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Join the World Chelonian Trust
Why should I join and what do
Special offers for verified WCT
It must be remembered that this is YOUR 501c3
nonprofit organization and we, as Trustees, have a responsibility to make the
best possible use of all donations or membership monies that we receive. We take
this obligation extremely seriously.
The single largest expenditure for the World Chelonian Trust (WCT) is our
Newsletter costs. All members receive four twenty plus page newsletters per
year. Costs for this membership benefit include copying, mailing and an
occasional software purchase. Magazines typically cover these costs by
advertisements. However, there is very little advertising present in the WCT
Newsletter. Also, we are very selective about what we will allow to be
advertised in our pages.
Another large percentage of our funding goes towards education which is one of
the primary goals of the organization. Costs include everything from table
rentals at herpetological shows where educational pamphlets are passed out to
costs associated with the preparation of presentation materials such as posters
and care sheets. In the past year alone, we have had a presence at
herpetological shows and symposiums in New York, Florida, North Carolina,
Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin and Iowa. While we do offer WCT memberships at
these shows, our primary reason for being there is education. It is not unusual
for us to hand out well over a thousand care sheets at a single show – all
completely free of charge. These care sheets are often the only accurate
information that impulse buyers receive for their new chelonian(s). At a recent
“show” in Chicago, over 40 complete booklets of care sheets were given to pet
shop owners again to try to get the word out on how to care properly for the
Some funding also goes to other educational tools such as the “Herp Digest”, a
weekly periodical that exists on donations alone. We also directly support
education by the partial sponsorship of a Southeast Asian student through the
Asian Scholarship Program. The Asian Scholarship Program funds summer
internships in intensive hands-on conservation courses in the United States. We
recently funded a representative to attend a wildlife law seminar and with
available funds we support field research as well as in situ conservation.
Hundreds of turtles and tortoises need rehoming each and every year. While most
of our rehoming efforts of unwanted or rehabilitated animals go through the very
capable hands of a nationwide network of rehabbers we have worked with closely
for years, occasionally we do personally rehabilitate and rehome turtles as
well. While most expenses of this type are paid for by individual board members,
a small portion is occasionally paid for from membership fees.
People often ask if we ever use membership funds to purchase animals. The answer
to this is no. We feel that direct individual intervention of that type is akin
to the old proverb “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to
fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.“ Rather than saving a small number of
turtles and tortoises by our own direct personal intervention, we feel that by
educating others, thousands can be saved. So while the various WCT trustees have
extensive experience with a wide variety of turtles and tortoises, this is
through their individual efforts and monies rather than WCT funds.
So, while the easy answer to “where does my twenty dollars go?” is “Not as far
as it used to”, in reality, your membership dollar stretches around the globe.
wish to become a member of the World Chelonian Trust click this link.
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Those individuals that are generous beyond the "Basic" membership are publicly acknowledged on our "Friends of the Trust" page.
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