Why Support Hitchcock Woods?
The Hitchcock Woods Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that makes the Hitchcock Woods available to visitors free of charge 365 days a year. It is important for you, as a supporter, to be aware of the Foundation’s financial structure so that you might share this information with others.
In the early decades, the Board of Trustees personally funded all operating expenses. This obviously was not sustainable, so gradually others began to contribute. Several decades ago the Foundation initiated its year-end Annual Fund campaign, a tradition that continues. In recent years, this campaign has provided 26% of all annual income, but that percentage is growing.
The balance of Foundation’s annual income is achieved through proceeds from the Foundation’s signature annual event, the Aiken Horse Show (32%), fundraising events (14%), the Friends of the Woods and Business Partner programs (12%), general contributions (8%), and other income (8%). The mix of income and expenses fluctuates each year, so these figures are approximate.
Unlike public parks or public lands, Hitchcock Woods is privately owned and therefore receives no operating support through municipal, county, state or federal tax revenues.
What Every “Friend” Needs to Know
What does it mean to be a Friends of the Woods member? It is important for members to understand the purpose and nature of this program. Friends of the Woods members are donors who are the most aware of the Foundation’s operations and challenges. They are advocates of the Hitchcock Woods.
Every donor is regarded with importance and appreciation. The Foundation does not “automatically” make every donor a member of this program. To become (and remain) a member, donors must annually contribute and designate $50 for their membership fee. Part of this fee makes member benefits possible. The balance supports the management and maintenance of the Hitchcock Woods.
As a member, you receive three annual newsletters, the annual report, a wall calendar featuring photographs of the Woods, event invitations and special letters, all of which are intended to keep you informed and involved. Obviously there are expenses associated with providing you with these materials and services, but these costs are an investment in your awareness, good will, and support.
Being a Friends of the Woods member is “a good place to start.” If your Friends of the Woods membership is much as you can do, the Foundation is wholly grateful for it.
All members can be silent recruiters simply by sporting their Friends of the Woods decals and license plate frames on their vehicles. If you need more, please call the office.