Training

training

Getting Aligned on Finance and Mission Strategy
Wednesday, August 22nd, 1:00 PM ET
What do finance and development have in common? A goal to keep the organization on the path to successfully fulfilling its mission. So, it’s critical that finance and development are aligned, not only on this overarching goal, but also on the path they’ll take to getting there. After all, teamwork makes the dream work!

In this panel discussion webinar, industry experts will discuss how finance and development can work together to determine the organization’s path to mission success.
Learn more and register


Introduction to Proposal Writing
Wednesday, August 22nd, 2:00 PM ET
Are you new to proposal writing or want a quick refresher? If so, you don’t want to miss one of our most popular classes!

This class will provide you with an overview of how to write a standard project proposal to a foundation. It will include:

  • The basic elements of a proposal
  • The “do’s” and “don’ts” of writing and submitting a proposal
  • How to follow up whether the answer is yes or no

Learn more and register


How to Captivate and Engage Constituents with Your Website
Wednesday, August 22nd, 2:30 PM ET
Everything you do as a nonprofit organization leads people back to your website. It is the center of your marketing universe and home base of your brand. Does your website captivate and engage people or is it merely an online brochure with a few photos and mission statement? In this session, we will share more than a decade of focus group research that reveals:

  • The 5 elements of an engaging website.
  • The one thing every nonprofit should be thinking about, but isn’t.
  • Real-world examples of nonprofit organizations that have mastered their online presence.

Learn more and register


Turn Your Live Auction Woes into Fundraising Wins
Wednesday, August 22nd, 1:00 PM ET
Are you running the live auction to the best of your ability?

Three things we see that frequently trip up auction organizers are disorganization, lack of ability to package items together effectively, and items not selling well.

This Wednesday, August 22nd, Greater Giving and Winspire are teaming up on a free webinar all about maximizing the results of your live auction and avoiding common pitfalls.
Learn more and register


3 Important Steps Needed to Honor Your Donor: A Donor Stewardship Roadmap
Wednesday, August 22nd, 1:00 PM ET
Join Network for Good and special guest, Lisa Clark, for a webinar about stewarding your donors!

According to data from the Association of Fundraising professionals, the average donor retention rate in the U.S. after the first gift is around 45 percent. It’s an amazing reality that over half of those who give to an organization will not give a second gift. Soliciting new donors is important for growing your nonprofit, but stewarding donors is even more important! Once you have received a gift, how do you ensure a long-lasting relationship with your new donor?

Tune into this webinar to learn about the 3 important steps all fundraisers should take to honor donors. You’ll learn:

  • Exactly what to do once the gift is “in the house”
  • When and how to tell the stories behind the gifts
  • How to leverage events and societies for donor stewardship

Reserve your space now!


Wherefore Art Thou?: Developing Art Projects on Public Lands
Thursday, August 23rd, 2:00 PM ET
From plein air painting to performances to large-scale installations, art and public lands go hand-in-hand. 

The breadth and beauty of our public lands offer unparalleled opportunities for artistic interpretation and visitation growth. 
 

Join us as we explore the ins-and-outs of developing and showcasing an art project for your public land-projects that expand the life-changing experiences of the lands themselves.

Presenters:
Katie Nyberg, Mississippi Park Connection
Nicki Phelps, Golden Gate National Park Conservancy

The Communications Director’s Guide to Repurposing Content
Thursday, August 23rd, 1:00 PM ET
Cost $20.00
Why should you repurpose your content?

Because when you master the art of repurposing, you’ll get more opens…more clicks…more engagement…and more great content…with LESS work for you!

But it’s more than just cutting and pasting from one channel to the next. There is a right way to reuse your content to get the results you want.

Want to become an expert at this one strategy that could help you WORK LESS, but get BETTER results?

Learn more and register 


Networking without Butterflies
Thursday, August 23rd, 1:00 PM ET
Does the idea of networking fill your stomach with butterflies? Join our free webinar and learn new tools and strategies to help you approach networking in a more confident and organized manner.

Building and maintaining your professional network is akin to planting the seeds of career success. Equally as important is developing a networking strategy and refining your targeted communication for different touchpoints. Your personal brand is the impression you leave with people. All of your interactions serve to reinforce this brand, so why not be thoughtful and deliberate about the impression you are leaving behind?
Learn more and register


The Compass to Nature Webinar
Thursday, August 23rd, 1:00 PM CT
Join us August 23 as we explore the innovative Compass to Nature approach to teaching in the outdoor classroom. Just as a navigational compass enables us to guide our way outside, the Compass to Nature provides unfailing direction for all who seek to lead others in the development of a caring relationship with the world we live in. During this introductory presentation, you will find out more about how you can use your local environment, a study of naturalists, regular field journaling, phenology, and the sense of wonder to effectively connect people with nature. It works anywhere, any time of year, with children and adults.

The Compass to Nature grew from the internationally-recognized Prairie Science Class partnership at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center, part of the Fergus Falls Wetland Management District in Minnesota.

Your presenters are Mona Davis, Fergus Falls Public Schools 4th grade Prairie Science Class teacher and Molly Stoddard, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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


Turn Your Website Into a Membership Growth Engine
Thursday, August 23rd, 2:00 PM ET
Is your membership website an engine that brings in new members while you sleep? If not, I’ll show you how anyone with no tech experience can use membership management software to turn their website into a new member recruiter — in just an afternoon

In this free webinar, you’ll learn:

  • Three website changes that will start attracting new members right away
  • How to get anyone on your board to easily make updates by themselves (even if they don’t have any tech experience)
  • The top website features our most successful clients use to drive membership growth

Learn more and register


How to Create a Powerful Case for Support
Thursday, August 23rd, 1:00 PM ET
Cost $87.00
The Case for Support is the cornerstone of every fundraising publication at your organization. Join us as we walk you through the proven practices and strategies to create this compelling and powerful organizational road map for your nonprofit. Click to learn more.

You’ll learn from this Live Webinar:

  • Examples of proven Cases for Support for small- and medium-sized nonprofits
  • How to write copy for your Case
  • How to use layout and graphics to create a visually compelling Case for Support
  • How to adapt your Case to different donor groups
  • How to distribute your Case to make the biggest impact
  • And MORE!

Learn more and register 


Motivate Monday with Fundraising Expert Pamela Grow
Monday, August 27th, 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 Find and Cultivate Faithful Young Donors
Tuesday, August 28th, 2:00 PM ET
Does your faith-focused organization struggle to engage young supporters? You have a powerful story to tell—one that will resonate with millennials and younger community members. Building a pipeline to reach them will help you raise more funds today and ensure that your organization is supported for years to come. Learn how by joining us in this webinar, where you’ll discover:

  • How to approach young donors with the capacity to give
  • The best ways to communicate with millennials, offline and online
  • How to tell a story that compels young supporters
  • Five ways to request gifts from them

Learn more and register


How to Design a Standout Giving Tuesday Campaign
Tuesday, August 28, 10:00 AM PT
Learn how to create a Giving Tuesday campaign that tells an inspiring story and moves donors to give.
Learn more and register


Stops Losing Donors
Tuesday, August 28th, 1:00 PM ET
Cost $79.00
Did you know, according to Blackbaud, 75% of your first-time donors don’t make a second gift? This means you’re losing more donors than you’re gaining. Don’t be a sufferer of this statistic any longer! Join us as guide you through proven steps for making first-time donors happy, dramatically improving your donor retention rates. We will teach you how to nurture new donor relationships with email and social media, how to boost retention with monthly giving and even how to get your board members involved.

You’ll learn from this Live Webinar:

  • How to easily calculate your nonprofit’s donor retention rate
  • Understand the surprising psychology behind why people give (it’s not about the cause OR your nonprofit)
  • Learn the 7 key factors that encourage donors to give again and again
  • How to write a first-time donor email series that encourages that second gift
  • Top 10 mistakes that cause first-time donors to leave
  • And MORE!

Learn more and register


How to Create a Powerful Case for Support
Tuesday, August 28th, 3:00 PM ET
Cost $87.00
The Case for Support is the cornerstone of every fundraising publication at your organization. Join us as we walk you through the proven practices and strategies to create this compelling and powerful organizational road map for your nonprofit. Click to learn more.

You’ll learn from this Live Webinar:

  • Examples of proven Cases for Support for small- and medium-sized nonprofits
  • How to write copy for your Case
  • How to use layout and graphics to create a visually compelling Case for Support
  • How to adapt your Case to different donor groups
  • How to distribute your Case to make the biggest impact
  • And MORE!

Learn more and register 


Getting Monarchs Into Business: Case studies of monarch conservation
Tuesday, August 28th, 2:00 PM ET
Description: Thelma Redick will discuss the business case for support monarch conservation, exploring how businesses work with the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) to incorporate conservation into business operations, corporate citizenship initiatives and business management targets. Several quick-fire case studies will introduce the breadth of project types implemented by WHC members, across sectors and with varying resource availability. Susan Kelsey, will then take a deep dive into how GM, a long-time member of the Wildlife Habitat Council, monarch habitat a priority among their suite of pollinator projects in North America. With more than seventy certified programs world-wide, GM has used very effectively used monarch habitat as one way to engage employees and community, enhance habitat, and link to local, regional and national ecological initiatives. Iris Caldwell will then provide an overview of how organizations in the Rights-of-Way as Habitat Working Group are approaching monarch habitat conservation, also featuring a couple of industry case studies.

Presenters:  Iris Caldwell, Energy Resources Center, Thelma Redick, Wildlife Habitat Council and Susan Kelsey, GM.

Register: Getting Monarchs into Business


#Giving Tuesday Game Plan
Wednesday, August 29th, 12:00 PM ET
#GivingTuesday is the biggest giving day of the year and just 12 weeks away! The best way to have a successful Giving Tuesday is to build momentum online and offline. Join Kristal M. Johnson as she shares five components in cultivating a community of connected and engaged donors.  At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will receive a #GivingTuesday 12-week timeline.
Learn more and register


Introduction to Project Budgets
Wednesday, August 29th, 2:00 PM ET
Are you ready to start fundraising for your project or idea, but don’t know what and how much to ask for? If preparing a budget for your foundation grant is holding you back, come learn the basic elements of how to draft a project budget with confidence.

This class will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to generate a standard project budget for a foundation proposal. We will discuss:

  • The basic components of a project budget including income and expenses
  • How to estimate the realistic cost of a project
  • What other financial documents you may also need to submit with your proposal

Learn more and register


Flash Class: What I Told the Italian Fundraisers: Making Fundraising and Our Sector Stronger
Wednesday, August 29th, 2:00 PM ET
In May 2018, I spoke at the Festival Del Fundraising. I shared 3 concepts that I think are absolutely necessary for our sector and for our work. Challenge ourselves and others. Take risks. Be brave and courageous. And if we pursue all 3 concepts, then I have hope. Otherwise, not so much.
Learn more and register


How to Set Up Your Nonprofit Accounting System-A Beginner’s Guide
Tuesday, August 29th, 3:00 PM ET
Cost $39.00
Nonprofit organization leaders and managers need a clear understanding of financial management to help their organization serve its constituents. Join us and we’ll help your organization be more accountable to funding sources, provide proper transparency to your constituents, demonstrate proper stewardship of your donor funds and build a foundation that will help your organization be more sustainable to fulfill your mission.
You’ll learn from this Live Webinar:

  • Major Differences between For Profit and Nonprofit Accounting
  • What is the difference between a fund and a program
  • How to create a nonprofit chart of accounts
  • How to build a nonprofit budget
  • What is the difference between cash and accrual accounting
  • How to prepare financial statements
  • And more!

This Webinar is Perfect for You if…

  • You are in charge of your organization’s accounting, but you don’t understand accounting.
  • You are a Board Member of a Nonprofit and don’t have a good understanding of nonprofit accounting.
  • Your organization is struggling to prepare timely financial reports

Learn more and register


Illuminating Best Practices for Effective Partnerships
Thursday, August 30th, 2:00 PM ET
Cost
FREE for PLA Members and

PLA Corporate Partners
$25 for NonMembers and Government Employees

Healthy nonprofit and agency partnerships are critical to providing unforgettable visitor experiences on public lands.

Join us as we explore authentic case studies and real-life examples to illuminate the partnership tenets provided in PLA’s brochure “Best Practices for Effective Partnerships.”

We’ll think creatively, using established programs and projects from Oregon’s Discover Your Forest, in partnership with the US Forest Service, to demonstrate the framework outlined in the brochure. A can’t miss!
Learn more and register


Corporate Matching Gifts: The beginner’s Essential Skills
Thursday, August 30th, 1:00 PM ET
Corporate matching gifts are the most important source of revenue you’re probably missing out on. It’s not personal — overall, between $6 and $10 billion in matched donations are left unclaimed by nonprofits every year. So what can you do to change that? In this educational webinar, the presenter will take attendees through everything they need to know about matching gifts. This crash course in corporate matching gifts will include breakdowns of the matching gift process, an overview of popular corporate matching gift programs, and techniques for marketing matching gifts to donors, all with real examples from nonprofits.

Attendees will walk away with actionable strategies to enhance and measure their matching gift performance.
Learn more and register


How to Use LinkedIn to Cultivate the Ideal Audience for Your Fundraising Events
Thursday, August 30th, 2:00 PM ET
You’ve planned out your fundraising events for the year. Your marketing plan is finalized. The board, volunteers, and staff are ready to help. Now it’s time to use the most powerful networking tool available to get the right people to attend your events.

In this leadership webinar, we will show you step-by-step how to identify your ideal audience and connect with them on LinkedIn. Then, we will show you an event sales funnel to drive ticket purchases/RSVPs/attendance.

Who should attend? This session is designed for any nonprofit organization wanting to learn more about growing a strategic fundraising network to boost event attendance.

This webinar will teach you how to:

  • use several approaches to identify your ideal audience on LinkedIn and place them on your nonprofit sales funnel
  • design your engagement strategy for your entire team of board members, staff, and volunteers
  • leverage your LinkedIn network across other marketing channels

Learn more and register


The Tech Effect: Discover the Simple Solution that 1000s of Organizations Are Using to Grow Membership In Today’s World
Thursday, August 30th, 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

This is not your typical webinar. It follows the story of one membership manager’s challenges, and ultimate triumph.
A story that has inspired thousands of others to grow their memberships faster than ever.
Learn more and register


How to Create Unique Fundraising Events that Excite Your Donors
Thursday, August 30th, 2:30 PM ET
Join fundraising master trainer, Chad Barger, CFRE, for a workshop focused on improving your organization’s special events. Chad will review the ideal revenue model for events and his rules for event sanity. He will then provide some real world examples on how to move your events in that direction. It is about working smarter, not harder.
Learn more and register


Volunteers in the Workplace: Safeguarding Your Reputation and Protecting You from Liability Through Background Screening
Thursday, August 30th, 2:00 PM ET
Most organizations know the importance of volunteer background screening; however, some may only screen those volunteers working with vulnerable populations or may not be screening at all. Without a comprehensive screening program your organization can be leaving the door open to increased risks that can hurt your people and reputation.
Register now »


Where Does Governance Stop and Management Begin?
Wednesday, September 26th, 12:00 PM CT
A nonprofit’s board and the staff need to be collaborative partners in order to achieve the mission of the organization. However, there are times where roles and responsibilities, particularly of the executive director and board chair, become blurred. Join us as we clarify where governance stops and management begins.
Learn more and register


10 Step Budgeting Process
Wednesday, October 24th, 12:00 PM CT
The success and usefulness of your budget largely depends on the process used to create it. You will walk away from this webinar with a proven 10-step budget process that will get everyone involved and ensure that your budget reflects your organization’s mission, strategic plan, and programmatic priorities.
Learn more and register


Core Mission Support: Re-visioning Overhead
Wednesday, November 28th, 12:00 PM CT
Nonprofit overhead is not a piece of the budget pie we should try to make smaller, but rather it is core mission support critical to program and mission success. How can we reflect this in our financial charts? We’ll show you the tool we’ve created to transform the conversation from overhead to core mission support and demonstrate how you can use this new re-visioning template at your nonprofit.
Learn more and register


12 Golden Rules of Finance
Wednesday, December 19th, 12:00 PM CT
Finance is one of your nonprofit’s most valuable tools, not a subject to be scared of. We’ll walk through real nonprofit examples and reports to help you become more comfortable with terminology, accounting rules, roles and responsibilities, and procedures and policies.
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

line

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

Screenshot_2017-04-24_14-37-11

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)

bears-hugging

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.