Betty Jo Tompkins, executive director of the Hillsborough Soil and Water Conservation District, presented this month at the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) annual meeting in New Orleans.
Tompkins said she was pleased to have so many attendees sign up to get additional information related to her Feb. 14, 2023 breakout session, Successfully Funding Your District Through Government, Grants, Events and Activities. Click below to download and review the 34-slide presentation.HSWCD NACD 2023 PDF Version.pdf
Both in her talk and with slideshow visuals, Tompkins addressed a myriad of ways for soil and water conservation districts, in Florida and throughout the country, to secure resources of time, talent and treasure in the work to support agriculture and preserve natural resources.
"It was really exciting to have a standing- room-only crowd in attendance, with attendees from virtually all over the United States," Tompkins said, about her NACD presentation. ""Enthusiastic, excited conservationists who are committed to their districts and love the idea that, as we like to say in Hillsborough County, 'Conservation is everybody's business.' "
According to Tompkins, "it is a universal fact that conservation districts, like so many other entities, are always in need of additional revenue streams to be able to build their programs, projects and activities." Moreover, Tompkins said, "people were especially inspired at the level of commitment and support the Hillsborough Soil and Water Conservation District gets from the business and corporate community, as well as from civic groups, youth organizations and governmental entities."
Among the key points raised in the HSWCD presentation, Tompkins said it is imperative to know what you want before you ask and to be specific in the details of your request.
"One of the things I emphasize is the importance of realizing that monies are not the only important resource," Tompkins said. "Just as critical are in-kind contributions, volunteer hours and the general goodwill that people build when it comes to supporting vital conservation needs."
From the start, a good ask is a strong ask, and be generous with your praise. As Tompkins put it, "Make the appropriate ask, and be specific, and equally important, always show your gratitude."