activities related to the day-to-day running of the organization such as: HR, legal, employees, administration & operations, training/orientation, etc.

WHO RESPONDED TO THE CORFA WEBINAR SURVEY?

Roles of Respondents
We asked respondents to give us a little bit of information about their Friends group and their role within the group. We realize that many of you play a lot of different roles in your group, so we tried to let everyone give us as much information as you wanted to about that. Over one third of our respondents identified as Board Members, although many of them also selected other ways that they are active with Friends.

pie chart showing number of board members

Board Size
Over half of respondents serve on boards with 6 to 10 members with the rest on boards that were bigger or smaller than that.

Size of Membership
Almost a third of our respondents were from Friends groups with over 200 members and over a quarter were from groups with 101-200 members but well over a third of our survey-takers are in groups with fewer than 100 members or don’t have memberships for their group.

Age of Friends Organization
Thirty-seven respondents came from groups that have been in existence more than 20 years while 10 came from groups less than 5 years old. We really love that diversity!

What else should we have asked about the people taking the survey and the Friends group(s) they are affiliated with? I wonder if we had respondents from any Fish Hatchery Friends groups. Were their survey-participants from community partners or groups that don’t have a Partnership Agreement with a refuge? How about people in groups that support programs like Friends of Duck Stamps or Friends of NCTC? There are so many ways that you all support the refuge and fisheries system, and we all know that no two Friends groups are alike. The more we learn about each other, the more support we can provide in making sure that each Friends group is strong, resilient, and accomplishing everything they can to support our fragile environment.

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DID YOU TAKE PART IN THE CORFA/NWRA FRIENDS SURVEY?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like it when I take part in a survey and then never hear anything about the survey results. So, for the 88 of you who generously gave your time to provide us with answers to our questions and for those of you who didn’t but would like to know what the respondents told us, here you go with the results of our recent Friends Webinar Survey.

I’m going for the focus of the survey first, specifically, what webinar topics seemed to be of most interest to the respondents of our survey. Look for information from other parts of the survey in coming blog posts.

We provided 11 general subjects that we thought might be of interest to Friends and asked them to rate their interest in each topic as High, Medium, Low, or No interest. Here’s what you told us:

The winning topic in both “High” plus “Medium” interest and with the most “High” interest votes was OUTREACH & COMMUNICATIONS. We need to dig deeper now and find out exactly what kinds of things you are interested in but be sure to check out our Webinar on June 9 at 2:00 Eastern, with Angie Horn the NWRA Southern California Regional Refuge Partnership Specialist and Angelina Yost, The FWS Urban Programs Coordinator. They will be telling us about successful ways of building community partnerships, no matter where your refuge is located. To register click here.


No surprise that the second most “High” plus “Medium” interest votes was FUNDRAISING, followed closely by GRANTS. We have one fundraising webinar planned for the near future and will continue to seek presenters and subjects related to these two high-demand topics for additional presentations in the future.


The last topic we will highlight was GOVERNANCE & LEADERSHIP. Again, this is such a broad topic that we will be looking for some guidance from you as to what aspects of governance and leadership you would like more information about.

A couple of the remaining topics are areas that we have already provided webinars on, specifically, ADVOCACY & LOBBYING and FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT.


The remaining topics were Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI), Organizational Planning, Technology, Volunteer Management, and Sales/Retail. While these topics did not receive as many “High” or “Medium” interest votes as the ones mentioned above, none of the suggested topics received fewer than 54% “High”/”Medium” votes. It looks like we have our work cut out for us. If you have ideas for a webinar in one of the categories listed or know of a Friends member/supporter who might be a good presenter on one of these topics, please reach out to Cheryl Hart or Joan Patterson. Thanks for your hel

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A Tool to Attract Donors: GuideStar Seal of Transparency

  • Post category:FundingManagement
  • Reading time:1 mins read
great blue heron next to pond

Are you aware of the benefits of obtaining a GuideStar Seal of Transparency? The Seal provides you an opportunity to provide donors and partners insight into your work beyond your tax return. This webinar presented by Aimee Arent, Executive Director of Friends of Ottawa NWR in Ohio, and Catherine Fox, Past-President of the Friends of the Hawaiian Islands, covered:

  • What is a GuideStar seal,
  • Why the seal is important to their groups,
  • How to obtain a seal, and
  • Benefits they have discovered

Here are the materials from their April 7, 2021 presentation:

We thank Aimee and Catherine for sharing their expertise. 

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Internal Controls: Tools For Building Trust

  • Post category:Management
  • Reading time:1 mins read
man pointing finger at dots on a screen

Friends on February 11, 2021 Willem Stoeller presented the webinar, Internal Controls for Friends Organizations: Tools for Building Trust.

The webinar focused on:

  • Minimum set of required policies to guide your operations
  • Minimum set of financial internal controls

Here are the materials from the webinar:

We would like to thank Willem from The Friends of Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge Complex for hosting such an amazing opportunity for Refuge Friends.

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CORFA 1st Annual Report

  • Post category:Management
  • Reading time:1 mins read
Monarch butterfly feeding on milkweed flowers.

CORFA wants to share our first annual report with Friends. It has been a year of transformation, speared on by the desire by Friends to strengthen the network of Friends working together to support each other and the national refuge and hatchery system. In the COVID-19 Friends are continuing to do incredible work in support of their organizations, communities, and national wildlife refuge and hatcheries. Thank you everyone.

Photo credit: Krista Lundgren/USFWS

Continue ReadingCORFA 1st Annual Report