The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) has released their annual financial statement for 2009. If you’re a member of this organization, the good news is that the value of the AMC’s endowment has bounced back despite the muted market recovery and the organization has a lot more cash on hand than last year.
Despite the publication of their audit reports, I still have a problem with the transparency of the AMC. I am a member and while I am friends with many other members and AMC volunteers, I really can’t understand what the organization stands for or does anymore. The only face of it that I ever see are the unstoppable fund raising emails I receive (do they know what an opt-out is?) and the phone calls at night seeking donations beyond my membership fee.
I really have no idea where my money goes in this organization and frankly, if I could specify that it can only be used to cover volunteer expenses or trail maintenance, I’d do it in a flash. Instead, it feels like my dues disappear into the borg. For all I know I’m paying some marketing agency to spam my email box.
That’s why I also give donations to small hiking clubs. Their expenses are do few and their impact so obvious that I feel like my money is being put to good use. For example, I frequently hike on trails maintained by the Dartmouth Outing Club, The Wonalancet Out Door Club, the Maine Appalachian Trail Club, The Cohos Trail Association, The Randolph Mountain Club, and Friends of the Wapack. Their presence and hand print are a tangible, visible thing for me that I can readily appreciate when I’m in their territory. Thanks to you all and the other small New England Hiking Clubs that I haven’t mentioned here.
What small hiking clubs or trail maintenance organizations do you support, in the states or abroad?
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