III. The PurposeThe purpose of this presentation is to furnishthe Natures Haven Land Preserve with thecompetitive context, market research andfinancial analysis needed to sharpen itsmission focus and rejuvenate its fundraisingefforts.(c) 2012 Rainmaker Solutions Ltd. Co.
IV. The Process▪ More than 20 interviews with major stakeholders: Executive Director, Board Members,general membership, significant donors, elected and appointed officials, other nonprofitexecutives and fundraising consultants, community and business leaders.▪ Media and academic research into its specific mission niche (IRS NTEE C34Organizations) regarding current trends, best practices, and innovations, influencingthe competitive landscape and inspiring new ideas.▪ Comparative fundraising, net revenue and financial ratio analysis to assessperformance against a statistically relevant sample of peer nonprofits, operating in theSoutheast, with an emphasis on the Charleston-North Charleston area.▪ Critical next steps and fundraising planning.(c) 2012 Rainmaker Solutions Ltd. Co.
V. Inspiring Trends1. Creating Community Cohesion 1Perhaps the most popular trend in land conservation is using public green spaces to createconnections between otherwise isolated communities in an increasingly disconnected,urbanized world, promoting community cohesion.2. Constructing Eco-Districts (“Green Neighborhoods”) 2Eco-Districts are integrating green buildings and smart infrastructure(energy, water, waste,recycling, transportation, etc…) with land preservation. 23. Protecting Urban Water Supplies 3Conservation easements and land trusts now used to protect urban water supplies in heavilypopulated areas, residing under properties owned by private interests, and usually includepublic access and other public benefits.34. Saving the American Farmers 4The farmland is purchased by the trust and leased back to the farmers, saving them$30,000 in mortgage payments each year. The trust then uses the rent money to payproperty taxes. 4
V. Inspiring Trends5. Emerging Buyer’s Market for Land Trusts 5In the western United States, the recession has presented land trusts and easements withgreat opportunities, as development has stalled, prompting a “fire sale” on vast tracts of land.6. Inspiring Smart Growth Projects & Laws 6The booming and creative use of land trusts has forced conservationists and governments tocompromise and collaborate on “smart growth” projects, laws and regulations.7. Developing Priorities of Environmental Planning 7The future of land conservation and environmental planning requires that leaders, activistsand community preservation groups focus on these strategies: Minimize sprawling development and redevelop low-density sprawl in urban areas.▪ Implement regulations/incentives to encourage eco-minded businesses and consumer lifestyles,▪ Promote the message that global environmental planning is critical to global survival.▪ Encourage both political parties to embrace environmental planning and sustainability.(c) 2012 Rainmaker Solutions Ltd. Co.
VI. Fundraising Best Practices10. Nonprofits that calculate and communicate their economic value can leveragesuccess into better fundraising, performance funding and corporate partnerships.911. Direct marketing is dead. Nonprofits must turn to social media to prospect and buildcommunities through two-way communications, transforming “friends” into donors.1012. Environmental causes must develop cost-effective relationships with corporations,without becoming hostages to profit motives and other agendas.(e.g. Earth Day) 1113. To succeed in fundraising, conservation groups must 1) regard people asstakeholders not audiences, 2) practice engagement over awareness 3) align withlocal values and 4) leverage people’s natural, emotional connection to nature. 1214. Raising social capital and impact investing are becoming more common among largecharities. For example, Habitat for Humanity has issued a CD that provides a modestreturn to the investor and capital for the nonprofit.(c) 2012 Rainmaker Solutions Ltd. Co.
VI. Fundraising Best Practices15. In an article that explores ten fundraising models, most nonprofits in the environmentprotection arena were classified as “Market Makers’” – organizations that generaterevenues by charging fees for activities and services. 1316. Know your donor! Fundraising research (donor prospecting, screening and analytics)are the backbone of a successful grants, major-gift and annual fund campaigns. 1417. Special events can be profitable and inspirational for prospects; but they most oftenencumber huge indirect costs, and require a rigorous cost-benefit analysis. 1518. Nonprofit turnaround strategies include a) strategic planning b) staff and volunteerincentives c) exercising healthy boundaries around programs, clients and fundingopportunities, and d) employing best practices, with measurable outcomes. 16(c) 2012 Rainmaker Solutions Ltd. Co.
VII. Statistical SampleComposition*▪ There are 73 C34 (land conservation organizations) in the Southeast, raising $8.24million each year. However, only 17 of these organizations filed complete 2010-2011IRS Forms 990s and thus qualified for inclusion in the sample.▪ In South Carolina, there are 14 environmental organizations with sufficient, currentfinancial data to incorporate into a viable sample, placing a broader, stronger emphasison public charities in the Charleston-North Charleston area,▪ The local organizations - the major competitors for local support – raise $5.28 million intotal net revenues. For this reason, they received greater weight in this sample thanorganizations in other regions.▪ There are 31 organizations in the sample, with average revenues of $1.38 million, totalrevenues of $43 million, and budgets ranging from $49,445 to $7,157,780,(c) 2012 Rainmaker Solutions Ltd. Co.
VII. Revenue Comparison Results▪ The NHLP relies on memberships more than other organizations, but its peers raise a higheraverage amount in memberships ($10,797 versus $77,913). This irony belies the need forstronger membership drives and renewal campaigns.▪ The NHLP invests the majority of its efforts in special events (40%) and raises twice in netspecial event revenues than its peers $20,000 versus $10,155).▪ However, special events are probably NOT the best strategy for several reasons:▪ In the regional sample, there is a .high, positive correlation (.91) between nonprofits with thehighest total net revenues and success with private grants and individual gifts, with zerocorrelation between special events and total net revenues..▪ To reinforce this correlation, in the Charleston-North Charleston area, there is a positive .98(almost perfect score) for the same correlation and a slight inverse correlation (.3) betweenspecial events and total revenues.▪ In conclusion, organizations in the sample that focused on grants, major gifts and annualfund donations always outperform those that invest their energies in special events.
VII. Revenue Comparison Results▪ There is a significant difference between the average amount of investment income generatedby the average organization in this sample ($28,344) and the client ($441), belying a strongneed for financial planning, reserves and investment policies.▪ One-third of the sample organizations receive government grants. The average amount($109,000) indicates that most grants probably come from local or state sources. However, afew C34 organizations also appear to receive federal grants. NHLP is not prepared to securelarge, federal grants – but should develop the relationships and infrastructure to qualify.▪ The average organization in the sample raises approximately $50,000 in revenues (e.g.program admissions, t-shirt sales, space rentals, and contractual services like herdmanagement, etc…), while the client reports zero income from these sources.▪ Two organizations in the regional sample receive substantial funding from federatedcampaigns. Is this a potential source of overlooked funding for the client?
VII. Simple Financial Ratio Comparison(c) 2012 Rainmaker Solutions Ltd. Co.FR Ratio FR ROI Debt RatioNHLP 4% 4% 1%Regional Sample 10% 6% 8%• The Fundraising Ratio measures the ratio of Fundraising Expenses to Total Expenses.• The Fundraising Return on Investment (ROI) is a much better measure of an organization’s fundraisingsuccess, revealing the “bang for the buck” - revealing the return on money invested in fundraising.• The Debt Ratio is a snapshot of the organization’s reliance on debt. The client operates with negligibledebt, though it has relied heavily on reserves for the past two years..• In conclusion, it appears that NHLP could invest a prudent, but greater percentage of its overall budgetinto cost-effective fundraising strategies to increase yield and rebuild its reserves.
VIII. Strengths – Internal (MostControl)▪ Stakeholders expressed great appreciation for a dedicated, energetic and knowledgeablestaff with four years of experience as Executive Director.▪ The community embraces NHLP’s events and programs, attracting thousands ofpotential members, prospects and volunteers.▪ Strong mix of new, passionate Board members, committed to rejuvenating the mission,and seasoned members, with decades of expertise – should become a great strength.▪ Organization has resilient nature - survived transition to independent nonprofit, and theinevitable confusion that followed, despite a severe economic recession.▪ Mission is rooted in strong local need – to balance development and preservation.▪ Improvements in media and communications (e.g. web site ) - good use of social mediareduces expenses, and appears to mobilize support for special events.▪ Your neighbors embrace this cause! Popular support is on your side.
VIII. Weaknesses – Internal (SomeControl)▪ Financial distress and tepid emphasis on fundraising has damaged prospects to sustainmission and acquire major donors, diluting the client’s reserves for two years.▪ Skewed strategic & geographic focus - and no compelling focal point – has caused Boardattrition, lost funding opportunities, and blurred the mission.▪ Incongruent branding (e.g. name vs. mission) confuses prospects, media and general public.▪ In general, event and program guests do not convert into members and donors. .▪ Board roles and goals are vague and Board policies not enforced.▪ The organization has no history of fundraising, because of its origins. It does have theexpertise to implement and evaluate a comprehensive development system.▪ The organization maintains proper financial records, but lacks resources to produce auditedfinancial statements, limiting its opportunities to secure major grants.▪ NHLP diminished contingency funds to sustain operations through economic crisis instead offocusing on resource development. This indicates a tendency to avoid fundraising when it mostneeds to become the focal point of the organization’s initiatives.▪ Nomination process needs strengthening and consistent implementation..
VIII. Opportunities – External (SomeControl)▪ Streamline and leverage special events into member and donor recruitment strategies.▪ Focus on projects serving low-income, African American populations, with deep cultural andhistorical roots in the area.▪ Local voice needed for land preservation in this community – also for rural projects innorthern sector, giving the organization a refined geographic scope.▪ Provide community education so residents can police developers, reporting broken regulationsin large enough numbers to influence political change.▪ Build natural connections that enhance community cohesion, improving quality of life andproperty values, partnering with cities, real-estate agencies and developers.▪ This community is populated by affluent residents that want to balance developmentand preservation. You are the only organization with the capacity to address this need.▪ Membership is rich in untapped resources. Need to analyze and leverage its existingrelationships into new resources and relationships – “there is plenty of low-hanging fruit.”▪ Merge with larger organization, while retaining its mission.
VIII. Threats – External (LittleControl)▪ Environmental and related organizations raise $18.9 million each year in theCharleston-North Charleston metropolitan area – competition forphilanthropic dollars is intense, compounded by chronic recession.▪ The client is “dwarfed” by larger, more influential organizations, with similarmissions, greater resources, and more influence with funders.▪ Economic growth remains a double-edge sword. 17 In 2010, the Town ofNatures Haven alone witnessed a 46% increase in new construction - $55million in private development, excluding public infrastructure projects.▪ Need to avoid risk of adversarial relationships with political and corporate forces.▪ Government funding is almost gone and non-renewable.(c) 2012 Rainmaker Solutions Ltd. Co.
IX. Member Survey Results1. What led you to become a member?▪ 88.2% - concerned about growth, preserving more green space▪ 35.3% - NHLP has preserved natural spaces that matter to me▪ 29.4% - like to support local environmental groups▪ 23.5% - friends with a NHLP member/volunteer/staff2. What is our most important role?▪ 46.7% - community education re: land preservation/natural conservation▪ 26.7 – preserving small, undeveloped urban parcels▪ 20% - preserving large, rural parcels of land▪ 6.7% - ensure public access to preserved areas3. How did you first hear about NHLP?▪ 58.1% - From a friend or colleague▪ 42.9% - at an NHLP-related event(c) 2012 Rainmaker Solutions Ltd. Co.
IX. Member Survey Results4. What grade would you give our progress to date?▪ 48.8% gave us an A for Excellent▪ 23.5% gave us a B for Good▪ 17.5% gave us a C for Acceptable5. What is your opinion of our new website?▪ 41.7% love it!▪ 41.7% like it.▪ %5.9 responded “it was OK.”6. What is your favorite association or connection to NHLP?▪ See Notes Section below for responses.7. Would you like to become more involved?▪ 72.7% answered No.▪ 27.3% responded Yes – how best to follow through?(c) 2012 Rainmaker Solutions Ltd. Co.
IX. Non-Member Survey Results1. What is our most important role?▪ 37% - preserving small, undeveloped urban parcels▪ 26.1% - education the public about land conservation▪ 23.9% – preserving large, undeveloped rural parcels▪ 13% - ensuring public access to preserved2. How did you first hear about us?▪ 50% -from a NHLP event▪ 39.1 % - from friend or colleague▪ 6.5% - via social media (Face Book, Twitter, etc…).▪ 4.3% through website/search engine3. How would you rate our performance to date?▪ 48.6% gave us an A for Excellent▪ 48.9% gave us a B for Good▪ 4.3% gave us a C for Fair(c) 2012 Rainmaker Solutions Ltd. Co.
IX. Non-Member Survey Results4. What is your favorite connection to us?4. See notes Section below for responses.5. What do you think of our new website?4. 34% liked it.5. 31.9 loved it!6. 27.7% said never been to it,7. 6.4% said it was OK6. Would you like to become more involved?4. 57.5% said no thanks5. 52.5% said yes! – how best to follow through?(c) 2012 Rainmaker Solutions Ltd. Co.
X. Common Ground▪ The section explores universal common perspectives shared by the stakeholdersinvolved in this study. These mutual goals can facilitate greater communication andconsensus and strengthen the Board, as it renews its strategic focus.▪ Constituents agreed that NHLP fills a vital need, but its mission and Board need a sharper,strategic focus, propelled by enthusiastic leadership. to keep constituents active and engaged.▪ The most active stakeholders revealed a common passion for the mission and great potentialto retain the community’s natural resources, before it’s too late: This most common responsewas, “I grew up in a rural environment and I want to preserve these memories.”▪ Stakeholders expressed a priority commitment for the preservation of local, remaining pocketsof small urban forests and estuaries. This priority was echoed, without prompting, by the threemajor donors interviewed for this report.▪ The majority of stakeholders expressed a need a connect with nature. Constituents share aspecial attachment to the local environment’s ancient, indigenous trees. This need is universaland a powerful motivation for prospective donors.(c) 2012 Rainmaker Solutions Ltd. Co.
X. Compromise Required▪ This section explores possible “stumbling blocks” – areas of dissent, conflict or tension that couldbecome serious impediments to mission renewal, unless the Board is willing to compromise anddraft policies to ensure adherence to this compromise.▪ Disconnect over the role of staff versus the role of Board members in fundraising and nominationprocess. There is some unresolved debate about “who takes the lead in driving these keyfunctions - board or staff? Who drives this fundraising process?”▪ Some stakeholders want more collaborative relationships with government units. Others believethat such relationships would dilute mission and program autonomy.▪ Some constituents believe a wider geographic scope would position MPLC for greater impact andfunding opportunities. In unison, major donors dissented, preferring that the client focus onoverlooked, natural resources East Cooper.▪ Some constituents see conservation easements as an expedient means to fulfill theorganization’s mission. Others believe that easements serve private landowners, without enoughpublic benefit.(c) 2012 Rainmaker Solutions Ltd. Co.
XI. Critical Next Steps1. Develop single-page Board Vision Statement with five, measurable success benchmarks2. Construct strategic, integrated fundraising & communications plan, with clear job descriptions forstaff and Board/Committee leaders and volunteers, corresponding to the master plan.3. Implement strategic/fundraising plan, evaluate its progress and adjust strategies at monthly Boardmeetings – measure revenue and action steps against established timeline.4. Incorporate fundraising and prospecting opportunities into all public activities.5. Report on success to donors & prospects – Thank them for their personal involvement andcontributions to a successful strategic plan!6. Celebrate & Reward Donors at Free Donor/Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. It is the client’s bestopportunity to prospect for new, major donors7. Reboot strategic/fundraising planning process by involving, expanding circle of major donors,prospects and other Influential stakeholders, incorporating their guidance into the next plan.8. Lather…rinse…repeat.(c) 2012 Rainmaker Solutions Ltd. Co.
XIV. Bibliography & Resources1. Stanford Social Innovations Review. January 2012. Friedenwald, Eric. “Space: The Social Change Frontier”2. Stanford Social Innovations Review. June, 2012. Bennett, Robert. “Urban Development: Ten Cities, Ten Projects”3. The Journal of Climate: “The 1960s Drought and the Subsequent Shift to a Wetter Climate in the CatskillMountains Region of the New York City Watershed. “ BYLINE: Pederson, Neil; Kushnir, Yochanan; Nakamura,Jennifer; Jurburg, Stephanie; Seager, Richard4. The Recorder (Greenfield, Massachusetts). May 12, 2012. “Red Fire Farm to become the focus of an innovativepreservation program that will turn a local land trust into the farms landlord.” Davis, Ritchie.5. Portland Press Herald (Maine). January 11, 2009 Sunday: Final Edition. “Buyers market may help land trusts…”Richardson, John.6. Law and Contemporary Problems. September 22, 2011. “Zoning for conservation easements; ConservationEasements: New Perspectives in an Evolving World.” BYLINE: Richardson, Jesse J., Jr.; Bernard, Amanda C.7. The Journal of the American Planning Association. Spring, 2009. “A Trail Across Time: American EnvironmentalPlanning From City Beautiful to Sustainability.” Daniels, Thomas.8. Ibid(c) 2012 Rainmaker Solutions Ltd. Co.
XIV. Bibliography & Resources9. Stanford Social Innovations Review. “How Nonprofit Economic Value Creates New Capital Sources”(Excerpt from the Book The Non Nonprofit: For-Profit Thinking for Nonprofit Success by StevenRothschild). Published by Jossey-Bass, Inc. 201210. Stanford Social Innovations Review. “Pyrrhic Fundraising: Nonprofits Pay Dearly for Their Donations.”Summer 2007. Juan, Rosaline.11. Stanford Social Innovations Review. “Environment: Shades of Green.” Spring, 2009. Hoffman, Andrew.12. Stanford Social Innovations Review. January 2012. Friedenwald, Eric. “Space: The Social ChangeFrontier”13. Stanford Social Innovations Review. Spring 2009. “Top Ten Funding Models” Foster, William; Kim, Peter;Christiansen. Barbara14. Prospect Research: How to Grow a Nonprofit. 2011. Hogan, Cecelia. University of Puget Sound.15. Financial Planning for Nonprofits – Made Easy! 2008. Blaczk, Judy. Wiley Educational Series.16. Nonprofit Turnaround: A Guide for Nonprofit Leaders, Consultants & Funders: 100 Case Histories. 2010. Glick,Jan. Jan Glick & Associates.17. Town of Mount Pleasant Website: Businesses. http://www.tompsc.com/index.aspx?NID=504(c) 2012 Rainmaker Solutions Ltd. Co.