Our state parks are natural treasures. Yet in recent years the Washington State Parks Foundation—which exists to build wide-ranging support for the parks—has been faced with legislative cuts and related budget shortfalls.
At the time the Foundation approached Collins for counsel in 2010, they employed only a half-time Executive Director; the rest of staff were a handful of passionate volunteers and interns. Faced with decreased state funding for the parks system, the Foundation and the state parks systems found themselves challenged to increase revenue and donations to close the gap.
Through a planning study that included 20 interviews with key constituents, Collins helped the Foundation explore the feasibility of becoming a true fundraising arm of the state park system that would generate contributed income and increase park membership. We then helped them to secure capacity building grants that resulted in the Foundation being able to hire a full-time Development Manager. Next, we worked with them to design a three-year development and communications plan that would prepare the Foundation for sustainable fundraising. The plan was designed to roll out in stages, addressing staffing, membership communications, donor database development, solicitations, and board recruitment and development.
The Washington State Parks Foundation is transforming into a member-driven organization focused on outdoor education and land stewardship. They are building a constituency of park supporters to sustainably fund existing as well as new projects that enhance recreational opportunities, restore habitat, and provide educational as well as event programming. Rather than operating on a shoestring budget, they are working towards developing a diverse and innovative fundraising portfolio that will ensure Washington residents and visitors will continue to enjoy our state parks for generations.
Collins exceeded our expectations because we got more than just results; we got insight into the direction we could go in the future.”
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR / WASHINGTON STATE PARKS FOUNDATION