Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) has protected endangered sea turtles and the ecosystems they depend on for more than 40 years. Annually, the Center works to protect and monitor nesting and hatching sea turtles, rehabilitate sea turtles, conduct pollution prevention and marine debris removal initiatives, and provide free education programming to all. Because LMC is a free admission facility, the Center heavily depends on donations to fuel its conservation efforts. In a normal year, the Center welcomes more than 350,000 guests, including more than 70,000 students on school field trips, to its campus for free.
Since 2018, DipJar has been an integral part of the Center’s fundraising efforts, generating nearly $400,000 dollars through more than 26,000 “dips.” These funds help provide critical care and treatment for the Center’s sea turtle patients, as well as fund the conservation efforts of LMC’s four core pillars of conservation.
As it pursues its mission to promote conservation of ocean ecosystems with a special focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles, the Center focuses on rehabilitation, research, education and conservation. All four core pillars work together to inform policies, initiatives, and programming to help improve the health of sea turtles and the ocean.
- Rehabilitation – Since its inception, the Center has cared for sick and injured sea turtles – serving as a leading authority in sea turtle rehabilitation. From rescue to release, the active sea turtle hospital works to provide its patients with premium care.
- Research – For over 40 years, the Center has monitored and protected one of the most densely nested beaches in the world. This 9.5 mile stretch of beach typically hosts more than 10,000 nests a season. Because of this, LMC has constructed one of the most comprehensive datasets of its kind.
- Education – LMC has long-offered programs for individuals of all ages and areas of interest. Most recently, LMC began offering virtual educational lessons, videos and activities for at home learners.
- Conservation – With more than 187 global partners, LMC works to establish global sea turtle conservation programs backed by the Center’s world-class data.
Through the Center’s four core pillars, LMC actively works to improve the endangered or threatened status of sea turtles and improve the health of their ocean home. In 2020, LMC staff protected nearly 17,000 nests, producing approximately 800,000 hatchlings. While this may sound like a lot of sea turtles, Tim Hannon, co-interim CEO and COO set the record straight, “The hurdles these turtles face are enormous, not many hatchlings survive until adulthood.”
Both nesting and hatching sea turtles face many challenges – as soon as a nesting sea turtle makes its way from the sea to the shore sound, light pollution, or beach goers can cause the sea turtle to “false crawl” and return back into the water. Once the eggs have been laid, they incubate for 60-90 days. During this time, the eggs can be eaten by predators, damaged by tropical storms and hurricanes, exposed by beach goers digging on the beach, and more.
The trip from the nest, down the beach, and into the ocean presents its own dangers as birds gather to swoop upon the hatchlings and fish swarm to meet them as they enter the water. For those that make it through this gauntlet, plastics and pollutants in the ocean can also take their toll. Unfortunately, each year, the Center receives “washbacks” or hatchlings that have returned to shore after making it into the ocean. These washbacks often have digestive tracks lined with microplastics.
Donations generated by the Center not only help fund the critical care of its sea turtle patients, but awareness and education regarding sea turtle safety. The Center uses donations to create programs and initiatives locally and globally.
To encourage admission donations, three DipJars are located at the entrance to the Center and another at an exit. The suggested donation for the Center is $5 per person. Since most people visit the Center with family and friends, the DipJars at the entrance are set to $10, $15, and $20 to allow for easier group donations.
The DipJars’ portability kit and persistent cellular connection adds a great deal of flexibility for reaching donors. These capabilities allow LMC to set the devices up at the beach during beach cleanup events or moved around the Center itself as it undergoes a major campus expansion.
Over the years, visitor feedback of the DipJars has been incredibly positive. People note the jars’ ease of use and enjoy the “cha-ching” sound made when a donation is received. In fact, people often make a second “dip” just to hear the sound again!
Loggerhead Marinelife Center is a great example of a nonprofit organization using DipJar as an innovative way to support an important mission. If you want to learn more about LMC or support its mission, please visit the Center’s website. If you would like to learn more about DipJar and how it can increase donations and donor engagement, please contact our sales team.