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Advocacy training for Conservation District leaders YOU MAKE THE DIFFERENCE NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING Made possible through the generous support of the Walton.

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Presentation on theme: "Advocacy training for Conservation District leaders YOU MAKE THE DIFFERENCE NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING Made possible through the generous support of the Walton."— Presentation transcript:

1 Advocacy training for Conservation District leaders YOU MAKE THE DIFFERENCE NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING Made possible through the generous support of the Walton Family Foundation

2 What does it mean to be an “advocate”? ADVOCACY NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING

3  You are leaders  You are the voices of local conservation  Your voice matters  It is your responsibility  If not you, then who? WHY BOTHER WITH ADVOCACY? NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING

4 1.Leadership expectations 2.Political engagement 3.Impacting policy decisions—local, state, national 4.Working & Building Relationships with Lawmakers 5.Shaping public opinion 6.Gaining positive media coverage 7.Building relationships with media 8.Developing and expanding partnerships ADVOCACY TRAINING KEY CATEGORIES NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING

5 WHY WE ARE HERE...

6 NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING

7 DUST BOWL IMPACTS  Hundreds of thousands uprooted  “Dust pneumonia” and other illnesses  By 1934: 100 million acres no longer had enough topsoil for crops

8 NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING “Take care of the land and the land will take care of you.”

9 PRIVATE LANDS AGENCY  1933 – Soil Erosion Service  1935 – Soil Conservation Service  1994 – Natural Resources Conservation Service  Today’s NRCS: 11,000 employees 2,800 field offices Slide 9

10 LOCAL INPUT AND GUIDANCE  1937 – President Roosevelt sends out model conservation district law  Brown Creek, N.C., becomes first conservation district  1946 – NACD founded NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING

11 Today:  3,000 conservation districts  17,000 elected or appointed district officials  7,000-plus district employees  50-plus state and territorial associations NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING WHY WE ARE HERE

12  Nearly three-fourths of the continental U.S. is in private ownership.  Active, voluntary support from landowners is key to success of conservation work on private land. NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING WHY WE ARE HERE

13  9 billion people by 2050  Dramatic increases in food production  How will we do that…and protect air, soil, water, wildlife? NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING WHY WE ARE HERE

14 Will we make the difference? NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING WHY WE ARE HERE

15 The answer is right here in this room NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING WHY WE ARE HERE Coon Valley, Wisconsin

16 You make the difference NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING LEADERSHIP EXPECTATIONS

17  Advocate for and engage in private lands conservation on agricultural, forest and urban lands  Establish local priorities and set goals  Provide technical assistance, education, outreach and many other services NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING LEADERSHIP EXPECTATIONS

18 Today’s Challenges --  Demand for services: More customers than time  More competition for local, state, federal resources  Need for innovative solutions NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING LEADERSHIP EXPECTATIONS: TODAY

19 An oath of office is more than just a formality. It is a pact between a person and the organization he or she will serve: OATH OF OFFICE: “The promissory oath required by law of an officer upon qualifying for his or her office in which he or she promises faithfully to perform the duties of the office and makes all other declarations or promises required by law.” (Merriam Webster) *Handout No. 1 NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING LEADERSHIP EXPECTATIONS

20 "It takes leaders to grow other leaders.” -- Ray Blunt, author NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING WHAT IS LEADERSHIP?

21 NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING WHAT IS LEADERSHIP Leadership Video: (TED.com – “Drew Dudley: Everyday leadership”)

22 Group exercise NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING WHAT IS LEADERSHIP?

23 1)What are the top priorities your district should be communicating? 2)What are the hurdles that prevent you from getting your message across? 3)How can your district overcome those hurdles and be more effective in getting your message across? NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING WHAT IS LEADERSHIP?

24 Keys to effective boards and staff:  Strong and well-defined board/staff relationships  Shared commitment to mission  Agreement on priorities: What are your district priorities?  Fulfilling proper roles  Constant and clear communication  Unified internal procedures NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING LEADERSHIP INCLUDES PROACTIVE ADVOCACY

25 Group exercise NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING WHAT IS LEADERSHIP?

26 1) Setting long-term goals 2) Determining community needs 3) Having the final say when determining yearly objectives 4) Monitoring and managing daily operations 5) Ensuring the mission of the conservation district is adhered to 6) Finalizing budgets and allocating funds 7) Approving any changes or additions outside the budget (Continued…) NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING WHAT IS LEADERSHIP? What is the proper role for the conservation district Board member? (Check all that apply)

27 8) Taking responsibility for the district’s financial records 9) Implementing board decisions 10) Employing staff, setting compensation, and evaluating performance 11) Providing information to the board, including recommendations for action 12) Supporting the board's planning function 13) Taking ultimate responsibility for all legal matters (Continued…) NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING WHAT IS LEADERSHIP? What is the proper role for the conservation district Board member? (Check all that apply)

28 14) Conducting day-to-day financial operations 15) Taking ultimate responsibility for compliance with regulatory requirements (e.g., audit) 16) Operating programs and reporting on their successes and shortcomings 17) Managing Committees 18) Managing Volunteers NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING WHAT IS LEADERSHIP? What is the proper role for the conservation district Board member? (Check all that apply)

29 Questions… 1)What are your top three priorities as a Board? 2)What is the greatest strength that contributes to, and the biggest challenge standing in the way of, an effective relationship between your board and staff? NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING WHAT IS LEADERSHIP?

30 You make the difference NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT

31 Areas we’ll cover:  Brief civics refresher  Effective advocacy tips  Taking positions on issues  Staying informed  Using NACD’s resources NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT

32 We are a representative democracy: Representative democracy is founded on the principle of elected officials representing a group of people. NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT

33  To be represented, you must be heard  To be heard, you must speak  To speak well, you need to know your group’s message NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT

34 Group exercise NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT

35 List the specific policy areas for which your district or association does, or should, have position statements? (examples: water quality, invasive species, technical assistance, etc.) NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT

36 Now what? NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT

37 Creating a Position:  Educate board, association on issues  Seek consensus on position  Must be consistent with your mission, values  Leadership must adopt  Now you have something to advocate *Handout No. 2 NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT

38 The Consensus-making Process: 1) Understand what it means to give consent 2) Clearly outline what needs to be decided 3) List all the concerns participants want their proposal to address Continued… *Handout No. 2 NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT

39 The Consensus-making Process, continued: 4) Test the Waters 5) Reach a final decision 6) Implement the decision *Handout No. 2 NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT

40 Example Position Statement: “Our SWCD strongly believes America needs a Farm Bill. Farm Bill conservation programs are vital to land and water stewardship at a time when American agriculture is under pressure to feed a growing world population.” NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT

41 Getting the word out… NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT At the national level, we have the “Principal Legislative Contact” process *Handout #3

42 Concerns  “I’m not good at selling”  We have other priorities, like fundraising  Not enough time How to address  Provide right materials and encouragement  Important, but CD success depends on laws, policies, public opinion  Others more than willing to fill the void NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT

43 *Handout No. 4 NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT: RESOLUTIONS PROCESS

44 NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT: STAY INFORMED (202) – NACD

45 You make the difference NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING IMPACTING POLICY DECISIONS

46  Build personal relationships (local, state & federal)  Stay in regular communication  Get to know their legislative staff (continued…) NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING POLITICAL ADVOCACY: IMPACTING POLICY DECISIONS

47  Attend local county board and municipal meetings  Keep them informed on the issues  Consider contributing to or volunteering on a campaign NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING POLITICAL ADVOCACY: IMPACTING POLICY DECISIONS

48 How to Keep them Informed:   Phone  Personal Contact (Don’t just have a problem, have a solution) *Handout #5 NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING POLITICAL ADVOCACY: IMPACTING POLICY DECISIONS

49 Tips for meetings with policymakers DO:  Schedule your appointment well in advance  Be punctual for your meeting  Dress appropriately for the occasion  Prepare adequate materials, handouts and a brief “leave-behind” * Handout No. 6 NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING IMPACTING POLICY DECISIONS

50 Tips for meetings with policymakers DO:  Stay focused on your issue  Provide relevant, specific examples from the legislator’s home district  Follow up after your meeting to answer any questions or unresolved issues *Handout No. 6 NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING IMPACTING POLICY DECISIONS

51 Tips for meetings with policymakers DON’T:  Show up 15 minutes late  Talk about your recent doctor’s appointment  Wear your work boots  Bring everyone you know to the meeting *Handout No. 6 NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING IMPACTING POLICY DECISIONS

52 Tips for meetings with policymakers DON’T:  Get upset if you only get to meet with staff  Wear out your welcome  Mix personal and professional agenda *Handout No. 6 NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING IMPACTING POLICY DECISIONS

53 You make the difference NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING WORKING & BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH POLICYMAKERS

54 NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING WORKING & BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH LAWMAKERS A conservation tour may be one of the best ways for you to show policymakers how you are protecting land and water *Handout #7

55 NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING WORKING & BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH LAWMAKERS Tips for a Successful Tour:  Line up tour date with staff  Invite local officials  Send written invites  Keep tour short Continued… *Handout #7

56 NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING WORKING & BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH POLICYMAKERS Tips for a Successful Tour:  Be accommodating  Invite the media and let officials know!  Prepare and provide an agenda and any supporting materials  Be knowledgeable about state, local issues *Handout #7

57 NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING WORKING & BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH POLICYMAKERS *Handout No. 8

58 NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING WORKING & BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH POLICYMAKERS *Handout No. 8

59 You make the difference NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING SHAPING POSITIVE PUBLIC OPINION

60 “Public opinion” according to Merriam-Webster:  The predominant attitude of a community: the collective will of the people  A summation of public expression regarding a specific issue or event NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING SHAPING PUBLIC OPINION

61  Provide a unique statement about yourself  Describe who you help and how, providing a vivid example  Explain your unique selling point  Call for action: What response you want from listener NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING SHAPING PUBLIC OPINION You have about 30 seconds to tell your story!

62 Now it’s your turn… Write your own “elevator speech” NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING WHAT IS LEADERSHIP?

63 You make the difference NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING GAINING POSITIVE MEDIA COVERAGE

64 “Traditional Media” Opportunites  News releases  Media “tip sheets”  Op-Ed pieces & Letters to the editor  Radio interviews  TV coverage of “visual” events  Targeted messages to trade publications NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING GAINING POSITIVE MEDIA COVERAGE

65 “Social Media” Opportunities  Build your own communities  Keep them informed  Grow presence among new demographics  Mobilize action  Create dialogue NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING GAINING POSITIVE MEDIA COVERAGE

66 Steps for a Successful Media Event:  Media advisory  Follow-up call  Make personal contact with each reporter in attendance  Take photos NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING GAINING POSITIVE MEDIA COVERAGE

67 You make the difference NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS: MEDIA

68  Personal relationships are crucial. Know your local editor and news director or the reporter who covers your “beat”  Stay in frequent contact with them. It will help you be THE valued source of information about private lands conservation  Return calls promptly, but be prepared NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS: MEDIA

69  Thank them for their coverage of the issue  If they get something wrong, correct them politely and respectfully. “Great story, but one point was wrong”  Consider an annual award for “best media coverage” or “media friend of conservation” NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS: MEDIA

70 Make sure your web site is:  Organized for easy navigation  Has a consistent theme  Is interesting and understandable  Is frequently updated Then…Drive people there NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS: MEDIA

71 You make the difference NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING EFFECTIVE PARTNERSHIPS:

72  Building and expanding partnerships takes time and effort  Seen as crucial to future success of our movement  Who are the important and interested stakeholders?  With limited resources, partnerships more important than ever *Handout No. 10 NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING EFFECTIVE PARTNERSHIPS

73 Creating a Coalition:  You have something in common with anyone  Seek out non- traditional partners  Find common ground and go from there NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING EFFECTIVE PARTNERSHIPS

74 Group exercise NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING EFFECTIVE PARTNERSHIPS

75 NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING EFFECTIVE PARTNERSHIPS 1)What is a goal of your organization that might be more easily achieved through a coalition effort? 2)What are the common values that your coalition members would share? 3)Who are some of the constituencies that might be good to invite to be a part of this coalition, and who, specifically, would be constructive individuals to represent those perspectives? 4) If you have participated in a coalition effort before… What would you replicate that worked? What would you change that DIDN’T work?

76 You make the difference NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING CONCLUSION

77  Democracy is a work in progress  There will always be new elections, new representatives and new laws  Your participation in our representative democracy lessens the distance between communities and the government elected to serve them. NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING CONCLUSION: YOU MAKE THE DIFFERENCE

78 Advocacy training for Conservation District leaders YOU MAKE THE DIFFERENCE NACD ADVOCACY TRAINING QUESTIONS?


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