The Conservation Trust of North Carolina – a statewide environmental advocacy and land trust organization

About Our Partner:

The Conservation Trust for North Carolina is a statewide non-profit that envisions all North Carolinians have access to clean air and water, outdoor recreation areas, and healthy local food.  They accomplish this through the conservation of land with critical streams, habitats and sustainable farms using the land trust model.  To ensure the future of the movement, they implement cutting edge hands-on leadership development programs for young diverse environmental leaders, and connect people across the state directly to nature through trail development and support of local programming.


Reid had been at CTNC for over a decade and was beginning to feel burned out.  He was looking for a way to re-invigorate himself as well as the organization which had been at a plateau in fundraising for several years.


Goal: Develop a unified vision for the organization that would energize a new movement of environmental sustainability across North Carolina. 

  • Solution: We worked with Reid to first re-kindle his own passion for CTNC and clarify what results he wanted to see CTNC create over the next decades to genuinely meet the needs of the state.  As this vision developed and became clearer in Reid, we facilitated a board retreat enabling board members to share their individual visions and for Reid to share his.  Within a couple of hours a unified shared vision was created that both and board and Reid were beyond excited about.  We helped Reid work with his staff to engage them in this visioning process as well and to see how their personal values contributed to this new way forward.

Goal: Develop a strong team with the capacity to double the impact of CTNC making the vision a reality. 

  • Solution: There were members of the team who were not in the right positions to execute on the new vision.  We worked to Reid to first identify the qualities and skills required for key organizational positions to be able to execute on a bigger vision.  We helped Reid evaluate existing staff in relation to these needs and re-create a new staff structure that put the organization in a much stronger position to execute on the new vision and goals.  This meant half as many people reporting to Reid, new responsibilities for many team members, a gracious existing of others and hiring new team members with more capacity.
  • We helped Reid get clear about this new structure, achieve board buy-in for the changes, intentionally communicate these changes to the team and take effective compassionate action to put the structure into place including hiring the right people for the right positions.

Goal: Double CTNC’s fundraising capacity. 

  • Solution: Working together we identified the critical need to hire a top-notch resource development director and to give her the staff and financial resources to consolidate all fundraising efforts into a unified strategy directly tied to the new vision and goals of the organization.  We analyzed individual donor lists, created further segmentation and a strategy for asking existing high-level donors to take leadership roles in creating this new vision with larger gifts as well as strategically reaching out to share the new vision with others.  Working with Reid, we helped him develop a compelling case statement for the new vision and tie all fundraising activities back to this statement.  We analyzed individual email campaigns and appeals, sharpening the language, tying it back to the vision resulting in more conversions faster.  As a result, CTNC fundraising, especially among individual donors began to rise significantly.