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California Waterfowl was founded 75 years ago by duck hunters who wanted to protect what they had. Much has improved since then, with CWA’s help: Farmlands have been converted back to marsh, the acreage of premium huntable public lands has grown, wood ducks are thriving and wetland management has gotten so good that we send ducks back north every spring fatter than ever before.

For insights into our recent accomplishments, please see our 2019 Annual Report and Program Highlights.

But if the threats looked bad to California duck hunters in 1945, imagine what those men would think of the challenges we face today: Thousands of Californians sidelined from legal hunting because of a deeply flawed ammunition background check system. Pintail limit of one a day, even though hunting isn’t hurting their population. California mallard breeding population in steep decline. The nation’s first national wildlife refuge for waterfowl – Lower Klamath – deprived of water, leaving hundreds of thousands of Pacific Flyway migrants high and dry at critical times.

The gains we’ve made since 1945 didn’t happen all by themselves, and the threats we face in 2020 will not just sort themselves out. It takes vigilant action, not just to save what we all live for, but to make it better.

California Waterfowl’s five-year, $100 million Inspiring Conservation fundraising campaign seeks not just to maintain our gains, but to fight tooth and nail against threats that would have seemed absurd to our founders. We’re doubling down, because we have determined meeting this fundraising goal will put us on track to carry out our ambitious strategic plan.

California Waterfowl works comprehensively to achieve a bright future in California by investing in waterfowl, wetlands, hunting, education and advocacy. Whether you can donate $10 or $10,000, please donate what it’s worth to you to have a better future.

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California Waterfowl has identified four priorities to better promote our existing programs through this five-year $100 million Inspiring Conservation campaign. In addition to supporting ongoing programs, this campaign will infuse the following areas with an additional $25 million in funding:


Strategies: Evaluate and grow waterfowl populations. ▪ Hatch 200,000 egg salvage and wood duck ducklings. ▪ Reach 1 millionth-duckling milestone in the California Wood Duck Program. ▪ Band 50,000 waterfowl for research that supports science-based waterfowl limits.

Goal: $7.5 million

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Strategies: Protect, restore, enhance and manage 50,000 acres. ▪ Acquire wetland properties for management, education and hunting. ▪ Work with partners to restore wetlands through grants and privately funded projects.

Goal: $10 million

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Strategies: Reach 100,000 people. ▪ Grow hunter and conservation education. ▪ Train and mentor new hunters. ▪ Teach non-hunters about waterfowl and wetland ecology and hunters’ role in conservation. ▪ Grow participation in hunter conservation camps and other training events. ▪ Increase non-hunting conservation education. ▪ Cultivate and inspire the next  generation of conservation leaders.

Goal: $5 million

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Strategies: Double state and federal advocacy impact. ▪ Protect hunting rights and wetland water supplies. ▪ Advocate for wildlife-friendly agriculture. ▪ Support regulations that expand hunting opportunity and hunter recruitment. ▪ Increase state and federal funding for habitat and wetland water supplies. ▪ Mobilize members to support advocacy efforts. ▪ Build relationships with state and federal lawmakers to help advance our mission.

Goal: $2.5 million

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Ellis Stephens—shown with his daughters at his home in Ross, California—donated a Delta island to California Waterfowl. Read about his gift (PDF).

You can immediately increase the impact of our comprehensive efforts to support waterfowl, wetlands and hunting in California by contributing today. To discuss your options, please contact Vice President for Fund and Membership Development Scott Mueller at 916-648-1406 ext. 142 or smueller@calwaterfowl. There are many ways to give:


Cash gifts can be put to work immediately in service of waterfowl, wetlands and hunting in California. You can donate securely online by credit card, or if you’d like to discuss a major gift, please contact Scott Mueller at 916-648-1406 ext. 142 or smueller@calwaterfowl. California Waterfowl recognizes major benefactors – those who donate $2,500 or more – through numerous outlets, including the Annual Report in the Summer issue of CWA’s quarterly magazine and occasionally on digital media.

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Appreciated securities – stocks or bonds

Donating appreciated securities, including stocks or bonds, is an easy and tax-effective way for you to make a gift to California Waterfowl. Because these items often increase in value, there can be significant tax owed when the assets are sold. By transferring the stocks or bonds to a charity such as California Waterfowl, a donor can receive a significant tax deduction while avoiding the gain on the sale of the asset. As a charity, this type of gift is maximized because the charity is exempt from paying taxes on the appreciated securities.

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Appreciated assets – real estate

Donating appreciated assets such real estate, a home, vacation property, undeveloped land, farmland, ranch, commercial property is another easy and tax-effective way for you to consider making a gift to California Waterfowl. Often a donor finds that they no longer wish to maintain the property or real estate and want to see a charitable benefit to an organization that they love while receiving a sizable tax deduction without the hassle of a sale.

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Beneficiary designation gifts

A beneficiary designation gift is a simple and affordable way to make a gift to support California Waterfowl. You can designate us as a beneficiary of a retirement account, an investment, a bank account or your life insurance policy. Some of these assets are subject to heavy taxation and a donor finds that some of these assets are no longer needed. Often these assets have significant value and a donor who wants to contribute substantially to the mission of a charity like California Waterfowl can further our efforts when that asset is no longer needed and leave a legacy through this type of gift.

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Leave a charitable bequest

You can leave a bequest to support our work by making a promise in your will, living trust or codicil. Certain assets, such as an insurance policy, retirement account or bank account, can be left by way of a beneficiary designation. With a bequest, or beneficiary gift, the asset is transferred to charity once the donor passes away.  A bequest is one of the least complex and most effective ways of supporting our mission when you no longer have the need for using that asset.

For a free copy of “Planning Your Legacy: A Guide to Providing for Your Family and Supporting the Causes You Care About,” please contact Vice President for Fund and Membership Development Scott Mueller at 916-648-1406 ext. 142 or smueller@calwaterfowl. or click here to download a PDF of the guide.

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Corporate partnership

California Waterfowl’s corporate partners demonstrate publicly that their company shares our commitment to waterfowl and wetland conservation, and to the future of hunting. In return, corporate partnership with CWA makes their products or services more visible to our members and supporters, as well as participants at a wide variety of our events, from fundraising banquets to camps and clinics to hunts that serve a broad cross-section of California’s hunters.

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Property donation

California Waterfowl owns six wetland properties spanning from the Butte Sink to the Tulare Basin. We use these properties to provide wintering and breeding habitat for waterfowl, for educational programs (including hunter education camps), and to offer hunting to the general public through our Hunt Program. Your donation of a duck club or other managed wetland can help further these efforts; alternatively, you can donate property that CWA can liquidate or maintain to support operating expenses.

To discuss donating property, please contact Vice President for Fund and Membership Development Scott Mueller at 916-648-1406 ext. 142 or smueller@calwaterfowl.



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