Reasons for Being Sustaining Donors

  1. First, we view environmental issues, and especially climate change & global warming, as THE major existential issue of our time. So for us, funding of organizations like IEC are at the very top of our giving list. 
  2. Second, IEC is engaged in LOCAL environmental issues which have a greater impact on us personally which makes us want to be more engaged and supportive.    
  3. Third, as a former employee of Iowa Legal Aid and tangentially involved in the formation and conduct of the Iowa Legal Aid Foundation, I know that monthly sustaining support helps to create a more predictable cash flow. We also believe that sustaining supporters help to reduce the expense and burden of year-end and special event fundraising, and thus help make our money go further! 
  4. Fourth, giving monthly allows us to better budget and maximize our giving. In the past, we, like many others, would tend to bunch our giving at the end of a calendar year at a time when holiday expenses (gifts, travel, etc.) would frequently limit our charitable budget. Being a sustaining member and providing a regular monthly stipend fits much better with our overall budget and has truly allowed us to give more with less pain!   
  5. Fifth, we suspect and hope that by providing sustaining support, IEC is able to lower its fundraising costs as well as be kinder to the environment . . . that is, by spending less on the paper (read "trees"), postage, etc., required to raise its funds.

About The Author

Jordan Bles joins IEC from his most recent position as the Director of Development for the National Benevolent Association, supporting its mission to “create communities of compassion and care”.

Previously, Jordan has served as the Assistant Director of the Eco-Justice Progr ... read more