AORE Annual Report 2016 - Page 4

Moving the

Needle

Executive Director, Jeannette Stawski, CAE

4

AORE continues to mature as a national nonprofit moving from organic to organized. The board, staff, volunteers and members are increasingly more adept and able to focus their time, energy, and resources on the standing projects and new initiatives that further the mission. AORE continues to be healthy and robust.

Indicators of AORE’s success are found in governance, office operations, and mission impact. In 2016, the board, building upon previous governance training sessions and coupled with board members’ expanding non-profit experiences, identified three annual priorities to further help focus and align its work. By identifying these priorities--membership, advocacy, and philanthropy--AORE is better able to articulate, implement and evaluate programs that support each priority. Here is a snapshot of our work that positively impacted the 2016 annual priorities:

Annual Priority #1

Membership: Grow membership and enhance experience.

NEW AND ENHANCED MEMBER BENEFITS. With the addition of a new website and membership database, membership has increased in value due to additional benefits including: modern website platform (CMS), intuitive membership portal (AMS), email marketing, message boards, news feed, job board, resume board and event calendar.

COMMUNICATIONS UPGRADE. AORE implemented professional, intentional, and informative communications. Members now receive a weekly digest email featuring job board, event calendar, and message board updates from the week. Association News, Partner News, and Outdoor Insider are all delivered via a digital magazine editor consistent with the modern technology expectations of the membership.

INCREASED MARKETING EFFORTS. We flexed our marketing muscle and posted regular updates to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. We also expanded our network by strategically marketing in the NIRSA e-newsletter, National Recreation Parks Association (NRPA) e-newsletter, Inside Outdoor magazine, Campus Rec magazine, Misadventures Mag website, AEE e-newsletter, Outdoor Nation e-newsletter, and various other strategic partner newsletters.

MEMBERSHIP DRIVE. Volunteers contacted more than 900 potential vendor members and a group of student development committee ambassadors conducted research on all outdoor recreation programs in colleges and universities across the country. This helped us recruit new members and conference attendees.

LISTENING TOUR. Regional member listening sessions took place in California, Florida, and Utah. Hosted by members and facilitated by myself, sessions identified both regional and national issues that members face as well as solutions AORE can provide.

Advocacy: Develop a stronger voice to advance outdoor recreation and education.

ACCESS & PERMITTING. AORE presents a unified member voice at the table on this issue. We are a steering committee member of the Coalition for Outdoor Access and we work with U.S. Forest Service and other public land managers to ensure that concerns of AORE member’s ability to access the outdoor classroom are heard. Thanks to these efforts, AORE member programs now have more timely information relative to changes in process and procedure for land access and assisting members in better understanding and engaging with the permitting process.

STUDENT ADVANCEMENT. Working with organizations such as Transforming Youth Outdoors, 21 Conservation Service Corps, the National Park Service, and the Association for Experiential Education, AORE identifies the staffing skills and needs of potential employers in our industry. To better serve our students, and support emerging leaders in this sector, we develop and deploy current and actionable materials, advice, and resources to empower student members. Committees and strategic partners are providing resources so members have the requisite skills and knowledge to not only pursue their outdoor career but make a lasting and positive impact on those they lead.

DIVERSITY. We have volunteers, staff, and members working to identify programs and organizations that can expand our breadth of knowledge and invite them to work alongside AORE providing tools, trainings, and educational programming for members as well as conference attendees. Our vision is for the entire AORE membership and organization to learn and grow through these connections and partnerships so that the opportunities for personal and community development through outdoor recreation and education continue to expand for everyone.

Development: Strengthen resources to preserve fiscal sustainability.

DEVELOPMENT EXPERTISE. AORE hired development consultant, Mia Axon, to work with myself, AORE staff and Board to help advance the philanthropic culture of the organization. Mia first looked at current and past fundraising efforts and initiatives, to offer recommendations for moving forward; and second, provided ongoing strategic fundraising counsel to AORE’s executive leadership and staff.

FUNDRAISING EFFORTS. AORE assessed past and current fundraising efforts and initiatives while developing an AORE donor database and new donor tracking mechanisms. We developed a compelling Case for Support for student development fundraising and published our first Impact Report featuring the student scholarships AORE awards. We also identified donor prospects and deployed the first AORE donor event and mailed donor appeal.

In 2016, AORE actively engaged in the issues and policies that affect our membership and industry. Motivated by our members and charged by the Board of Directors, AORE is strategically working to remove or lower the actual and perceived barriers that prevent our organization, our membership, and the outdoor industry from achieving success.

As Executive Director, I thank you for your dedication to advancing yourself and your professional development which directly impacts those that you lead and introduce to outdoor recreation and education. Together, we continue to maximize our efforts for our membership, while moving the needle for the entire industry.

Adventure On,

Jeannette Stawski, CAE

INCREASED MARKETING EFFORTS. We flexed our marketing muscle and posted regular updates to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. We also expanded our network by strategically marketing in the NIRSA e-newsletter, National Recreation Parks Association (NRPA) e-newsletter, Inside Outdoor magazine, Campus Rec magazine, Misadventures Mag website, AEE e-newsletter, Outdoor Nation e-newsletter, and various other strategic partner newsletters.

MEMBERSHIP DRIVE. Volunteers contacted more than 900 potential vendor members and a group of student development committee ambassadors conducted research on all outdoor recreation programs in colleges and universities across the country. This helped us recruit new members and conference attendees.

LISTENING TOUR. Regional member listening sessions took place in California, Florida, and Utah. Hosted by members and facilitated by myself, sessions identified both regional and national issues that members face as well as solutions AORE can provide.

Annual Priority #2

Advocacy: Develop a stronger voice to advance outdoor recreation and education.

ACCESS & PERMITTING. AORE presents a unified member voice at the table on this issue. We are a steering committee member of the Coalition for Outdoor Access and we work with U.S. Forest Service and other public land managers to ensure that concerns of AORE member’s ability to access the outdoor classroom are heard. Thanks to these efforts, AORE member programs now have more timely information relative to changes in process and procedure for land access and assisting members in better understanding and engaging with the permitting process.

STUDENT ADVANCEMENT. Working with organizations such as Transforming Youth Outdoors, 21 Conservation Service Corps, the National Park Service, and the Association for Experiential Education, AORE identifies the staffing skills and needs of potential employers in our industry. To better serve our students, and support emerging leaders in this sector, we develop and deploy current and actionable materials, advice, and resources to empower student members. Committees and strategic partners are providing resources so members have the requisite skills and knowledge to not only pursue their outdoor career but make a lasting and positive impact on those they lead.

DIVERSITY. We have volunteers, staff, and members working to identify programs and organizations that can expand our breadth of knowledge and invite them to work alongside AORE providing tools, trainings, and educational programming for members as well as conference attendees. Our vision is for the entire AORE membership and organization to learn and grow through these connections and partnerships so that the opportunities for personal and community development through outdoor recreation and education continue to expand for everyone.

Development: Strengthen resources to preserve fiscal sustainability.

DEVELOPMENT EXPERTISE. AORE hired development consultant, Mia Axon, to work with myself, AORE staff and Board to help advance the philanthropic culture of the organization. Mia first looked at current and past fundraising efforts and initiatives, to offer recommendations for moving forward; and second, provided ongoing strategic fundraising counsel to AORE’s executive leadership and staff.

FUNDRAISING EFFORTS. AORE assessed past and current fundraising efforts and initiatives while developing an AORE donor database and new donor tracking mechanisms. We developed a compelling Case for Support for student development fundraising and published our first Impact Report featuring the student scholarships AORE awards. We also identified donor prospects and deployed the first AORE donor event and mailed donor appeal.

In 2016, AORE actively engaged in the issues and policies that affect our membership and industry. Motivated by our members and charged by the Board of Directors, AORE is strategically working to remove or lower the actual and perceived barriers that prevent our organization, our membership, and the outdoor industry from achieving success.

As Executive Director, I thank you for your dedication to advancing yourself and your professional development which directly impacts those that you lead and introduce to outdoor recreation and education. Together, we continue to maximize our efforts for our membership, while moving the needle for the entire industry.

Adventure On,

Jeannette Stawski, CAE