TWS Give Back Program: Engaging more wildlife professionals

©Joanna Gilkeson/USFWS

Beginning Dec. 1, when professionals, early-career professionals and retired TWS members renew their memberships, they’ll have the opportunity to “Give Back” to the wildlife profession by gifting a six-month complimentary TWS membership to an active wildlife professional of their choice to introduce that person to the many benefits that TWS has to offer. One of many significant announcements at the TWS Annual Conference in Raleigh by TWS chief operating officer Ed Thompson, this program was arguably one the biggest, creating quite a stir and plenty of positive buzz among attendees.

“Members have expressed how difficult it is to put the true value of a TWS membership into words when encouraging other professionals to join,” Thompson said. “By allowing them to pass along the complete TWS experience, the Give Back program provides members with a simple way to demonstrate that value.”

Over the past two years the Society has significantly improved the benefits of TWS membership, but those who aren’t members of the parent Society likely do not know how much they are missing. During that same time period, the Society’s student membership has continued to grow, but the number of professionals has remained mostly stagnant. So in order to grow and strengthen the TWS network of professionals and increase collaboration opportunities for all members, the new Give Back program specifically targets individuals who are active wildlife professionals to receive these introductory memberships.

Nominees, should they choose to accept their gift membership from a TWS member, will experience all the same benefits as members, including but not limited to:

  • The Wildlife Professional bimonthly magazine
  • Free online access to all TWS publications (The Journal of Wildlife Management, Wildlife Monographs and Wildlife Society Bulletin)(effective Jan. 1, 2017)
  • Weekly editions of the eWildlifer newsletter, including featured TWS Talks presentations
  • Networking through the TWS Online Member Directory (launching in December)
  • Ability to join any and all working groups
  • Ability to pursue certification opportunities
  • A variety of members-only discounts, including $200 off TWS Annual Conference registration
  • And much more!

If you renew online, you will immediately have the opportunity to nominate an active wildlife professional. If you renew through TWS’ paperless automatic renewal program or mail in a paper renewal form, you will receive an email with a link that can be used to submit your nomination.

The nomination process is easy:

  • Provide the name and email address of the nominee.
  • TWS will send an email on your behalf inviting the person to accept your gift.
  • The nominee accepts the gift by simply providing a mailing address (to receive The Wildlife Professional magazine).
  • The nominee receives a welcome email with member login information. You receive an email confirming that the person has accepted your gift so that you can stay in touch and continue to encourage your nominee to join at the end of the six months.

Before your renewal date sneaks up on you, start thinking about who you can nominate. It may be a friend or colleague in your organization or agency; a respected peer at a different organization; a TWS local chapter or section member who isn’t a parent society member; or anyone you believe would benefit from a TWS membership and would be a valuable addition to our network of wildlife professionals.

“If every professional, early-career professional and retired member nominates an active professional for this special opportunity, nearly 7,000 people will experience TWS membership through this new program during the upcoming year,” Thompson said. “The Give Back Program is an amazing opportunity to significantly grow our membership, providing all TWS members with a wider and more diverse network for professional development and collaboration.”