Welcome to our Voatsiperifery Monthly Donor Fundraiser!
We've got an amazing year planned for 2023, where we'll be launching some exciting new projects in our restoration sites in Madagascar, the Great Plains, and here in the Palouse region of southeastern Washington. Whether it's creating jobs while restoring rainforest, or turning weeds into valuable biochar, all of these projects need your help, and a little bit each month goes a long way.
To say "Thank You" to everyone that signs up as a monthly donor, we're sharing one of our favorite things: wild Voatsiperifery pepper, straight from the rainforests of Madagascar (the only place on Earth it grows). This spice is really something you have to experience for yourself to believe, and once you do, the aromatics, fragrance, and delicate, lingering heat make it something your next pasta or barbeque can't live without. But don't take our word for it...
Ready to add an exotic new spice to your kitchen? Here's how!
1. Sign up to be a Monthly Supporter of The Phoenix Conservancy (through the "Donate" button on this page)
2. We'll send you a Thank You gift of voatsiperifery.
Easy as that! Monthly Supporters that donate $10 a month will receive a 1 fl. oz vial of the peppercorns to try out in your kitchen, and with monthly support of $35 or more, we'll send a 4 fl. oz jar. To make sure you receive your thank you gift, make sure you select "Monthly" as the donation interval after clicking the "Donate" button on this page.
Every dollar donated goes directly to The Phoenix Conservancy's work, creating sustainable jobs and improving communities while restoring some of the most imperiled ecosystems on the planet. What's not to love?
So who is The Phoenix Conservancy, and What Does Your Organization Do?
In Short: The Phoenix Conservancy restores endangered ecosystems.
Longer version: We work to restore ecosystems with less than 5% remaining, and incorporate economic opportunity into the restoration process. We work on three geographic scales, Locally (Palouse Prairie of the inland Northwestern USA), Nationally (Northern Short Grass Prairie of the Great Plains of North America), and Globally (rainforests of Madagascar).
Hence our symbol, the Phoenix. Like the mythical fiery bird, we work to restore ecosystems that have been all but destroyed, helping them rise from the ashes once more (sometimes quite literally).
And no, we don't work in Arizona (yet). But we get that a lot!
Monthly Support = Change
Nonprofits are like any living thing, and just like a cat or dog, they need regular nourishment to thrive. Unlike a pet, however, a major problem all nonprofits face is that donations for a whole year often come all at once (imagine trying to feed your pet a whole year's worth of food in one day!).
That's what makes a monthly donation so valuable to organizations like The Phoenix Conservancy. Smaller, monthly donations help us plan better, be more efficient, and focus on what really matters: restoring endangered ecosystems.
Vote-see-what-now...? Never heard of it...
Voatsiperifery pepper (pronounced votes-ih-pair-ih-fair; Piper borbonense) is like the black pepper (Piper nigrum) we all have in our kitchens… but better. Voatsiperifery is more fragrant, flavorful, and you don’t need much to liven up any dish. It is just as versatile as regular black pepper but far tastier.
Okay, but how does this relate to restoring endangered ecosystems?
Voatsiperifery is native only to Madagascar’s rainforests, which means if you want it in your kitchen, rainforest needs to be in Madagascar. The Phoenix Conservancy is planting voatsiperifery as part of our restoration efforts, and we’re training local communities to harvest peppercorns from the plants already growing in Ivohiboro. Along with several other plants that produce economically valuable fruits, the Malagasy can harvest and sell voatsiperifery, generating income that incentivizes protecting and restoring Ivohiboro in perpetuity.
Want to know more about our work in Madagascar?
Our Madagascar project site is a remnant patch of montane rainforest called Ivohiboro (pronounced eev-wee-bor), a lush oasis for unique species like lemurs and chameleons, surrounded by a sea of degraded, invasive grassland. Ivohiboro’s threats are numerous and varied, but they are rooted in one underlying problem: people need to feed their families. Madagascar is one of the poorest countries on Earth. Families in the communities around Ivohiboro earn just $50 per year and do not have reliable access to electricity. Ivohiboro is not a target for deforestation; it is a casualty of dire economic conditions. If you would like to learn more about the forest itself, Smithsonian Magazine recently featured Ivohiboro (and gave Phoenix a shout out)!
So, when we asked ourselves how to provide alternatives to deforestation, our answer was simple: make rainforest more valuable alive than dead. To accomplish this goal, Phoenix is planting native rainforest species that are economically valuable without needing to be cut down. Importantly, the best stewards of Ivohiboro are the Malagasy. The Phoenix Conservancy’s mission is to foster equity, not give charity, and provide support, not take control.
How will my donation be used?
Contributions will help us grow rainforest in Madagascar and generate an economic engine for the people of Madagascar, but your donation will go even further.
The Phoenix Conservancy is restoring the Palouse Prairie and Great Plains, developing biochar fertilization techniques, and engaging in educational outreach to schools and community programs, and that is just scratching the surface.
By contributing to our monthly donor drive, you are allowing us to implement effective conservation that brings all the benefits of healthy and biodiverse ecosystems to the local communities that depend on them.
Sign up to be a Monthly Supporter today, and Welcome to The Phoenix Family!
Frequently Asked Questions
How often do I need to donate to receive a sample of voatsiperifery?
Because you need to select the "monthly" option when making your donation to be eligible for the gift, we will receive the amount you choose to donate automatically each month. We'll send you your gift sample after your initial donation, and you can cancel your recurring donation plan through Donorbox whenever you choose.
How long do recurring donations last?
Recurring donations last until you choose to cancel your plan.
Will the donation amount ever change?
The Phoenix Conservancy cannot alter how much you give each month, but you may alter your donation amount through Donorbox if you choose.
Will I receive a new sample of voatsiperifery each month?
No. The sample of pepper you receive is a one-time thank you gift from The Phoenix Conservancy.
How should I store voatsiperifery?
Treat the peppercorns like you would regular black pepper, so they can be kept in typical pepper grinders. For long-term storage, we recommend keeping voatsiperifery in sealed containers in dry environments out of direct sunlight.
I've run out of pepper. How can I get more?
First, we're thrilled you loved voatsiperifery enough to want more! Keep your eye out on this page and our website, phoenixconservancy.org, for information about the upcoming launch of our store. We're preparing to sell all sorts of items, from t-shirts to mugs to voatsiperifery, but it's not quite ready yet. In the mean time, you can purchase voatsiperifery from a variety of retailers online, especially World Spice Merchants, who we're partnered with. Because voatsiperifery needs to rainforest to grow, your purchase necessarily helps Malagasy rainforest, but please be cautious of retailers selling inauthentic pepper. The scientific name of voatsiperifery is Piper borbonense, so if you do not see that on a retailer's website, they may be selling regular black pepper (Piper nigrum), which is not grown in rainforests. Retailers that have certificates of authenticity are the most trustworthy places to buy more voatsiperifery.
Where does The Phoenix Conservancy get its voatsiperifery?
Phoenix currently purchases pepper from a variety of communities in Madagascar, primarily those around Ranomofana National Park. However, as our rainforest restoration program grows thanks to your recurring donations, we will be able to purchase voatsiperifery harvested from in and around the forest of Ivohiboro as well. Wherever we get the pepper, it is always sustainably harvested by hand by local community members.
What if I have a question that isn't answered on this page?
Feel free to email all voatsiperifery and Madagascar-related inquiries to [email protected]. If you have a question about The Phoenix Conservancy broadly, our preferred email is [email protected]. Please direct all technical inquiries about Donorbox (e.g., how to alter or cancel your donation plan) to Donorbox's website.