12-20-2010 7:43 PM, EST
Will they go extinct? Not on our watch!
Longnose gar, Mexican wolf, pronghorn antelope (photo: Joe Adair)
With your help, we will prevent native wildlife species like these from going extinct, while restoring Southwestern deserts, mountains and rivers to ecological health.
As someone who cares about wild nature, you know how important it is to protect our native wildlife and wild places before it’s too late.
Scientists tell us that the Earth is losing plant and animal species at an alarming rate due to human activities. Here at the Southwest Environmental Center, we are working hard to make sure that doesn’t happen in the Southwest.
I want to thank you again for your previous support of our work. YOUR SUPPORT has made it possible for us to protect imperiled landscapes like Otero Mesa and endangered wildlife like the Mexican wolf. We couldn’t have done it without you.
We can’t let our guard down. Once a species is extinct, it is gone forever. That’s why I am asking you to consider making an additional contribution $50, $100 or more today.
And to make the most of your generous gift, another champion of SWEC has offered to match your gift TWO-TO-ONE. For every dollar you give, it will be matched with twice the amount! This means that your donation will TRIPLE--triple the gift, triple the difference we can make together towards protecting the Southwest’s natural heritage. Please help us take advantage of this generous offer by sending in your special gift today.
We need your support more than ever. At the start of the year, there were an estimated 42 Mexican gray wolves in the wild. Two wolves were illegally killed this year, and others were found dead or disappeared. With so few wolves in the wild, the loss of a single animal is a devastating setback in the effort to restore lobos to their historic range in the Southwest.
With your help, we will remain vigilant, always ready to defend Mexican wolves against whatever threatens their existence. Your tax-deductible contribution today will help ensure that the howl of the Mexican wolf once again echos through Southwestern forests and mountains.
We’re also working to restore fish and wildlife habitat along the Rio Grande—a river ecosystem greatly harmed by a century of cutting down trees along its banks, straightening its meanders, and turning its flows on and off each year like a faucet.
Part of our work is to make sure that species don’t become endangered in the first place. Consider the longnose gar—a living fossil that can actually breath air out of water. Once common in the Rio Grande, the longnose gar has disappeared from the river in New Mexico but is still found elsewhere. Through our river restoration projects, we are restoring habitat and reducing the chance that native fish will become extinct, and paving the way to bring longnose gar back to the Rio Grande in New Mexico.
Your previous support for SWEC made possible the completion of the Picacho Wetlands Project and establishment of the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park. Thank you! Your additional donation today will help us finish our next project—the La Mancha Wetland Project--and ensure the continued survival of the longnose gar and other unique Southwestern species.
One of our greatest success stories is Otero Mesa. For the past eight years, the Southwest Environmental Center and other groups have been fighting to keep this extraordinary landscape—one of the largest desert grasslands left in North America and home to hundreds of wildlife species--from being carved up by oil and gas development.
One of the animals you can count on spotting on Otero Mesa is the pronghorn antelope. At one time there were an estimated 30 million pronghorn in North America, but unregulated hunting reduced their numbers to less than a few thousand by 1915. Today, Otero Mesa is one of the places where they have made a comeback. But the spiderweb of drill pads, roads and pipelines that oil and gas development inevitably brings would fragment Otero Mesa’s pronghorn habitat, as it has elsewhere in the West, and threaten their continued survival.
So far, we’re winning the fight for Otero Mesa, but that could change quickly with the next spike in natural gas prices, or the next election. Your contribution today will help us take advantage of the opportunity we have right now to secure permanent protection for this special place.
Please consider making a special contribution today of $50, $100 or whatever you can afford. A remittance envelope is provided for your convenience, or you can make a secure online donation at our website www.wildmesquite.org. (Please consider making your donation a recurring one while you’re there. It greatly helps with cash flow, and saves resources.)
With much gratitude,
P.S.: On behalf of the Southwest’s wildlife and wild places, thank you again for your support. I know there are many worthy causes that ask for your help. Please know how honored we are that you’ve chosen to support the work of the Southwest Environmental Center.
12-21-2010 4:38 PM, EST
Hi! Thanks for sharing. Is this direct mail or email? For email, it's a bit long - also, since you have a photo, make sure you use alt-text so if the images are blocked, they know what was there.
I like that the you're recognizing the donors' impact and the appeal and the match are fairly high - and that you focus on successes, though those are buried.
The science language is cold - and kind of depressing. I'd lose the first two paragraphs and lead with the thank you, then focus on the successes you've had and what you could do next year with the donations - and the fantastic match - rather than what's going to happen if they don't donate. If you can, include an element of storytelling - why it's important that these species survive. I'd reorganize it something like this:
Thanks to your support, this year we completed the Picacho Wetlands Project and established the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park, [which had this impact].
Now we need your help to ...ensure the continued survival of the longnose gar and other unique Southwestern species [because...]
To make the most of your generous gift, another champion of SWEC has offered to match your gift TWO-TO-ONE. This means that your donation will TRIPLE--triple the gift, triple the difference we can make together towards protecting the Southwest’s natural heritage. Please help us take advantage of this generous offer by sending in your special gift today.
You've got the right content - it's just a matter of reorganizing it to get the most impact!