Re: Twitchathon

To: "David Geering"<>
Subject: Re: Twitchathon
From: Margaret Cameron <>
Date: Tue, 01 Dec 1998 10:33:19 +1100
Having been involved with the BA/Raou Twitchathon since the begining, I'm
pleased David is supporting fundraising for birds - and I hope BA sponsored
bird research and conservation projects - through new versions of the race
as well as the present one. 

Anyone can run any version of even the Bird Week twitchathon on BA's
behalf, there have been several varieties of race in Vic so far including a
prize for worst performer (I can't remember whether it was won by Margaret
Blakers of Atlas fame or by Bill Emerson then secretary of the RAOU, it was
one of them and whoever it was their effort was indeed pitiful but they
raised money!). Most Twitchathon work is done by volunteers it should not
be an office activity (except for ensuring donors get receipts - but see *

(In fact anyone can raise funds any way they like within reason for BA
research projects or Gluepot etc and if the money is donated according to
the proper Tax Office guidelines (eg you can't get something for your
donation) it is a tax deductible donation)

I personally think it is more fun despite the different opportunities in
different areas to see large numbers of species if at least one race (the
Bird Week race) has the same rules nationwide, but think it is excellent if
there as many subsidiary competitions as will encourage more participation
, raise more money, and have more people arriving at finishing lines
cheered on by welcoming crowds. In some early years teams phoned around on
the night so all states knew what others had got. It would be possible to
have big days like Russell's on the same day and get all the results in so
they sould be announced - but it might reduce the number of teams in the
main race. (Someone earlier referred to this race as elitist - with all
respect to this year's (and to us - last year's) winners in Vic, it's
hardly a competition for the elite if the record is 228 and you can win
with fewer than 200!)

In Vic, the VicGroup is interested in suggestions for different kinds of
competitions preferably on the same day as the main race but people making
the suggestion also need to have worked out the rules and if running their
kind of competition will involve work they might also volunteer (or find a
volunteer) to help run it. Contact Khalid at the National Office (in his
spare time capacity as a member of the VicGroup)if you have ideas.

Margaret Cameron

PS * Receipts. From the point of view of the National Office the biggest
bore of the Twitchathon has been the issuing of receipts - people who have
sponsored racers give them their money in good faith, but sometimes it
takes the racers months and months to send in the money and they then do
not provide addresses  or in some cases even legible names (I have even
been guilty of illegibility myself so I know it happens). Meanwhile the
donors are contacting the National Office and asking for their receipts in
time to do their tax returns. Decentralizing the issuing of receipts will
not solve this problem unless Twitchers collect the money, submit it for
the relevant cause, and ensure correct complete and legible information is

Margaret Cameron                        Phone 03 5229 9792
4 Connor Street                         Fax   03 5229 1520
East Geelong 
Victoria 3219                           Editor, Australian Birding Magazine
Australia                               PO Box 2013, Geelong, Victoria 3220

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