We would like to acknowledge the Gosling Foundation for supporting this work.
There are hundreds of groups across Canada devoted to getting people out in nature and working actively on conservation. We call these groups the “Nature Network.”
While the mission of these groups is about nature, how they achieve their mission is about people. They function with volunteers, with donors, and with supporters of all kinds.
This means that each of these groups has an interest in good public engagement.
Some engagement practices are changing particularly as society becomes more digital, while other practices remain as relevant today as they have been forever.
Nature Canada has a program to help Nature Network groups improve their public engagement. We focus on an approach called “engagement organizing” that combines new digital practices with old-school organizing methods. We offer:
- A downloadable engagement organizing guide (found at the bottom of the page)
- Case studies in an e-newsletter
- Webinars, including a community of practice for sharing experiences
- Occasional in-person workshops as needed
- Tailored coaching for organizations that demonstrate real commitment
- Small engagement organizing grants (by invitation) for select Important Bird Area-related organizations or Protected Areas campaigns (found here)
Is your organization part of the Nature Network in Canada? We believe you are if:
- You have programming that takes people out in nature
- You are active in conservation
Conversely, you may not be in the Nature Network if you are an environmental group without outings or a recreation group without any work on conservation.
If you are interested in the Nature Network Engagement Program and if you are not already in touch with us, please fill out the contact form below and we’ll get back to you soon.
Engagement organizing is an approach that marries organizing, technology and a culture of developing leadership in others. The model includes a focus on relationship building and mobilization of supporters at the heart of the mission to create resilient, effective organizations.
“Organizing” in this definition is the art of building the agency of others, rather than doing all the work yourself. A first step is to identify who your people are – like-minded others who may want to contribute to your mission through volunteering or donating.
Multiple avenues for engaging these people are then created, contact information gathered, and asks made for people to progressively more with you in a ‘pyramid’ of engagement. As more people engage, you identify and train leaders and build teams to take on various tasks.
All of this is done with the assistance of digital tools. The internet is a good addition to other tactics to identify and recruit people. Free or inexpensive online tools can also help manage mass emails, events, and data.
Here are some case studies of nature groups practicing various elements of engagement organizing.
We have a free engagement organizing guide that you are welcome to if you contact us using the form below.