I have a serious issue I want to raise with the community about the RSPB's relationship to its members and its direction of travel, corporately and PR-wise, if not (yet) on the ground. Trying to find an appropriate part of the community where you can post such concerns is really difficult. The obvious places would be "Community Home", "Get Involved" or "Our Work" but there is either no "New Post" button or, as on "Get Involved", it is only for posting photographs.
My isssue is one that I raised last year, and have just raised again with Membership Services: I joined the RSPB because of my over-riding interest in birds. I spend almost all of my spare time working for environmental and conservation causes (a lot of time, now that I am semi-retired) but I joined the RSPB back in 1979, upgrading to a fellowship in about 1985, because, first and foremost, I love birds and I want to support the great work the RSPB do in providing habitat for them and acting to try and deter crime committed against them.
For the second year running my membership card has turned up with an insect on it. If I was interested in providing direct support for Bumble Bees, I would join Bugs Life, Peacock Butterflies, I would join Butterfly Conservation, Pine Martens, the Mammal Society. They all need direct support - particularly with this government and its anti-science, pro-rhetoric stance.
It concerns me that, whilst the message "Give nature a home" is a good strong slogan I do not want to see the RSPB dilute its efforts towards bird conservation. Nor do I want to see the RSPB competing with the other, incredibly valuable, scientific and specialised organisations for their hard-earned cash. I have told Membership Services that they need to replace the card; a waste of money for them - but they need to get it through their heads that they should listen and take note of their members' concerns. I made it very clear last year that I was unhappy with this approach - they clearly took no notice. This time I have told them that if it happens again I will cancel my membership. It might seem trivial but, if they are now so big that individual members don't count, I can buy a lot of rings for what I pay them and perhaps contribute a bit more to the science side of things.
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