National & Chapter Forum

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National & Chapter Forum 

August 2019 

Download the 2019-08 National Chapter Forum

INTRODUCTION 

Somehow August has flown by, and here at the WILD Center, Monarchs are dining on Blazing Star Liatris, Sweet Brown-Eyed Susan, and Joe Pye Weed to fuel up for their journey south. It’s a beautiful time of year to enjoy natural landscaping, and I’m blessed to have a stunning view out my window as I plan for upcoming events. Many of these involve our members, so please keep reading! 

In this Forum, see: 

1. New Member Survey 

2. BOD Nominations 

3. Who’s Your Hero? 

4. Looking for a Few Good Judges 

5. Live-Streaming Meetings 

6. Are You Smiling? 

7. Quick Reminders 

*** Remember: while the National & Chapter Forum is emailed to chapter officers, its information is intended for all members. Please share the Forum with your chapter! *** 

1. NEW MEMBER SURVEY 

This summer, Wild Ones sent a survey to new members (joining within the last year). There was a great response, and the information is being analyzed. Look for details in the next Forum! 

2. BOD NOMINATIONS 

We are looking for nominations of people who would like to serve on the national Board of Directors. Our Nominations Committee will do all the follow-up; we just need a list of names of potential nominees. 

Board members can be Partners-at-Large or affiliated with a chapter. They can have any background as long as they are a strong supporter of our mission and an advocate for the use of native plants in landscaping. We would like to have at least one nominee from every state where we have a chapter, plus a few PALs. We are especially looking for people with financial or law expertise to help round out the board’s strengths, but any nominees will be appreciated. 

The term of a board member is four years. Board members are expected to meet once a year for a face-to-face meeting at their own expense, serve on one of the board committees, and make a donation to Wild Ones each year, according to their means. Nominees do not need to be current Wild Ones members, as long as they are willing to join Wild Ones when their term starts. Please forward any names for the committee to follow up with to info@wildones.org and put BOD Nominee in the subject line. The board application and prospectus will be sent to those interested later this fall.

3. WHO’S YOUR HERO? 

Our Honorary Directors Committee is always looking for suggestions for Wild Ones Honorary Directors. Who do you go to when you need help, advice, or ideas? Please share names of people in your area whose expertise you look up to and who are proponents of native plant usage. They can be members or Wild Ones or another organization, and viewed as leaders in the natural landscaping movement. Candidates should be well-known; have had research, articles or books published; and most importantly, be a great advocate for the use of native plants. Send names to info@wildones.org and put HD Nominee in the subject line. 

4. LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD JUDGES 

The 2020 Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Grant program is under way and has been attracting a lot of interest. The past few years have brought record numbers of applicants, and we expect this year to do the same as the importance of native plants gains more national attention. 

Each year, we receive over 40 grant applications from schools, nature centers, parks, houses of worship, and non-profit or public agencies. After a first review, each qualified application is evaluated by a team of three SFE judges who recommend funding for the following growing season. 

What we need to make this program a success is volunteer judges. Would you or someone you know be willing to volunteer? As a judge, you would score three to five applications. Projects are matched, when possible, to your home state or region, or age groups with which you are familiar. SFE welcomes applications from all states—so some judges may have an opportunity to learn about other areas of the country during the scoring process. Scoring takes approximately an hour per application, so the time commitment is relatively small. Applications are sent to judges in early December. Scoring and comments from judges are to be completed by mid-January. 

If interested, please email info@wildones.org and note SFE Judge in the subject line. For an overview of the program and review the Seeds for Education grant application, visit https://wildones.org/seeds-for-education/. 

5. LIVE-STREAMING MEETINGS 

As covered in the August Forum, our recent Lapsed Member Survey revealed that the inability to attend meetings and events was noted by 65% of respondents as a reason they did not renew. Live-streaming events is one way to help them reach a wider audience. Virtual attendance will help people whose schedule does not enable them to travel to the event, members living in remote areas requiring significant travel to attend, those in severe winter climates which make travel unsafe or difficult, people who do not drive at night, and even PALs who don’t have access to a local chapter’s events. Live-streaming these public events would make them available to everyone. 

Streaming meetings or presentations that are not open to the public, on the other hand, can be password-protected or have the link to access the event posted only on the Members-Only site. That way, the event will remain a members-only benefit. 

Since Wild Ones’ strategic goals include retaining at least 75% of members, increasing the number of new members by 15%+, and increasing regional and national visibility, live-streaming is a perfect fit for chapters to consider. Z:/Forum/2019-08 National Chapter Forum 3 

If your chapter or a member has live-streaming experience and can recommend a platform or source to do so, please contact info@wildones.org with the site name or link, or call the national office at 920-730-3986. We would like to share resource information with other chapters. Thank you in advance! 

6. ARE YOU SMILING? 

Do you shop online at Amazon? If so, did you know that a portion of the proceeds can be donated to Wild Ones? All it takes is a few minutes to designate your charity. 

Go to the Amazon site and log in to your account, then search AmazonSmile. You will see information about the program, a place to designate or change the charity benefitting from your purchase, and a list of charities from which to choose. Search for Wild Ones and you will find “Wild Ones – Natural Landscapers”. Click Select, and you’re done! 

After that, just shop at smile.amazon.com instead of amazon.com. It’s the same site, the same products, the same prices – but Amazon shares its profit with Wild Ones. We have already received over $2000 from purchases via the Amazon Smile program. Every purchase, large or small, supports the Wild Ones mission! 

7. QUICK REMINDERS 

  • Annual Meeting 

The 2019 Wild Ones Annual Meeting webinar takes place on Saturday, October 12. It runs from 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM Central time, so please plan to tune in and share our excitement about the difference Wild Ones is making! Login instructions will be sent via email. 

  • Grants are Grand 

Wild Ones recently submitted a grant application for a potential new project. We have three more grants due this fall for which we would like to apply. Although we will learn a little more each time we submit a proposal, since our grant-writing experience is limited, we are seeking volunteers to review, revise, and advise. Our goal is to match one volunteer to each grant so the workload is not too heavy for anyone. The volunteer for our first grant, Garner Moffat, was incredibly helpful in wording our partial funding options, structuring the budget, and suggesting a format for the proposed timeline, as well as reviewing the grant itself. If you have grant experience and are interested in volunteering, please email info@wildones.org and note that you are interested in helping with grant writing. 

  • Wild Ones is Hiring! 

We are looking for a new Office Specialist. If you know of someone in the Fox Cities area of Wisconsin who is looking for a part-time job, please click to read more. 

We are asking you to supply a lot of information, and I greatly appreciate everyone’s time in doing so. These are all baby steps to strengthen Wild Ones and share the news about native plants! 

Wildly yours, 

Elaine 

(elaine@wildones.org) 

 

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