CEO Notes

A Time to Focus

Since its incorporation in 1973, the NWTF has been an incredibly successful organization. Built on a strong foundation with solid core values and an inspiring mission, it has thrived and grown. Like many organizations, however, in our growth we have sometimes branched into new opportunities that neither align well with our mission nor provide the best investment for our future. To use a tree analogy, we have grown branches that simply aren’t bearing fruit. And, as with trees, periodic pruning is necessary to put energy into the production of fruit, rather than supporting unproductive branches.

The NWTF has, over time, expanded to include programs beyond our core mission. In preparation of our next fiscal year budget, I will be reducing investment in some of the non-fruiting limbs of the company. Cutting programs is difficult. Resulting staff reductions are gut wrenching, especially in an organization with a staff that is as committed, passionate and talented as ours. These moves are necessary for NWTF to remain financially strong and firmly focused on our mission.

As part of these reductions, we have closed the Turkey Shoppe on Main in Edgefield, South Carolina. We will continue to have a Turkey Shop at our National Convention and Sport Show for the convenience of our members and attendees. We also will focus our work on the Hunting Heritage Center on mission — teaching habitat management and hunting heritage. We will continue to operate the Palmetto Shooting Complex, in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, to promote the shooting sports. Non-mission events, however, will be trimmed.

As we grow our nationwide impact with Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt., we will continue to invest in partnerships that help us put active habitat management on the ground and create the next generation of hunters. We are building field-based leadership teams so Volunteer Relations, Fund Raising, Conservation and Development department staffs have similar administrative boundaries and foster teamwork. In Edgefield, we are aligning support programs for more streamlined business management processes and eliminating duplication. In addition, we will continue to look for ways to outsource some functions when it is more efficient and cost effective than doing it in-house.

Over the last two years, the NWTF staff and board of directors have been working together on a strategic vision and implementation plan for the NWTF. Your input and comments have helped shape this plan for our future. As we move forward, we will focus our efforts to promote:

  • Ensuring Robust Populations of Wild Turkeys: The NWTF will use the best science and techniques to achieve healthy, well-managed wild turkey populations in all suitable habitats to provide quality-hunting experiences.
  • Conserving Healthy Habitats: Through our volunteers and partners, the NWTF will provide the highest quality habitats that foster abundant wild turkey populations and other wildlife and create exceptional places to pursue hunting and outdoor activities.
  • Preserving Our Hunting Heritage: The NWTF will uphold and preserve our hunting heritage by engaging our passionate volunteers to share the culture and lifestyle they cherish through efforts focused on recruitment, retention and reactivation and providing a social support network to new or reactivated hunters.
  • Building an Organization for the Future: The NWTF will focus on long-term organizational growth and stability to ensure efficient mission delivery.

As difficult as pruning is, these moves will ensure a healthier NWTF and, in turn, a better ability to put our mission on the ground. Now, all of us working together — volunteers, staff and partners — need to feed our new growth in those parts of the organization that will bear the fruit of Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. well into the future.

— Becky Humphries, NWTF CEO