With the Gulf oil spill continuing to dominate the news, many conservation organizations are soliciting funds, ostensibly to help wild birds caught up in the environmental disaster. That is certainly implied by the (extremely misleading) picture to the left, gleaned from a well-known non-profit’s website. However, if you read the fine print on the donation page, it becomes clear that rather than being specifically targeted to the rescue of oiled birds, all these donations are simply being added to an organization’s general fund. As another website truthfully states:
BP has committed to paying for the clean-up and wildlife rescue efforts in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. While your donations cannot be used to fund bird rescue operations in the Gulf of Mexico spill, [the organization] welcomes support for our ongoing programs and to cover the cost of future rescue efforts.
I don’t want to discourage anyone from supporting these organizations in general. Donating to various environmental groups is a worthwhile gesture. One would hope that all donations go to help conserve our natural resources, including birds and other wildlife. Just make sure to do enough research that you know how your donation will be used.