Six Danbury-Area Land Trusts Form the Northern Fairfield Land Trust Coalition To Share Services And Build Capacity. Six area land trusts announced today that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create a shared service platform to expand their current administrative and operating capacities. The land trusts – Bethel Land Trust, Brookfield Open Space Legacy, The Land Trust of Danbury, New Fairfield Land Trust, Newtown Forest Association and The Land Conservancy of Ridgefield – have called their association The Northern Fairfield Land Trust Coalition (NFLTC).
To facilitate the start of the initiative, a donor advised fundholder of the Fairfield County Community Foundation (FCCF) and another private foundation have awarded the land trusts grants to inaugurate the shared service process. In addition, the land trusts are all contributing funds to the coalition efforts. “We are pleased to fund this model program in Connecticut that will expand administrative and fund raising capacity for smaller, volunteer-based nonprofit land trusts,” stated Karen R. Brown, Vice President of Programs at the Fairfield County Community Foundation.
One year ago the six Danbury-area nonprofit land preservation organizations met to explore ways to build capacity. They agreed to form The Northern Fairfield Land Trust Coalition recognizing that they are all volunteer-based and have limited staff, which makes some of the basic operations such as fundraising, community outreach, stewardship and efforts toward accreditation particularly challenging.
Guy Peterson, treasurer of the Newtown Forest Association and Chairman of NFLTC said, “The Newtown Forest Association is proud to be part of this project. Like the other land trusts that we are partnering with, the expertise necessary to further our common missions are varied and diverse. We can use our combined size to attract better resources and possibly at a lower cost.”
With the funds awarded from FCCF, the six land trusts will be able to hire independent contractors to provide shared services such as fundraising, community outreach (i.e., newsletter preparation, etc.), land management and stewardship, and documentation management (i.e., ensuring titles, deeds, and monitoring sheets, etc. are being recorded and managed.) The shared services support will be based on the needs of each land trust. By pooling resources and working together, the land trusts will become stronger individually and collectively — with the potential to work together more closely in the future. The six land trusts will continue to raise funds for this and other initiatives to fund their missions and individuals are invited to visit their respective websites.
Northern Fairfield Land Trust Coalition is grateful to the Fairfield County Community Foundation and other funders for recognizing this important need within our local conservation community