The discovery of new species can impact everyone. The discovery of new plants can lead to new pharmaceuticals being created to cure diseases previously thought uncurable. The discovery of new animals in a region can influence what we know about migration or the extinction of another animal . If an animal or plant is discovered before it becomes extict we can take steps to prevent it from happening.
When you discover a new species you also gain the rights to name that species or subspecies. Pledgees of the $1500+ mark will benefit from having their name attached to the name of a new species which usually generates a significant amount of attention from media.