We have the same issue in Texas too. There are several regional movements that are getting started or have been around for a while, and now we're starting to think about what role a 'statewide' organization would have. We'd tossed around the idea that the state group could serve an important funding role, obtaining grants and state funds and then distributing to the local groups as their needs dictated. We will probably be having a statewide 'powow' with all the regional groups to discuss what role we would like the state group to take, and how the structure would work. I'll report back when we have a better idea!
Alice - if you attended the National Grassroots Gathering either last year or this year, your cd contains information on the structure of New Hampshire's Children in Nature Coalition. Being a small state with plenty of non-profit organizations (and we don't need one more, competing for already limited funds), we have elected to use the coalition model. We're registered with the state as a Coalition, and function with a collaborative leadership team. The team is engaging in a training session in November in the collaborative approach, with the Interaction Institute for Social Change. Our coalition is structured in such a way that, should we in the future decide to become a 501c-3, we can readily outline bylaws, etc. It's an effective model for us, though requires a definite learning curve for those of us mostly familiar with the traditional board structure. Marilyn