By Story Clark
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Extra info for A Field Guide to Conservation Finance
000-000 3/15/08 5:27 PM Page 13 Organizational Readiness Take pains to explicitly redefine the roles of board, staff, and volunteers. It may seem like overkill to actually write out job descriptions, but it is amazing how many questions about roles emerge in the writing. This also helps place volunteers and paid staff on more equal footing—both should be seriously engaged with clear expectations. Here are some valuable roles in which volunteers can stay involved: • • • • • • • • • • • Board members Advisory board members Volunteer consultants when their expertise matches a land trust need, be it, for example, design assistance for an invitation, real estate expertise for a transaction, or banking experience for a bank loan Members of committees (strategic planning, stewardship, fundraising) Interns (or offering internships to family members and friends of volunteers) Easement monitors as part of the stewardship program Fundraisers and sources of donor prospects Links to landowners Office assistants (for example, mailing newsletters and answering phones) Event organizers, planners, and workers Well-informed community ambassadors for the land trust.
Little did I know at the time that an energetic and experienced fundraiser had entered my life. Finding donors for conservation in Jackson Hole became Addie Donnan’s fulltime volunteer job. She was at work early in the morning and left late in the afternoon. She wrote letters and thank-you notes, and she took me to lunch with people she had just met. She and her husband, Ted, held fundraising parties at their home. Addie initiated a lucrative silent art auction that continues today. We now had two desks and chairs.
Make sure they have the time to handle and are happy with what you give them to do. Keep the spirits of event planners up. Strong leadership and lots of enthusiasm are contagious and make event planning more fun. Be organized and keep track of everything: new ideas, phone numbers of volunteers, schedules and deadlines, supplies and their sources, and whom to thank. Keep a master notebook for reference, and use it often. It will also be useful for planning the next event. Make contingency plans for rain.