Most land trusts offer field trips for members and donors out onto the land that has been protected. Doing so connects people with the mission “products” they actively support with their donations. Many land trusts also offer natural history lecture series with the same intent. But careful analysis reveals that these events are often attended by the same group of loyal supporters who collectively represent a small percentage of the whole. How do we appeal more effectively to others? How do we become more relevant? How do we attract new audiences? This workshop explores different case studies from different parts of the country. Each represents a creative answer to these questions and each has delivered in some surprising ways.
Translating this highly interactive workshop to a virtual space, we will make a short video—from start to finish—that focuses on the importance of nature during COVID-19. We will start with real-world examples of how easy and accessible it has become to create compelling video content, including on a smartphone. Then we will brainstorm talking points and record them. Supplementing what we shoot with some pre-recorded footage, we will edit the video live in iMovie so that everyone can see how editing decisions are made. We believe that it is easier to do this than you think and that the tools are incredibly intuitive so that you can learn as you work. Participants will learn how to get the best results with the least investment of up-front resources. Content includes tips on staging, directing, recording, lighting, and being comfortable in front of the camera.
Land trusts are often the recipients of funds that will be utilized for long term purposes or that come with “strings attached”, including stewardship funds. While this sounds simple enough on the surface, over time organizations may have many restrictions or board designations to juggle. Reporting and tracking can become complex and confusing. In this session we will explore the types of designations and restrictions that impact organizations and tackle the task of simplifying tracking. We will discuss ways to communicate and report on these funds in an understandable way both internally to the board and externally to donors and others. We will also explore how organizations can frame communication with potential donors to prevent restrictions that create burdensome limitations or increased administrative duties and outline steps to consider when past donor restrictions can no longer be followed.
Have your outreach efforts plateaued? Are strategies not connecting with new audiences? Are you tired of brainstorming sessions? You need a deliberate, systematic, and simple approach to updating your marketing, outreach and communication strategies that reach, connect AND engage so you increase membership and support! This session introduces a proven effective marketing approach so you can create a useful, data-informed, outcome-based plan. You’ll have the tools, resources and templates you need to get started and you’ll hear about actual land trust examples and successes.
In this session, participants will learn about the Easement Programs Division updates, including easement impacts and secondary benefits and the future of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) moving forward.
Session Level: All Levels Session Location: Online
Building a strong and sustainable financial structure is critical to land trusts' promises of perpetual care to donors and communities. This directly addresses key accreditation standards as well. In addition, it's an essential platform for meaningfully addressing climate change, a theme which we will weave into various parts of the session. This material is not theoretical - the presenters have done the hard work of putting plans together and this session will therefore be directly relevant to participants and the challenges they face.
Bequests can be an important contributor to a land trust’s fiscal health. This is a non-lawyer’s practical guide to handling bequests, particularly problematic ones, to ensure that land trusts of all sizes do not leave bequest dollars on the table. We’ll include what to ask for and when, what to do if you’re ignored, how to spot problems on accountings and tax returns, including avoiding income taxes, effectively collecting IRAs/life insurance/POD accounts, how to (politely) decline a request to return your bequest, when to join in/sit out litigation, with or without an attorney. We’ll include suggested letters and tax and probate forms.
Each of your donors is unique, but do you have the time to craft custom emails and send them resources tailored to their interests? Personalization allows you to craft more effective fundraising campaigns that target your donors' unique interests. In this session we'll walk through the process of running a personalized digital fundraising campaign, from collecting/sanitizing donor data, choosing personalization tools, and refining your strategy as you run your campaigns.
Convening people through events is a powerful way to foster a sense of community and shared purpose as your organization grows. But building an event program can require significant resources, and with so many options, choosing the right direction can be hard. Here several event program managers from several land trusts about how they've built their event programs to raise broad awareness, engage donors, and build authentic connections to communities that they serve. Session participants will have the opportunity to share lessons and challenges from their own programs.
Does your organization have a strategic plan? Does it accurately reflect your organization's values, culture and impact? Have you used your strategic plan to engage donors? Donors want to know that the organization it is investing in has adequately assessed its environment, set both bold and realistic goals for how it will positively impact the community in which it works, and created a plan to achieve those goals. This session will help you create a strategic plan that is aligned with your land trust's values and strengths, and your community's needs. Learn tips on how to involve your board, donors, and community during the planning phase while maintaining direction and clarity, how to share out your completed plan, and how to show success annually in meeting your strategic goals.
With two-thirds of land in the Lower 48 under private ownership, many imperiled species depend on private land for their recovery. Land trusts are well-positioned to be leaders in stemming the current extinction 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. No funding source fits all land trusts, so our panel will cover a range of federal funding opportunities. Defenders of Wildlife will review funding sources, some of which emphasize climate change adaptation as a priority investment. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will review the Partners for Fish and Wildlife, Coastal, and National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants Programs. The Columbia Land Trust will present work they are doing in partnership with tribes and in alignment with climate resiliency data. Wildlife conservation is best advanced by the contributions of people of diverse beliefs and cultures. This workshop covers programs for diverse partners to create healthy ecosystems for all. This work is profoundly, and increasingly, influenced by climate change. Sea level rise is thematic in coastal restoration. These programs can help landowners to recover the value of their land, while allowing the land to be reclaimed as natural habitat. 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.
The backbone of any annual fundraising effort is entering the year with a set of clearly articulated goals, specific timelines and income projections, and having the data and staff support to back them up. In this session, learn how to craft a robust annual operating plan that weaves together the essentials of major gifts, planned giving, annual fund, grants and capital fundraising, all the while remembering to ask “where’s the donor?” to make sure their experience is front of mind. Attendees will leave with an understanding of the essential building blocks that make up an annual fundraising plan and with specific ideas to implement at their organization for the upcoming year.