Training

training

The Tech Effect: Discover the Simple Solution that 1000s of Organizations Are Using to Grow Membership in Today’s World
Thursday, June 14, 2:00 PM ET
Have you noticed that it’s getting harder and harder to grow your membership?

In this free 1-hour webinar, you’ll learn:

  • All about The Tech Effect, the hidden threat that is making things harder for you to grow
  • 5 proven strategies to address The Tech Effect and attract new members right away
  • How an easy tech solution can save you hours of administrative work every day

Learn more and register


Events in a digital Age : How to Maximize Offline Events in an Online World
Thursday, June 14, 1:00 PM ET
Events like galas, walks and auctions are critical to the fundraising (and friend-raising) strategies for most nonprofits. Want your next one to be a hit? Give it digital legs. With the vast number of online tools available, you can streamline everything from event registration to email marketing to social media, ensuring you capture your audience right where they are: online. Join Dana Ostomel to learn how to plan your next event with digital in mind from day one, including:

  • The importance of integrating digital into your event.
  • 3 key goals to help you measure success.
  • 5 digital must-haves to keep your event running smoothly.

Learn more and register


Building a Pipeline of Major Donors: 5 Key Metrics for Success
Thursday, June 14th, 1:00 PM ET
Are you tired of the year-to-year fundraising treadmill of grant writing, mailings, and special events? Are your board members burned out on writing letters, filling tables, and asking their friends for money? Join us to learn Benevon’s metrics-based, high-touch process for building a pipeline of mission-focused major donors who will, in turn, introduce others. This session is for all sizes and types of nonprofits.

What we’ll cover:

  • Walk you through a step-by-step, evidence-based process for telling your organization’s story to new potential major donors and engaging them in your mission.
  • Teach you the five key metrics that must be met to successfully implement this system.
  • Show you how to transition your current fundraising program to grow major gifts.

Learn more and register


Venable LLP: Avoiding the Legal Pitfalls of Charitable Fundraising
Thursday, June 14th, 4:00 PM ET
It’s a fact of life: in order for nonprofits to have the resources needed to serve their charitable missions, they need to raise money. And that is where fundraising and donor outreach come in, but these activities are heavily scrutinized by state and federal regulators, charity watchdog groups, and savvy donors.

Charities and their professional fundraisers are subject to a web of registration obligations, state and federal consumer protection laws, and the influence of industry watchdogs. Traditional fundraising methods such as telemarketing and direct mail have regulators’ attention, while plaintiffs’ lawyers have begun to lob TCPA suits against charities and their fundraisers. Meanwhile, emerging fundraising platforms such as social media campaigns and crowdfunding have regulators grappling with how to apply old laws to new technologies.In this program, our panelists will discuss:

  • The regulatory and litigation landscape of charitable solicitations;
  • Key considerations and recent enforcement actions for both new and traditional fundraising methods;
  • Other considerations, such as IRS rules, intellectual property, and donor privacy issues; and
  • Compliance “checklists” that charities should keep in mind to safeguard their fundraising campaigns.

Learn more and register


Public Lands Alliance: How to Ruin a Board
Thursday, June 14th, 2:00 PM ET
Whether you’re a current board member, executive director, or play some other staff or volunteer role, join us for a lively discussion on the most effective ways to slow progress, drain energy, sow resentment, thwart trust, and basically fail to serve your mission … oh, and how not to do any of these things!

Presenter: Ray Foote, Executive Vice President, National Forest Foundation
Cost: FREE for PLA Members and PLA Corporate Partners
$25 for NonMembers and Government

I Wish I’d Thought of That: “Best of” Fundraising Examples
Thursday, June 14th, 1:00 PM ETReady for eye candy campaigns that make you wish YOU’D thought of that?  Buckle up, buttercup. We’re firing up the very best fundraising examples from budgets small and large.

This session will inspire and delight you with eye-candy examples and concrete tactics you can implement in your next fundraising campaign.

We’ll explore:

  • great content
  • unique thinking and delightful design across donor thank you’s
  • emails, websites, online advertising, donation pages, videos
  • and anything else that increases donations!

And of course, you’ll be able to walk away with the presentation itself as a resource for future brainstorming.
Learn more and register


Perfecting your pitch: How to successfully tell your story to the media
Friday, June 15th, 1:00 PM CSTAccording to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations registered in the US. With so many nonprofits, it can be challenging to gain visibility, build your community and increase your donor base if your audience doesn’t even know you exist. In this session, Annie will provide very tactical advice to rise above the noise and stand out. The key? Perfecting your pitch. She will go through an exercise that dives into how to create and perfect your pitch, what PR strategies you can incorporate to help you successfully tell your story to the media, and how to build your community and increase your donor base.

Register now »


Motivate Monday with Fundraising Expert Pamela Grow
Monday, June 18th, 1:00 PM ETHow are nonprofit professionals jumpstarting their week with purpose? Join us for Motivate Monday where:

  • Every Monday we share your wins
  • Feature a special guest with a quick tip to get your week started right
  • And close with a Q&A session

Learn more and register


Flash Class: Niche Fundraising Approaches Can Work!
Tuesday, June 19th, 2:00 PM ET
Presented by Scott Koskoski, he will teach the art and science of fundraising for a narrow, ultra-specific niche that does not have broad appeal or resonance with the donor public.
Learn more and register


How to Use Facebook’s Free Fundraising Tools to Drive Donations
Tuesday, June 19th, 1:00 PM ET
In the last year, Facebook launched an entirely new set of tools to help nonprofits raise funds on the platform. Did you know that your nonprofit can now collect donations with these tools on your page, via Facebook ads, and even in individual posts?

In this free 45-minute webinar, you’ll learn how to successfully register your nonprofit to use Facebook’s powerful new Fundraising Tools, and a brief step-by-step guide to using these free tools to raise money using Facebook!

Key Takeaways

  • An up-to-date overview of Facebook’s Free Fundraising Tools
  • How to sign up, register, and get started right away
  • Simple and easy ways to use Facebook’s Fundraising Tools
  • Answers to the most frequently asked questions about Facebook’s Fundraising Tools

Learn more and register


How to Educate and Empower Your Nonprofit Board for Fundraising Success
Tuesday, June 19th, 2:00 PM ET
Every successful nonprofit organization is backed by a strong board of directors. While we realize fundraising isn’t everyone’s forte, it is an important piece of your board members’ responsibilities and should be an easy way for both parties to team up and help your nonprofit. Join us in this webinar, where we’ll discuss the many myths and common misconceptions about fundraising that hinder a board’s ability to help and evaluate fundraising.

Whether your board of directors could use some nudging in the fundraising direction or you already work with a dream-team board, this webinar will give you tips and tricks to empower your board members to fundraise successfully.

Learn more and register


From Advocacy to Donations
Tuesday, June 19th, 1:00 PM ET
What to expect:

  • 45 minutes of actionable content
  • tons of time for Q&A
  • expert advice

Learn more and register


Flash Class: Activism and Fundraising – Successful strategies to raise more money and increase your impact
Wednesday, June 20th, 3:00 PM ET
You want to improve the world. And whether you call yourself an activist or not, you are one.

There’s a long list of things that you could be concerned about, and I hope you are. Because once you care about an issue, and get involved, you will want to learn how to raise more money to fight for justice. Everyone who wants to change the world eventually has to raise money. You may not like asking  for money, but you do it because you care.

I’ve done every kind of fundraising, worked in every type of campaign, and I’ve learned by trial and error what works and what doesn’t.

This session could save you a lot of money – preventing mistakes that I’ve already made and learned from.

In this session, you’ll learn:

  • How to raise more money for the causes you care about
  • The answer to the most common question I get asked – “How do I build a campaign that wins?”
  • How to use the best tactics to win campaigns and create the change you want to see.
  • A case study of fundraising and activism that worked.
  • How to get more donors and supporters.

Learn more and register


How to Add More Revenue Streams to Your Event
Wednesday, June 20th, 3:00 PM ET
Wouldn’t you love to find ways to raise more money at your fundraising events?  Right now you are probably doing a typical silent auction and raffle, maybe a paddle raise, but you feel like you are missing the boat when it comes to really maximizing your event’s revenue.

Well, you’re in luck, because in this FREE WEBINAR event planning expert A.J. Steinberg is going to show you how to find hidden assets and additional revenue streams for your fundraising events.

In this 45-minute FREE webinar you’ll learn…

  • How to find additional revenue hiding in your events
  • How to assign value to event elements (also known as ‘assets’)
  • How to turn event assets into revenue (i.e. logo-branded auction paddles)
  • How to sell event assets to companies and sponsors
  • How to use underwriting to boost your event profit
  • What is underwriting, and how to make it work for you
  • How to choose your underwriting offers
  • How to write underwriting proposals that sell
  • How to add revenue through entertainment at your event
  • How to choose raffles and games that will make you money
  • How to check what is legal in your state for games and raffles

Learn more and register


Introduction to Corporate Giving
Wednesday, June 20th, 2:00 PM ET
Is your organization ready to seek corporate support?

Corporate grantmakers are different from traditional foundations in many ways. This class provides a basic overview of:

  • The different types of corporate giving
  • What motivates corporations to give
  • How to find potential corporate partners

Learn more and register


How a Smart Fundraising Plan Can Transform Your Fundraising
Thursday, June 21st, 4:00 PM ET
Your Annual Fundraising Plan weaves together many people and strategies into a coherent whole.
As a result, you are well-organized to bring in max gifts and contributions to your nonprofit.
Your Fundraising Plan coordinates all your mailings, events, communications, grants, major gift efforts — and everything else.
The actual process of creating your Annual Fundraising Plan helps get everyone in your organization on board with fundraising.
They can learn how the fundraising program works, and what their role is to make fundraising successful. (Everyone has a role!)
Take the time now to create a systematic, deliberate plan that engages everyone and creates a sense of team.
Your staff needs and deserves a smart system that provides structure and support. No crisis-mode fundraising for your team!
Join me to learn all the lovely benefits your fundraising plan will bring you. I’ll show you how to get started creating a smart, effective Annual Fundraising Plan.
REGISTER FOR THE FREE WEBINAR HERE


Charitable Solicitation Registration: Top Things Your Need to Know with Borck Klinger
Thursday, June 21st, 1:00 PM ET
Must every charity register to solicit funds from the public? How do online donations fit into the picture? Join Brock Klinger, account executive at Harbor Compliance, for answers to these questions and more.

Designed for nonprofits, CPAs, attorneys and other professionals with nonprofit clients, this one-hour webinar provides a user-friendly, comprehensive overview of fundraising registration requirements in all 50 states.

Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Get answers to your questions from a nonprofit compliance expert.
  • Learn tactics for avoiding common pitfalls and penalties.
  • Explore solutions to one of the most common challenges facing nonprofits today.

Learn more and register


The One-Stop Advocacy Shop
Thursday, June 21st, 2:00 PM ET
We know there are big organizations out there with 10+ strong advocacy teams. But for most nonprofits and smaller associations (and several of the bigger ones) having more than one or two government relations folks is a luxury they can only dream of.

So what’s a poor government relations professional to do when faced with multiple issues to track, grassroots to grow, and members, supporters, advocates or donors to calm or rally?
And all on a tight budget.
Learn more and register

This Is How Our Most successful Clients Fill Their Events
Thursday, June 21st, 2:00 PM ET
Have you found that it’s getting harder or taking longer to fill up your events? Are you sick of waiting for checks in the mail? Exhausted from processing registration forms?

In this free 45-minute webinar, you’ll learn:

  • 3 recent trends preventing people from registering for your events
  • One simple way to avoid event-related cash flow problems
  • A proven 3-step process to fill events fast and cut your workload in half

Learn more and register


Motivate Monday with Fundraising Expert Pamela Grow
Monday, June 25th, 1:00 PM ET
How are nonprofit professionals jumpstarting their week with purpose? Join us for Motivate Monday where:

  • Every Monday we share your wins
  • Feature a special guest with a quick tip to get your week started right
  • And close with a Q&A session

Learn more and register


How to Start Using Facebook Ads to Reach a Big Audience with a Small Budget
Tuesday, June 26th, 2:00 PM ET
Have you ever wondered whether advertising on Facebook could help you grow your organization? If so, please join our free webinar on June 26 with our in-house digital marketing expert, Farhad Chikhliwala.

Farhad will draw on his many years of Facebook advertising success to show you how you can use Facebook’s ad platform to attract and engage more members.

In this free webinar, you will learn:

  • How to find people on Facebook most likely to join and support your organization
  • What type of ads work best, and how to target your audience
  • How to avoid common money-wasting traps to ensure you get a positive ROI on your Facebook spend

Learn more and register


Build Staff Buy-In for Volunteer Engagement
Tuesday, June 26th, 11:00 AM ET
Is your organization open to engaging volunteers in new ways? Often one of the biggest challenges to a new model of volunteer engagement is the resistance of paid staff. Often attitudes and fears of our co-workers prevent us from expanding the work that volunteers do. But, if you’ve never worked with volunteers before, it can be scary. In this webinar we’ll discuss strategies for working with paid staff to engage volunteers. We’ll cover what you can do to alleviate some of those fears, strategies for working within a Union environment, and how you can train and support your coworkers as they become responsible for managing volunteers.

What You’ll Learn:

  • How to assess the feelings and attitudes of paid staff around working with volunteers.
  • What does paid staff need to know about working with volunteers.
  • How to create a communication plan to talk to paid staff about working with volunteers.
  • Strategies for engaging volunteers in a union environment.

Learn more and register


7 Keys to Successful & Enthusiastic Volunteer Involvement at Your Nonprofit
Wednesday, June 27th, 3:00 PM ET
Volunteers are more than simply an extra pair of hands. They bring special skills, are trusted service delivery partners, and can extend your connections with diverse communities far beyond your agency’s doors.  They are also key financial contributors, donating ten times more than non-volunteers.

The value of volunteers can’t be ignored.  But, effective volunteer engagement requires a focus on the right tactics at the right time to fully realize the power of volunteer time and talent.

You will learn…

  • 7 fundamentals to successful volunteer coordination throughout the volunteer life cycle
  • A key best practice for attracting high-quality volunteers
  • A key to onboarding that will convert newcomers to reliable supporters
  • A key to inspiring better staff-volunteer relations and teamwork
  • A key to acknowledging volunteers that keeps them coming back
  • And more!

Learn more and register


Flash Class: Prospect Research Tools: Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck
Wednesday, June 27th, 2:00 PM ET
This presentation will focus on low or no-cost research tools that you can incorporate into your arsenal of tools to help you maximize your research efforts and minimize the amount you are spending on the tools, whether for cost-savings needs or to be able to allocate the resources to another area.
Learn more and register


Introduction to Fundraising Planning
Wednesday, June 27th, 2:00 PM ET
Does your organization need help directing its fundraising efforts? Planning focuses your organization by setting fundraising priorities and helps give staff and board members a roadmap to success.

This introductory class will provide you the basic steps for developing a fundraising plan, including tips on:

  • Making your case for support
  • Diversifying your organization’s fundraising base
  • Creating a plan of action

Learn more and register


Getting Ready to Get Ready for Giving Season
Wednesday, June 27th, 2:30 PM ET
To help you offset last minute planning, we’ve invited the fundraising experts at Classy to join us on a webinar to share how you can start preparing for year-end giving TODAY. You’ll learn how to plan your fundraising campaign in advance, which marketing best practices to use to drive the most traffic back to your campaign, how to appeal to different types of donors, and why Giving Tuesday is a day you can’t ignore.

Join us on Wednesday, June 27 at 2:30 p.m. EDT/11:30 a.m. PDT for an interactive webinar that will help you start to plan your best giving season yet.

On this webinar you’ll learn:

  • Data dive: insights into the 2017 giving season
  • How to create a detailed planning calendar to prep for the year-end giving rush
  • How to develop a strong promotional strategy for your campaign
  • Why it’s important to segment your year-end appeals to different groups of donors
  • Why Giving Tuesday is an opportunity you can’t afford to miss

Learn more and register


Bootstrap Fundraising: Launching a Development Program
Wednesday, June 27th, 12:00 PM ET
“If you build it, they will come” is completely appropriate for the fundraising world. Starting or re-launching a fundraising program can be daunting and discouraging. If you focus on infrastructure and process first, you’ll find that fundraising will become far easier. Join this webinar to learn the key steps you should take to be successful in building out your development efforts and pitfalls you could face along the way.
Learn more and register


Pollinator Webinar 
USFWS – U.S. Air Force Pollinator Conservation Project: Soaring with the Air Force
Wednesday, June 27th, 2:00 PM ET
Dr. Dolores Savignano, Chair of the USFWS Pollinator Work Group and Headquarters Office biologist, will share information on a recent pollinator conservation project with the U.S. Air Force, and the new resources available as a result of the project.  The project included development of a strategy, technical handbook, training, and pilot projects. The technical handbook, U.S. Air Force Pollinator Conservation Reference Guide, is available at:  https://www.fws.gov/pollinators/PollinatorPages/USAF_Ref_Guide.html

Dolores will discuss the information in the Reference Guide of interest to the military, other land managers, restoration biologists seeking to conserve pollinators, home gardeners, and students and educators interested in pollinators. Learn how the web links throughout the document will bring you to additional information on topics of interest.

No registration! Join Us:
http://nctc.adobeconnect.com/monarchwebinar/
Call In Number: 1-866-732-8654;
Participant passcode: 18374033#


How to Stand Out From the Crowd in Online Grant Applications
Thursday, June 28th, 1:00 PM ET
How do you tell your organization’s story in only 2,500 characters?  150 words?

How do you create a storyline for the reviewer to follow when you have numerous fillable fields to complete online that may or may not be read in the order that you complete them on the screen?

One of the most common challenges with online applications is how to have your application stand out in a sea of grant applications when you are all faced with the same formatting and character or word limited requirements.

In “How to Stand Out From the Crowd in Online Grant Applications” we will address how to create a concise, compelling and competitive application for online grant application scenarios. We will look at specific examples for tips that make reviewing your online grant proposal easier for reviewers. We will also explain how to avoid losing the power of your story when your application is broken up across numerous fields.

Key Takeaways From This Webinar:

  • How to make your application stand out in an impersonal online process
  • How to grab your reviewer’s attention
  • How to use character and word counts to your advantage
  • How to create a consistent story across all your application components

This Webinar is Perfect For You If…

  • You are new or relatively new to the field of grant seeking
  • You want to increase your success percentage of funded grant applications
  • You want to craft more competitive grant applications.

Learn more and register


Flash Class: Donor Experience, DX unlocks the future of your fundraising relationships
Thursday, June 28th, 3:00 PM ET
Put yourself in the donor’s shoes.  They don’t want another lapel pin or bumper sticker.  They want to know they make a difference to your institution and they are valued.  Donor appreciation is not expensive, but neglecting it can be.  Research shows that it is seven times more expensive to acquire a new donor that to keep the one you have.  The solution is simple:  put the donor first, consume  yourself with the DX, their experience, not yours.
Learn more and register


3 Easy Ways to Retain More Members Using Software
Thursday, June 28th, 2:00 PM ET
Do you sometimes feel that your membership is like a leaky boat? Every time you look at your database, you notice a few members have left?

In this free 45-minute webinar, you’ll learn how to:

  • Get your members to renew on their own, so you don’t have to chase them
  • Automate your new member onboarding process and save hours each week
  • Quickly identify who is about to leave, and what you can do to keep them

Learn more and register


Public Lands Alliance: Small AND Mighty! July 2018 Edition

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Tuesday, July 10th, 2:00 PM ET
This popular web chat forum is offered on a quarterly basis so you can talk with peers from other small public land nonprofits and focus on things that matter to you. This is YOUR forum – you will help guide the facilitated discussion by providing input on topics or current challenges you’re experiencing that others from similar sized organizations can relate to and help provide potential solutions for.

Cost: FREE for PLA Members and PLA Corporate Partners
$25 for NonMembers and Government

What You Need to Know to Write Winning Grants
Monday, August 6th, 2:00 PM ETAs funding becomes more difficult to secure, non-profits face significant challenges to fulfill their missions. Look at the major questions that need to be answered prior to a grant application and incorporating these answers into research and ultimately a competitive proposal.

Join Mandy Pearce on August 6, 2018 at 2 pm  EST, 1 pm CST, 12 pm MST, 11 am PST for a free webinar about grant writing and successful proposals.

At the end of this session, you will be able to:

1) Determine if your organization is prepared to begin applying for grant funding.
2) Become familiar with questions that need to be answered prior to beginning research.
3) List and describe the 7 major elements of most grant proposals.
4) Learn how to be proactive in your grant writing, instead of reactive. 

Learn more and register

Partnerships that are Just Right

goldilocks2Just like Goldilocks searching for the just right porridge, chair or bed; partnerships need to be just right.

Some partnerships require little trust, some a little more, and others a lot.
Some partnerships need a little time, others a little more, and others even more.

Some partnerships only share information and others share everything.
Some partnership have a very loose structure while others are highly formalized.

Just like Goldilocks your organization needs to find what is just right for you. Unlike Goldilocks if both partners agree on what is just right for them there is no need to run, you want to stay around.

The right partnership depends on:

  • Reason for forming the partnership
  • Trust between the partners
  • Time available to invest in the partnership
  • Willingness to share turf
  • Structure for the groups’ interaction
  • Decision-making process
  • Ability to share resources
  • Benefits to each organization

Partnerships move along a continuum from informal networking to collaboration, where partners share their resources to accomplish a mutual goal. Your position on the continuum depends on what you want to accomplish. As the partners increase their trust in each others competencies they tend to move towards integrating decision-making authority. (See table)

The partnership between a community group, such as Friends, and a government agencies comes with challenges. The organizations often have divergent needs and cultures. However, that is why the partnership is so beneficial. Friends are part of the community and have the potential to access resources not readily available to government agencies. The Service brings their competency and passion for wildlife management. Together they enhance each others capacity to achieve their mission and joint vision.

Creating and maintaining a successful partnership takes planning. The trust, time and effort each organization contributes moves the partnership towards collaboration. It is not practical for every partnership to aim for collaboration, what is necessary is finding that sweet spot were both partners know whatever form of partnership they have is just right for them.

The following table provides guidance on the different forms of partnerships, their purpose, necessary trust levels, time commitment, and resource sharing. It outlines the structure of the partnership, joint decision-making and benefits. This research helps you determine where your organization is on the partnership continuum and what is needed to get to that “just right” spot for you and your partner.

Partnership Continuum

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Partnership Continuum table

Adapted from Collaboration (Lessons Learned Series). AASL, Fall, 1996.
Bernard Bull, The Difference Between Networking, Coordinating, Cooperating, and Collaborating

http://www.northeastcapt.org/products/srategies/collaboration/collaborationpaper.html
http://www.buildinitiative.org/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/resource-center/community-systems-development/1B%201%20Types%20of%20Partnerships%20Continuum%20of%20Coordination.pdf

Thomas Kayser, True Collaboration Is a Partnership: Six Ingredients for Making it So

Joan Patterson currently serves on the board of Friends of the Duck Stamp/Migratory Bird and was the former Director of Grassroots Outreach of the National Wildlife Refuge Association and board member for the Friends of Tualatin River NWR and the Friends of Potomac River Refuges.

Resources:
http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/guidebooks/Partnerships.pdf
Public Lands Alliance,
Best Practices Establishing a Partnership Model for America’s Public Lands
Stephen M. R. Covey,
The Speed of Trust

When You Hit a Wall

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Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.”             Henry Ford

After leaving high-tech I had a chance to pursue a passion, team-building. In the outskirts of Kansas City, I worked on a ropes-course helping kids and corporations develop their team-building skills.

One Spring morning I faced a dilemma, a group of fifth graders, each determined to climb an eight-foot wall on their own. Mind you, the challenge was for the entire team to ascend the wall with the stipulation that anyone who had ascend could not descend the wall to boost up remaining team members. They weren’t succeeding.

My dilemma was, do I let the kids face possible humiliation at the end of the day when the various groups typically compare how many challenges they completed or do I guide them towards the creation of a process that would allow them to succeed on the wall and other challenges.

Over the next two-hours the kids worked on building their problem-solving skills at the wall. As their facilitator it was my responsibility to introduce them to a problem-solving process, help them develop their competencies, demonstrate my belief in the process and more importantly my belief in them, and mentor them as they repeatedly implemented the problem-solving loop.

loop Screenshot_2017-04-24_14-43-36

At times, their frustration was palatable, but with a little nudging they recognized and admitted their failures, learned, and grew. They SUCCEEDED!

During the process they abandoned their individual goals and worked together to achieve a common goal. The end result was everyone did more than they could ever do on their own and were incredibly proud of their accomplishment. The team completed other challenges with ease.

The kids succeeded because they doubled-down on communication including clearly articulating their goal, soliciting ideas, listening, coming up with plans, and a willingness to revamp those plans. Every attempt brought them closer to achieving their goal and with every attempt their trust in each other increased. They built trust by making and keeping their commitment to get everyone over the wall and building their competency in the problem-solving process and wall climbing.

The success of a partnership depends on these same factors. If you find your partnership stuck, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the purpose of the partnership clear?

  • What commitments are we making to support the partnership?

  • Is there an adequate level of trust to sustain the partnership?

  • Have we determined a clear working arrangement?

  • Are we accountable for our performance?

  • What have we learned from the partnership and how are we applying it to enhance the partnership?

There is a solution for every wall, sometimes you just need to dig a little deeper to find it.

Joan Patterson currently serves on the board of Friends of the Duck Stamp/Migratory Bird and was the former Director of Grassroots Outreach of the National Wildlife Refuge Association and board member for the Friends of Tualatin River NWR and the Friends of Potomac River Refuges.

Resources:
http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/guidebooks/Partnerships.pdf
Public Lands Alliance,
Best Practices Establishing a Partnership Model for America’s Public Lands
Stephen M. R. Covey,
The Speed of Trust

The Partnership Dance

The other week Tim Blount and I were discussing the take over of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and the lessons learned about partnerships created during the occupation. Our discussion caused me to reflect on a 67-year partnership that had incredible results. You see 67 was my Dad’s favorite number, it was the number of years he was married to Mom. A little over a month ago Dad passed away, just 371 days after his beloved bride. So when I think about successful partnerships I can’t help but think of them.

Dad would boast that together they could do anything. They grew up during the Depression and their union made possible immeasurable blessings for both of them, their family, and friends. When Betty and Jerry said their “I do’s” in 1948 they were committed to a long-term partnership. For their union to be successful they realized they needed to be flexible. Their marriage evolved as they learned how to effectively manage their household, build their capacity to support their family, and shared valuable experiences.

These are the same elements that every organizations wants to achieve when working with a partner. The value of partnering with others is that each organization is able to achieve more than they could working alone. A successful collaboration requires commitment, flexibility, and an organic approach because the relationship evolves over time as each party learns to effectively manage, build capacity and gain valuable experience.

For a partnership to be successful each party must be willing to learn and evolve. As my philosophical Dad would say his best teachers were his wife and kids, my mother would smile and graciously nod in agreement.

So Friends as we look at partnerships, whether with the Service or other organizations there are some common themes that I have learned from research that identifies critical factors for success:

  • Working persistently to create a balance between working within the requirements of your partnership arrangement and maintaining the flexibility to do what is needed.

  • Building a solid understanding for the partnership including purpose, vision, goals, values, roles, decision-making, communications and accountability.

  • Understanding that partnerships have life-cycles just like organizations and they are impacted by what is going on in your environment.

As you consider forging or enhancing a partnership it’s imperative that your board and potential partner:

  • Identify what you want to achieve.

  • Determine what factors will make the partnership successful.

  • Identify potential barriers.

  • Recognize and accept any dependency on specific individuals to achieve the goals of the partnership.

  • Focus on how your partnership adds value and show that you appreciate your partner.

  • Recognize the strengths and assets of each partner that can contribute to achieving your common goal(s).

Your board needs to have frank discussions about these components.

A successful partnership offers immeasurable benefits such as increasing your organization’s exposure, ability to provide services, decrease costs and increase your organization’s credibility in the community. Plus your stellar partnership will inspire others and attract resources to support your mission. That’s what my folks did. Even in their later years, they would hold hands as they walked around the neighborhood. Their neighbors told us that simple symbol of their partnership inspired them to hold their partner’s hand a little tighter as reaffirmation of their partnership.

Friends embrace your partners. Grab their hand ask them to dance and keep on dancing. Be open, flexible, understanding and enjoy!

Joan Patterson currently serves on the board of Friends of the Duck Stamp/Migratory Bird and was the former Director of Grassroots Outreach of the National Wildlife Refuge Association and board member for the Friends of Tualatin River NWR and the Friends of Potomac River Refuges.

Your comments are welcome.

Look for future post on:
Types of partnerships at the local and national level
Managing successful partnerships
Creating collaborative work plans
Evaluating and monitoring partnerships
Partnership life cycles
Relationship versus Agreement

Sources:
https://boardsource.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/3-Questions-Collaborating.pdf
http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/guidebooks/Partnerships.pdf

Stand Up, Speak Out

A little over a year ago we woke to the unthinkable, a militia group was occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Fortunately the occupation ended and this week four more defendants go on trial. But the assault on public lands continues.

town-meeting-feature-imageSome members of Congress with extreme views on public lands are proposing more formidable threats in the form of legislation and thankfully the Refuge Association’s Action Alerts keeps us informed. We as Friends need to take action, we need to get in front of your legislators.

I’ve been fortunate to hear from hundreds of Friends members and you all have at least one thing in common – you are passionate about your refuge. I saw this passion in Tim Blount, when as the Executive Director of the Friends of Malheur, went to the Hill last January and spoke to his congressional team and the natural resources and judiciary committees. He demonstrated that his commitment to the refuge went far beyond its boundaries to include the community and the entire Refuge System.

Like Tim we all need to speak up for our refuge, community, and the Refuge System. Next week members of Congress will be in their districts for a week-long recess. Please join in contacting their offices and ask him/her when and where their next town hall forum will be. If they don’t know, ask to be added to their email list so you’ll get notices of future meetings. If you need their phone numbers go to Senate and/or Representative.

Gather a few Friends and go to the town hall forum. We can make a difference. Ask them questions to solicit their support for public lands and in particular for your refuge. We can use the message the Refuge Association sent on February 7th to formulate a question such as:

I and many of your constituents value our public lands and urge you to oppose any legislation that seeks to transfer the title or management of our public lands or legislation that would harm the National Wildlife Refuge System. These lands, like our local ______ National Wildlife Refuge, are incredibly important not just for wildlife, but also for all Americans to whom they belong. Will you commit to voting to keep our public lands public and our Refuge System safe and secure?

Try to get a video of their response and please post your experience on Coalition of Refuge Friends and Advocates Facebook group. This information will be helpful as we work together to support the Refuge System.

Fellow Friends members please make sure you are receiving the Refuge Association’s Action Alerts and GO to your representatives town hall forum and STAND up for you refuge. Let your representatives and everyone else at the forum know how important these public lands are to you and your community. Thanks.

 Joan Patterson is the former Director of Grassroots Outreach of the National Wildlife Refuge Association and has served on the Friends boards at Tualatin River, Potomac River and the Duck Stamp/Migratory Bird.

It’s Time for a Hug (and Some Work)

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I’ve been thinking a great deal lately about the transition to a new administration and what it might mean for the National Wildlife Refuge System. It is clear to me that our national discussion about the value of public lands will be as important as ever. I know there are hopeful signs, and I agree with those who say we don’t need to hit the panic button yet. Still, the wise women in my family always said “Expect the best, but plan for the worst.” So, what can we Friends do to make sure we can participate in that national dialogue and be as strong as we can be in case we are called upon to defend our refuges? Here is my list. I’d be glad to know what Friends around the country are thinking or working on.

Hug a member of your Refuge staff. Some federal employees may be quite worried – for themselves, their families, and the refuges they love so well. The expected hiring freeze has many moving around these last few weeks. New leaders are coming to fill those top jobs. Let’s make sure we show our staff how much we appreciate all that they do and stand for. Tell them that you will be there to support the refuge, that you will always be in communication, and always working for the values you share. At a recent gathering of the USFWS directorate here in Florida, we were able to hold a reception and include Friends from nine different refuges. I know it made these leaders feel better, seeing that we were with them, and it helped strengthen our bonds of friendship.

Strengthen your organization. If you are not operating at full capacity, now is the time to get organized. Learn about nonprofit legal requirements and best practices in governance and organizational development and start taking steps to improve. Find your state affiliate of the National Council of Nonprofits, a local nonprofit resource center, or a consultant, and get their assistance. Find the treasure trove of great resources at the National Wildlife Refuge Association’s www.RefugeFriendsConnect.org. Think through what kinds of skills and talents you need on your board and recruit people, orient them, and integrate them into the existing team.

Develop contingency plans. During the government shut down of 2014, the Friends of Ottawa NWR found that we were unable to get to our computers, files, lists, phone messages, mail,and more. Everything related to the running of our organization was at the refuge, and we were prohibited from going there. Other groups have experienced the sudden departure of a treasurer or web master and all the related passwords were lost. In the electronic age there is no excuse for that. If your records and operating systems are not cloud-based, set that up and make sure multiple board members can access everything from home. Set up a post office box in town and start shifting your incoming mail to it. Recycle the telephone answering machine and invest in voicemail.

Make sure you are communicating with members. Your members may be even more interested than usual in knowing what is happening and how they can help. Do your best to gather all forms of contact information from members, donors, supporters, visitors to the refuge, anyone you can. Make sure you have a good contact management system. Send out electronic newsletters. Get people used to seeing you in their inbox. Get on the mailing lists of some of the other Friends groups and see how they are doing it. There are some Friends volunteers out there who are doing super inspiring and creative things with electronic media.

Build outreach efforts. In addition to beefing up our websites and social media efforts, this is an excellent time to begin seeking opportunities to present information about our refuges and their friends in schools, libraries, churches, civic organizations, and service clubs. Invite community leaders to the refuge and give them a great tour. Set up a media day and invite all the reporters. Provide them with information and make sure they know how to contact you if they have further questions.

I have other ideas that are more specifically related to advocacy and lobbying, so watch for those next week. Meanwhile, I will be working locally to make sure we have as much in place as we can if the time comes when we really have to be on the hustings. If that time doesn’t come – great! Our organizations will be stronger and able to accomplish even more. Thanks for listening. Feel free to contact me if you want to discuss this offline or on.

Cathy Allen is a nonprofit organizational development consultant in Florida who is also a passionate lover of wildlife refuges.  A former president at Friends of Ottawa NWR (Ohio), she currently serves on the board at Friends of the Carr Refuge.

Your Mission Matters

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Your Mission Matters
by Joan Patterson

Many years ago one of the founders of the Friends of Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge proposed amending the group’s bylaws to change its mission from supporting the Service to supporting the refuge. I am so thankful that the membership had the foresight to approve the amendment.

You see this particular founder was a leading advocate for the creation of the refuge and even donated 12-acres to get the refuge established. She and others in the area saw the refuge as a community asset. However, twenty plus years ago a refuge in a metropolitan area was controversial and some members of the community had a nagging concerns that the Service might pull the plug on the project.

Thankfully that did not happen and the refuge is now one of the Refuge System’s leading urban refuges.

In the case of Tualatin River changing the wording of the Friends’ mission from “Service” to “refuge” ensured the Friends’ ongoing support for the refuge’s natural, cultural, educational, and recreational resources. In the original mission statement, the word “Service” referred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service organization and not the Service’s mission which is “…working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.” This change to the group’s mission is even more important today than it was then.

The Refuge System is faced with external and internal threats. Historically, Friends have spoken up against external threats such as: militants occupying Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), language in the Puerto Rico debt relief bill to transfer ownership of a portion of Vieques NWR, and current legislation to transfer portions of Desert and Monomoy refuges out of the System. The National Wildlife Refuge Association keeps Friends informed of these threats.

Proposals or actions by an Administration can create predicaments for Friends. For example, the current GOP platform (and I’m not saying which party I support), calls for the transfer of federal lands to states. It declares,“Congress shall immediately pass universal legislation providing for a timely and orderly mechanism requiring the federal government to convey certain federally controlled public lands to states.” Imagine a future Administration implementing this provision – YOUR national wildlife refuge could easily be turned over to the state and thus no longer protected under the Refuge System Administration Act or Refuge System Improvement Act – both ensure lands and waters in the System are managed for biodiversity and wildlife dependent public use. As federal employees who work for such an Administration, Refuge System staff would have to support such a proposal, but Friends who support the mission of their refuge, the Refuge System, or the Service’s mission (instead of the Service organization) could take action against such a proposal. However, if your group’s mission supported the Service, you would also have to support the Administration’s proposal.

There may be times that Friends will disagree with an action proposed by the Service. This year the Service began discussions about potential support of legislation to transfer the National Bison Range in Montana to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Transfer of this national wildlife refuge would require legislative action by the U.S. Congress. The National Environmental Policy Act requires proposed legislation that has a significant effect to include an environmental impact statement (EIS). The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and others believe that this transfer proposal would have a significant effect and, therefore, the Service must conduct an environmental analysis. However, the initial legislation that the Department of the Interior helped draft specifies that the transfer is not a major federal action and therefore does not require environmental analysis. Or take another example when in a previous Administration: the Service was supportive of the de-designation of wilderness at the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska and subsequent transfer of lands to the state in order to build a road through the heart of the refuge. Or yet again during a previous Administration when the Service supported drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Regardless of whether the proposed transfer at the National Bison Range might be appropriate, the Service needs to adhere to the National Environmental Policy Act and adhere to regulations of the President’s Council on Environmental Quality. An EIS would provide a transparent, public forum for the Service to explain its proposed transfer and alternatives to it, and discuss the relative impacts of such actions. Hopefully the Service will not support legislation that will bypass Federal environmental requirements that would chastise another agencies for attempting to avoid. Additionally, while the draft legislation states that this transfer should not be viewed as precedent for any other federal properties or facilities, in fact it would establish a dangerous political precedent. This is a difficult situation tied up in history and culture and hopefully whatever the resolution is will ensure the protection of the wildlife the Range currently protects.

If a future Administration were to implement the transfer of federal lands to willing states, I just can’t imagine supporting the removal of the Tualatin River NWR from the Refuge System. My family and I, like so many community members, dedicated so much time and energy to getting that refuge established and open to the public so everyone can experience the wonders of nature.

So I am very thankful that one of the leading advocates for the creation of the Tualatin River NWR had the foresight to propose amending the bylaws and more importantly having discussions with the board, members, and the Refuge employees on the importance of supporting the refuge, its resources, and the entire Refuge System versus the Service organization. It was important for both parties to discuss what the term “Service” means.

That discussion at Tualatin about our mission enhanced the partnership between the Friends and Refuge employees. It affirmed our joint commitment to conserving and restoring habitat for the benefit of wildlife, the surrounding communities, and the nation. This affirmation recognized our common vision and acknowledged that both organizations could support the vision through different means. Friends and Refuge employees knew that based upon our shared vision we would work together and on those rare occasions when either party’s policy or action conflicted with the shared vision, Friends and the Service had the capacity to respectfully disagree.

I urge you – if you haven’t yet – to have this mission conversation with your Friends board. Ensure that you can always be a powerful voice for your refuge, your community, and for your National Wildlife Refuge System. Our voices supporting public lands is more important now than ever.

Friends of Loxahatchee Need Your Help!

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J. Kleen, USFWS

Now another refuge needs your help! The State of Florida is proceeding to terminate its lease with the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge because of invasive exotics. The Friends of Loxahatchee are appealing to you for help.

The Friends of Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge believes that the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is proceeding to the next step in the process of terminating the 50-year lease agreement under which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service operates the Refuge.  SFWMD wants to terminate the lease because of invasive exotics. There is not sufficient federal funding to control the spread of invasive exotic plants. Invasive exotics, like melaleuca trees and especially Old World climbing fern, smother the native plants that native wildlife depend on for survival. Federal funding that is dependent on Congress has always been problematic, but in recent years the state and federal governments have been working in partnership to fund the treatment of exotics. In August, however, the state issued a notice of intent to terminate the lease if the federal government cannot provide all of the funding needed.

The National Wildlife Refuge Association, the Florida Wildlife Federation, the National Wildlife Federation, Audubon Florida, the Everglades Coalition, members of the Florida Congressional delegation and, of course, the Friends of the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge have all spoken out in support of keeping the Refuge and increasing both state and federal funding for the treatment of exotics. They’re now asking for other Friends groups and their members to speak in support of keeping the Refuge and increasing both state and federal funding for the treatment of exotics.

The Refuge Association has a blog providing information on the agreement between U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the state’s South Florida Water Management District and the exotics issue.

The Friends have written letters to the editor, to Congress, to Florida Governor Rick Scott, to Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewel and to the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Dan Ashe. We need to keep the Refuge System hold! Please make you voice heard and speak up in support of the Refuge.

Please contact Governor Rick Scott at www.flgov.com/contact-governor and urge him to continue to work with the federal government in a cooperative partnership to control the exotics and preserve the refuge that attracts visitors from around the country and the world. A sample letter is available below this blog  and the password to access it is, Gov letter.

If you live in Florida please contact your Members of Congress:
– Representative: go to www.house.gov, type your zip code at the top of the screen and click “Go”, then click on your Representative’s name.
– Senators: go to www.senate.gov, select Florida and click “Go” next to the “Find Your Senators” box at the top of the screen. A sample letter is available below this blog and the password to access it is, MOC letter.

Thank you for your support of a sister refuge facing an uncertain future.