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Audited financials, tax documents and our annual report.

two turkeys in the woods
NWTF Financials
2023 Audited Financials
Annual Reports

2023 Annual Report

Fiscal year 2023 marked the 50th Anniversary of the NWTF, and it was a year full of milestones. The organization’s finances are in solid shape; our annual Convention and Sport Show in Nashville set records in attendance and vendor participation; we announced our largest-ever single year funding for wild turkey research; and we launched new initiatives focused on the wild turkey and the creation of healthy wildlife habitat.

To kick off 2023 and celebrate our 50th Anniversary, we intentionally set several ambitious goals for the year, including, but not limited to: positively impact 1 million acres of wildlife habitat; raise $500,000 for wild turkey research; grow our ranks to 250,000 adult members (recruit 75,000 new adult members); and dedicate $1 million to education and outreach (our Hunting Heritage programs). Due to the dedication of our members, volunteers and staff, we have experienced serious growth toward our membership goal and achieved all other goals laid out for the year.

Thanks to the full resumption of chapter fundraising activities and prudent financial management, the NWTF is in an even stronger financial position this year compared to the prior year. The number of local banquet events grew by 6.5% in 2023, and net revenue increased by 15% over 2022. We continued our goal of ensuring a solid financial footing for the organization by increasing cash reserves while expanding mission delivery.

We are achieving cost savings with last year’s decision to transition to a third-party vendor to handle merchandise warehousing and fulfillment needs for local chapters’ fundraising activities. This transition also allowed us to sell the warehouse facility and its associated acreage and invest net proceeds from the sale into strengthening and modernizing our mission delivery infrastructure.

Wild turkey populations are growing or sustaining in certain areas, while other areas are experiencing an unquestionable decline. Unfortunately, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to why the decline is happening. This is why wild turkey research is critical.

Thanks to concerted fundraising by our organization, in June 2023, the NWTF was able to announce its largest-ever single year outlay of investments in wild turkey ecology research: $582,374 dispersed among 10 vital projects across nine states. With the inclusion of our partners’ support, the NWTF’s 2023 investment in wild turkey research will be leveraged to nearly $9 million. Add to that the funding by state chapters and national funding from last year, and we have contributed over $1.2 million, leveraged against more than $12 million, in the last 12 months for wild turkey research. This is tremendous!

While research is critical, we also know that loss of essential habitat is having an adverse effect on wild turkey numbers, especially in the Southeast and Mid-South states. That is why we have developed our new Habitat for the Hatch initiative. This landscape-scale initiative is laser-focused on creating nesting habitat and quality brood range in close proximity to each other. The initiative includes all or portions of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Habitat for the Hatch will be scaled to make a massive impact – 1 million acres of quality nesting and brood-rearing habitat, implemented based on current research efforts, in the next 10 years across public and private lands. The work of Habitat for the Hatch will result in more turkeys across the Southeast and beyond, plus overall healthier and more contiguous ecosystems. At the beginning of this fiscal year (October 2022), the NWTF and the USDA Forest Service signed a landmark 20-year national master stewardship agreement. This first-of-its-kind agreement paves the way for NWTF and the Forest Service to work together to address the wildfire crisis in the West and promote healthy forests across the U.S. It also includes an initial $50 million commitment from the Forest Service.

Our partnership with the Forest Service is central to our mission. Wild turkeys, as well as other wildlife, rely on healthy habitats and healthy forests for their long-term sustainability. These mitigation efforts will benefit turkey habitats that are part of over 90 million acres of Forest Service lands.

While habitat work is essential, the preservation of our hunting heritage continues to be a critical part of NWTF’s mission. Over the last 70 years, the population of the U.S. has nearly doubled. Yet the number of hunters has not kept pace with that growth. Our collective voice has, and is, continuing to shrink. And with it goes all the critical support and resources hunters and shooters provide to everyone who loves the outdoor lifestyle.

We are investing in research to understand more of the general public’s perceptions of hunting and our shared hunting heritage. The NWTF is working with like-minded organizations and researchers on a national ad campaign – Hunt for Good – that is geared toward increasing participation and public support of hunting through various mediums which will target new audiences. The goal of this campaign is to connect with the nearly 80% of Americans who are receptive to the positive benefits hunting provides.
The Hunt for Good Project will provide insight into how we can effectively recruit more recreational hunting enthusiasts and create broader social acceptance for hunting. We look forward to using this research to engage new audiences.

This past February the NWTF National Convention and Sport Show in Nashville drew more than 67,000 sport show attendees – an all-time record. In addition to the sport show attendance record, the NWTF’s golden anniversary celebration saw other records shattered, including the 512 exhibitors that set up booths on the show floor, the 2,000 individuals that attended the NWTF’s Grand National Auction and numerous events that saw record-breaking fundraising.

NWTF’s strengthened finances have allowed us to make strategic investments in our people and infrastructure to create a nimble, responsive organization. We’ve invested in our people, by making sure we are a competitive organization to attract and retain the best talent. We’ve flattened the organizational structure to match our co-CEO model and foster greater cross-team collaborations. We are investing in new business software and membership tools to modernize our organization and position us for greater success.

There has been much to celebrate during NWTF’s 50th Anniversary year, but we’re focused on the challenges and opportunities to prepare our organization for the next 50 years. We are developing a 10-year strategy to expand, deepen and strengthen mission-related activities under the Healthy Habitats. Healthy Harvests. umbrella, to double the number of active chapters, and increase the size of the NWTF family through both adult and youth membership.

This has been a year of abundance and a year of gratitude. You helped build the NWTF into what it is today, and we’re proud of where the NWTF is heading in the next 50 years.

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