Preamble by forrests

VIEWS: 18 PAGES: 33

									NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY STRATEGIC PLAN

RECOMMENDATIONS ADOPTED BY THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS June 18, 1995

Page i

Table of Contents
Preamble ................................................................................................................................................................................................ 1 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................................................................. 2 SUMMARY OF SITUATION ANALYSIS .......................................................................................................................................... 3 SUMMARY OF STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATIONS ..................................................................................................................... 4 VISION FOR THE FUTURE AUDUBON ........................................................................................................................................... 5 Recommended Strategy: .......................................................................................................................................................................... 7 Recommendation 1: Birds, other wildlife, and their Habitats ................................................................................................................ 7 Recommendation 2: Campaigns ............................................................................................................................................................. 7 Recommendation 3: Building the Grassroots ....................................................................................................................................... 10 Recommendation 4: Audubon Centers ................................................................................................................................................. 13 Recommendation 5: Education ............................................................................................................................................................ 15 Recommendation 6: Policy .................................................................................................................................................................. 17 Recommendation 7: Human Resources ................................................................................................................................................ 18 Recommendation 8: Other Major Activities ........................................................................................................................................ 19 Recommendation 9: Funding and Fundraising ..................................................................................................................................... 23 Recommendation 10: Board of Directors ............................................................................................................................................. 24 EXHIBIT I: BACKGROUND ............................................................................................................................................................. 27 EXHIBIT II: New Era in Conservation................................................................................................................................................ 29 EXHIBIT II: GLOSSARY OF TERMS USED ................................................................................................................................... 30

Page ii

Preamble The mission of the National Audubon Society is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity. Yet transcending this mission is an ideal: a world where the conservation ethic is automatic, not coerced. Conservation cannot be limited to a few individuals or organizations. To preserve the biological diversity of this planet - humanity's ecological inheritance, which is being so rapidly dissipated - conservation must be an attribute common to all people. We envision a world where humankind accepts the obligations of being part of nature, especially the obligation of stewardship. We seek to shape a culture in which the violation of nature is socially, politically, and morally unacceptable. In short, we seek a culture of conservation and an environmental ethic. Audubon works toward a future in which public policy and individual choice are framed by environmental consciousness and sensitivity. We work toward a future where environmental conflict and divisiveness are supplanted by cooperation and respect; a future where debate and dialogue are shaped by environmental literacy, not by political rhetoric and dogma; a future where economic strategies are not simply sustainable but environmentally restorative as well; a future where nature is a common, not a special, interest; a future distinguished by the harmony of environmental, social, and economic concerns. We recognize that this culture of conservation is only a concept, a vision. A true cultural transformation may be decades in the evolution, but we are not afraid to begin. We aspire, therefore, to germinate and nurture a global society bound together by a commitment to resource conservation and a passionate respect for nature. Toward this end - toward - speeding the birth of a culture of conservation we invest our hopes, our labors, and our dreams. June 1995

Page 1

INTRODUCTION The National Audubon Society, or Audubon, is a prominent environmental organization with a long tradition of conservation accomplishments in the United States. One of Audubon's hallmarks is the cumulative skill, experience, and passion that its members, chapters, staff, and Board contribute to preserving humanity's shared biological and natural resources. Because of this dedication, commitment, and perseverance, Audubon has been able to affect a wide range of environmental issues in every state and country where it has been active. Examples of Audubon's successes include work to protect Mono Lake, the Everglades, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, and the Platte River. In looking forward, Audubon recognized the importance of having a long-term strategic plan to guide its efforts and to further improve the organization's effectiveness. As a result, Audubon initiated a strategic planning project in November 1994, which culminated with the development of a set of recommendations and an overall Strategic Plan for Audubon which was adopted by the Board of Directors on June 18, 1995. This project was extremely comprehensive, involving all parts of the Audubon community. (See Exhibit 1: "Background," for a description of the process involved.) Meetings and discussions with members, chapter leaders, staff, outside experts, and the Board helped the Board's Strategic Planning Steering Committee and the Task Force to recommend that: Audubon should sharpen its focus on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats. Audubon should invest in its distinctive grassroots structure; and use as primary tools education and advocacy, with support from sanctuaries, science, and communications, to achieve its vision. The following strategic plan details steps Audubon can take to meet this challenge, respecting its proud history while ensuring that its impact on conservation in the 21st century is amplified and assured. The plan represents an expansive vision and unwavering commitment to advancing a culture of conservation and an environmental ethic that will result in the protection of biological diversity for the benefit of all life on earth.

Page 2

SUMMARY OF SITUATION ANALYSIS The environmental movement is confronted by extraordinary demands and risks that signify a new era in conservation (see Exhibit 2). Audubon is strategically well positioned to enter this new era and to continue making a significant contribution to the conservation of birds, other wildlife, and their habitats. For example: 1. Audubon has a tradition of success on which to build. 2. Audubon's grassroots structure and member network offer the potential for increased communitybased conservation efforts, and the opportunity to integrate conservation action at a variety of geographical locations and across a broad political spectrum. 3. Audubon's historical association with birds and other wildlife provides tremendous name recognition and a national stature that attracts both members and financial support. 4. Audubon's unique capabilities in education and public policy, integrated into a comprehensive multipronged approach, enable it to respond to issues in diverse and distinctive ways. A full range of competencies and interdisciplinary approaches are increasingly important to environmental groups which now face more complex demands and more sophisticated opposition. 5. Audubon's recognition of the critical relationship between humankind and the natural environment gives it unlimited potential to promote a culture of conservation and an environmental ethic among its constituents and the general public. However, Audubon must address a number of internal challenges that could limit both its effectiveness and sustainability. Audubon must rethink its strategy to meet these challenges and to capture emerging opportunities. For example: 1. Audubon's array of programs and activities have gradually diverged from its stated mission, and these diverse efforts frequently are inadequately integrated. 2. Recent budget deficits have eroded Audubon's financial base, making it increasingly difficult to bring sufficient resources to bear on critical issues. As a result, under- investment is preventing Audubon from maximizing its impact. 3. The combination of a diminishing resource base, uncertainty over goals, limited accountability among various Audubon constituencies, and poor communication with its major constituent groups have resulted in divisiveness and dissatisfaction within the Audubon family.

Page 3

SUMMARY OF STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATIONS Audubon's strategy has 10 major elements: 1. Focus efforts and resources on a limited set of priorities directly relating birds, other wildlife, and their habitats to the continuance and prosperity of humankind, thereby fostering a culture of conservation and an environmental ethic. 2. Use ongoing programs ("programmatic themes") and coordinated, targeted campaigns as the vehicles for focusing resources on Audubon Habitats and on Audubon Issues directly affecting birds, wildlife, and their habitats. 3. Strengthen the distinctive grassroots network and reinforce the partnership between members, chapters, staff, and the Board to promote effective conservation at local, state, regional, and national levels. 4. Establish a network of "Audubon Centers" that become focal points in the community for promoting the culture of conservation and an environmental ethic by developing an appreciation, awareness, and understanding of birds, wildlife, and their habitats, and their inherent relationship to people. 5. Use education as a primary tool to develop an appreciation, awareness, and understanding of birds, wildlife, and their habitats and their association to people, and thereby promote the culture of conservation and an environmental ethic. 6. Work to influence public policies and private practices as a primary tool to conserve birds, wildlife, and their habitats. 7. Develop a human resource strategy that encourages teamwork and collaboration, emphasizes Audubon values, and makes Audubon a more rewarding and inspiring place to work and to volunteer. 8. Integrate all major activities, including sanctuaries, science, communications and membership development, to support these recommendations and help advance the culture of conservation and an environmental ethic. 9. Launch aggressive fundraising and marketing initiatives that allow Audubon to invest in these strategically important activities. 10. Align the roles of the Board of Directors with the strategy, as the Board is ultimately accountable for keeping Audubon focused on its mission and strategy.

Page 4

VISION FOR THE FUTURE AUDUBON Audubon's mission provides a solid platform from which to address environmental and conservation issues: "To conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds and other wildlife for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity." To achieve this mission we must evolve in our vision of Audubon. While continuing to frame debates and efforts within the context of our mission statement, we should strive to develop a culture of conservation and an environmental ethic founded upon fundamental values that ensure the continuance of our natural world. In our lifetime, we intend for the unsustainable exploitation of any component of our natural world to become socially, politically, or legally unacceptable. We believe that while admittedly the problem, people are also the solution. We will, therefore, call upon our grassroots constituency to find and fashion innovative, lasting conservation advances. We will concentrate our resources on protecting birds, other wildlife, and their habitats by taking direct action to educate the populace and to influence public policy. In thinking about the future Audubon, we envision an Audubon which is: a strong and diverse network of active conservationists . .. 1. The Audubon community will work as a cohesive team to make Audubon the most effective grassroots conservation organization in the United States. 2. All members will have the opportunity to be involved conservationists by participating in Audubon Centers, campaigns, and making Audubon the focus of conservation activities in their community. 3. Audubon will be recognized for an integrated approach to conserving ecosystems, and for its ability to bring together diverse constituencies around environmental issues. 4. Audubon will engage birders, outdoor enthusiasts, and concerned citizens interested in supporting its mission and activities, whose age, ethnic, gender, and economic diversity reflects the communities in which it works. 5. Audubon will be the employer of choice in the conservation movement because of its supportive culture and significant investments in talent, time, and money in issues it focuses on.

Page 5

capable of moving people to individual and collective action …. 1. Audubon programs will introduce millions of children and families to the wonders of nature. Audubon will spark the individual interests that will lead them to a commitment to conservation. 2. A culture of conservation and an environmental ethic will be founded on the importance of birds, wildlife, and habitat conservation to the continuance and prosperity of humankind. 3. A network of Audubon Centers will reinforce chapter conservation efforts on the local, state, regional, and national levels. 4. Audubon educational materials and Audubon media - magazines, television, video, and multi-media and electronic communications will reach millions of children and adults with enlightening information that will increase their appreciation, knowledge, and ability to conserve birds, other wildlife, and their habitats. on all levels, and in all forums …. 1. Decision makers of all types - public, corporate, and private landowners - will rely on Audubon's science-based analyses to make informed decisions that lead to the conservation of birds, wildlife, and their habitats. Starting with families, the classroom, and then advancing through the community level, corporate board rooms, state houses, and the national legislative and policy-making arenas, people will measure their actions by "Audubon values" and a conservation ethic. to achieve results that improve our lives. 1. Conservation will be a common attribute of humankind, not the special interest of a limited set of organizations or people. 2. Public policy and individual choice will be framed within an environmental consciousness and sensitivity. 3. Humankind will accept being part of, not apart from, the obligations of nature. 4. Society will be bound together by a commitment to resource conservation and a passionate respect for nature.

Page 6

Recommended Strategy:
Recommendation 1: Birds, other wildlife, and their Habitats Audubon should focus its efforts and resources on a limited set of priorities directly relating birds, other wildlife, and their habitats to the continuance and prosperity of humankind, These priorities should be the platform from which to promote the culture of conservation and an environmental ethic. 1. Audubon should strive to conserve birds, wildlife, and their habitats by protecting and restoring particular habitats and ecosystems for the continuance of biological diversity ("Audubon Habitats"). 2. Audubon should also address fundamental issues that impact habitats and ecosystems important for birds and other wildlife ("Audubon Issues"). 3. To meet the complex requirements of protecting entire ecosystems, Audubon should fully utilize its diversity of skills and tools, grassroots network, education and policy skills, as well as form alliances with other organizations and interest groups. 4. Audubon should stress that the conservation of habitat is essential to the continuance and prosperity of humankind.

Recommendation 2: Campaigns Audubon should use ongoing programs (''programmatic themes") and coordinated, targeted campaigns as the vehicles for focusing resources on Audubon Habitats and Audubon Issues that directly affect birds, other wildlife, and their habitats. 2.1 Audubon must maintain a set of "core competencies," directly related to ongoing programs, that are supportive of its long-term environmental and conservation goals. 1. Core competencies are areas of institutional expertise and skill, resident among staff and members, that are essential to protecting habitats and addressing fundamental issues (for example, conservation science). 2. Ongoing programs are high priority, enduring Audubon initiatives that reflect and support the organization's environmental and conservation goals (e.g., migratory birds). Programmatic themes should be clearly defined, have long- term goals, be aligned with education and policy objectives, and reflect member, chapter, and staff priorities. 3. The CEO and Board will regularly review the core competencies and programs to ensure that they reflect Audubon priorities.

Page 7

2.2 Campaigns should be coordinated, targeted, long- or short-term efforts to achieve specific conservation objectives. 1. Campaigns should be the driving force of the organization with well-defined goals, including key milestones and deadlines. Audubon should carefully determine and meet the resource needs of each campaign, and should communicate and celebrate campaign successes. 2. Campaigns should have comprehensive internal and external communications plans to reach the desired audiences with the important messages. 3. Campaigns should be led by teams that include staff, Board members, chapter leaders, and members. When appropriate, outside experts should be hired to support these campaigns. 4. Education and policy should be the primary tools for Audubon campaign work, but campaigns should use whatever resources are required (including science, land purchase and/or management, public relations, etc.) to achieve the desired goals. 2.3 To successfully achieve campaign objectives, Audubon should work, when appropriate, with other organizations and interest groups. Alliances should be developed at all levels: local, state, regional, national, and international. 2.4 Audubon will organize two types of campaigns - those related to issues and those related to habitats. 1. Audubon Issues pertain to the fundamental factors affecting birds, wildlife, and their habitats. Examples include the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act. Audubon Issues may require investment in multiple locations within and outside of the United States. 2. Audubon Habitats are critical sites that Audubon believes in preserving or restoring through a commitment of resources and the development of alliances. Audubon Habitats may vary in size and type and should be part of an overall effort to protect part or all of an entire ecosystem. Examples of Audubon Habitats include the Everglades, Mono Lake, and the Platte River. 2.5 Audubon should establish a manageable number of campaigns at all levels and interconnect these campaigns to maximize Audubon's impact on environmental issues and conservation, and enhance its image as a unified, coordinated organization. 1. Local campaigns should involve members and one or more chapters, when appropriate. Members and chapters should be involved in as many campaigns as their skills and resources enable them to pursue effectively.

Page 8

2. State campaigns should involve members and chapters of a particular state with support from Audubon staff. Each state should be able to conduct two to three campaigns simultaneously. 3. Regional campaigns should involve several states that share common environmental issues or critical habitats. 4. National campaigns should involve as many members, chapters, and staff as possible and practical. Audubon should be able to conduct four to five full-scale national campaigns over the next five years. 2.6 Audubon will focus its activities in the United States and the balance of the Western Hemisphere, recognizing the critical importance of these areas outside of the United States to migratory birds and other wildlife. Audubon's approach in areas outside of the United States will be to: 1. Work with Audubon chapters and other organizations on a partnership basis to support their activities related to migratory birds, wildlife and their habitats. 2. Maintain flexibility in its relationship with these chapters and organizations to accommodate a variety of needs, and 3. Place first priority on areas where Audubon is currently active or has good contacts, and then test and expand from there. 2.7 Audubon should develop a grassroots-driven and scientifically-based process to identify state, regional, and national priority campaigns. 1. Members, chapters, state councils, and staff in each state should work together to compile a list of state priorities. Regional campaigns can emerge from this process as multi-state issues are identified and prioritized by members, chapters, and staff. 2. Members, chapters, and staff should develop a list of potential national campaigns. This list will likely begin with the state and regional priorities. 3. Several criteria should be utilized to identify campaigns where Audubon's efforts can have an impact. The criteria should include scientific validity, funding potential, Audubon's unique strengths (i.e., is Audubon best suited to address the issue?), relationships to programmatic themes, potential effectiveness, and member and chapter interest and support. 4. Staff should develop campaign plans with clear goals, and then members and chapters should help to prioritize these campaigns.

Page 9

5. The prioritization by chapters, members, and staff should be the basis for advising the Board on the selection of national campaigns. 6. Audubon should annually publish a list of all campaigns that identifies the responsible chapters and Field Offices, and describes the character, magnitude, and objectives of each campaign. The annual campaign report should also detail Audubon's progress with continuing campaigns. 2.8 Although the programmatic themes and campaign prioritization process will help Audubon decide on its priorities and focus its resources, the CEO, in consultation with the Board, must maintain the flexibility to respond to unexpected, shorter-term opportunities and critical situations. 2.9 The discipline of limiting the number of campaigns to achieve maximum impact may also mean that some funded programs and activities presently in the organization will not be national campaigns. These campaigns may become regional or statewide campaigns, be transferred to other organizations, or be terminated at the conclusion of their grant period. Recommendation 3: Building the Grassroots Audubon should strengthen its distinctive grassroots network and enhance the partnership among members, chapters, staff, and the Board to promote effective conservation. This partnership should function as a dynamic team capable of finding solutions, attracting new and broad constituencies, and fostering a culture of conservation and an environmental ethic in its communities and beyond. 3.1 By developing a stronger partnership among members, chapters, councils, staff, and the Board, Audubon can expand its national network of local environmental groups and individuals to work, independently or together, to support Audubon's goals. Examples of important roles that can be played by members, chapters, and councils include: 1. Developing and supporting campaigns involving local issues and habitats. 2. Developing and distributing educational materials that contribute to the building of the culture of conservation and an environmental ethic. 3. Working with Audubon staff to establish and support an Audubon Center, where appropriate. 4. Identifying and supporting state, regional, and national campaigns in partnership with Audubon staff.

Page 10

5. Organizing a member and chapter mentoring network that enables all parts or Audubon to work together and learn from one another. 6. Helping to support Field Offices. 3.2 Audubon should expand its system of Field Offices. 1. All National Audubon Society activities within the respective territories should report to Field Office directors who are accountable for the implementation of the strategic plan and the larger Audubon mission. 2. Audubon should expand its network of Field Offices to include more offices covering smaller geographical areas. Existing state and regional offices will eventually become Field Offices. As funding is available and needs are expressed or identified. Field Office staff should be increased to address Audubon's priorities. 3. The primary functions of each Field Office should be to develop the skills of members and chapters, to support Audubon's educational, policy, and campaign goals, and to manage all National Audubon Society activities within the respective territories. 4. Ideally, Field Offices will have people dedicated to each of the following:     Developing member and chapter skills such as chapter leadership, fundraising, membership retention and growth, and campaign management. Implementing state, regional, and national campaigns. Promoting and facilitating the development of Audubon Centers. Supporting Audubon education, communication, and policy activities by associating with Centers, and assisting with the implementation and evaluation of chapter and member programs. Leading fundraising efforts. Overseeing Audubon sanctuaries and education centers in the territory.

 

5. New Field Offices should be established gradually based on a set of specific criteria, including member support, funding, important conservation needs, number of members and chapters in the area, and the size of the geographic area. 6. Funding Field Offices should be one of the highest priorities for the national organization. Members and chapters should also commit to funding the Field Offices, as field staff will spend a substantial amount of their time supporting members and chapters. Ultimately, Field Offices should be selfsupporting.

Page 11

3.3 The agreement between chapters and the national organization should be redefined to spell out clearly their partnership and the role each will play in that partnership. In defining this new agreement, the spirit and intent of the Chapter Policy should be acknowledged and respected. The ambition is to build chapter leadership and impact while recognizing the diversity of chapter types, roles, and interests. The expected range of chapter activities and diversity includes: 1. Basic chapter development activities (e.g., membership recruitment and retention, communication, fundraising). 2. A range of bird and other wildlife appreciation activities to build awareness among members and the general public. 3. Local campaigns. 4. State, regional, and national campaigns. 5. Education programs. 6. Habitat conservation, including activities at an Audubon Center and or sanctuary. 7. Support of a Field Office. This partnership between the National Audubon Society and the chapters is based upon shared opportunity, shared resources, shared responsibilities, and, at times, shared sacrifice. The dues share commitment to chapters will continue. Audubon should work with chapters to develop and test options that will help chapters best meet their goals as well as support the organization's vision, mission and priorities. Dues share between national and chapters should be reexamined to reflect the needs and activities of individual chapters. 3.4 All parts of Audubon should work to increase the role of individual members in local, state, regional, and national activities by creating opportunities for members to become more involved and by enabling active members to train other members in a range of activities. 3.5 Audubon should actively collaborate with a wide variety of other organizations and interests to achieve its goals. Alliances can bring complementary skills, broaden the diversity of conservation activities, and extend the culture of conservation and an environmental ethic throughout the community. 3.6 Audubon should establish new chapters in areas where coverage is low or where local population growth has been rapid and opportunities exist for a recognized presence in the community.

Page 12

3.7 Audubon should continue to maintain its regional focus through a variety of mechanisms. 1. Field Offices should work in collaboration to address bio-regional issues. 2. Members and chapter leaders should continue to have the opportunity to meet in regional and topical conferences. 3. A regionally-nominated board member structure will continue.

Recommendation 4: Audubon Centers Audubon has historically developed and maintained successful local education and nature centers. Audubon should expand upon this tradition by creating a network of Audubon Centers that are community focal points for fostering a culture of conservation and an environmental ethic. Audubon should promote conservation action through the appreciation, awareness, and understanding of birds, wildlife, and their habitats, and their importance to the continuance and prosperity of humankind. These Centers should be thoroughly researched and tested before being widely introduced. Although the concept of the Audubon Center is one which many chapters will want to support, chapters may choose not to develop a Center, or may choose to do so in cooperation with other chapters and organizations to reduce the commitment of resources. 4.1 Audubon Centers should be dynamic, multi-faceted hubs for conservation work and the nurturing of a culture of conservation and an environmental ethic in a community. The goal of the Centers should be to affect people through their involvement in Audubon conservation activities and programs. Centers should: 1. Offer activities designed to build skills and engage people in environmentally responsible behavior, thereby fostering a culture of conservation and an environmental ethic. Centers should not replicate more traditional nature centers with a single focus on broad education. 2. Attract people from a variety of backgrounds (ethnic, age, gender, and economic) to develop a more diverse and representative constituency of members and involved citizens. 3. Build greater participation and membership among families and young people - two groups which Audubon, in recent years, has not been able to attract in great numbers. 4. Build awareness and support (volunteer and financial) for Audubon priority activities on all levels.

Page 13

5. Be self-sustaining through donations and marketing, and be designed with the intent of helping to contribute financial support to other Audubon activities. 4.2 Audubon should pilot Audubon Centers at a limited number of existing Audubon facilities, affiliated nature centers or other good concepts before encouraging their development across the country. 1. The Center concept should be further developed by studying models of existing facilities and expanding upon existing "best practices" (e.g., Houston Audubon’s Edith L. Moore Nature Center, Aullwood, Randall Davey, and Sabal Palm Grove Sanctuary). 2. Audubon should support a broad definition of Centers and pilot creative approaches such as storefront Centers, kiosks at national parks, or "roving" Centers. Centers need not represent substantial investments in bricks and mortar; i.e., one size does not fit all. Rather, Centers should vary to reflect local resources, interests, needs, and opportunities. 3. Centers may have diverse ownership - some may be nationally owned and operated, some run by chapters, and some may be independent Centers with Audubon affiliation (e.g., using Audubon programs at public-owned facilities). Nevertheless, Audubon should maintain a uniform quality standard for all its Centers. 4. Audubon should establish financial and resource commitments before building a Center. It should work with the nearby Field Office to coordinate activities. 4.3 The roles and activities of Centers should be determined by local needs, interests, and environmental issues, as well as reflect the priorities of Audubon. Creativity is a critical element in designing Center programs, but some possible roles may include: 1. Centers for conservation work in the community, including chapter offices. 2. Information resources for local media, public officials, and members on issues affecting birds,, wildlife, and their habitats. 3. Places for members and the public to experience wildlife and nature and to cultivate a passion for and commitment to the protection of birds, wildlife, and their habitats. 4. Education and appreciation programs for school children, including after-school programs, camps, in-school trips tied to Audubon Adventures, and student internships.

Page 14

5. Teaching programs and internships for high school and college students. 6. Outlets for Audubon messages, membership benefits, materials, and products. The Center could bring the visitor instantly in touch with the full array of Audubon-produced education and "infotainment." A store could be located in such a Center to provide Audubon products. Recommendation 5: Education Audubon should use education as a primary tool in developing an appreciation, awareness, and understanding of birds, wildlife, and their habitats and their essential connection to people. Such an awareness of nature leads to conservation action and fosters a culture of conservation and an environmental ethic. 5.1 Audubon's education programs should embody a number of important goals and qualities. Programs should: 1. Expose learners to new ideas and perspectives that should stimulate diverse thinking and encourage the development of skills and knowledge needed to solve real-world environmental problems. 2. Promote a common vision, principles, language, goals, and skills that will evoke community hope, trust, and sustained enthusiasm. 3. Ensure a diversity of partners, audiences, and constituencies. 4. Create opportunities to provide both formal and informal educational experiences that will empower people to be continuing, active environmentalists. 5. Influence the direction of educational policy reform to include environmental and nature education at the local, state, and national levels. 6. Influence the development of environmental educational curriculum and standards. 5.2 Audubon should review the most appropriate and effective means for the organization to provide environmental education. 1. Audubon, in partnership with other groups (local and national), should study the most efficient and effective means for Audubon to address the diverse environmental education needs and audiences in this country. The study should review current trends and future possibilities like distance learning, interactive television, and school-without-a-schoolhouse programs.

Page 15

2. This study should be conducted by a range of Audubon staff, members, and outside professionals. 3. In developing an education strategy, Audubon should seek to leverage its existing strengths, the grassroots efforts of chapters and members, and approaches with high potential for sustained and measurable impact. 5.3 Educational activities should be closely affiliated with Audubon's priorities and its grassroots structure. 1. All Audubon campaigns should include appropriate education components with programs, publications, and media strategies reflecting validated educational methodologies. 2. The grassroots network is an effective means to design, distribute, and monitor Audubon education programs, thereby reaching hundreds of communities. Audubon should develop and share "best practices" among members and chapters. 3. Audubon Adventures should be reviewed and strengthened. Audubon should consider options to further regionalize topics, expand the program to other age groups, develop new technological additions (e.g., video, CD-ROM, distance learning), and broaden the program to attract new inschool and out-of-school audiences. A means to measure the impact of the program should be developed in conjunction with a review of Adventures. 4. Interactive programs and partnerships, like the Audubon's Animals series with the Disney Channel, should be explored and developed where feasible and when they promote Audubon's overall educational goals. Alliances with other environmental organizations with the intent of reaching more of the general public (e.g., new cable channel launches such as The Ecology Channel) should also be evaluated. 5. Audubon magazine and other publications should continue to be major vehicles for educating our members (and the 1.5 plus million additional readers) about birds, wildlife, and their habitats, and for promoting the culture of conservation and the environmental ethic represented by Audubon. 6. Our existing education centers and sanctuaries (both national and chapter), in addition to Audubon Centers, travel, and Audubon Expeditions, can serve a critical role in 'distributing and enhancing Audubon educational programs.

Page 16

5.4 Perhaps the most critical part of the education strategy is the design of a process to track and evaluate the impact of Audubon's education efforts, as well as devising a process for sharing learning and disseminating information about "best practices" through the Audubon family. Recommendation 6: Policy Audubon should influence public and private policies and practices as a primary tool to conserve birds, wildlife, and their habitats. Audubon should work at all levels, reflecting the new era in conservation, of propelling action from the local through the national level. 6.1 Audubon must continue to have a credible, science-based presence to have an impact on issues affecting birds, wildlife, and their habitats at the national level. By uniting our enhanced grassroots network with policy work and staff at the state, regional, and national levels, Audubon can increase its influence on key environmental policies. 6.2 Audubon should encourage collaboration between its grassroots network and national and field-based staff to influence public, corporate, and private landowners' policies and practices that conserve birds, wildlife, and their habitats. 1. Audubon policy staff working at the national, regional, and state levels should join with the grassroots network to implement campaigns. 2. Policy work should be supported by other parts of the organization including education, science, sanctuaries and communications. (See Recommendation 8) 3. Members and chapters should be encouraged to support a mentoring system that provides regular communications (and visits, where possible) and assistance on issues. 4. Audubon should use the member database, boot camps, faxnets, direct mail, and emerging electronic media to increase coordination and contact between members and the organization. 5. When necessary, Audubon should bring litigation or appear in defense to protect established Audubon policies. 6.3 Washington, D.C. and field-based staff should lead and support Audubon's policy work in several important ways. Policy staff should: 1. Work with members and the scientific community to identify, evaluate, and develop plans for addressing issues that are emerging either in a large number of local areas or in the regional or national arenas to ensure they are included in the program/campaign prioritization process.

Page 17

2. Spearhead or be directly involved in national campaigns. Each national campaign should be staffed with a policy expert who can play a wide variety of roles (e.g., research the relevant policies and legislation, communicate emerging issues to the grassroots and other staff, coordinate grassroots and staff involvement). 3. Monitor national legislation related to programmatic themes and facilitate the participation of volunteers and field staff in influencing the issues designated as state, regional, or national priorities. 4. Support state and regional campaigns with information and expertise. Staff should be available on a short-term basis to support state and regional campaigns, and provide expertise in managing campaigns and grassroots initiatives. 5. Develop the skills of chapters and members and coordinate their involvement in policy work at all levels. Opportunities for policy training should be significantly expanded and broadly communicated to chapters and the entire membership (e.g., the 19% of Audubon members who are currently active in influencing policy outside of the chapter system). Opportunities to gain experience through direct involvement in campaigns should be created.

Recommendation 7: Human Resources Audubon should develop a human resources strategy that encourages teamwork and collaboration, emphasizes Audubon values, and makes Audubon an even more rewarding and inspiring place to work and volunteer. 7.1 Audubon values and conservation ethics should be communicated and emphasized by: 1. Working with members and staff to articulate a set of Audubon values and ethics to be disseminated throughout the organization, and 2. Developing a thorough orientation for new staff and Board members that not only informs them of Audubon’s history and current strategy, but reinforces the Audubon value system. 7.2 Audubon should be made a more rewarding and inspiring place to work and volunteer by developing a human resource strategy that includes: 1. Maintaining an atmosphere of openness, sharing of information, and participation in planning and decision-making. 2. Improving career planning and developing career paths to develop future managers and leaders.

Page 18

3. Creating clear organizational and individual goals and establishing systems of accountability for achieving those goals, including performance reviews of real value for professional development. 4. Attracting and retaining leading professionals with birds, wildlife, and habitat expertise whose presence will be stimulating, 5. Providing opportunities for professional training and development, including moving staff members around the organization to broaden skills and increase exposure to different issues and habitats, and 6. Strongly encouraging the involvement of staff and Board members in some local chapter activity (e.g., local campaigns) to improve their understanding of volunteerism, to enhance relationships between staff, chapter leaders, and members, and to reinforce the spirit of partnership between national and chapters.

Recommendation 8: Other Major Activities Audubon should integrate all other major activities and competencies (sanctuaries. science, communications, and membership) to support these recommendations and to help develop a culture of conservation and an environmental ethic. Sanctuaries, science, communications, and membership should each play an important and integrated role in supporting education and policy efforts, and in expanding the grassroots network required for Audubon to achieve its goals. 8.1 Sanctuaries: Audubon should manage land as refuges for birds and other wildlife. Audubon should also provide expertise in resource management that will support its grassroots, contribute toward achieving its policy and education goals, and foster a culture of conservation and an environmental ethic. Sanctuary management plans and practices should continue to be periodically reviewed to ensure that they embody conservation values consistent with Audubon's mission and the respective donor's intent. Sanctuaries are a long established strength of Audubon. Sanctuaries are the "living, breathing habitats" where people can experience the natural world and acquire an awareness and passion for nature that leads to social and political action, and they provide leverage for protection of larger ecosystems. Sanctuaries should support Audubon by: 1. Maintaining and managing habitat as appropriate. 2. Providing expertise through core competencies to ensure that Audubon campaigns have appropriate resource management goals.

Page 19

3. Using sanctuaries for Audubon Centers where possible, and determining appropriate location, design, and land management techniques for other Audubon Centers. 4. Providing technical advice and training to Audubon Center staff, chapters, members, public agencies, and private landowners for appropriate habitat management projects, and 5. Acquiring land, as appropriate, to support Audubon priorities. 8.2 Science: Audubon has always been and must continue to be a science-based organization. Science should be one of Audubon's core competencies, with recognized researchers on staff. Within science, expertise on the science of birds and their habitats is indispensable. To most efficiently ensure a strong scientific foundation, Audubon should: 1. Assure that science plays a critical role in identifying and supporting Audubon campaigns and programs. 2. Encourage and nurture the utilization of Audubon facilities and sanctuaries for scientific research by scientists, volunteers, and students. 3. Support and expand citizen science efforts by creating and guiding volunteer opportunities through its network of chapters, centers, and cooperating organizations. 4. Marshall scientific, policy, and analytical expertise beyond Audubon to support its campaigns and programs, as needed. 5. Integrate Audubon scientists into the design of all programs and materials to ensure scientific accuracy. 8.3 Communications: Audubon should apply its great communications strength by using its variety of communication vehicles to reach a diverse audience in support of its mission, vision, and major priorities. Audubon should develop an integrated communication strategy and review options to increase the effectiveness of each of its communication media and approaches in supporting the activities of the organization. This plan should review: 1. Target audiences, both external and internal. 2. Goals and content of messages to target audiences.

Page 20

3. The most effective and efficient communication media and approaches, including new and emerging communications technologies. 4. How these media and approaches will advance Audubon's mission, vision, and priorities; strengthen its grassroots network; support its campaigns and educational initiatives; and increase revenue, and 5. How better to integrate communications with membership, fundraising, and marketing. 8.3 (a) Audubon magazine currently plays an important strategic role in advancing Audubon's mission, vision, and priorities, yet its effectiveness can and should be increased. Options that should be considered and tested include: 1. An increased editorial focus on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats, and their linkage to people with a corresponding decrease in coverage of other topics. 2. An increased emphasis on Audubon priorities, campaigns, and educational initiatives on a regular basis through feature stories or articles, expansion of the "About Audubon" section, or inclusion of elements from the Audubon Activist and the Armchair Activist, and 3. Regular inclusion of news and information about Audubon's grassroots activities and accomplishments, issues and events, and chapter and membership news, possibly as additional copy at the back of the magazine or as an insert. 4. Any option to modify the magazine should be subject to extensive testing. Audience response and advertising reaction should be measured before any proposed change is made and as changes occur. 5. Audubon should evaluate ways to strengthen the financial status of Audubon magazine, including hiring a publisher and promoting the magazine outside the organization. 8.3 (b) Audubon should evaluate reintroducing American Birds to reinforce its historical identification with birds. 8.3 (c) Audubon's electronic network has the potential to support all the major programs: grassroots network, campaigns, and educational initiatives. This network should be further developed to better interconnect members and staff, as well as to inform the general public about Audubon activities.

Page 21

8.3 (d) Audubon's public affairs activities, in addition to media efforts at the national level, should have significant resources to devote to supporting staff and grassroots media relations efforts throughout the country. It is critical for Audubon to build on its name recognition and reputation by generating consistent, positive media attention that promotes both the goals and achievements of the entire organization. 8.3 (e) Audubon Productions should play an important strategic role in Audubon's overall communications strategy, given its potential to reach the general public as well as more targeted audiences. 1. Audubon should explore options to develop new forms of productions and distribution to strengthen the Audubon name and franchise, attract new members and inspire new activists, and promote a culture of conservation and an environmental ethic. 2. Opportunities to be explored or further pursued include: cable television documentary series, children's TV programming, home video series, educational videos, network TV specials with associated screenings and outreach, feature films, interactive products for schools and homes on various digital platforms, and emerging technologies and distribution channels. 3. Audubon should evaluate the establishment of a promotion operation for its external communications properties to increase the visibility and impact of those ventures. 8.4 Membership. One of the greatest challenges facing Audubon is to attract a more active and diverse membership. Audubon's grassroots network requires members who can represent the interests of their communities and who are committed to supporting Audubon's mission. Audubon should develop a membership strategy that: 1. Identifies new and existing membership segments. 2. Prioritizes which segments to target. 3. Determines the needs and interests of those segments. 4. Develops creative approaches to targeting those segments. 5. Determines appropriate categories of membership, membership offers, and contributions. 6. Develops tools for enhanced membership retention. 7. And measures the success of these efforts.

Page 22

In implementing this strategy, Audubon should: 8. Find and test new ways to become more effective and efficient in generating and retaining members, and increasing their financial contribution to Audubon. 9. Assist Field Office staff and chapters to lead local membership drives, and 10. Create a membership database that more accurately and swiftly trades members and their interests and includes information that can be used to easily reach members (interests, phone and fax numbers, e-mail addresses, etc.). The database should be accessible at the national, state, and chapter level, and should be an extremely valuable tool for campaigns and for our education programs.

Recommendation 9: Funding and Fundraising Audubon must improve its financial strength and practices by increasing income, investing only in strategically important activities, and appropriately leveraging the Audubon name. Audubon should seek to grow revenues, particularly unrestricted funding, and to diversify funding sources and earned income through expanded marketing and licensing activities. 9.1 Audubon should emphasize the need to create an organization of fundraisers and to obtain funding before new initiatives are launched. 1. Audubon should develop a strong and distinctive grassroots funding capability that involves members, chapters, staff, and the Board. 2. Audubon should identify and procure funding sources prior to launching new initiatives. 3. Audubon must promote a fundraising approach in which everyone is part of a fundraising team, not only for their programs but for the organization as a whole. It is critical that the people doing conservation work play an active role in communicating the value of these activities to funders, but these individuals should not have sole fundraising responsibility. 4. Audubon should deploy professional development staff throughout the country, starting with locations of greatest revenue potential and expanding coverage throughout the country as programs develop and needs arise. 9.2 Audubon must increase its overall funding, particularly unrestricted revenue sources. Audubon should develop strategies to address each major segment of the funding community.

Page 23

Audubon should consider: 1. Expanding its major gifts fundraising program by forming volunteer field fundraising steering committees of major donors to identify new major gift donors. 2. Targeting individual donors through the expanded Field Office network. 3. Expanding relationships with the business community on a national and statewide basis. 4. Expanding planned giving programs and moving all bequests to the permanent endowment. 5. Examining the membership categories and dues levels to more effectively target the various segments of Audubon's members. 6. Determining how to coordinate each fundraising program to maximize potential while minimizing overlap and conflict. 9.3. Audubon must identify priority sources of funding for all aspects of its operation (programs, campaigns, Audubon Centers, Field Offices and field operations, education, etc.). Potential measures include: 1. Launching a major national fundraising campaign to support national campaigns, and to establish "crown jewel" Audubon Centers. These campaigns should be based on detailed understanding of total funding needs for the next five years. 2. Launching major field or regional fundraising campaigns to establish and develop Field Offices and Audubon Centers. 3. A program of annual field or regional fundraising appeals for ongoing operational support to Field Offices. 4. Membership development and annual giving campaigns tied to new Field Offices. 5. Using sanctuaries and Audubon Centers as means for enhancing overall fundraising. 9.4 Audubon must identify and develop new revenue opportunities through sales of Audubon products, travel, and other ancillary revenue sources. Audubon should hire a marketing expert to improve marketing and licensing of the Audubon name while at the same time carefully managing its use. We must develop clear standards for how the National Audubon Society should communicate and market the Audubon name and image. Several new ancillary revenue opportunities might be considered (e.g., a "collectible" national annual pass for Audubon properties; and advertiser supported services offered through emerging technologies such as the Internet). Recommendation 10: Board of Directors Audubon's Board of Directors is ultimately accountable for keeping Audubon focused on its vision and strategy. Board members must be committed in and have a passion fnr Audubon's vision and values. The Board's roles

Page 24

should be aligned with this new strategy and the committee structure should reflect the major components of the Strategic Plan. From the onset, the roles and responsibilities of each Board member should be clearly defined. Each Board member should be expected to participate along three dimensions by: 1. Contributing to fundraising efforts. 2. Making an active contribution to one major committee, and 3. Playing a role in making Audubon's activities successful (i.e., campaigns, Audubon Centers, education programs, etc.). Although the size of Audubon's Board and the mix of regionally-nominated and nationally-elected Board members will remain the same, the Board composition should be determined by: 4. Ensuring the diversity of the Board, particularly in terms of skills needed: chapter and field, education, advocacy, science, fundraising, and business management, and 5. Ensuring a balanced geographic representation of board members from across the United States. Critical Board processes will be determined and assessed by: 6. Establishing policy and monitoring performance: each major committee should focus only on organizational policy, not on management issues. 7. Setting priorities: each committee should work with management to clearly define the prioritysetting process for their area. 8. Nominating new members: each year the nominating committee should assess the mix of Board skills and geographic representation to identify key gaps and help to fill them via the nomination process.

Page 25

New Board members should: 9. Be committed to and have a passion for Audubon’s vision and values, and have a clear set of goals. 10. Have expectations clarified before they are nominated or elected. 11. Have a substantial, well-planned orientation which includes time with staff and members in the field.

Page 26

EXHIBIT I: BACKGROUND 1. Study Mandate Project objective: “To review and challenge the National Audubon Society in it[s] entirety - its mission, programs, budget, funding, and organization - in the context of the realities facing Audubon and the environmental movement in the Untied States today. . . in order to develop recommendations on how to reposition and strengthen Audubon to be a more successful and vital organization.” The scope of the project included reviews and surveys of: 1. Changes in the environmental movement and major trends in conservation activity (e.g., approaches, skills needed, and funding) and their implications for Audubon. Understanding potential roles for Audubon to maximize its contribution, taking into account its strengths and weaknesses versus other organizations, should be a basis for the recommended strategy; 2. Current Audubon activities and programs, including chapter and member activities and thematic programs such as education, advocacy, regional affairs, communications, science, and sanctuaries; 3. Major campaigns, programs, and issues that Audubon has initiated or addressed such as the Everglades, the Platte River, wetlands, the reenactment of the Endangered Spedes Act, population stabilization; 4. Field activities and operations at the local, state, regional and national levels (e.g., the levels on which Audubon has sought to address issues), including work done by members, chapters, state councils, and state and regional offices; 5. Audubon's chapter network of 517 chapters, including their roles, needs, and issues in meeting environmental challenges; 6. Audubon members, including member interests, level of satisfaction with Audubon, degree of involvement in Audubon activities, and their views about the relative importance of a range of environmental and conservation issues in which the organization has been active; 7. Staff satisfaction with Audubon as an employer and staff views about the relative importance of a range of environmental and conservation issues; and An assessment of Audubon management and governance issues. The underlying principles on which the project was based include: 8. Building an objective fact-base about Audubon and knowledge of the organization to guide decisionmaking;

Page 27

9. Working with all major constituents of Audubon, and taking into account the ideas, perspectives and interest of members, chapters, staff, and Board to create a highly participative process; and 10. Examining all issues related to Audubon (e.g., treat nothing as a "sacred cow), arid understand the likelihood of making tough decisions. 2. Project Approach 1. The strategic planning project timeline was laid out to insure adequate time to complete analyses and gather input from different constituencies, while still allowing a decision to be made regarding the appropriate strategy at the June Board meeting. 2. The Audubon strategic planning project was designed to be an inclusive and participatory process which emphasized the importance of input and review from and by all parts of the organization, including members, chapter leaders, staff and board. As such the strategic planning team interviewed 25-30 industry experts, 34 Board members, and over 120 staff members. The team also conducted individual interviews or focus groups with over 700 chapter leaders and members and over 100 staff participating. In addition, 3 major surveys were conducted: a membership survey with 1,285 randomly selected members interviewed by phone, a chapter survey sent to all chapters (with over 275 responses received), and a staff survey sent to all staff (with over 145 responses received). 3. A number of different groups have had ongoing roles in making this project successful. 4. The Steering Committee provided ongoing reviews of the work, findings, and helped to form the proposals going to the full Board for review. 5. The Task Force was responsible for building the fact base, and developing the analysis of Audubon necessary to form the fundamental strategic direction of the organization. 6. The Strategy Development Committee. (SDC) helped to shape and provide the recommendations to the Board on the overall strategy. 7. The Board of Directors was the final decision-maker on the overall strategy and was actively involved in reviewing preliminary findings and recommendations.. 8. McKinsey & Company worked with the Task Force and the Steering Committee in the fact-finding stage, as well as with the SDC to develop recommendations for Board consideration.

Page 28

EXHIBIT II: New Era in Conservation The interviews and data outlines three major eras, and one transition into the next era of “creating sustainability.” Source: Industry Interviews U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT – NEW CHALLENGES ERA Wildlands Protection Building the Regulatory Framework 1960s - 80s    Creating Sustainability

Time Major Focus

Pre - 1960      Build national parks, refuges, and other public lands Control unregulated hunting Build knowledge of natural history Protect America’s wild areas Creation of large public land estate Reduce hunting of threatened species

1990s Ensure enforcement of existing regulations Develop solutions at local and state levels Create examples of sustainable development

Increase public awareness  and citizen action Build national and state  regulations Build federal capacity to  enforce regulation

Major Accomplishments

 



Founding of EPA Passage of CWA, CAA, NEPA, ESA

 

Build models for sustainable development Incorporate broad constituencies in support for conservation Build strong networks of members and service with information electronically Work with members to build locally-driven solutions Be a watchdog to protect federal regulation

Major roles of NGOs

  

Support field research Purchase land Advocate for species protection

  

Develop scientific  analysis of key threats and needs Advocate new or stronger  federal regulations Build membership and public support for  positions

Page 29

EXHIBIT II: GLOSSARY OF TERMS USED NAS or Audubon: The National Audubon Society in its entirety, including members, chapters, staff and Board members. Audubon Centers: An expanded network of Audubon facilities and programs that are the focal points in their communities for fostering a culture of conservation and an environmental ethic. Audubon Centers should promote conservation action through the appreciation, awareness, and understanding of birds, wildlife, and their habitats, and their importance to the continuance and prosperity of humankind. (See Recommendation 4) Audubon Issues: Audubon Issues pertain to fundamental factors affecting birds, wildlife, and their habitats. Examples of "Audubon issue" campaigns include the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act. Audubon Issues may require investment in multiple locations within and outside of the United States. (See Recommendation 2) Audubon Habitats: Audubon Habitats are critical sites that Audubon believes in preserving or restoring through a commitment of resources and the development of alliances. Audubon Habitats may vary in size and type and should be part of an overall effort to protect part or all of an entire ecosystem. Examples of Audubon Habitats include the Everglades, Mono Lake, and the Platte River. (See Recommendation 2) Campaigns: Campaigns are coordinated, targeted efforts to achieve specific conservation objectives. Education and policy are the primary tools for Audubon campaign work, but campaigns will use whatever resources are required (including science, land purchase and/or management, public relations, etc.) to achieve the desired goals. Audubon will organize two types of campaigns: those related to issues (see Audubon Issues), and those related to habitats (see Audubon Habitats). (See Recommendation 2) Core Competencies: Core competencies are areas of institutional expertise and skill, resident among staff and members, that are essential to Audubon's efforts to protect habitats and address primary issues (for example, conservation science). Audubon will maintain a set of "core competencies," directly related to ongoing programs, that are supportive of the Society's abiding environmental and conservation goals. (See Recommendation 2) Field Office/Territory: A Field Office refers to the office and staff within a respective territory, managed by a Field Office director, who are accountable for the implementation of the strategic plan and the larger Audubon mission. Audubon will expand its network or Field Offices to include more offices covering smaller geographical areas. Existing state and regional offices will eventually become Field Offices. The primary functions of each Field Office will be to develop the skills of members and chapters, to support Audubon's educational, policy, and campaign goals, and to direct Audubon activities within the respective territories. (See Recommendation 3)

Page 30

Fundamental Issues: Fundamental issues are those overarching factors that affect birds, wildlife, and their habitats, such as legislative and corporate policies, private land owner practices, and global (root cause) impacts such as population and global warming. Grassroots: The membership of the National Audubon Society, including but not limited to members, chapters, state councils, and regional conferences. Habitats: The natural environment required for the survival of specific associated organisms. Policy: Policy efforts are those directed by Audubon at influencing governmental and legislative regulations and protections, corporate practices, and private landowner stewardship relating to birds, wildlife, and habitat. Program/Programmatic Themes: Programs are high priority, enduring Audubon initiatives that reflect and support the organization's environmental and conservation goals (e.g., migratory birds). Programmatic themes are dearly defined, have long-term goals, are aligned with education and policy objectives, and reflect member, chapter, and staff priorities. (See Recommendation 2) - end -

Page 31


								
To top