“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
—attributed (probably incorrectly) to Benjamin Disraeli by Mark Twain in his Autobiography
No lies or damned lies here, but I do want to share a statistic about the Kansas Chapter of the Sierra Club.
Here it is: 7 percent.
Statistics are best served warm.
We’ll let that simmer for a spell to bring out its flavor.
You have to be amazed at how much the Kansas Chapter accomplishes on limited resources. We took on the eight-year battle to stop a new coal plant from being built in southwest Kansas—and won!
In fact, litigation has been our strong suit, so to speak. Just last year we also won major concessions from the Board of Public Utilities in Kansas City to shut down one coal-burning plan and limit carbon emissions at another. We also brought suits on behalf of wetlands and wildlife refuges in Lawrence and Marais des Cygnes.
We’ve had a big impact on classrooms throughout the state, too, with our Education Grants program, and we’ve been effective in assisting those in underprivileged communities through our Energy Efficiency Grants.
We also support the only lobbyist in Topeka on behalf of the environment during the legislative session.
There’s much more. You know the catalogue. It accumulates throughout the year in the pages of Planet Kansas (which is also a vital part of our Sierra Club community).
So what does 7 percent have to do with any of this?
It’s probably simmered long enough.
That’s the number of Sierra Club members in Kansas who contribute 100 percent of the in-state financial support for all of the above and more.
Now it’s really amazing how much gets done, when you think about it.
Try that again.
Just 7 percent of our members contribute all of the funds the Kansas Chapter receives from its own members.
I’m a believer in transparency in government and in organizations like the Sierra Club, so I think it’s important to share this statistic.
The Kansas Chapter has about 4,500 members on its roster. Roughly 300 very generous people provide all of the financial support it receives from its members. That trend has been fairly steady for the past few years.
While we do receive an allocation from the national Sierra Club, you may not be aware that 100 percent of donations made directly to the Kansas Chapter stay right here in Kansas doing the work that needs to be done in our collective backyard.
Since I took on the role of Development Director, it’s been my effort to give our members a reason to support the Kansas Chapter by getting folks involved in our meetings and activities. People who are involved tend to support what they’re doing, and people who have an equity stake in their organization tend to stay involved.
So here’s the challenge: 100 percent!
That’s next year’s statistic—with every Sierra Club member in Kansas participating!
Can you give $10 to the Kansas Chapter?
That’s less than a pair of movie tickets or a pizza.
Imagine if everyone did!
If every member of our Chapter gave $10 we’d cover most of our operating costs for a year. (Of course, you’re welcome to change the 1 to a larger number—or add a 0 on the back end.)
Maybe you can budget $10 a month for the Kansa Sierra Club—roughly the cost of one month’s cell phone bill or a couple of concert tickets spread out over a year!
Imagine the huge impact we could have on environmental policy and education if everyone in the Chapter did just that.
The goal here is 100 percent participation!
This is not only about money—it’s about participating, taking an equity stake in your Sierra Club Chapter.
No amount is too small—but your commitment at any level is very big!
Donate on-line at kansas.sierraclub.org (click the DONATE button).
Or send checks to:
J. Scott Smith, Treasurer
Sierra Club – Kansas Chapter
2111 Snowbird Dr.
Manhattan, KS 66502
And thank you for all you do for the environment!
“Field Notes from the DD…” is a regular feature of Planet Kansas. To reach Bob, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 816-898-1100.