As we look to commence our second and most important Grant Cycle of our year, I am pleased to announce that we will maintain the same total annual grant budget as last year — $1,500,000. This grant level was an important milestone for the Harder Foundation, as it was our highest annual grant total in our history. Considering the very difficult equity market’s performance this year, matching that amount is an important accomplishment for the Foundation.
On a sad note, I must announce that we recently lost one of our long-time board members. Bill Langbauer, brother of Del Langbauer and Bob Langbauer passed away earlier this year. Bill had served on our board for several decades and his enthusiasm and support for our work will be missed. As trustees, both Del and Bob have held key staff roles in the Foundation and continue to be very active board members.
We do not have immediate plans to replace Bill on our board, but both Nels and Gabe Langbauer (great grandsons of our founder) continue to play key roles in our stewardship model and will become trustees in the near future. Further, we continue to plan for additional team members to join our Program Advisory Panel to assist us and help guide our program staff, which we plan to increase over time. We remain very excited to continue our work, as in the past — with dedication and a long-term commitment. We have no plans to ‘sunset’, ever. Our commitment to helping preserve biodiversity in our focus geography remains our paramount goal.
As always, I would like to express our thanks and gratitude to all our grantees for the fantastic work they perform every day in trying to make the world a better place.