NDA Builds Momentum in 2018
It’s hard to believe that we just wrapped up the third and final year of our inaugural strategic plan, and we learned and accomplished a lot over that time. Perhaps the most important thing we learned is that not only is the National Deer Alliance (NDA) a worthwhile endeavor, it couldn’t be more necessary than right now given the challenges currently facing deer and hunters across the country. In fact, I often feel like we’re behind and that NDA should have been created 20 years ago, but looking in the rear-view mirror won’t help us move forward.
Over the last three years, we’ve worked on hundreds of deer and hunting policy issues, reached more than seven million people through our website and social media presence, and attracted several thousand new members. We’ve put out 150 NDA On Watch newsletters and member surveys, wrote almost 200 articles, created dozens of videos, rebranded the organization, and started the Coffee and Deer show, all of which were designed to keep hunters informed and activated. We were the lead author of a national plan for conservation organizations working on chronic wasting disease (CWD), and we helped write important legislation that, if passed, will provide significant dollars to states and tribes to helm monitor and manage the disease.
Earlier this year, we wrote our 2019 – 2021 strategic plan, and narrowed our focus even more by highlighting CWD and hunter access as our top two priorities. I’m excited about where the next three years will take us, and I’m confident we can build upon the momentum we’ve built over the last year. We had our best year financially, attracted more new sponsors than ever, gained credibility as a national leader on deer policy, and raised overall awareness about NDA among sportsmen. We’re headed in the right direction.
We are currently working on new initiatives that will help NDA raise its profile, while also making it easier for foundations and individuals to support the organization financially. While we remain steadfast in our charge to support the national deer organizations that make up the Alliance, which include Mule Deer Foundation, QDMA, and Whitetails Unlimited, achieving our own growth will allow us to do more.
Many people would be surprised at how small of an operation NDA is, but we’re proud of that. Our model is to do as much as we can for deer, hunters, and industry, without competing heavily for resources needed by our many partners. In other words, we need to grow a little more over the course of our new strategic plan, but not so much that we become another significant mouth to feed. You will learn more about this in the coming year.
As we head down the stretch of 2018 and into the holiday season, I want to thank all of you for sticking with NDA, and more importantly, continuing your passion for deer and hunting at a time where there hasn’t been a lot of great news. I’m confident that hunters will rise up as we always have, and be the solution to the challenges facing deer, and our heritage today. I wish you a joyous holiday season, and I hope that you get to spend some time afield as well.