Chandra Towers Blatt
Official Title: Development Officer, Planned Giving, WCS
"Helping to raise funds to make the world a better place is an extremely rewarding and challenging experience that is like no other."
Many people donate money or gifts to conservation organizations such as the Wildlife Conservation Society. Chandra works with people who make gifts to the Wildlife Conservation Society now, but the gifts are received by WCS at a future date. These types of planned gifts include bequests in wills, charitable gift annuities, and charitable trusts. These donors are interested in making planned gifts so that the efforts of WCS will be supported for future generations. These types of gifts might not be received by WCS for many, many years, but they are essential for conservation and the security of the organization’s efforts in the future.
As a child, Chandra always loved animals so she became a member of a variety of conservation and animal welfare organizations. As she got older, she enjoyed babysitting and volunteering at a senior citizens’ center as well as reading and writing. In college, she studied communications and developed her written and verbal skills. While working in the television industry, Chandra felt that, although her job was exciting, it left her feeling dissatisfied. She felt that her work should make a difference in the world. So, she started working for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Development, or Fund-raising, Department.
Chandra feels that her current job allows her to combine her strong communication skills with her desire to save wildlife. Every day is new and exciting. She meets and forms relationships with all types of people and helps them develop a plan to save wildlife and habitats. She gives tours to people who are interested in donating – either in person or through a computer virtual tour – and organizes "thank you" events for those people who have decided to donate. She also exercises her creative legs by writing and producing a biannual newsletter.
When asked what steps she took in high school to pursue her career, Chandra responded, "When I was in high school, I was an avid reader. Reading exposed me to new worlds, expanded my knowledge base, and encouraged me to think and question. I subscribed to animal and conservation-related magazines to keep abreast of current trends, accomplishments, and challenges in the world of conservation. When I was 16 years old, I launched a letter-writing campaign to persuade government officials in Washington to support the ban on the ivory trade, which was a critical issue at the time. It’s never too early to get involved, and it’s never too early to make a difference."