Land protection is about relationships. As we pledge to build these relationships with our community and landowners, the continuity of our staff and volunteers is central to our long-term effectiveness. Yet what can we do to create welcoming, diverse, inclusive, and high-functioning organizations? How did your staff weather the transition to working remotely or in a social distancing atmosphere? How did you lead this change? How can we attract new staff and retain those we already have, no matter the size, budget and challenges of our land trust? How do you lead for adaptability? This workshop will focus on a variety of retention strategies ranging from organizational culture to benefits, retirement contributions, and the life-work-balance expectations in today’s world. We will address underlying assumptions of what it means to build a culture of appreciation as well as examples of how land trusts have accomplished these goals—and the results—from around the country, as well as the two primary land trusts presenting (Mississippi Valley Conservancy and Montezuma Land Conservancy).
Be ready to dive into the nuts and bolts of the accreditation application. Accreditation reviewers will share how they review your application, giving you insights on preparing your best application. As a participant you will leave knowing timesaving short-cuts, how to pre-screen your documents to avoid common problems, how to leverage the Requirements Manual, how to use the COVID-19 guidance for accreditation, and more. Appropriate for land trust staff and board members with an interest in first-time or renewal of accreditation that have some familiarity with the land trust accreditation process.
This workshop will support staff members and board members as they consider how to address a range of destructive behaviors that use power to harass, bully or treat others with disrespect. Participants will be equipped with the knowledge of the origins of destructive behaviors, and to name the range of those behaviors. Destructive board behavior can take a huge toll on both individual executive directors and other board members, as well as a potential negative impact on a land trust’s effectiveness and the community’s confidence in the organization. Participants will explore specific strategies for how to address, manage and stop destructive behaviors, and actively apply those strategies to specific issues and scenarios they may have experienced. The workshop will allow participants time for creating their own next steps to prevent or address destructive behaviors in their organization.
Having the right insurance is a key part of good risk balancing for land trusts. We will explore the role of staff and volunteers in implementing inclusive outreach programs, the risks they encounter and the role of insurance. Land trusts need to assess many types of insurance to balance risk. How do you assess your insurance portfolio? How is the risk and mitigation in inclusive conservation different from traditional land conservation? Is your board covered against hostile legal actions? Is your fee property open for public recreational use? Do you actively invite school age children to events? We will cover basic types of insurance as well as some that may be unique to land trusts, and explore the specifics of inclusive conservation and the critical role of risk balancing and insurance coverage
Come hear from two land trusts and one conservation consultant about their journeys through Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) planning and implementation. This session focuses on 3 learning objectives: 1) the “how” of DEI using personal narrative situated within unique organizational contexts, 2) the importance of broad culture change and 3) three distinct stages of DEI plans: formation, passage and implementation. Presenters will explore successes and struggles related to internal definitions and external equity commitments, goals, metrics, capacity building topics, identity/power, and communication norms. This session recognizes the value of learning from both successes and failures, and strives to explore pitfalls with honesty and humility. While there are unique considerations in adapting these stories to your land trust or organization, we believe that there is value in coming together to learn from each other and discuss this topic openly. Session attendees will leave with a concise list of resources, example plans, and other tools that the presenters have found to be useful.
In this workshop we will review the essentials of nonprofit mergers and related forms of consolidation, including organizational structure alternatives, success factors, common obstacles and the process for considering and pursuing a strategic partnership with another organization.
The COVID-19 outbreak has changed our world including how we advocate. From slowing the rate of climate change to defending the land trust community from threats that endanger our conserved lands, policy engagement is as critical as ever to the future of the land trust community – but the challenge is how to do it smartly, strategically and effectively. With the pandemic turning the world upside down – including how we advocate and lobby – this session will provide a crash-course on public policy advocacy and lobbying tools for land trusts and other nonprofit conservation organizations. Participants will gain a set of building blocks – the “secret sauce” – for achieving legislative successes. Through their own experiences and insights from experts, presenters will share stories of how influencing policy has changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The session will conclude with a live interactive discussion between presenters and participants.
The relationship between the board and staff is tested when an organization faces a crisis. Decision-making can be greatly complicated by lack of trust, unclear board and staff roles, the perceived need to act quickly, and lack of engagement of board members. Effective governance coupled with frequent communication can play a vital role in navigating challenging situations. This session will highlight the fundamentals of governance and share a rapid assessment to use when a crisis hits and not all of the fundamentals are in place. We will share tips and tools to help board members and staff address and avoid problems and the opportunities that challenges present to build stronger and more resilient organizations.
Time – Talent – Treasure. Doer – Door Opener – Donor. Work – Wisdom – Wealth. If you are a board member or executive staff member, you’ve probably heard at least one of these three timeless descriptions summarizing the role of a “good” board member. Simply put, a land trust cannot excel beyond the well-directed skills, highly-toned muscle and commitment of its board. Keeping individual board members on the right track, out of the (invasive) weeds, and offering appropriate levels of “care and feeding” to empower board members to new levels of success and engagement requires great skill, muscle and commitment as well. In this interactive session, we’ll “unpack” what it means to govern a land trust with distinction. Board leaders and executive staff will get some new tools and tips to ensure Board member expectations and goals align with the organization, Board members are energized and empowered by the experience, and their leadership shines. Focused – Fulfilling - Fun.