Capacity building means establishing resources needed to fulfill a mission or achieve a goal. U.S. EPA recognizes that watershed groups and local governments need a range of tools to effectively manage their local land and water resources. This Web site is designed to assist groups in developing knowledge by providing a compendium of Web-based and printed resources and tools.
Facilitation Skills: Helping Groups Make Decisions (book) by Gregory Putz (check your local library or bookstore):
Group decision-making is hard work! A good facilitator makes it much less painful. Watershed coordinators often find themselves in this role, without having any prior training. This book contains the essential practices of facilitation, as well as some do’s and don’ts and FAQs.
Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision Making (book) by Sam Kaner, Lenny Lind, Catherine Toldi, and Sarah Fisk (check your local library or bookstore):
This techniques-oriented book will take you through the mechanics of facilitation.
Coping with Difficult People (book) by Robert Bramson:
The “bully.” The “complainer.” The “conversation dominator.” If your watershed group doesn’t have at least one personality that is “hard to love,” you may not have found all of the stakeholders you need! This book outlines several different personalities that can be difficult to manage in a group and provides very practical advice on how to counter their behaviors. This resource is so useful for committee meetings with strong personalities that it should be required reading. A presentation from the NRCS [PDF] that covers some key concepts from the book is also on-line.
Watershed issues can stir strong emotions. Get your meetings started on the right foot by establishing ground rules earlyin the process (at the first meeting). Ground rules provide a corral around the conversation and tone of meetings so that everyone is respected and treated fairly.
Boardsource.org is an online reference site for nonprofit boards of directors. Their knowledge center includes articles and ebooks on a wide array of topics from recruitment and orientation to fundraising. Though geared specifically to nonprofits, the information provided at this site should apply to many watershed groups, regardless of their tax status.
An online resource site with articles for for-profit and nonprofit board operations and governance. Though geared specifically to boards of incorporated organizations, the information provided at this site should apply to many watershed groups, regardless of their tax status.
This material provides a primer as to the purpose, components and conduction of strategic planning. It includes multiple sections/modules and tools to assist with strategic planning. It is useful for groups that are thinking about undertaking strategic planning. However, if you have never conducted strategic planning before, this will not lead you step by step through the process.
This Web-based article addresses the purpose of a mission statement and provides examples of mission statements, plus additional mission-related resources. This article is useful when your group is preparing to draft a mission statement.
“Business plan” is a buzzword in watershed management in Indiana these days. This newsletter article from the Alliance for Nonprofit Management lays out the purpose of business planning and compares business planning to strategic planning.
In addition to providing basic information on forming a nonprofit organization, this article from the River Alliance of Wisconsin also includes content and a series of questions that can help groups determine whether or not they should form an organization.
This “job description” includes some true duties to post and some tongue-in-cheek language to help your group remember what it is asking the watershed coordinator to do! It is the perfect remedy for a burned-out coordinator, steering committee, board of directors, etc.
Step by step process for hiring an employee. Includes sample job descriptions, assessment tools, interview questions to ask and avoid, and transitional tips to make the move into your organization easier.