Recent Freshwater Alliance Posts

List-building Tips

list-building.jpgThis past week we, at the Freshwater Alliance, hosted a community of practice for organizations who use Salesforce as a database for organizing and managing contacts. After the webinar discussion, Krystyn Tully of the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, sent me this message: “Probably the most valuable thing was that the discussion about technology became a catalyst for talking about our engagement strategy and our staff started to see the database as being about the people in it, rather than as a piece of technology.”

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Do people care about water?

tamara_hearts_her_water_body.jpgLooking for tips on how to connect with your "persuadables"? A poll on attitudes towards freshwater issues in BC released last week reveals some juicy tidbits and important trends that can help us all in our communications and engagement with our "persuadable" audiences.

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Shooting Blind: Why You Need a Theory of Change

shooting_blind.pngThe Anatomy of Strategy

Most organizations undertake some form of planning to guide their activities. Common planning tools include strategic plans, work plans, budgets and perhaps a fund-raising strategy. Strategic plans are like our eyes – they’re about looking forward, identifying a vision and objectives that point towards that vision. Work plans are about the actual doing, the concrete actions to move towards our vision. Budgets are also a form of planning. Along with fundraising strategies, they help keep the oxygen flowing through our organizations. But one critical part of the anatomy is often missing when we plan – the BRAIN!

Unfortunately, we often forget to apply our best and deepest thinking to planning. Theory of change should be the first step in organizational or programmatic planning because it encourages us to do three things that tend to be missing in traditional strategic planning processes:

  1. Recognize that our own world views and the assumptions that come with them are the greatest assets we have in the planning process;
  2. Work back from the impact we are trying to achieve and set measurable and flexible guideposts to help us determine if we’re making progress or need to make course corrections;
  3. Ask the questions “Why?” and “How?” to ensure we are constantly challenging our assumptions and are choosing the actions that have the greatest chance of success.
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Introducing the Watersheds 2014 Forum Scholarship Program

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Thinking of heading to Watersheds 2014 in Duncan, British Columbia from January 27-29th, 2014? The Canadian Freshwater Alliance is pleased to be able to offer a limited number of scholarships to BC-based grassroots and First Nations groups and organizations to attend Watersheds 2014! Scholarship recipients will also be asked to host a small-scale regional breakout for other groups and organizations in your home water region within three months following the Forum. The purpose of the breakout session is to share what you learned at the Forum with other interested groups and individuals in your home region, and to catalyze action. Application deadline: Friday, December 6th, 2013 (5PM Pacific). Successful applicants will be notified the week of December 9th. Eligibility: Applicants must be based in British Columbia and must be a member, staff or volunteer of a grassroots-oriented group OR a member of a First Nations organization or Band or Tribal Council. Fill out the Watersheds 2014 Scholarship Application Form. The Canadian Freshwater Alliance is grateful for the support of the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia for this initiative.

Engagement Toolkit for Grassroots and Stewardship Groups on the Legislative Proposal for BC's new Water Sustainability Act

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Download our free Toolkit for Grassroots and Stewardship Groups on BC's Water Sustainability Act Legislative Proposal! Have you heard the big news? On Friday, October 18th, 2013 the British Columbia provincial government released A Water Sustainability Act for BC: A Legislative Proposal. Right now is one of the most important moments for freshwater protection in BC in over a century. The Legislative Proposal is the latest step by the Province of British Columbia to “modernize” our Water Act - a process that has been going on since 2008. Every group and organization that is concerned with protecting fresh water in BC should consider submitting feedback to the provincial government on the Legislative Proposal. And encourage your supporters, volunteers, and local and regional governments to do the same! We have until November 15th, 2013 to provide input to the proposed legislation. Making your voice heard is as easy as commenting on the BC Government’s blog, or sending in a brief submission letter that outlines the most important issues in the Legislative Proposal for your community. In this Engagement Toolkit, you’ll find all the info you need to help your group or organization participate in the engagement process on BC’s new Water Sustainability Act - and tools to encourage others to do the same. If you would like a Word version of the Toolkit to adapt to the needs of your own organization, please email susi@freshwateralliance.ca. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to lead the way and be a powerful voice for speaking up for BC’s water!