By Bill Cooper
Safari Club International, based out of Dallas, Texas has led the fight to defend hunting and wildlife conservation worldwide for over 50 years. Consisting of 180 membership chapters around the world and a legal advocacy team based in Washington, DC, SCI is strategically positioned to lead the fight for the freedom to hunt around the globe.
Located just a few blocks from the nation’s capital, SCI is in place to build effective relationships with Congressional leaders and federal agencies on behalf of the hunting community. SCI maintains an in-house full time staff foley dedicated to monitoring legislative issues the affect hunters and wildlife conservation around the globe.
SCI isn’t active solely at the federal level; they had a presence in all 50 states through their local chapters and Government Affairs Staff. SCI maintains well established relationships with pro-sportsmen elected leaders throughout the country thanks to a collaboration with individual state sportsmen’s caucuses. So, SCI has the right connections to defend hunter and the outdoor lifestyle. SCI is one of a few hunting or conservation organizations with an in-house legal staff, which specializes in hunting and wildlife conservation litigation. The attorneys of SCI’s Government Affairs Department have represented SCI and its members as a whole in district and federal courts throughout the country. With their international chapters and conservation partners in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and the Pacific Rim, SCI defends your freedom to hunt no matter what, where, or how you hunt.
SCI is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, and funds and directs worldwide programs dedicated to wildlife conservation and outdoor education. The SCI Foundation ensures that the best available science is used in wildlife policy ads management in North America and abroad. SCIF’s abundant projects demonstrate the constructive role that hunting, awn hunters play in conserving biodiversity around the world. The organization is “First for Wildlife,” investing millions of dollars into wildlife conservation. And education every year. SCIF’s Conservation Department partners with national, state and provincial governments, /university researcher, and conservation non-governmental organizations to complete wildlife research and management projects worldwide. Since 2000, SCI has put over $70 million in hunter dollars to work on over 100 conservation projects in 30 countries. From elk restoration in the U.S., anti-poaching projects in Africa, snow leopard projects in Asia, to a Vietnam Ungulates Project, SCI has long been in the forefront of conservation leadership worldwide.
For over 50 years SCI has hosted the original worldwide international hunters’ show. Considered the “Ultimate Sportsmen’s Market,” the SCI Annual Convention showcases hunting opportunities from six continents, alongside world-class taxidermy, wildlife art, firearms, and almost anything associated with hunting. The convention brings hunters from around the world together with hunting operators and manufacturers. Outdoor products manufacturers often showcase new products at the SCI convention.
With more than 1,000 exhibitors, hunters can find anything they need or dream about at the SCI convention. The show offers dozens of educational seminars and opportunities to meet hunting celebrities. Hundreds of hunts, fishing trips, firearms, works of art, jewelry and other items at SCI’s live and silent auctions. Raised funds help go to hunter advocacy and conservation programs.
SCI boasts 50,000 members through its global chapter network, and an additional 4 million affiliate members. SCI chapters are the backbone of the organization. SCI chapters are freestanding corporations tied to SCI by a form of licensing. Individual chapters support SCI and SCI’s mission through various fundraising efforts to contribute to SCI’s advocacy and conservation efforts. However chapters maintain the freedom to conduct their own projects supporting local and international conservation, humanitarian/community development, and outdoor education.
Chapters are the local face of SCI and are key when it comes to the success of membership recruitment and retention, often providing innovative ideas and best practices and playing a major role in raising funds for SCI.
When subdivisions of other organizations hold local fundraisers, all or almost all of the revenue generated goes to the main organization. With SCI Chapters, the local Chapter keeps 70 percent of the proceeds from their largest fundraiser to be used for local programs and 30 percent goes to SCI to help offset myriad expenses, including costs for many services that cannot be financed or conducted at the local level.
SCI and SCI Foundation receive about $1.6 million annually from the 30 percent Chapter contributions. About $700,000 is used to support the chapters directly. This includes the costs related to the Chapter Service Specialists, Regional Reps and the liability insurance that is provided. The remainder of the funds are used to support SCI/SCIF mission programs, which both directly and indirectly benefit Chapters and members. To learn more about SCI go to: www.safariclub.org.
Cutline: Safari Club International supports wildlife management programs aprons the world.