In uncertain times, land trusts with a focus on both short and long-term revenue and resources experience less disruption of services. One way to ensure the longevity of your organization is to develop and execute a planned giving program. Giving USA reported 10% of 2019 giving in the United States was from bequests, and research has shown that donors who include a planned gift in their estate tend to increase their current giving. A planned giving program can help your land trust now and into the future.
In this interactive session, participants will address key questions such as:
- What is a planned gift?
- How do we identify who is a prospect?
- How will we communicate with prospects our organization’s willingness to accept
- What is the process to accept the gift?
- How do we ask someone for a planned gift?
- How can we effectively steward and recognize planned gifts?
Using the Lummi Island’s Heritage Trust’s recently launched Legacy Campaign as a case study, we will explore the lessons learned (both good and bad) and how your land trust can develop or enhance your planned giving program.
Have you ever wondered if your land trust could conserve land through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) and just weren’t sure where to start? Join NRCS Director of Conservation Innovations Team and Projects Branch Chief, Kari Cohen, for an overview of the RCPP program. You’ll learn about program eligibility requirements, and gain an understanding of the differences between RCPP Classic and the new RCPP and how Alternative Funding Arrangements work. The NRCS team will walk you through the program nuances and answer your questions about program participation.
Note: This workshop is a longer, 2.5-hour session. Land trusts work with many people including landowners, members, community members, and policy leaders. Often this work involves difficult conversations or controversial topics, whether it is the effects of our changing climate, talking with people who don’t trust you, or reaching out to communities that you don’t feel yourself part of. And everyone who works at a land trust, from biologists to field technicians, program managers and policy advocates, fundraising professionals, PR pros, board members, volunteers, and executive directors, have all faced moments when we see that our well-polished strategic message falls flat in real life conversations. This can feel at best uncomfortable, and at worst, demoralizing. Yet if we are going to conserve more land, be more relevant, and inspire more action on climate, we need to be more comfortable talking with people from all walks of life. The Land Trust Alliance has conducted market research nationally since 2019 to measure support for land conservation in preparation for the "Gaining Ground" campaign. This substantial data is an opportunity to learn about messages and framing that work for the most primed conservation audiences; however, knowing what to say isn’t enough. Effective communication is also how you listen, how you engage, and how you respond to the other person – and there are proven techniques to engage with people in a respectful and thoughtful manner. This highly interactive workshop will introduce you to LTA’s relevancy campaign and provide you with the skills needed to have a dialogue rather than talking past others. Through a series of fun, interactive exercises, you’ll practice crucial communication skills that can improve your ability to understand and to be understood. Building these skills can help you create more authentic connections, engage your listener more effectively, and grow your land trust’s influence in your community.
All donor databases are useless if you don’t know how to use them. And they are all so different. What are the common denominators? What data should we be entering? What can we expect to learn? Can we trust the results? How can we use what we learn to make better decisions and raise more money for conservation? This workshop will address many of these questions and explore best practices in donor data management. Our case studies will feature Little Green Light and Salesforce, but our point-of-view is not so much system-specific, but rather: How do we get information we can use from the data we have?
Land trusts are trying to better understand their audiences and reach new people, while also still taking care of their long time supporters. But, how do you make interesting work that speaks to both? How do you tell non-traditional conservation stories that are engaging, responsive and sensitive to the needs of people as well as the environment? This session will share how to re-think conservation storytelling, make it digital, make it responsive and make it relevant to any audience.
With two-thirds of land in the Lower 48 under private ownership, many imperiled species depend on private land for their recovery. Action is needed to build the adaptive capacity of both wildlife and working lands as the climate changes. Land trusts are well-positioned to be leaders in stemming the current biodiversity and climate change crises. This workshop will demonstrate how land trusts can access funding to conserve wildlife through habitat protection and restoration, active management for key species, and strategic investments in rare, unique, or exceptional habitats. Defenders of Wildlife will provide an overview of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) funding sources for private landowners. The USFWS will provide an overview of the Partners for Fish and Wildlife (PFW) Program and how to develop competitive applications for the program. The Western Reserve Land Conservancy will provide a case study of a land trust partnering with PFW to restore wetland habitat in Ohio. A 90 percent decrease in wetland area in Ohio since European colonization has resulted in watersheds that lack adequate wetland and floodplain buffers. Fortunately, several funding sources, including the North American Wetlands Conservation Act enabled PFW and the Land Conservancy to work with local partners to implement wetland restoration projects that provide habitat for species such as the federally threatened Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake. This workshop is relevant to the three Land Trust Standards and Practices related to evaluating and selecting conservation projects and ensuring responsible stewardship of conservation easements and land held in fee for conservation purposes.
Note: This workshop is a longer, 2.5-hour session. Land trusts operate within a historic and present-day context, transacting at the intersection of land and wealth. This session aims to ask and help participants begin to answer the question, “How can your organization use its access to financial and social capital to make your conservation work more equitable?” The session will provide helpful framing, ideas, and examples for organizations at various points on their journey to expand the boundaries of their work and to create a more just land conservation movement for all. It will also invite participants to consider how past disinvestment in communities by conservationists and broader systemic forces informs present-day obligations for action. Participants will gain insight and practical guidance on why and how to elevate the voices of marginalized communities in decision-making and project co-creation as well as to ensure that marginalized communities have more equitable access to conserved land and its benefits. Though these issues extend far beyond conservation and conservation finance, conservation finance offers tools and approaches that may help to address or prevent further inequity.
During the coronavirus pandemic, close-to-home parks took on a whole new importance. They were where we turned for exercise, fresh air, and a respite from anxiety. But in many communities, parks are too few and far between, unwelcoming, rundown, or unsafe. Just as America’s great outdoors have never been more in demand than they are during the pandemic, the consequences of park inequities—for our health, climate resilience, and prosperity—have never been more acute. COVID-19 is a wake-up call: the time to address the long-standing gaps in outdoor access and quality has come. But there’s good news! Congress set an impressive record in last year’s budget - $125 million in funding for the creation and redevelopment of local parks, schoolyards, trails and open space through the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership program (ORLP). These funds target underserved communities in cities with a population over 50,000 people. This is a major win for equitable access to nature. Come learn how ORLP grants work, how to work with partners to create a successful proposal and what an additional $500 million in local parks funding could mean for access to nature across the country.
Rapidly increasing the pace of land conversation to address climate change requires accelerated land protection: thousands of acres must be saved, and millions of dollars raised. To address today’s challenges in a rapid and inclusive way, fundraisers will need to move quickly – but how can your land trust move ahead while still having in place everything needed before launching a successful campaign? Is your land trust ready? How does a campaign roll out? Embarking on a campaign can be daunting, especially for smaller sized land trusts, but with careful planning, clear communication, execution, and the right donor engagement strategy, anything is possible! This Case Study Session examines how Indian River Land Trust (IRLT), a small, coastal land trust in Vero Beach, FL embarked on a $10 million campaign that reached new levels of giving in just ten months over two short fundraising seasons. Join Ken Grudens, IRLT Executive Director, Christine Walker, IRLT Director of Marketing & Philanthropy, Tim Nurvala, CCS Senior Vice President, and Hollis Hunt, CCS Senior Director, as they discuss how the campaign for Indian River Land Trust became so successful, even amid the challenges of a global pandemic. Further, CCS and IRLT leaders will help you make sure you are ready, set, and can go generate significant support for your conservation efforts.
Join NRCS national Easement Programs Division staff to learn more about our “other” easement programs including Wetland Reserve Easements, the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership, Emergency Watershed Program and the Healthy Forests Reserve Program. Goals of this session will be to educate land trust partners on other easement options NRCS has available outside ALE. How to identify potential sites where these easements might be a good fit and how to consider them in your overall easement planning process with the landowners.
In an increasingly crowded media environment, crafting and delivering messages that can break through the clutter and reach their intended audience has become increasingly challenging. This is especially true for many non-profit organizations, which simply don't have the resources to compete with better-funded corporations. This session is designed to illustrate how a combination of relatively inexpensive social media research, well-designed content and effective and highly targeted delivery through digital media can help organizations more effectively communicate their message to key audiences. To illustrate this concept in practice, US Nature4Climate will present a case study focusing on two campaigns we are conducting in 2021 -- one focusing on the economic benefits of Natural Climate Solutions, and the other focusing on the climate impacts of the 30x30 initiative. We will demonstrate how social media listening research helped us understand the online conversation around these issues to aid us in developing an effective message, and ultimately target that message to the most engaged and influential voices in the debate. We will then discuss how we used this guidance to develop content, including videos, infographics, story development, blog posts and fact sheets to communicate that message. We will provide insight on the tools available to micro-target messaging through social media, as well as free tools organizations can use to get their message out. Finally, we will hear from a US Nature4Climate partner who will discuss how these practices have helped support their own organization's communications and advocacy efforts.