“Saving the last great places resonates with people,” Barry says.
Last December, John Barry decided to give a different kind of present for the holiday season – gift memberships to 15 of his close friends and clients, people he thought would enjoy being exposed to TNC’s work in North Carolina and around the world.
“The gift of nature is the perfect gift,” he says.
Barry, who is a financial adviser in Charlotte and Chairman of the NC Chapter’s Board, says he knows many people who get traditional gifts but feel like they have so much stuff already. So John decided to try something else.
“This is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s a special way to acknowledge friendships and do some good in the process,” he says.
Not all the recipients of Barry’s gifts last year were typical conservation-minded folks. John has found that the gift memberships are a good way to introduce people of different backgrounds and experience to TNC.
“They’re not necessarily going to go out for a hike, but when they see the work in NC and around the world, that is something they get excited about,” he says.
Everyone has a favorite mountain vista, national park, forest, river or campground in North Carolina – a special, iconic place that they know well and love, Barry says. TNC has had a hand in protecting many of these places, from Jockey’s Ridge on the Outer Banks, to the shorelines of the Alligator, New and Roanoke Rivers, to Grandfather Mountain, Chimney Rock and the grassy balds of Big and Little Yellow Mountains.
“Saving the last great places resonates with people,” he says.
TNC membership has other benefits, too. With a gift of $50 or more, members will receive TNC’s award-winning magazine, Nature Conservancy, a “My Nature” web page that allows personalization of the type of communications and updates supporters receive, a monthly e-newsletter, “Great Places,” which includes the latest news, and other perks.
Barry says that he’s enjoyed the conversations the gift memberships have led to, and that people are particularly impressed with the Nature Conservancy magazine highlighting our work around the globe. And it’s a great chance for people to learn more about his love for and work with TNC.
While last year was the first time Barry has given any sort of “green gift,” it certainly won’t be the last. He intends to do the same thing this year:
“It’s the perfect gift – and it’s easy,” he says.
To learn more, go to nature.org/giftguideNovember 28, 2012
Laura Smith works with both the philanthropy and communications departments at the North Carolina Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.