Major factors in the success of the land trust movement have been the development of legally rigorous and replicable best practices and a cooperative community of land trusts willing to share this knowledge. Written materials, trainings, and conferences within the field have emphasized technical skills for conservationists, enduring conservation outcomes (transactions), healthy, sustainable organizations, and healthy, sustainable lands. In spite of quantitative data and qualitative observations showing increasing levels of staff turnover, burnout, work-related stress, climate change related stress, politically-related stress, depression, and suicide within the nonprofit sector, the health and sustainability of conservation practitioners has received less emphasis. In recognition of these concerning trends, fellow conservationists and I have recently created the Center for Conservation Renewal, the mission of which is to build a more inspired, healthy, enduring, and just conservation movement and culture by supporting the WHY and wellness of conservationists. The services and experiences we are offering in support of this mission include: nature-based trainings, counseling and coaching, mentoring, retreats, mini-sabbaticals, ceremony and ritual, and health/spa treatments (e.g., massage, energy healing, etc.). Specific skill development for the workshop will include navigating life and work transitions, burnout, and founder syndrome. We seek input about our proposed approaches and offerings and conclude with an exercise in recognizing and coping with burnout.
2021 has brought about a major vaccine rollout, and signs of the next “normal” have been popping up all over, but the effects of the pandemic will be long-lasting, particularly in the nonprofit sector. If you haven’t revisited your strategic priorities, now is the time. Join us for this interactive session focused on knowledge gained from past crises and how it can be applied to our current situation; best practices and new ways of thinking about engagement and recovery; and how to leverage this period of recovery to innovate and create positive change.
Leadership change is inevitable, and may occur at an inopportune time. How will your organization be impacted? Attend this interactive session to understand your risk and start getting prepared for the future. We will identify key steps every organization should take to be prepared for a transition in leadership, whether a planned departure or in an emergency situation. Attendees will leave prepared to create a succession plan for their organization. The session is appropriate for executives and board members of organizations of all sizes.
Do you (does your land trust) have a love-hate relationship with Strategic Planning? Is your Plan collecting a little dust? You are not alone. Strategic Planning, however important, requires a significant investment – in time and money. Too often, the return on that investment (ROI) is not recognized, understood or leveraged. In this interactive session, we’ll discuss various planning processes, share our successes and challenges with planning, learn how to re-kindle the Strategic Planning fire, use your Plan internally to keep the fire burning, and just as important, use your Plan to generate exciting new support for your land trust – all guaranteeing your ROI is strong.
Knowledge is power. With organization, thorough planning, and actively using the accreditation requirements in your daily practice, you will feel ready and confident to prepare your best application. Learn from accreditation reviewers about how they review your application and gain insights on how changes in the 2021 Requirements Manual might impact your work. 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, 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.
Effective land trust leaders have spent the last 18 months rapidly adapting how they operate while sticking to a clear strategy and focusing on strategic goals. Now what? Your board and staff have learned how to work virtually. You held your annual fundraiser on Zoom. You created a whole new approach to staying connected to landowners, donors, and partners. And people in your community are relating to open space and spending time outdoors in new and exciting ways. Too much has changed to return to business as usual.
Attend this interactive workshop and learn how to use developing (or updating) a business plan to walk through a series of questions that aligns your operations and capacity with your strategic goals and this new reality. Clarify for yourself and others which changes you will sustain, what opportunities you will pursue, and how you can leverage strengths to meet your conservation goals and serve your community.
No that’s not a typo! Your land trust must be alive and thriving in the 22nd century. The climate crisis, population pressure and ecological stress will dominate life, and your work will be needed more than ever. But your promise of perpetual protection will be tested, and the odds are high that many current land trusts will not survive that long. This interactive session will define a framework for longevity and actions land trust leaders can take to shape an organization to persist and thrive through decades of change. Strategic planning for the long-haul requires attention not just to conservation goals, but also your financial structure, organizational culture, management and governance practice. Only by being intentional in all of these areas can an organization be built to last. We’ll take a close look at key financial metrics and a practical approach to building a strong stewardship reserve fund. We’ll explore four essential characteristics of successful nonprofit organizational cultures. And we’ll detail five habits that will support resilience and longevity, all of which your land trust can begin practicing in the next year. Each of these changes can ripple through time, making land trust leaders’ legacy a truly multi-generational enterprise.
It is often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Yet that’s exactly what we do with our boards. We use the same old processes for recruiting board members, but are then disappointed when our new board members are no more connected, influential, diverse, or committed than the ones that they replace. We have long discussions, we develop matrices, we leverage our networks, and in the end, we ask the same kinds of people to join our boards. This session asks you to break free from that pattern! Using case studies from two recent board transformation processes at Outdoor Afro and the Outdoor Industry Association, we share a new model for board recruitment that will enhance your board and generate dramatically new results for your organization. We will share actions that you will be able to implement immediately to begin transforming your board.
Our society is shifting as rapidly as our environment. What is clear is that the way forward is to prioritize more inclusive approaches in our collaborations. Diversity is essential if we want to realize the full value of what it means to work together on our most pressing issues. We have a lot to learn and act upon if we want to understand our challenges from a 360-degree lens.
Dialogue is the heart of collaboration. It allows us to come together, not just to solve a problem, but to learn from each other in ways that foster new outcomes. To get to quality dialogue we must understand the way that bias enters into our collaborative initiatives, build a culture that allows us to recognize and mitigate it, and learn processes that help us to engage with others with different values, lived experiences, and views of the challenges that we face.
This session illuminates what's at risk for the future without the inclusion of new and underrepresented voices. It helps us to understand the evolutionary nature of bias and how to evolve our thinking -- individually and collectively -- to include all perspectives. And it offers a dialogue method that creates expansive ways of tapping into the wisdom of a group.