ABOUT THE NSLA
Why We Work to Protect
Land Protection Goals
How to Protect Land
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Volunteer to Help
Join the NSLA Legacy Club
Start a Local NSLA Chapter
Conserve Your Own Land
Purchase a Property for
Encourage Others to
Protect Their Land
NEWS & EVENTS
Start an NSLA Chapter
(A Local Land Committee or a Village-Based Land Trust)
- Begin with a group of good people. It takes one or two people willing to work hard to launch a Local Land Committee or "LLC" (a chapter of The North Shore Land Alliance) people who use good judgment and who are credible to others. To make it succeed, the founders of a LLC or land trust must be effective in their respective communities. These individuals must be able to win public support, locate potential funding, anticipate possible obstacles, and see and realize opportunities.
- Do the research.
Contact The North Shore Land Alliance to gather more information about becoming a chapter of the NSLA. Research the functions of a land trust to determine whether a LLC or a land trust would best serve your community.
- Interest a broader group of people. Compile a purposeful list of individuals you would like to involve in the start up of your organization. Geography, connections, expertise, and access to funding, as well as a conservation ethic, are important characteristics of potential members.
- Involve and inform the community. LLCs and land trusts are charitable organizations operating in the public interest; therefore, it is important to be inclusive and build public goodwill from the start. Holding neighborhood or community meetings are a successful way to launch your group's activity.
- Choose board members. A strong, effective board is critical to the success of your conservation organization. Choose a diverse group based on the skills that need to be represented and remember that your LLC or Land Trust will be judged, in part, by the membership of its board.
- Submit the appropriate documents. To establish a Local Land Committee you will need to meet with an NSLA staff member and complete certain documentation. To set up your own village-based land trust, you will need to draft and file articles of incorporation and by laws and obtain tax-exempt status.
- Prepare a statement of mission and goals. It is important to define early on the goals and objectives of your conservation organization. This will build consensus among your board and make the direction you undertake much easier to accomplish.
- Set short-term objectives. Develop a specific plan for your start up including fundraising, membership, community awareness, targeted land transactions, etc. Within these parameters begin to set priorities.
- Begin raising money. Start up funds may come from a variety of sources: targeted individuals, local foundations or the general public. Remember as a nonprofit it is particularly important to keep complete and accurate financial records.
- Take action. Whether it is a land transaction, a fund raising campaign or a seminar to educate the community, taking action will generate interest and build excitement within your group and bring outside awareness and support from the community.
Source: "How to Start a Land Trust", The Land Trust Alliance