Board Opportunities

Saint Paul Parks Conservancy

Like you, we believe that exceptional parks and recreation facilities create safer, stronger and more welcoming neighborhoods for ALL families. The Conservancy is the champion of Saint Paul’s award-winning park system – especially neighborhood parks without ready access to government funding. The Conservancy has partnered on $2.5 M worth of park infrastructure projects, has identified the next $5M in capital projects, and is deepening its partnership with Parks and Rec around volunteering, advocacy, education and infrastructure.

Despite its history of fundraising success, the Conservancy has operated on less than a $30,000 operating budget in recent years, supported by two-dozen individual donations and nominal fees earned from capital fundraising campaigns. The board decided it was time to “go big or go home.”

According to the Trust for Public Land’s field-defining report Public Spaces/Private Money: The Triumphs and Pitfalls of Urban Park Conservancies, “While there is official financial threshold, annual revenues of $500,000 seem like a minimum for success… [that requires a] generous, well-connected, hardworking board of directors.”

To move forward, the Board commissioned the development of a five- year strategy, fundraising campaign and related feasibility study. The components of strategy and campaign are designed to strengthen the organization by raising significantly more operational and project capital funds over the next five years (2019 – 2023.)

This strategy:

  • Delivers a clear and engaging description of who the Conservancy is, what it values, prioritizes and does, and why parks matter;
  • Describes new opportunities to engage potential donors and park supporters;
  • Positions the Conservancy’s role in relationship to other stakeholders;
  • Sets an ambitious fundraising target and portfolio of projects for the next five years as the Board adopted a $5M funding target with $1M supporting operations, events, and communications and $4M invested directly into park projects; and,
  • Proposes to re-introduce the organization to key constituents, including current and potential donors, the Mayor’s office and other government officials, future partner organizations and the park-loving public.

Our 5 capital projects are:

  • Swede Hollow (East Side) – greater park access, increased visibility and sense of security, better gathering space, and historical/cultural interpretation
  • Margaret Park (East Side) and Wacouta Commons Park (downtown) – splash pads to bring much-needed recreational water to families during hot summers.
  • Frogtown Community Center (Midway) – a green roof will add outdoor recreation and fitness space with surprising views over the city.
  • Hamm Plaza (downtown) – building on the successful revitalization of Rice Park, this concrete structure will be more accessible, usable and green to bring joy to downtown workers, residents and visitors.
  • Ongoing commitment to Rice Park. The final element of the revitalization will be installed in 2021. The Conservancy will continue to manage the Rice Park Maintenance Fund with the St. Paul Garden Club and the Rice Park Association.

Annual budget: $385,000 million – Earned Income, Foundations, Individual Contributions, Government Grants or Contracts

Skills

Saint Paul Parks Conservancy is seeking board members with skills in the following areas:

  • Fundraising
  • Legal
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Strategic and Business Planning

Information

Number of members currently: 5

Meeting time and frequency: 12 meetings a year

Meeting location: St. Paul

Expectations

Time Expectation: Up to 5 hours/month
Committee requirement?: No
Length of Term: 1, 2, 3 year terms available
Renewable?: Yes

Questions about this board opportunity?

Address

380 Jackson Street, Suite 287, St. Paul, MN 55101

Mission

The Saint Paul Parks Conservancy raises funds and partners with the Department of Parks and Recreation and the community to enhance and expand parks and recreational facilities that meet the changing needs of people in our diverse and growing city.