LOWCOUNTRY RAPTORS
2509 LUMBER RD
RUFFIN SC 29475-5064
Contact Information
Organization DBA (Doing Business As)
Organization DBA
Address 2509 LUMBER RD
RUFFIN, SC 294755064
Telephone (843) 908-3235
E-mail LowcountryRaptors@yahoo.com
Projected Annual Revenue $25,500.00 (2015)
Web and Social Media
Video
Capt. Andy, our Red-tailed Hawk, is captivating the students at Lowcountry Montessori.
Mission Statement Through public education, Lowcountry Raptors fosters a connection between people and birds of prey. Our goal is to help the human part of the natural community learn to value, understand, and honor the role of wildlife while preserving the natural and cultural heritage of the Lowcountry.
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Lila A. Arnold
Board Chair Lila A. Arnold
Board Chair Company Affiliation Shared Responsibility Board Chair and Executive Director
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2013
Financial Summary
 
 
Projected Revenue $25,500.00
Projected Expenses $25,500.00
Statements
Mission Through public education, Lowcountry Raptors fosters a connection between people and birds of prey. Our goal is to help the human part of the natural community learn to value, understand, and honor the role of wildlife while preserving the natural and cultural heritage of the Lowcountry.
Background Lila Arnold is the founder of Lowcountry Raptors and permit holder to possess 8 non-releasable birds of prey through U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S.F.W.S. She is a retired classroom teacher with 27 years' experience in the classroom. She also brings 15 years of knowledge rehabilitating and handling birds of prey. Lowcountry Raptors was founded in 2013 and moved to South Carolina in 2014. The facility was constructed on 18 acres of wooded property in Colleton County in the same year. The organization received its 501c3 designation in February 2015. Lowcountry Raptors travels throughout the Lowcountry of South Carolina presenting programs with live birds of prey for community events, schools, libraries, and youth organizations. We use these non-releasable birds of prey to educate about conservation, habitat loss, and the natural history of each bird presented. Lowcountry Raptors introduces children to the majesty and beauty of these magnificent birds of prey in a close and personal setting providing students the opportunity to observe these living creatures. In essence the birds become the teachers taking the place of posters, books, or videos. Our written curriculum is drafted around state and national science standards and must be approved by U.S.F.W.S. Programs are provided at no cost to the requesting organization and are scheduled year round.  Lowcountry Raptors covers the counties of Beaufort, Hampton, Jasper, Colleton, Charleston, Dorchester, Clarendon, and Orangeburg.  

Impact
Past year's accomplishments:
 
   1.  Added a Red-tailed Hawk, Barred Owl, Great Horned Owl, Red-shouldered Hawk, and Eastern Screech Owl to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Permits to Possess for Education.   
   2.  Relocated Lowcountry Raptors to Ruffin, SC from Wichita Falls, TX.  Land for Lowcountry Raptors was purchased in 2013.
   3.  Constructed 70' x 50 ' Raptor Barn with 7 enclosures for the birds of prey.
   4.   Presented 98 birds of prey programs in TX  and SC.
   5.   Raised 15% of the total budget through public donations.
 
Goals for current year: 
 
   1.  Add additional educational birds to programs.  Currently a non-releasable Turkey Vulture has been added.  Additional birds to be added in 2015 include a Saw Whet Owl and an American Kestrel.
   2.  Obtain 501c3 status-Awarded on Feb. 2, 2015.
   3.  Construct new 40' x 20' enclosure for additional educational birds.
   4.  Increase outreach by 50% from  98 programs to 150 programs in 2015.  
   5.  Raise 30% of budget though public donations, grants, and fundraising. 
   
 
Needs
1. Walling in and insulating a small office for the director and volunteers to use in the Raptor Barn is $5,000.  
2. Financial support for feeding the birds of prey which averages $400 a month or $4,800 annually.  
3. Drilling of new water well $2,900 one time cost. 
4. Printing of educational materials used with children including activity booklets is $3,200 annually.  
5.  Cost of fuel to bring the presentation to schools and community events is $1,800 annually.
 
 
 
CEO/Executive Director Statement
Working with birds of prey has been a passion of mine for many, many years.  As a classroom teacher assigned to teach science in the lower elementary grades, I recognized the value of using living creatures as teaching tools with young minds.  My classroom was filled with all kinds of critters from an iguana to a tarantula. My classroom goal was to make science come alive.  It was a natural step for me to begin rehabilitating and educating with birds of prey in my time off during the summer.  
 
Because birds of prey are so highly regulated by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, they are just not readily available to the average teacher in the classroom. However, realizing the value and importance these birds serve, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues permits to those qualified to go into a school, a library, or an event to make presentations with birds of prey.  My goal is to create magic in the minds of children.  To allow them to touch the delicate fringe on an owl's feathers, to compare the legs of a hawk to that of an ancient dinosaur, or feel the wind generated by the 5 ft. wingspan of a vulture.  These are things that a textbook cannot replicate.  In a way, I feel a like a magician, and the birds of prey are my magic wand.  The magic we create is seen in the eyes of each and every child or it is heard in their screams of delight when a bird opens its wings or when it calls out to them in a strange hooting voice. All the while these birds are reinforcing lessons taught on such topics as the food chain, the delicate balance of our ecosystem, the destructiveness of mankind, or the relationship of all living organisms on our planet.  
Board Chair Statement

Lowcountry Raptors moved to Colleton County in July of 2014. Getting the word out to so many rural school districts has proved challenging. However, after a year's time, many of those living in Hampton, Beaufort, Colleton, and Jasper counties now know who we are. One of the ways Lowcountry Raptors has spread the word is by physically getting out with the birds at community events such as the many farmer's markets in the area. We have informational pages for the children as well as stickers and pass out business cards to the parents to share with their child's teacher. We have also reached out to numerous newspapers which have printed photos and stories about our bird programs. By the end of 2014, Lowcountry Raptors was up to 3 programs a week in area schools.

One challenge has been the large area we cover to get to a school or library to make one of our presentations. It is not unusual to drive 3 hours round trip. One of our biggest expenses has been the cost of fuel. Our mission is to keep our programs free for all schools and other youth organizations so we are always mindful what it can cost to drive to a location. So far, Lowcountry Raptors has been able to adhere to that goal and provide all our programs free of charge.

One special fundraiser was conducted by Beaufort Middle School's Sixth Grade Class which helped us with our fuel costs. The students posted photos of 3 of our birds of prey in which students could vote for their favorite one. It cost $2.00 to cast a vote and it was a very close race between Breezy, the Barred Owl, Beau, the Great Horned Owl, and Capt. Andy, the Red-tailed Hawk. The students designed ads which were hung around the school encouraging students to vote for a particular bird. In the end, the students raised $300 and sponsored all three birds for the year. I even posted some of the top ads on our Facebook page.
 
Lowcountry Raptors has become so well known with the school children in Beaufort County that we now have "owl groupies."  These are the small children that come out each week to Port Royal Farmer's Market just to see one of our owls.  I know many of them by name and they are never hesitant to push their way through the crowd of adults just to get up close to Breezy or Odin, two of our owls.  One mom even said, "We can never miss a Saturday at the farmer's market because our children want to see what birds you brought this week."
 
It is a great feeling to know Lowcountry Raptors has become a permanent fixture in the community.

 


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

As the Executive Director of Lowcountry Raptors, as well as a retired classroom teacher, I know school budgets are strained and teachers spend far too much money out of their own pockets. I wouldn't want a single child to miss out on one of our programs because there was a fee involved for their school or youth organization.


Areas of Service
Area
Beaufort County
Colleton County
Hampton County
Jasper County
Lowcountry Raptors serves the towns and communities Beaufort, Port Royal, Laurel Bay, Okatie, Bluffton, Burton, Parris Island, Ridgeland, Coosawhatchie, Hardeville, Ruffin, Williams, Walterboro, Canadys, and Hendersonville.  We also cover Hampton County but at this time, we have not made any presentations there.
Board Chair
Board Chair Lila A. Arnold
Company Affiliation Shared Responsibility Board Chair and Executive Director
Term Jan 2013 to Dec 2018
Email LowcountryRaptors@yahoo.com
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
Karen T. Anderson Community Volunteer
Lila A. Arnold Executive Director/Board President
Joan Payton Bruce Community Volunteer
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 3
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 3
Governance
Board Term Lengths 6
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? No
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 2
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Comments
In the next few years it is Lowcountry Raptors' goal to expand our Board of Directors from 3 to 5 members.  As we become better known in the area, we will be reaching out to the community in search of potential board members.
Executive Director
Executive Director/CEO Lila A. Arnold
Experience Lila Arnold, Executive Director, comes to Lowcountry Raptors with 27 years teaching experience in Texas public schools. She also has 15 years experience in rehabilitation and education with birds of prey.  She was the primary federal permit holder at Wild Bird Rescue, a large avian center in Wichita Falls, TX for all of those years.  The last 3 years at Wild Bird Rescue she served as the senior rehabilitator and the Executive Director and was the only paid staff member at the facility.  While at Wild Bird Rescue, she created their educational birds of prey program and was the primary presenter of their birds of prey.  She called upon her many years in the classroom to develop a curriculum which would meet both state and national standards. Her other duties as director included maintaining financial records, media outreach, fundraising, and volunteer coordination of over 40 volunteers. In 2012, she resigned to relocate to the East Coast where she established Lowcountry Raptors with the goal of providing educational opportunities to the public especially school aged children.  
Co-CEO
Experience
Staff
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 10
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 0%
Plans
Organization has a Strategic Plan? No
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? No
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Diversity Policy
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Collaborations

Programs
Description

Two or three of Lowcountry Raptors education birds will visit a classroom, outdoor school, summer camp,youth group, or library. A 45-60 minute presentation will be given on topics such as raptors, predators and their prey, life cycles, birds-form and function, or an introduction to raptor rehabilitation. Programs are free to all organizations. All our programs are created using state and national science standards and can be adapted to fit the classroom's curriculum being taught. Some standards addressed in our presentations are: Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry; Organisms and environments; Organism's relationship to the environment; Life cycles; Characteristics of organisms; and Needs of organisms. Ultimately, we anticipate each child reached will achieve higher test scores. Likewise, students will grow up to become better stewards in preserving the natural part of South Carolina.


Budget 25500
Short Term Success By the end of our classroom presentation, 85%  of all students will be able to  describe the relationship of one organism to another.  Ex:  The role of predator vs prey in keeping our ecosystem in balance. 
Long Term Success For all students participating in our presentations, 90% will leave our programs with a better understanding of the role birds of prey play in the ecosystem of the Lowcountry of South Carolina.  
Strategy Yes
Program Success Monitored BY Lowcountry Raptors offers a pretest and a posttest which may be used by the  classroom teacher.  If these tests are used, we request that they be returned to Lowcountry Raptors so we may evaluate the success of our presentations.  More often, our presentations serve to partner with the curriculum previously taught and are used to reinforce concepts in the classroom.  Evaluations are done in the form of a question and answer period at the end of each presentation and are judged based on accurate oral responses.  
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year 2015
Projected Revenue $25,500.00
Projected Expenses $25,500.00
Spending Policy N/A
Form 990s
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$12,000$4,470--
Administration Expense$0$0--
Fundraising Expense$500$300--
Payments to Affiliates$0$0--
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.041.02--
Program Expense/Total Expenses96%94%--
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue6%8%--
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$65,000$65,000--
Current Assets$65,000$65,000--
Long-Term Liabilities$10,500$14,500--
Current Liabilities$10,500$14,500--
Total Net Assets$54,500$50,500--
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities6.194.48--
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets16%22%--
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201420132012
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountINDIVIDUAL DONATIONS $8,000INDIVIDUAL DONATIONS $3,870--
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountIN KIND DONATIONS $3,000PRESENTATIONS $500--
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountPRESENTATIONS $1,000IN KIND DONATIONS $400--
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
Registration Yes May 2016
Comments
Organization Comments This organization is the creation and passion of the Executive Director, Lila Arnold.  She has pledged her financial support to guarantee this organization meets all it projected financial goals.  Long term goals include lessening dependency on her financial support with an increase in public donations, fundraising, and grant writing.
Nonprofit LOWCOUNTRY RAPTORS
Address 2509 LUMBER RD
RUFFIN, SC 294755064
Primary Phone (843) 908-3235
CEO/Executive Director Lila A. Arnold
Board Chair Lila A. Arnold
Board Chair Company Affiliation Shared Responsibility Board Chair and Executive Director
Year of Incorporation 2013