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The "Closed Cave List" continues to grow...
Although more and More work continues, on improving landowner relations, the only way to ensure cave access is with ownership. Fortunately, groups have been purchasing or otherwise securing caves and new groups are being formed to the do same. Funding these cave purchases is always a problem.
Tri-State Grotto has implemented a method to ensure a long term source of funding. We are calling the program "CAVE BUCKS" which is simply a volunteer donation of one dollar ($1.00) per caver for each day of caving. Every participating caving organization would collect donations and forward the donations each meeting to a purchasing group of their choice. Frederick Grotto and the Virginia Region have both accepted the program. It is our hope other caving organizations nationwide will also implement the program. The reason for so many participating organizations is to include as many cavers as possible (not every one is a member of the NSS or Grotto). Each organization has the option of to whom to make each donation. The key being that each organization encourages its members to participate. Someone who caves every weekend would only give eight to ten dollars per month, but multiplied by every caver it soon becomes BIG BUCKS.QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Q: Why fool around with such a small donation?
A: "CAVE BUCKS" is a program to include everyone. Large donors are always needed and appreciated but they are few in number and generally one shot deals. The NSS has over eleven thousand members (11,000), however, most grottos have fifty percent (50%) or less NSS members, this plus independents equals over twenty thousand (20,000) potential donors. If only one in ten (10%) donated just one dollar a month that still raises over twenty four thousand dollars a year ($24,000), a lot more than even most large donors donate plus it is ongoing.
Q: What about those people who seldom or never cave anymore?
A: They can still donate. Some people will give more than a dollar per day, others won't give at all. The program's success depends on getting a lot of people involved. The more involved, the more funds generated. The more funds, the more caves can be purchased. The more successful the program the more people involved. It becomes an ever expanding circle.
Q: How do we start?
A: Each organization decides to participate. A short article explaining the program is printed in their newsletter. The Chair describes it at each meeting and donations are collected (in a jar, hat, box, whatever). At the end of the meeting or event the donations are counted and a vote is made as to whom is it given. The organization treasurer mails them a check and writes "CAVE BUCKS" on it. Keep it simple but do it at every meeting or event. Even five dollars ($5.00) from twenty organizations equals one thousand two hundred dollars ($1,200) per year. There are over three-hundred organizations out there. The key here is to give out the donations frequently. This is not a program to create bank accounts, it's a program to buy caves!
A successful program doesn't require a major complicated high tech plan, just a buck. What do you do with Cave Bucks? You send the money to a group that is purchasing caves.
If anyone has any further questions contact:
P.0. Box 276
Berkeley Springs, WV 25411
304-258-1822 --- Day
304-258-4974 --- Night