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New Haven Land Trust-New Haven Farms partners with people to care for our urban landscape so all people discover, access, and enjoy the lands and waters that provide food, health, and life.
This newly merged organization unites two nonprofits that have been leaders and innovators of New Haven’s urban environmental movement. The New Haven Land Trust (NHLT), Connecticut’s first urban land trust, has served the community for nearly 40 years by acquiring and stewarding over 80 acres of nature preserves city-wide and by supporting 55 community gardens throughout New Haven’s diverse neighborhoods. NHLT has grown significantly over the last five years to include programs for young environmental entrepreneurs and a marine and coastal exploration summer camp on Long Island Sound. New Haven Farms (NHF) burst onto the scene seven years ago with its innovative Farm-Based Wellness Program that partners with medical centers to engage people with diet-related chronic disease risk factors in planting, growing, and harvesting at their seven farms across New Haven.
Both organizations have a growing commitment to racial equity and community leadership and have taken strides in cultivating community ownership among its stakeholders. A large part of both organizations’ work, especially New Haven Farms, takes place in bi-lingual settings, with Spanish as the predominant language. The merged organization synergizes closely aligned missions, values, programming, and diverse support networks into a powerhouse leader for advancing engagement and stewardship of urban nature as a resource for healthy people and communities.
The board of this newly formed organization now seeks a courageous leader and enthusiastic fundraiser who can assemble the many combined strengths of NHLT-NHF to launcha new phase of development and growth. This is a tremendous opportunity for an innovative nonprofit leader to grow an organization that is working at the intersection of urban agriculture, public health, food access, participatory community development, environmental education and stewardship, and youth development. The successful candidate will be passionate about these expressions of the mission, will be able to guide the organization in implementing practices that ensure racial and economic equity, and will help transition it into an organization that is primarily led by the communities it serves. She/he/they will also have significant experience and success in raising funds from diverse sources and advancing the strategic direction and operations of a not-for-profit organization with multiple, interlocking program areas.
About New Haven Land Trust-New Haven Farms
These two organizations have been working closely together over a number of years and co-located their offices in 2018. A merger was discussed for the last several years and the two organizations decided to formally initiate the process with the legal combination scheduled for January 1, 2020. In the midst of this, New Haven Land Trust’s executive director, who had significantly grown the organization over the last six years, announced that he would step down from his post to pursue other interests. The Land Trust’s board engaged an interim executive director to lead the organization until the merger was completed and a new executive hired. The merger process has been smooth and supported by all, including staff and board members, program participants, and community stakeholders.
The new organization offers a platform of innovative programs that coactively impact the interrelated spheres of urban agriculture, public health, participatory community development, youth entrepreneurship, and environmental education and stewardship.
The seven farms and more than fifty community gardens managed by NHLT-NHF have a significant urban agricultural footprint in New Haven. The farms and gardens promote community development and public health, most notably through the innovative Farm-Based Wellness Program, which engages people with diet-related chronic disease risk factors in gardening and learning about nutrition and cooking healthy meals at one of the seven farms. All graduates of this program are invited to grow food in their own garden plots at one of the community gardens as part of the Incubator Garden Program, and exemplary graduates of the program become Community Health Ambassadors in their own communities through training in leadership and behavior change methodologies. Community Garden members are encouraged to serve on the Community Garden Committee, which supports the Garden Manager in stewarding the health of both the gardens and the community of growers.
Equally important is the organization’s focus on accessing the natural environment through education, land conservation and stewardship, recreation, and youth development and entrepreneurship. Its innovative Growing Entrepreneurs Program works with New Haven high school students to develop small-business ventures with a positive impact on the environment and the New Haven community. The organization manages six nature preserves,featuring important natural resources and habitats located throughout New Haven. It holds field trips and guided nature walks in the preserves to connect people to the abundance of nature in the city and reinforce the importance of conservation in urban areas. Schooner is a highly successful summer camp program that brings kids ages six to fourteen to the Connecticut shoreline to learn about the rich coastal habitat of the Long Island Sound through shore exploration and sailing. Fifty percent of all campers utilize a scholarship to attend the camp, and over the past two summers, more than half of the sailing program campers were experiencing sailing for the first time.
The organization is supported by a staff of nine full-time and three part-time members. It is governed by a 19-member board of directors comprised of community leaders from the fields of health, law, finance, public policy, non-profit management, and business. While the board is diverse along the dimension of gender and includes a member from their programs, it is committed to expanding racial, ethnic, and other dimensions of diversity to more fully reflect the community that it serves. The organization has a budget of just under $1M, with nearly $350,000 in reserves. Its revenue is generated from a mix of individual, corporate and family foundation, and corporate support, as well as earned revenue through Schooner and the sale of food through a farm stand and restaurant contracts.
Location: Augusta, Maine
The Maine Women’s Lobby (MWL) is seeking a movement-building, feminist leader committed to building on our past policy and advocacy successes and growing our power to advance policy reform.
For 40 years, Maine Women’s Lobby (MWL) has been Maine’s only advocacy organization focused on the broad range of issues affecting the lives of Maine women and girls. We work to create a future that is free from violence, free from discrimination, with access to health care, and real economic security.
Maine Women’s Lobby’s successes and assets include:
- A history of successfully working with the Maine state legislature to enact key legislation. Recent legislative wins include: “An Act Regarding Pay Equality” prohibiting employers from asking for prior wage history; “An Act to Protect Pregnant Workers” requiring reasonable protections and accommodations for pregnant workers; and, “An Act To Prevent Discrimination in Public and Private Insurance Coverage for Pregnant Women in Maine” requiring public and private insurance in Maine to cover abortion care when prenatal care coverage is also available.
- A strong network of coalitions, key partner relationships, and a 17 member advisory committee of longstanding MWL champions.
- The popular biennial Economic Security Summit, which drew almost 300 legislators, coalition members, partners, and community members in 2019. This year’s theme: “#MaineToo: Taking Action Against Sexual Assault, Harassment and Exploitation” featured keynote speaker #MeToo Founder Tarana Burke. The 2017 Summit featured keynote speakerAlicia Garza, one of the co-creators of #BlackLivesMatter and special projects director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, as well as Loretta Ross, an expert on reproductive justice, racism, and intersectionality.
- Annual Girls’ Day at the State House, which brings 100 eighth grade girls from across the state to Augusta to learn about how public policy decisions are made and the importance of women’s leadership within the state legislature and beyond.
Like other nonprofit advocacy organizations, MWL is comprised of two structural entities, the Maine Women’s Lobby, a 501(c)(4), and the Maine Women’s Lobby Education Fund, a 501(c)(3). MWL employs 4.0 staff, augmented by contract positions that provide project and administrative support, and has 17 board members. MWL offices are located in Augusta, which is Maine’s capital city. The average annual operating budget is $400,000 with a revenue base of donations, foundation support, event fees and corporate sponsorships. The organization has approximately $435,000 in financial assets.
The Windsor Historical Society: Bridging Centuries. Bridging Cultures.
The Windsor Historical Society’s mission is to inspire public awareness and appreciation of the diverse people, places, and events that contribute to Windsor’s evolving history.
We preserve and interpret Windsor’s historical record through active collecting, research, exhibitions, programs, and communications in the belief that an understanding of history can provide individuals and communities with connections to the past, a sense of belonging in the present, and responsibility for the future.
Founded in 1921, the Windsor Historical Society (the Society) has brought the rich and evolving history of Windsor to life for the community and its visitors for nearly 100 years. Its extensive museum campus, which includes two historic homes, exhibit galleries, a research and genealogy library and a museum shop, is a centerpiece of Windsor’s historic district, a town that is known for being the oldest in Connecticut. The Society is known for its wide breadth of collections, an extensive research library and its innovative, engaging and varied public programs that draw people from across town and state lines. Additionally, the Society recently gained national attention for the innovative restoration and re-interpretation of one of its historic homes. The organization rests on a foundation of financial stability and a staff team of five of both professional and support staff.
With the retirement of its long-term executive director, The Windsor Historical Society now seeks a dynamic leader and enthusiastic fundraiser who can build from the Society’s many strengths to grow it to the next level of its important mission. The successful candidate will be passionate about history and have significant experience and success in raising funds from diverse sources and advancing the strategic direction and operations of a not-for-profit organization.
About The Windsor Historical Society
In the field of historical societies across the nation, the Windsor Historical Society is looked on as a thought leader in its development of creative, diverse and responsive programming and exhibits. Its public programs include lectures, family events, a genealogy support group, writing contests and an oral history project currently underway in partnership with Windsor’s local TV station. It has a strong partnership with Windsor Public Schools and provides tours, student exhibitions, classroom presentations and student scholarships.
Its collection of approximately 11,000 items is extensive, varied and always growing. In 2015, the Society renovated the Strong-Howard House – supported by a $750,000 capital campaign – and, in a stroke of innovative genius, re-interpreted the home to appear as it looked in 1810, complete with all reproduction furnishings so that it could be a hands-on exhibit, which has since gained national recognition.
The Society has a strong presence on social media, with approximately 3,000 followers who enjoy the daily photo posts of items from their collection with commentary and links to related articles. In addition, staff members publish a quarterly newsletter that includes professional-quality articles on various aspects of Windsor’s history.
The organization is very involved in the broader Windsor community – staff members attend community events and often take an advocacy lead in community preservation efforts.
The Society stands out among many of its historical museum peers for the level of professionalism among its team of three full-time and three part-time staff: all uphold strong professional standards of practice excellence and customer service. It also has a committed corps of volunteers who perform daily supportive functions as docents, receptionists and researchers. The organization is governed by a 13-member board of directors comprised of community leaders from the fields of history, speech pathology, education, social services, finance, legal, information technology and website design.
The Society is a membership organization and currently has approximately 550 members, some of whom live in other states. It has a budget of just under $500,000. Its operations are also supported by a sizeable endowment, thanks to generous bequests in 1959 and 1985 and more recent times, which contributes between 60% and 70% of the annual budget. The organization is in the process of implementing a thoughtful strategic plan that re-positioned the mission and vision and set a clear path for the organization 2017-2020.
Strategic Opportunities and Challenges
The Windsor Historical Society is at an important juncture as it transitions from a long-term executive director who built a firm base of financial stability and strong and professional operations to a new leader empowered to maintain and strengthen the Society’s legacy of bringing Windsor’s history to life through innovative programs and exhibits and extensive library collections.
The next Executive Director of the Windsor Historical Society will inherit a tremendous opportunity to further leverage the Society’s many strengths to take its innovative programming to a new level, broaden its reach and engage more diverse segments of the community in learning about the rich history of Windsor.
- There is across the country a renewed interest in history, perhaps stoked by the increasing number of people exploring their genealogy. The Society has an opportunity to leverage this interest to attract more people to its programs, exhibits, extensive library collections and its already active genealogy program.
- Trends in the historical museum arena have made history more accessible. Historical museums across the country are reimagining their exhibits to create experiences that place the person in another time and “personalize” or tailor, their programs to specific segments of the population. These trends give the individual a more direct experience of the historical moment and thus make the historical museum experience more attractive. The Society is already doing some innovative programming along these lines, but has an opportunity to further enhance this aspect of its work.
- An increasing number of young families in Windsor: the Society has the opportunity to engage younger residents in new and creative ways.
- Increase in the use of digital platforms for accessing information: the Society has already leveraged this in bringing its collections and historical content to people on Facebook and Instagram, and can continue to stay on the forefront of digital platforms through the use of video and on-line fundraising methods.
- Windsor’s population has been growing each year by around 1% - housing is relatively affordable and thus attractive to young families; median household income is in the mid-80s, with a high level of giving potential.
- Outreach and Community Engagement:
A number of factors pose challenges to engaging all segments of Windsor’s diverse community:
- With busy lives and an ever-expanding range of entertainment and information at their digital fingertips, residents under 40 are an audience whose attention is difficult to capture and who may be unlikely to attend the Society’s events.
- Many people may perceive the Society as focusing on white colonial history; the organization is challenged in its attempt to reach out and engage all segments of Windsor’s diverse population.
- Windsor has a fairly high turnover of residents and those who are more transient feel less connection to the history of the town.
- Resource Development:
Many nonprofits in town are tapping the same funding sources; those passionate about history are aging out, leading to a decline in funders, membership, and volunteers; and corporate funding priorities have shifted toward education or youth programming. Most of the larger corporations in Windsor are located in the outskirts of town and don’t feel connected to the community.
- The Historical Museum Market:
Competition for attention is stiff – nearly every town has its own historical society, and some of the more substantial ones – with large budgets and varied and attractive programs – are within an hour or so of driving distance from Windsor. Additionally, Connecticut’s historical organizations tend toward independence and there’s little/no interest in collaborating or partnering in ways that could increase visitor-ship and revenues for all involved. On top of this, Windsor has an unusually high number of civic and nonprofit organizations who are all competing for residents’ time and attention.
- Space for Collections:
As the Historical Society’s profile has grown, so have its collections. Despite the Society’s cautious criteria for accepting pieces that align with the mission, items continue to stream in, thus placing more strain on its storage capacity.
Location: Worcester, MA
Worcester Community Housing Resources, Inc. (WCHR) seeks a dynamic and experienced Executive Director to help take the vibrant nonprofit to its next level.
Founded in 1993, WCHR’s mission is to revitalize neighborhoods throughout Worcester County. As an affordable housing developer, WCHR creates and preserves quality, affordable home ownership and rental housing for diverse, low-income households, and rehabilitates abandoned property through Massachusetts’ Abandoned Housing Initiative Receivership program.
With other nonprofit partners, WCHR also develops affordable rental housing and specialized services for populations with complex housing needs. It operates a one-of-a kind $4 million Revolving Community Loan Fund that provides the necessary capital for emergency repairs and maintenance for low-income homeowners. As a landlord, WCHR owns a rental portfolio of over 100 apartments, lodging house rooms, and co-housing units, and manages and maintains its portfolio and the portfolios of other affordable housing for small private developers and faith-based organizations. WCHR owns a 78-unit state-of-the-art assisted living facility that it developed in Gardner MA. The $20 million project opened in 2011 and is managed by a state-certified management company that provides all the staffing needs and oversees the daily operations.
In recent years, a talented, long-standing and mission-oriented staff and board of directors has generated significant growth of the organization, expanding its lending, development and property ownership. WCHR also augmented its receivership lending to become one of the largest such programs in Massachusetts. WCHR helped court-appointed receivers across five counties finance the reconstruction of condemned and abandoned housing, working with the office of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, Regional Housing Courts and municipal Health/Code and Legal Departments.
WCHR is financially stable and with its operating budget of $4.4 million has the capital and income to be selective in the projects in which it invests. It has both a strong balance sheet and profitable year-end revenue statements. WCHR employs seven full time staff, a part time accountant and continual support from interns from local colleges and universities.
Location: North Andover, MA
Founded in 1913 and headquartered at its Museum Building on the North Andover town common, the North Andover Historical Society (NAHS) is a non-profit educational institution which serves as a center for local community interest and is dedicated to preserving, documenting, exhibiting and interpreting North Andover history, mainly through its collection of artifacts, historical house museums, properties for historic and/or preservation purposes, and an archival collection of documents and visual materials as well as objects made or used in the North Andover area from the 17th century onward.
Overview of the Organization and Programs
Specifically, to achieve its mission, NAHS:
- Maintains its collections of over 11,000 artifacts, including photos, archival material, objects and books primarily used in educational programs, research, and exhibits.
- Plays an important role in bringing history alive for children of all ages through its educational programs aligned with the core concepts of the Massachusetts Frameworks for Social Studies at various grade levels as well as its summer enrichment program.
- Owns, preserves and operates seven buildings, including:
- The Museum Building (1932) and lower galleries, which along with the cottage, shop and the Library & Archival Collections, forms the Society’s Headquarters.
- Johnson Cottage (1789), which is the last surviving artisan’s cottage in North Andover’s Old Center.
- The Parson Barnard House (1715), which incorporates exciting restoration techniques used to highlight the original construction and interior modifications.
- The Parson Barnard House Carriage Barn built during the early 19th century.
- The Hay Scales Building (1833), located at the end of the Common, which has a history closely linked to the nineteenth century agricultural life of North Andover.
- The Brick Store (1829), a retail space in the town center which, when built, added an urban flavor amidst the smaller wooden buildings that surround it.
- Caroline Stevens Rogers Building (1962), the former home of the Merrimack Valley Textile Museum, which was designed to recreate the visual presence of an 1800's New England textile mill.
A 501c(3) nonprofit corporation, NAHS employs a full-time Executive Director and four part-time staff members and is overseen by a Board of Directors, currently comprised of twelve civic and community leaders. The organization’s annual operating budget is approximately $150,000, its endowment/investments are approximately $1.7 million, and it owns property with a book value of close to $2 million, inclusive of its sole beneficiary interest in the Center Realty Trust which owns five historic buildings.