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THE DUCK CALL The Official Volunteer Publication of California Ducks Unlimited July 2009 MESSAGE FROM THE STATE CHAIRMAN

Eric Rudgers

THE IMPORTANCE OF WATERFOWL HUNTERS TO DUCKS UNLIMITED Local waterfowl hunters are the best prospects to join a DU committee. They are passionate about our hunting heritage and the status of waterfowl populations in North America.

Volunteers are the heart and soul of Ducks Unlimited. Dedicated volunteers across this nation manage and coordinate more than 4,000 local fund-raising events, energize college campuses, raise political awareness, and showcase wildlife art! California volunteers are important to me - whether it is selling tickets, gathering donations, securing sponsorships, contacting government officials, or putting together one heck of an event, you are important to the lifeblood of Ducks Unlimited’s mission. This publication is for you – the volunteers. You can count on this monthly publication to help inform and guide you when it comes to putting on events and staying current on California conservation projects.

DU was founded in 1937 by a concerned group of waterfowl hunters. Today, the core of DU supporters still resides in the duck hunting population. More than 75% of DU members and 85% of DU volunteers are waterfowl hunters. ____________________________________ 40% of US waterfowl hunters are members of DU, but only 4% of waterfowl hunters volunteer with DU. But the question begs to be asked: What percentage of waterfowl hunters are engaged in DU as members and volunteers? We know about 40% of US waterfowl hunters are members of DU, but only 4% of waterfowl hunters volunteer with DU. DU committee members typically volunteer for 7 years. It is essential that all DU committees consistently add volunteers to ensure new ideas and talent are added to the chapter. Most importantly, it is the only way we can guarantee the success of our grassroots system. Engaging waterfowl hunters from your community is the #1 way to ensure a healthy and growing chapter.

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Message from the State Chairman Continued In this first publication, I would like to tell you how much fun both the National and Tri-State conventions were. WOW, did we have fun! The National Convention was held in Denver, Colorado and kicked off Thursday, May 20. Attendees learned about DU’s priorities, socialized and enjoyed the camaraderie of other DU supporters. In the Duck Blind Chat, DU officers brought up everything from the future of DU to the organizations financials. Highlighted in the business sessions were six new conservation videos. These videos covered DU’s top priorities, new and exciting partnerships and the organization’s overall continental priorities. DU de Mexico (DUMAC) brought to light issues DUMAC faces as they work to conserve wetlands throughout Mexico. DU Canada (DUC) spoke about DUC’s conservation efforts to the north. The convention ended with the annual live auction and gala Saturday night. The auction raised more than $150,000 for DU conservation projects. More detailed information about the 2009 National Convention can be found on national’s website. The Tri-State Convention was held in Reno, Nevada April 17-19 with volunteers from Arizona, California, and Nevada. There were 85 Californians in attendance. Friday evening’s Waterfowl Hunters Party and hospitality time was great fun and raised $2700 for the ducks. Saturday mornings general business meeting was informative – representatives from National Western Regional Office updated us on field operations, development, and conservation. RD’s talked about ways to enhance events and increase revenue. This was followed by a volunteer appreciation and awards luncheon and breakout sessions; topics included second events, local conservation, event planning, top ten things to do to enhance events and a ladies networking session entitled Women for Wetlands. Saturday night’s banquet and auction was festive and fun and lots of money was raised for the ducks. In closing, I would like to thank you for supporting DU and for all of your great volunteer work. If you have any feedback or thoughts to share, please send me an email at

THIS IS YOUR TARGET VOLUNTEER, RECRUIT HIM! Consider creating a culture within your committee that celebrates waterfowl, waterfowl hunting, and the people who guard the heritage – the volunteers! There are thousands of conservation-minded people who have contacted DU and demonstrated an interest in volunteering with a local chapter through the DU website, interest cards, event tickets, and other means. Through a survey of these potential volunteers, 84% of the website submissions are waterfowl hunters and 30% of them hunted 20 days or more last season! These are great volunteer prospects by anyone’s standards. Although we will always welcome and engage anyone who wants to volunteer for DU, we recognize the core of this effort resides within the waterfowl hunting community.


For your generous donation of $29 or more, you can help stop habitat loss and receive the Ducks Order Unlimited Signature Sports Polo shirt. directly from DU National.

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YOUR CALIFORNIA DU STATE COMMITTEE State Chairman Eric Rudgers Lake Almanor, CA (530) 259-3945 Assistant To The State Chaiman Mark Low Susanville, CA (530) 249-3286 (cell) State Secretary Rick McGlone Sebastopol, CA State Treasurer Dawan Lee San Jose, CA (408) 644-4872 State Recruitment Chairman Tony Pinheiro Modesto, CA (209) 551-1930 State Ladies Chairman Ann Bakey Cupertino, CA (408) 737-7410 (home) (408) 219-2578 (cell) State Sponsor Chairman Rick Saenz Fairfield, CA (707) 425-2213 (home) (707) 631-9242 (cell)

CALIFORNIA DU STATE COMMITTEE The California Ducks Unlimited State Committee, commonly referred to as the board and/or senior volunteers, is a body of appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of California Ducks Unlimited. The board-based group of volunteers has many responsibilities which can be categorized as follows: ƒ

Establish a California DU State Plan that supports Ducks Unlimited Inc’s mission, vision, and priorities.


Align the long and short-term goals of the state’s strategic plan.


Measure implementation and performance against the strategic plan and action plans on a periodic basis.


Communicate goals and objectives to achieve income and membership objectives.


Serve as a public figure for the organization.


Advocate for the organization.


Prepare for and attend board meetings.


Replace and orient board members when a vacancy arises.

Your senior volunteers also have certain legal obligations (duties) that they are bound to uphold: ƒ

Take reasonable care when making decisions for the organization.


Act in the best interest of the organization.


Act in accordance with the organization’s mission, vision, and policies.


Stand aside when there is a conflict of interest.

Be sure to check out the new state contacts on the California website at California Ducks Unlimited

State Publicity Chairman Rich Dengler Cupertino, CA (408) 737-7410 (home) (408) 368-6018 (cell) Vacancies State Greenwing Chairman State Membership Chairman State Major Donors Chairman

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IMPORTANT MESSAGE ABOUT YOUR DINNER TICKETS California DU wants to ensure that it has accurate information for all members and volunteers who attend events. When selling tickets, provide one ticket per attendee in ALL cases. When selling couples tickets, provide 2 tickets! Plan the front door of your event in order to collect completed stubs on every individual who enters the event! Assign a committee member to be at the front desk to review every ticket stub to insure completeness and that the information is readable. This includes gender (Mr. Mrs. and Ms). Do not allow anyone to enter the event without completing the stub. If someone does not have his or her ticket, provide a blank ticket for use at the door. At the bottom of the ticket, there is an area marked “For Committee Use Only.” Please use this for any of the following: Sponsor $ - it is no longer necessary to record $25 or $40 dollars for the vast majority of your attendees to qualify them for membership. The fact that a stub has been completed entitles them to membership benefits. However, if the individual is to be credited with additional membership dollars, such as $250 for Bronze Sponsorship, it should be recorded in this location. Indicate the TOTAL dollar amount of membership credit to be credited to the individual on the stub, not the cost of the ticket. GW – check this box if the individual listed on the stub is a Greenwing and should be credited with a Greenwing membership. Remember to collect the month and year of birth for Greenwing members. Record this information in the shaded area of the ticket. This is important in determining the appropriate membership materials for the Greenwing member.

A SWEET ITEM FOR YOUR AUCTION Themed gift baskets make great auction or raffle items and are a perfect way to combine a number of small donated items that have a centralized theme. For example, the Lake Almanor Chapter filled this basket with food items such as cheese, crackers, gourmet chocolates, and almonds, and then paired it with twelve bottles of signature wines, four wine glasses, a large hardbound book on wines around the world, and a tabletop wine opener. Committee members donated all of the items and the gift basket set sold for $500 in the live auction! Your committee can purchase this unique basket for $64 wholesale cost plus shipping. It comes complete w/laser lid, brass tag, and plastic protector. The basket measures 13.5” x 13.5” x 7.5” and is made in the U.S.A. by American workers. This basket is hand-woven of hard maple, signed and dated by the artisan.

For more information or to order for your next event, contact Ann Bakey, California State Ladies Chairman, at 408 219-2578 or

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Your Regional Director (RD) and District Chairman (DC) are your best friends. They are responsible for organizing and servicing all Ducks Unlimited committees and fundraising events within their assigned region and can assist you with tools and publications. While duties vary by region, following are activities they can help you with:

The purpose of a Ducks Unlimited sporting banquets and events is to raise money for developing, preserving, restoring and maintaining waterfowl habitat on the North American continent and to develop a local image for DU. Much of DU's annual income and membership comes from these traditional annual fun affairs. These banquets, by policy, are conducted for the exclusive benefit of Ducks Unlimited and cannot be combined with meetings or fund-raising efforts by other organizations.

Your RD has responsibility for the following: ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ

Start new chapters and events Recruit new volunteers Train existing volunteers Coordinate with DCs and State Chairman to maximize potential in existing chapters.

In some cases, your RD can also help you with DU policy and general DU questions, event scheduling and merchandise orders, volunteer recruiting, games, raffles, auction, and new events. Your DC can help you with the following: ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ

Train new chapters and volunteers Help volunteers the night of the event Donation and underwriting advice Event layout Ticket sales ideas Local supplies (raffle drum, gun boards, camo cloth) Supply lists General questions Recruiting ideas State questions

There are certain universal ethical practices that DU volunteers should and do embrace in one form or the other when raising money for Ducks Unlimited. First of all, honesty is a basic principle. It is the foundation on which ideally all fundraising is to be done. Truthfulness is the cornerstone for all fundraising as the activities are all dependent on public trust and goodwill. DU volunteers working on a DU fundraising event are expected to show respect to their work and conduct their affairs in a dignified manner. They have to be a credit to Ducks Unlimited. DU volunteers are also responsible for upholding the dignity of their donors. Lastly and very importantly, fundraisers should always try to maintain transparency in their dealings; there should always be an auditable trail. They should be able to furnish on demand all details on how the donations are acquired, managed, used, as well as their operational costs. Accurate finance management and reporting is very important if they are to maintain donor trust in their work.

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MOTIVATING VOLUNTEERS The task of keeping volunteers motivated is often overlooked and here are few ways you can achieve this. ƒ






Know and clarify the outcome required for you and committee volunteers at the start of your event. There is nothing more demotivating than being unsure if you are achieving what you set out to accomplish. Make volunteering fun. Create a fun culture within your committee that celebrates waterfowl, waterfowl hunting, and the people who guard the heritage: the volunteers! For some volunteers, the social element is very important. Recognize their contribution. Mention their names at meetings, on the California web site and in the volunteer newsletter. Use their photos. Let people know how valuable they have been. People volunteer for a wide variety of reasons and it is important to match the assignment to the right person. Have they volunteered to make new friends, gain recognition, learn new skills or because they want to give something back to the ducks and wetland conservation? Design valuable and meaningful assignments. Make them have a real and visible impact. This will also help attract other volunteers to your committee. On-going training and regular two-way communication helps volunteers stay motivated all the way through the event. Educate new committee members about Ducks Unlimited’s fundraising methods and policies. Listen to the new recruits as they may bring a fresh perspective and new ideas that can bring greater success.

Thank you for your continued support to help Ducks Unlimited grow and save wetlands, habitat, and ducks for future generations!

SEND US YOUR NEWS! If you have a story about your event or a great hunt, send it to Rich Dengler and get it published. Make sure to include uncropped pictures in jpeg format and include a description of who is in the picture and what the event was all about. Rich Dengler California Ducks Unlimited Newsletter Editor

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Duck Call: July 2009