Shaping RMEF’s story
Fueled by hard work and passion, volunteers are the linchpin to our success
By Ralph Cinfio III, Vice President of Fundraising Services
Have you been lucky enough to experience the things in life that fuel your passion and give you great stories to tell—the sunrises, the frosty breath of a bugling bull, high-mountain meadows filled with wildflowers and scented by a midday rain?
The fuel that fires the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation on all cylinders is the hard work and passion of our thousands of volunteers. No matter what role a volunteer plays in this organization, it is the linchpin to our success in meeting our mission and growing. And we must continue to grow our volunteer base, the stronger and healthier this base the more we can achieve for elk country.
Nationwide, RMEF boasts more than 11,000 volunteers who, in a conservative average, each donate 80 hours of labor annually. Typically, that involves coordinating banquets and other fundraising events and assisting wildlife and land managers by building water guzzlers, conducting elk research, removing fences, and other on-the-ground work. Most of our volunteers work for our local chapters, raising more than $25 million annually.
People who volunteer do so for many reasons. They most often join an organization because it meets their needs, or to foster friendships and relationships. After that, they join because they simply believe in the organization—they volunteer because of their passion for our mission. At the RMEF, this creates a community where positive feelings of connectedness not only enhance the volunteer experience but, more importantly, enhance a volunteer’s life. When people feel connected, they feel a sense of belonging, a sense of community.
This shared purpose and grass-roots community within the RMEF keeps the Elk Foundation’s story ever-evolving. Thirty-one years ago, four men saw the need to form the RMEF, and the good work is still building on the 6.7 million acres of wildlife habitat that has been conserved and enhanced, on more than 750,000 private acres opened up to public ownership and through more than 9,556 projects in 49 states and eight Canadian provinces.
There is nothing more majestic than watching a mature bull elk defending his turf. And there is nothing more important than ensuring your children and grandchildren will be able to share similar experiences. It’s only through a growing volunteer base that we can continue this legacy.
We ask that you please reach out to your friends and family and encourage them to be a part of the RMEF story. Each and every volunteer, no matter their role, is vital to our cause. This story is far from over, and RMEF wants to write you into it.