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How Many Bucks Does It Take?

December 1, 2018

Wild Lands Advocate article by: Christyann Olson

Click here for a pdf version of this article.

Time flies by and it really doesn’t seem very long ago that I last wrote this annual column reporting on how AWA is managing financially. For AWA,  2018 has been a year of achievement and recognition tempered with some discouragement and struggle. Through good and difficult times alike, we have been energized by you, our supporters. There is no question the day-to-day work we do day-to-day is sometimes very hard; it always requires tenacity and a belief we are making a difference.

Through the course of two decades, AWA has worked to become frugal, nimble, transparent, and resourceful. We have always been grateful for your support. Twenty years ago we struggled to meet payroll for a single part-time employee. Today our budget is close to $700,000. One might ask how we realized that growth; it has onlybeen possible because we can depend on our faithful supporters who believe in the work we do.

Generally, our operating revenue comes from donations, fundraising events, and grants. In this past year 83 percent of our total revenue came from member and supporter donations and events. We devoted 76 percent of our revenue to wilderness stewardship, conservation, and outreach. This includes funding the Roger Creasey Wilderness Resource Centre (AWA’s library named in Roger’s memory). General and Administrative expenses account for 12.5 percent of our funds and more than represents an efficient and carefully managed association, supported significantly by volunteerism. The balance of our funds is dedicated to development – the costs incurred in developing our core values and creating broader awareness of the Association and its mandate, “Defending Wild Alberta through Awareness and Action.” The costs of seeking more members and supporters, as well as applying for grants are included in this section.

When it comes to AWA’s wealth, it isn’t possible to separate financial wealth and resources from human resources; each one of you who reads this – donors, volunteers, board members and the outstanding staff who work tirelessly as your team – are part of those vital human resources. From AWA’s humble beginnings to the strong force it is today, there is no question we are about people. Our membership has grown and stands at 5,792 voting members with additional strength provided by the more than 1,500 supporters who are not members but donate funds to ensure our strength. Our membership resides in 211 Alberta communities plus numerous communities from Canada and around the world. Your heartfelt notes of encouragement really do make a difference, please keep them coming!

I’m sure you know your donations are carefully invested in AWA’s work and no matter how small or large the gift, it is sincerely appreciated. Your generosity supplies us with the means we need to continue to work towards the healthy wilderness legacy we all hope for.

Thank you for being part of the AWA team!



Individuals, members, and supporters making a bequest in their will naming a gift to AWA are helping make a difference to long-term security and AWA’s ability to plan for the future.

Wilderness and Wildlife Bequests

Daphne M. Smith 1980

Dr. James Birkett Cragg 1997

Anna Nowick 1999

Myrtle Muriel Koch 2001

Ian Ross 2003

Dorothy Barry 2003

William Mayer 2004

Diane Hughes 2005

Harold deVries 2009

Ann Roberts 2009

Richard Collier 2013

Harriet Ruth Mowat 2016

Kim Bennett 2016

Carol A. Haines 2017

Wendy Williams 2017

Herbert G. Kariel 2017


Memorial Tributes

AWA is honoured to receive memorial tributes from family and friends; we remember those gifts and individuals here.


Brian Staszenski 1951-2017

Herb Kariel 1927-2017

Ron Wetherill 1940-2016

Lewis Ramstead 1935-2017

Ruth Moir 1921-2017

Max Winkler 1931-2017

Orval Pall 1951-1986

Sharon Tranter 1940-2013

Cyrus Spaulding 1956-2017

Eileen & Jack Van Tighem

David Manzer & Murray Manzer

Charles A. Miller 1921-2009

Helen MacLean 1927-2017

Ian Ross 1959-2003

Edwin Thomas 1920-2008

Roger Creasy 1953-2015

Nancy Hanks 1925-2017

Donald Baker 1927-2018

Ole West 1947-2018

Therese Conway 1931-2018

Vjekoslav Gorec 1938-2018

Carmell Bokvist 1972-2018

Charles Tuckey 1958-2018

Ted Davy 1926-2017

Kitty Rosengren 1930-2018

Dick Pharis 1937-2018

Ray Sloan 1941-1995

P.K. Anderson 1927-2014

Troy Hommy 1962-2018

Chris Havard 1945-2015

Del Lavallee 1924-2018

Weslyn Mather 1945-2015

Joan & Mel Dunford


Recognition For Outstanding Individuals

AWA is honoured to receive throughout the year donations from friends and families made to honour outstanding individuals and their accomplishments. This year’s tributes recognize:



Ruth Bell

Spencer Waterhouse

Lara & Johanna Buchmann

Kirsten & David Pugh

Cheryl Bradley

Rick Keillor

Patricia Hommy’s Birthday

Dr. Lindsay McLaren

Winnifred Lehman

Gus Yaki


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