Since 1990, I've supported nonprofit leaders of environmental and conservation organizations. I got started in Bolivia with the volunteers of the Bolivian Society for the Defense of Nature in La Paz, and to this day I am amazed by what a small group of citizens can accomplish with big hearts and small resources. That led to similar work in Honduras, and eventually consulting jobs assessing larger conservation projects in Latin America.
From 1998 to 2007 I spent 9 rewarding years at the Institute for Conservation Leadership, where I broadened my expertise into nonprofit management and capacity building in general. I had the opportunity to create and lead programs, including:
The Complete Fundraiser, a year-long program for small to mid-size organizations seeking to systematically improve their fundraising;
The Executive Director Program, a nine-month program for chief executive officers of small to mid-size nonprofits;
The Complete Organizer, a nine-month program to build systematic campaign and program planning, track citizen involvement, and create new leaders;
The Board University, a flexible day-long format for boards of directors;
and others, including strategic planning, region-wide initiatives in the Southeastern United States and campaign planning in Latin America.
Recently, in my consulting with LeadGreen I've focused on campaign and strategic planning and on best practices for strengthening citizen involvement. (See my study of building grassroots leadership in Honduras.) I've had the good luck to work with wonderful organizations overseas and with many river and watershed organizations in the U.S.
This has led me into methods to systematize volunteer management among grassroots organizations, and eventually to database systems which automate that. (Thus the WaterGrass database.) My dream is that there will one day be enough well-run environmental and conservation groups that every human on the planet will participate somehow in protecting the Earth.