It Takes a Village! Special Fundraising Initiative for Jay Watch

Audubon Florida coordinates the Jay Watch community science program statewide.

Jay Watchers are passionate, dedicated, and generous with their time, and money! This fall, one volunteer in particular, Stephen Kintner, Vice President and Conservation chair, together with his chapter, West Volusia Audubon, made it a mission to raise $10,000 to support Jay Watch. Chapters can designate a specific program for their donation, and Kintner came up with a creative idea: why not have his chapter set up a special campaign and fund?

Kintner’s history goes way back to the protection of the 360-acre Lyonia Preserve and the building of the Lyonia Environmental Center. For more than ten years, he has coordinated the Jay Watch surveys at Lyonia and is the primary volunteer coordinator at the Center. His photos adorn rack cards and most recently the cover of Audubon Adventures.

Kintner is an annual donor to Jay Watch and, when hearing of a shortfall for the Jay Watch program, suggested he put his gift up as a match to encourage others to donate. After some discussion with Audubon Florida’s team and encouragement from his chapter, he launched the first chapter-led Jay Watch campaign. It was a labor of love. He created a landing page for the chapter, set up online accounts with Paypal and Facebook, and created a QR code that led directly to the donate page. 

The goal was to raise $10,000 by the end of the calendar year. At the 2022 appreciation event on November 5, the campaign was unveiled, complete with a short tutorial for those unfamiliar with how to use a QR code. The very first donation came in right then and there: $500!

Over the course of the next six weeks, donations poured in, ranging from $10 to $1,000! Upon the passing of long-time Jay steward Fred Hunter, Fred’s family also asked their friends and family to contribute to West Volusia Audubon’s Jay Watch fund in honor of Fred. By the end of the year, the campaign had generated close to $11,000.

Many thanks to West Volusia Audubon, Venice Area Audubon, Audubon Everglades, and Alachua Audubon that have each donated, per approval of their boards.

The Paypal site will remain live over the next year so that it continues to accumulate funds for the program. Kintner hopes that more chapters, especially those that participate in Jay Watch, will follow suit. Click here to donate.

This article originally appeared in the 2022 Jay Watch report. Read the full report here.

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