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Here in Ohio we have 2 strong local collaboratives and a few that are starting out.
We are beginning work on some statewide events, work, etc.

Does anyone have experience with this? We are wondering about structure (a statewide 501c3 with local chapters? or a looser dynamic?) and other issues.

We are also planning a big statewide event.

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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!
Do your regional groups already have nonprofit status? Or are they working under fiscal agents?
Our regional group is about to seek nonprofit status, but we are tossing around whether it might be better to do that as a statewide entity...

Elizabeth Renton said:
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 and Elizabeth,
This is a discussion that will be growing in the months and years ahead: how to organize most effectively and efficiently. I don't think one size fits all and there are any number of solutions. There are two statewide networks that I know about which offer their own structures: statewide after-school program networks and statewide child care resource and referral networks. The former is an umbrella organization in each state that supports all after-school program organizations with technical assistance, advocacy, professional development training, and other support services. The latter is a similar umbrella organization in each state that supports licensed childcare providers. They are both networks of networks, and many of the state leaders are active members of the Children and Nature Network. They have been where you want to go. I suspect there are chapters of these statewide umbrella networks in Ohio and Texas. Let me know if you need help identifying your state leaders. John
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
Attachments:
Wow Marilyn! This is fascinating! Thank you so much for sharing these documents. Who is the fiscal agent at this time?

Marilyn Wyzga said:
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

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