Find here more background about the Friends of the Kalahari Meerkat Project Society, based on our articles.
History and organisation
The Friends of the Kalahari Meerkat Project society (FKMP) was founded in November 2007. The FKMP society is in general legally independent from the Kalahari Meerkat Project (KMP), though the two organisations are functionally linked.
Prof. Tim Clutton-Brock and Prof. Marta Manser, of the Kalahari Meerkat Project (KMP), and Evi Bauer (ex Earthwatcher, www.pangolin.li) have agreed in Spring 2007 to set up a sponsoring venture, in which people interested in meerkat research and in the meerkats of the Kalahari Meerkat Project will receive information about the project and the meerkats, in exchange for funds contributing to the research.
It was decided to set up the Friends of the Kalahari Meerkat Project society (FKMP) which will operate this venture. “Friends” are members who will receive meerkat information in exchange for their membership fee or a sponsorship fee. The FKMP also collects donations, bequests and similar contributions, or may organise merchandising activities. Furthermore, the FKMP will advertise and organise “Friends visits” where Friends can visit the project.
Purpose of the FKMP
The purpose of the society is two-fold:
- The FKMP society supports research on meerkats and their ecosystem, performed at the Kalahari Meerkat Project, with funds which are contributed by the FKMP members in the form of membership fees and donations.
- The FKMP society fosters knowledge about meerkats, and specifically the KMP meerkats, for people not directly affiliated with the KMP. The FKMP does so by making information on the meerkats available exclusively to members via the FKMP website, or other connected websites (e.g. facebook).
Membership is open to individuals and legal bodies who accept the purpose of the FKMP society and are willing to support our purpose and the KMP. The Board can exclude members if they endamage the interests or reputation of the FKMP society, or the KMP.
The society consists of contributing members and Friends. Contributing members contribute time and resources to the society; the number of contributing members should not exceed the number needed to operate the society and fulfill its purpose. All contributing members currently do not receive any financial compensation for their work; the team volunteers, and all proceeds currently are made available to the Friends Fund.
Friends subscribe to receive information, and usually play no active role in the dealings of the society.
The financial surplus resulting from membership fees and donations, after any obligations of the society are met, is contributed to the “Friends Fund”. The monies in the Friends Fund can be applied for by researchers, for the sole use of supporting their research on meerkats and their ecosystem, and only under the condition that field research is performed in the KMP.
Researchers applying for FKMP funds must have obtained permission from the KMP to conduct their project in the KMP before FKMP funds may be applied for. Researchers have to submit a grant application, which will be evaluated by the Funds Commitee.
The Funds Committee alone decides on grant recipient(s), unless the respective funds were obtained by a donation, bequest, or similar source and the donor made it subject to provisions to its use, as long as this use is accepted by the KMP.
Funds raised by “Friends Visits” or similar visits organised for the general public are used for the operation of the research site.