The Why of Giving

by Donna Wiench, Leadership & Legacy Giving Manager

“I care deeply about our planet.”
“It’s important that children learn to love, respect, and protect our earth. Soon it will be in their hands.”
“It’s our responsibility to care for wild animals and their habitat.”
“Life has been good to me. I’m grateful and I want to pitch in.”


These are some of the many reasons donors tell me they give to Bird Alliance of Oregon. The breadth of our organization’s mission is important. Folks say they like that with one gift they can support many things they care about, including conservation, education, the protection of birds and their habitat statewide, and treatment for injured animals.

A Northern Spotted Owl perches on a mossy branch, while looking up towards the upper tree canopy.
Northern Spotted Owl by Scott Carpenter

Favorable tax policies can be an added incentive. As in 2020, 2021 tax advantages for charitable contributions offer donors significant deductions.

Never in my fundraising career have tax advantages been the primary reason for a donor’s giving, but they sure do add incentive, and for those who need one more practical reason to do what their heart is leading them to, tax deductions are important.

For taxpayers who don’t itemize and instead file the simplified tax form, the maximum single person’s deductible contribution is $300 and a couple’s is $600 when filing jointly. But for folks who do itemize, the tax deduction can be 100%. In other words, if a motivated giver contributed all their taxable income to Bird Alliance of Oregon, they’d owe zero dollars in federal taxes—and likely experience a unique state of joy and bliss, since giving is very satisfying.

Bird Alliance of Oregon is especially fortunate this year because our generous donors, mindful of climate change, habitat degradation, the needs of wildlife, and the importance of environmental education, have stepped forward to help fund the capital campaign. But it’s our regular annual giving, most of which comes at the end of the year, that allows us to provide educational programs, do advocacy, keep the lights on, and the buildings and grounds maintained. We are grateful as a staff for the generosity of our donors. Members can also be grateful for each other, because it takes a widely embraced commitment to keep Bird Alliance of Oregon strong, vital, and able to make the impact our members and donors expect and our planet deserves.

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