Since the inception of the new California Ricelands Waterbird Foundation, we have been putting the pieces into place for this organization to receive tax-deductible donations to enhance habitat in rice fields. Last month, the Foundation finally received its formal letter from the IRS, granting it status as a 501c3 approved to receive fully tax-deductible charitable donations.
The Foundation was initially started to receive and process rice industry contributions pledged by California rice growers and handlers as matching funds for our Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) award by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The first-year pledges have been received and invested in habitat projects. We will now strive to attract investments by other philanthropic industries and foundations interested in enhancing habitat for waterbirds in the Central Valley.
The Foundation has a five-member Board made up of rice industry and waterbird conservation groups, including Ducks Unlimited and Audubon California. Be on the lookout for the launch of our Foundation website in the coming weeks.