1 Feb 2010

Martin Holm - Communication Officer at DOF (BirdLife in Denmark)

Hi everybody, my name is Martin and I have been with DOF (BirdLife in Denmark) for almost seven years, where I am responsible for communication and fundraising and all sorts of other stuff thrown in between for good measure. Besides me, the Communication Department consists of Tine Stampe, Head of Communication, Eva Svendsen, part-time assistant and Tina Møller, who is helping out between her studies. Further we have a couple of external magazine editors plus a news journalist attached to the department. In other words we’re a merry bunch trying to keep all things communication-related afloat. These days, my main duties are fundraising (I am mostly engaged with private foundations and corporates) as well as managing a member-recruitment scheme called “Nature at Eyelevel” which is the Danish equivalent to “Aren’t Birds Brilliant” or “A Date with Nature” as it is now called. I'm quite excited about this scheme as it gives DOF the chance to go out and meet people, who wouldn't otherwise come into contact with the society and show them that we're catering for more than hardcore birders and scientists! So why do I enjoy working for bird and nature conservation, you ask? Well, I didn’t spring into life with a pair of binoculars around my neck nor have I ever evolved into a fully fledged “birder”. However, I did have a so-called “wow experience” some 17 years ago, when a member of the family pointed out a couple of Ospreys Pandion haliaetus perched in a roadside tree in Southern Sweden. (I remember we were on a weekend break and the car had blown a tyre and left us stranded on some deserted side road – well, semi-deserted since these big birds were keeping an eye on us like a couple of scavengers waiting for us to fall over. Today I actually believe they were Common Buzzards Buteo buteo (which occasionally do feed on carcasses as it happens…) So, yes, it all started with a wow experience (partly because of these impressive creatures and partly because we manage to change the tyre ourselves). That episode ignited a dawning interest in birds and thus conservation (as fulfilling as the changing of a tyre is, studying car mechanics was never really an option for me) so years later, when the opportunity arose to work for DOF, I took my chance. I feel very privileged to be able to work for a goal that also holds my interest and the sense of working for an ideal purpose is very appealing to me. When I leave my desk by the end of the day, I didn’t ensure that a few shareholders can now put even more money into their pockets – no, I contributed to the fact that nature and thereby we all hopefully are better off than we were when the day started. Being part of the BirdLife Partnership, where so many people all over the world everyday are working towards the same goal, is something that fills me with inspiration and determination – and with something that can best be described as humility. This blog post is from BirdLife’s European Newsletter. To register for the letter, please click here.