Scientific Advancement and Development
"The future belongs to those who give the next
generation reason for hope."Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Philosopher and Scientist, 1881-1955
Philanthropy is the values-based guiding force of a fund development plan. Development uncovers some of those shared values, and fundraising enables people to act on their values. BRI realizes that development is about building relationships, at home and abroad; our fund development plan includes many aspects that are not strictly fundraising (e.g., cultivation and public awareness strategies, stewardship, and research). In a sense, every staff member and volunteer of the organization is a “development officer” to assist BRI with its efforts toward friend- and fundraising.
Recently, the major and planned gifts officer of a Maine-based philanthropic organization made the following insightful observation about BRI: “Among conservation groups, you’re different. Stay different.” In that light, BRI adopted an unusual approach to traditional fund-development programs in late summer 2011. After internal discussion, BRI executives crafted a unique program, that of scientific advancement and development, viewing these two aspects as necessarily conjoined for the long-term diversification of its resources to support a variety of science-based programs in the Western Hemisphere and beyond. This program encapsulates BRI’s long-standing institutional approach to its mission: innovative wildlife science hand-in-hand with creative, responsible fiscal planning, leveraging its resources to keep BRI in a leading conservation position on a regional, national, and international basis. Thus, BRI places scientific advancement in a primary position for its mission-related activities, followed by fund-development to support its efforts at home and abroad. In a sense, scientific advancement for BRI is strategic “friend-raising” on regional, national, and international levels; development follows as a strategic fundraising endeavor.
To garner financial support from individual donors and family foundations, BRI also draws on the expertise of the development committee, a subgroup of its Board of Directors. This committee helps the Board carry out its due diligence function related to assuring fiscal health through philanthropy and fund development. The development committee partners with staff members to institutionalize the philanthropic process within the Board and its individual members, assuring a donor-centered organization.
Scientific Advancement and Development in the Tropics
Nearly two-thirds of all known species inhabit dense rainforests, lush savannas, coastal mangroves, and rich coral reefs found in tropical regions. BRI established its tropical program in 2007 with researchers working mainly in Belize, Honduras, and Guatemala. Now, BRI’s office of scientific advancement and development is beginning its campaign to expand research in these countries as well as to develop collaborations in other southern countries such as Peru and México.
Science in the 21st century is a collaborative enterprise. Gone are the days of competitive solo investigations, highly restricted data sets, and parochial approaches to international work. BRI is a conservation nonprofit that has always valued its partners at home and abroad for what each brings objectively to the table and into the field for the projects at hand. BRI welcomes mission-related partnerships with individuals and organizations around the world committed to underwriting support for collaborative conservation efforts.
In nature, there are no “last frontiers.” New areas of scientific study emerge almost daily. And, sadly, the unremitting collision between the natural world and human society includes a spectrum of ecological stressors on wildlife and ecosystems that requires our constant vigilance. Since its founding in 1998, BRI has long been recognized as a leader in this field of study.
Of what value is scientific discovery without science education? Through its public messaging to general and professional audiences around the world (from classrooms and science conferences to Capitol Hill and the United Nations), BRI disseminates its findings to decision makers, policy creators, and active citizens to make a long-term difference for conservation.
Providing citizens with hands-on fieldwork and service in some of BRI’s study sites is an important way to enhance the Institute’s mission at home and abroad. These expeditions often allow participants into remote areas otherwise inaccessible to the public. Through its program of ecotours, BRI helps to ensure its long-term research interests from pole to equator.
Diversified revenues streams—from government funding and corporate sponsorships to tax-deductible contributions from major individual donors—are required for a healthy financial future for BRI. As a leading conservation NGO, especially in the study of environmental contaminants, BRI welcomes your long-term partnership!
Opportunities to Support BRI’s Mission and Goals
- Seabirds of the Cay Sal Bank, The Bahamas (May 26 to June 1)
- The Lost World of Quintana Roo: Exploring and Making a Difference in México’s Yucatán Peninsula (October 26 to November 4)
- Belize (Winter)
- Cuba (Spring)
- Guatemala (Spring)
- Peru (Spring)
- Late-Summer Extravaganza
- Spotlight on Ecoscience
- At Home
- Other Sites
BRI is proud to announce the launch of The William Beebe Society, named for William Beebe (1877-1962), an American naturalist, explorer, and author extraordinaire.
In recognition of a select group of individuals who demonstrate a strong philanthropic commitment, BRI extends unique privileges that provide an insider’s look at the Institute including invitations to VIP events, field research, and other special events.
To learn more about The William Beebe Society, please contact the office of scientific advancement and development.
The Mark Catesby Legacy Society is named for Mark Catesby (1683-1749), considered America’s first naturalist. His legacy was his striking collection of fine natural history illustrations (featured here and above) of North American biodiversity, circa pre-Revolutionary War.
By making a planned gift to BRI, members of The Mark Catesby Legacy Society provide a bequest that is, at once, a vision of hope, a statement of values, a lasting responsibility of stewardship, and a commitment in perpetuity.
Please contact the office of scientific advancement and development to let us know about your intentions and to be listed as an esteemed and much appreciated member of The Mark Catesby Legacy Society.
Director of Scientific Advancement and Development
H. Bruce Rinker, Ph.D.
Phone: (207) 839-7600 x217 email@example.com