By Story Clark
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Additional resources 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.
We divided the property into two parcels, separating the barns from the new homesite—something that realtors advised us to do when we couldn’t sell the parcel as one. We also could not find a buyer in our short, ninety-day time frame. Instead, a land trust donor stepped forward and bought the bulk of the property, taking the risk of resale for us. The barns, which we had assumed would be the draw for any conservation buyer, were leased separately to an educational institution. We took out a loan to cover the easement value when the county withdrew its commitment to pay for it.
The option was paid for with gifts from individual donors, and the purchase had to close before the state money was available. The land trust needed and received private interim funding to bridge the timing gap. In these circumstances, a land trust should know the nearest conservation revolving loan fund (see chapter 12) or whether a friendly foundation loans money through a program-related investment program (chapter 15) and should be on great terms with local bankers (chapter 11). 2 Reardan’s Audubon Lake, now permanently protected thanks to Inland Northwest Land Trust’s many dedicated volunteers and conservation partners, is home to a rich variety of birds, such as this marsh wren.
A Field Guide to Conservation Finance by Story Clark