Board Development

How are You Doing on that Diversity Goal?

Posted by on Apr 10, 2018 in Board Development, Featured | 0 comments

How are You Doing on that Diversity Goal?

We’re giving a lot of lip service these days to the idea that our boards should look more like our communities. For nearly all of us, this represents a near Herculean task (to pull a white male metaphor out of my bag). But what would doing so actually look like? I worked with a land trust recently who set out to change their all-male culture into one in which at least 40% of their Board members were female. The Executive Director was proud of the fact that they had recently succeeded – seven of their fifteen Board members were now female. It had taken them ten years. Ten years?!? Yes, he...

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Sustainable Organizations Teach Financial Literacy

Posted by on Feb 20, 2018 in Board Development, Featured | 2 comments

Sustainable Organizations Teach Financial Literacy

I have long been critical of Land Trust Alliance’s Standards and Practices, because they focus too heavily on policies and compliance and too little on sustainability. It’s fine that you have a conflict of interest policy and that you monitor each of your 35 conservation easements every year like clockwork, but having only six Board members and 100 members is a problem. It’s not sustainable. Compliance with minimum standards of land trust behavior is critically important, but organizations feeling that everything is hunky dory because they are compliant – or even accredited – is folly....

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Board Members and Donor Stewardship

Posted by on Jan 9, 2018 in Board Development, Featured | 1 comment

Board Members and Donor Stewardship

When I ask land trust Board members to name the individual donor or family who has contributed the most over the last five years or so, about four of five can answer correctly. (I typically exclude land donors.) If I restrict the request to non-Board members, the rate drops a little. And if I ask for the top three or five, the rate drops a lot. But then I show them a list of the land trust’s top 20 donors (over the most recent five-year period and ask, “How many of these people have you met or talked with over the past five years?” The answers are astonishingly low, and for many Board...

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Getting Your Money’s Worth from Rally

Posted by on Oct 31, 2017 in Board Development, Featured, Staff Development | 1 comment

Getting Your Money’s Worth from Rally

I returned yesterday from the Land Trust Alliance’s Annual “Rally” Conference in Denver. It was easily one of the two or three best Rally’s I’ve attended. The venue was terrific. The workshops were engaging and increasingly inclusive of difficult topics such as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Gender Bias. And Denver turned out its glorious best weather for us. Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation Vice President Anita O’Gara and I conducted a four-hour seminar on Annual Giving strategies that drew a sold-out audience, and I reprised my Development Committee Makeover workshop from last...

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Make Plans to Give AND Get This Year

Posted by on Jul 18, 2017 in Board Development, Featured | 2 comments

Make Plans to Give AND Get This Year

It’s July 18. This is a challenge to Give AND Get at least $2,000 between now and the end of the year. This post is for all the board members who might be reading this blog. It’s also for the other volunteers and staff who might be looking for something to pass along to board members who don’t read this blog. So OK. I get it. Some of you are giving and getting a LOT more than $2,000. Thank YOU!! I’m not really talking to you. I’m talking to all the other board members who are not even close to this number. You’ve heard of Give OR Get? This is Give AND Get. Give $1,000 and Raise $1,000 –...

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How Much Does Fundraising Cost?

Posted by on Jun 20, 2017 in Board Development, Featured, Plans and Budgets | Comments Off on How Much Does Fundraising Cost?

How Much Does Fundraising Cost?

Imagine a day when someone walks in the door of your land trust and offers to pay for everything you need to accomplish your mission. Not an invitation to be extravagant, and not crazy stuff, but if money weren’t a barrier, what would it cost to run your land trust? What would you include in your calculations? Your ED salary would be included as well as your program staff. But the fundraising staff would no longer be necessary. You’d probably hang on to your communications staff, too. The newsletter, eNews, social media, and news releases would still be necessary. Likewise your volunteer...

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