All posts by Shannon Cherry

#GivingTuesday at Multiplier

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The giving season is just around the corner.

And at Multiplier, we know there are multiple ways to give and make a difference. And one great way is to participate on #GivingTuesday.

 

Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. This year it falls on November 27.

 

What’s in a name?

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I bet this has happened to you.  You’re trying to introduce someone to another, and you can’t remember the person’s name…it’s right there on the tip your tongue, but you just can’t seem to retrieve it fast enough.  It’s embarrassing… to everyone.   Why? We all understand that a name is important; it has meaning, it defines a person, and knowing and remembering it is one of the key arts of communication.

The same holds true for an organization’s name. Its name reflects the unique mission, style, approach and unique niche that leads others to value its work, and its brand.  It should be memorable, easy to retrieve, and entice its target market to learn more.

For quite some time, we’ve known that the Trust for Conservation Innovation no longer fully represents who we have become since our inception nearly 20 years ago. And, so our evolution to Multiplier began.

The Wayback Machine

Back in 2001, our organization was the brainchild of a forward-looking team at California Environmental Associates who saw the need for a mission-aligned, cost-effective nonprofit organization for a select portfolio of environmental conservation projects. Since our beginnings, we have provided fiscal sponsorship, fast access to 501c3 status, and a flexible administrative and operations platform, freeing up program teams to focus on mission and impact from day one. We’ve built our reputation around a unique “boutique” level of creative and flexible support. To this day, every project still receives the close personal attention that has become our hallmark, together with a direct investment in building the capacity of program teams to accomplish their goals.

A Changing Sector
Fast forward 15 years, and the environmental sector has evolved. Land, ocean and species conservation are still key to protecting and conserving our precious natural resources. Yet there is also a realization that growing threats to our planet and its people require more holistic solutions, both locally and globally. Reflecting this trend, our project portfolio has grown and now spans both crucial land and ocean conservation efforts and an array of cross-sector strategies in public health, environmental education, economic development, clean energy, climate resilience, sustainable food systems, energy efficiency, social and environmental equity, and more. During this same period, we also experienced tremendous growth, with annual revenue across the entire organization more than tripling in just three years. By the end of 2015, our name no longer reflected the intersectional work of many of our projects or the evolution and growth of the overall organization.

Accelerating Impact

In 2016, we went through an intensive year-long planning process that culminated in a revised mission, a new strategic direction, and a resource-enriched approach that deepens our support for projects and our investment in mission-driven impact. Since that time, we’ve put this commitment into action. Our core operations support team – our “backbone” team – has continued to provide the efficient, cost-effective administrative and operations support that is core to our success. And, in 2017, we also added an accelerator team, doubling the size of our staff and bringing in additional senior nonprofit experts to expand our capacity-building support. This infusion of expertise has allowed us to deepen our personalized, wrap-around supports to projects in areas critical to their success, including fundraising, program and leadership development, and outreach.

Our public name change from Trust for Conservation Innovation to Multiplier in mid-2018 aligns our public-facing brand with this accelerator model.

Why Multiplier? Because that’s what we do. Our backbone and accelerator teams work alongside program teams, creating a multiplier effect that helps turn game-changing ideas into planet-saving impact.

Come join us. After all, don’t we all want to protect and foster a healthy, sustainable, resilient and equitable world?

Questions for strengthening your thought leadership

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Often, when excited about an idea, many people jump into a tactic to get the word out before actually investing in time to strategize.

Let’s face it: it’s sexier to create a video, or redesign a website, or get an article published in a major magazine. It’s the ‘cool’ stuff, but if not done as part of a larger strategy, it often ends in lackluster results, wasting time and money.

What’s needed is… strategic thought leadership first.  Then, you can easily pick the best tactics to get the message out.

To start, ask yourself these questions:

  • What are the topics important to us? Often you can find answers when you take a look at your mission and vision.  What challenges are you trying to solve?
  • What’s our unique perspective on this? Audiences do not want to hear the same thing over and over again. Especially in the age when everyone has and shares an opinion, it’s important to find something different to say. It allows you to position you or your organization and rise above the noise. It’s what differentiates you from other voices. And it’s what your audience will remember.
  • Who wants to know this? Determine who are the people who would be interested in helping solve the problem.  (Unfortunately no matter how important the matter is to you and others, it won’t be everyone.) Identify who these people are and make a profile/avatar of the typical member of this audience (more on this in a later post). Once you know the audience’s characteristics, it will be easier to determine where and how to reach these people for the best engagement.  It will allow you to develop supporting stories that will gain interest.

Finally, when crafting any thought leadership strategy, it’s not enough to just share your opinion.  You also need to determine what action you want your audience to take now that they know your position.  Thought leadership is more than getting the ideas you want out there, it’s about having others embrace those ideas and work towards the mission alongside you.

Stay tuned for some profiles of some of  T4CI’s inspirational thought leaders in the upcoming weeks.

Step up and be heard with thought leadership

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The world is hungry for people with drive, ideas, and vision.

Our focus is to help people with  these characteristics create initiatives which protect and foster a healthy, sustainable, resilient, and equitable world.

Whether they grow and transplant juvenile coral to save our coral reefs or are the go-to resource about water in California… whether they work to encourage sustainable fishing or they educate students on becoming conscious leaders that contribute positively to the world… our projects are thought leaders.

What is “thought leadership”, you ask?  There are a lot of opinions on that.  Some say it’s a marketing technique.  Others say it’s about building trust that you are an authority in your field.

But essentially thought leadership is creating and sharing a big idea that influences how people perceive the world.  These big ideas are not only changing perception of the globe, but also changing the planet we live on. (Check out the variety of things our projects work on.  Follow the ones that inspire your own big ideas. )

As we help thought leaders throughout the world, our team has realized: we, too, are thought leaders on behalf of our collective.  It’s something we’ve been working on behind the scenes last year, and something that you’ll see more of in the days to come.

And in 2018, our goal is to share some of our own big ideas with the world as well.   The next post?  How to make thought leadership on target and strategic.

Save the koala

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We all know this cuddly bear with its round, furry ears and big nose. They look so cute carrying around their cub in the pouch or on its back. Sadly, the Koalas are an endangered species since most of its habitat is being cleared out.

On September 29, it’s Save the Koala Day where awareness about these furry little creatures is raised so that we can help conserve the Koalas and their homes.

The habitat that Koalas need to survive is increasingly being cleared, and 80 per cent of the Koala’s natural habitat has already been destroyed which have resulted in the extinction of local Koala populations. Only less than 80,000 Koalas are remaining, possibly as few as 43,000. If this rate of decline continues then the Koala is at risk of extinction.

So to spread some love and awareness about these cute, furry animals; Here’s five facts we bet you didn’t know about the koala:

Written by Lærke Vendel Steen, visiting communications and marketing intern from Denmark.

It’s apple season – and for good reason

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Since autumn is finally here, along comes one of our favorite treats: apples.  It’s no wonder we celebrate Johnny Appleseed on September 26th.

Plus, it doesn’t hurt as a good excuse for making yummy apple treats, or maybe a delicious apple pie!

On that day, we applaud the pioneer nurseryman, John Chapman, who spread apple seeds across the young Midwest United States and who we have to thank for apple trees all over America today!

John Chapman was an apple orchardist, traveling the young Mid Atlantic, planting trees on his way – whereas he was given the name Johnny Appleseed. During his travels, he would teach landowners how to establish nurseries of apple trees and how to keep deer and other animals from eating the sprouts. Appleseed was also an animal rights activist and condemned all cruelty towards all living creatures, even insects.

Considered ahead of his time, Johnny Appleseed became an icon of the conservation movement. He is truly an example of how one individual can make a great impact!

One of our projects, Save Our Urban Landscape (SOUL), has become a modern-day Johnny Appleseed.  By planting thousands of trees in the city of New Orleans, they are creating thriving urban forests which have a significant impact on the environmental challenges facing New Orleans.

And just like Johnny Appleseed, SOUL envisions growing and training a workforce of urban farmers who have the potential to play a viable role in green infrastructure. These farms can generate green jobs while also providing food access in marginalized neighborhoods.

But like Johnny Appleseed, remember that you, too, can make a difference. Support our own Johnny Appleseed of New Orleans with a tax-deductible donation to SOUL.

Written by Lærke Vendel Steen, visiting communications and marketing intern from Denmark.

Cute otters to celebration National Sea Otter Awareness Week

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Let’s face it:  sea otters are so cute we really don’t need a week to show our appreciation.

They aren’t just cute, however. The heaviest members of the weasel family, sea otters are also the second smallest marine mammals. Unlike other marine mammals, they do not have a layer of blubber to help them keep warm. Instead, sea otters have the densest fur in the animal kingdom, ranging from 250,000 to a million hairs per square inch, which insulates them.

Sea otters are a keystone species, meaning their role in their environment has a greater effect than other species. As predators, sea otters are critical to maintaining the balance of the near-shore kelp ecosystems. Without sea otters, the undersea animals they prey on would devour the kelp forests off the coast that provide cover and food for many other marine animals. Additionally, sea otters indirectly help to reduce levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, a prevalent greenhouse gas, as kelp forests play an important role in capturing carbon in coastal ecosystems.

So when their numbers diminished less than 100 years ago for their pelts, there were less than 2,000 on the planet. Today, however, they are making a comeback with just over 106,000 worldwide.

But forget the facts and just dive in with this cute video. (Come on, you know you can’t resist!)

What you can do to help our national public lands

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National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands.  Held annually on the fourth Saturday in September, it’s also a “fee-free day”, meaning your entrance fees are waived at national parks and other public lands.

The United States public lands are the places everyone to use for outdoor recreation, education, and just plain enjoyment.  The lands encompass national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges, forests, grasslands, marine sanctuaries, lakes, and reservoirs, as well as state, county, and city parks that are managed by public agencies, but that belong to and are enjoyed by all Americans.

In 1872, the creation of Yellowstone National Park began a tradition of setting aside some federally managed land for recreation and conservation. Since 1906, under the  Antiquities Act,  US presidents have been protecting areas of unique historic, scenic, or scientific interest from mining, logging, and other development.  Today, more than 30 percent of the United States is public lands.

Yet critics contend that some recently designated sites are too big, too burdensome on nearby communities, and don’t deserve national monument status. In April, President Donald Trump ordered the US Department of the Interior to review more than 25 public land sites created since 1996 to determine whether they should be reduced in size or eliminated altogether.

Trump’s executive order, however, has rekindled a long-simmering debate over how much of America’s public lands should be reserved for recreational and aesthetic purposes — or should they be used for their natural resources and potential jobs.

As the debate rages on, outdoor products companies large and small are coming together to voice concern over US public lands policy. In August, the CEOs of more than 350 American outdoor businesses signed a joint letter urging Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to maintain existing national monuments and to “defend the integrity of the monument-making process.”

Although the outdoor industry is waking up to realize they have a political voice, you have a voice, too. During National Public Lands Day show your support by using this day to visit the lands that give us so much. (And remember on the fourth Saturday of September, your admission to any park is free!) You can also show your support by joining Save Our Outdoors (free as well). When there,  you can change your Facebook profile picture to show your solidarity in saving public lands.

Appreciating – and helping – the elephants

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Favorite animal?  In a recent unscientific poll, most people say elephant.  And no wonder! They are currently the largest land animal and so interesting!

So much so we put together a video with more information on the animal that ‘never forgets.’  (It’s true!  Find out why in this video.)

How much do you know about farm animals?

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September 17-23 is National Farm Animal Awareness Week. From goats to pigs, from cows to horses, and everything in between, we all have a favorite.

And we wondered how much do you know about these important creatures?  Ready to find out?  Take our quiz (and share it too).

How much do you know about farm animals?

Take this farm animal quiz!