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Purpose: Explore process and considerations to establish a Friends Group for Mojave National Preserve. Participants: Park: Dennis Schramm, Larry Whalon, Linda Slater Partners: Bob Killen, Jerry Freeman, Le Hayes, Nobby Riedy, Mike Cipra, David Lamfrom, Charlie Shrimplin Facilitator: Ray Murray Background: The majority of National Park System units have the benefit of support from a Friends Group. Mojave National Preserve could benefit from having a Friends Group. The Park has identified an initial list of project and program needs that could be implemented through assistance from a Friends Group. A group of interested individuals have expressed willingness to consider how best to form a Friends Group. Roles of Park Friends Groups: The primary focus of Friends Groups is to help raise funds to assist park projects and programs. Friends Groups often assist parks in creating a stronger community awareness of the park. Some Friends Groups also assist parks by taking on the education role of Cooperating Associations under a Cooperating Association Agreement and or assuming operational roles as a concessionaire or volunteer manager. See for more info. Park needs that the Friends could help meet: For starters Superintendent Dennis Schramm and staff highlighted a short list of park programs and projects that would greatly benefit from assistance from a Park Fiends Group. Parks define needs and Friends Groups determine whether they can generate donor support and resources to help meet those needs. Especially in a start-up situation, it is important to develop a list of compelling needs that will attract interest, support and board members. It is also important to include needs that can enable the Friends to realize an early track record of successes. Parks first cut of opportunities for the Friends Group: Community Outreach assist park with reaching various groups, especially diverse groups, within the high desert, Las Vegas, Inland Empire, LA Basin and Arizona. Communicate park awareness, mission, purpose, values, Recreational opportunities, volunteer opportunities, etc. Increase awareness/visibility of the Preserve and its features. Assist with park follow-up activities regarding Ken Burns

film release in fall 2009; use as opportunity to recruit new members to Friends Group. (March 19-20 Previews at SAMO and LV) 15th Anniversary of the Preserve is another community engagement opportunity in 2009. Assist park in development of branding materials for Preserve Raise funds for special projects or programs apply for grants, accept donations, solicit donors Oversee and manage art exhibits in Kelso Depot; recruit artists; secure donations - Beanery opening, Springtime visitation surge Fund school groups for day and overnight trips to Desert Studies Center and other park sites Help fund installation of fueling facility at Kelso Depot to help conserve fuel and staff time currently spent driving 70 miles roundtrip for vehicle fuel. E.g., Hole in the Wall $30,000 Procure sustainable small give away items for getting park message out at fairs and other venues; recyclable cloth bags, pencils, water bottles Purchase or assist donations of hybrid vehicles (especially plug-in) for park use Energy conservation Work closely with Baker-Kelso RR group to secure train cars and funding for heritage train VIP Train this Spring/April 2009 $80,000 2 trips 400 people AMTRAK Help recruit volunteers for various projects around Preserve Staffing of visitor center and information centers Campground hosts Work projects roadside cleanup, sign maintenance, Invasive species, grazing exclosures, camera steward, restoration projects, student service projects Opportunities for cultivating park philanthropy: There is a long continuum of philanthropic support to the National Park System that predates the National Park Service. The lead up to the 2016 NPS Centennial, the NPS Centennial Initiative, the national Centennial Capital Campaign, the August 2009 release of the Ken Burns Series on the National Parks on PBS all suggest focus more attention on the Publics park awareness, interest in visitation, and participation in park volunteerism, philanthropy and stewardship. The Preserve and a Friends Group can get off to a great start and capitalize on these initiatives. The 15th Anniversary of the Preserve offers another reinforcing opportunity for engagement. In anticipating who to engage in Park Philanthropy, it is important to focus on individuals who make up 82% of annual giving followed by foundations -13% and

corporations - 5%. More on Park Giving Trends and ways that park and Friends Groups enlist donations on Earned Income and Branding: Many charitable organizations develop earned income sources in addition to philanthropic support. This can dovetail with developing branding images and an awareness campaign for Mojave National Preserve as other parks have done. See This would start with developing a unifying and series of Preserve site/feature/speciesspecific iconic images for the Preserve have strong graphic public appeal and that can be featured on appropriate merchandise that is vended in and outside the Preserve and on-line. It is also important for the Friends to develop a distinctive brand with typeface, colors and images and a short mission phrase. Charlie Shrimplin suggested Sharon Schafer who does design work along these lines and has worked with desert images. Name: The group selected the name Friends of Mojave National Preserve. Founding Board Members: The following agreed to sign on as Friends Board Members Bob Killen, Jerry Freeman, David Lamfrom, Charlie Shrimplin. It is likely that a few others will join ASAP, e.g., Patrick (?). It is recommended that the Board recruit members that have the following professional skills: lawyer, banker or CPA, media/marketing/promotion. It is also important to select members who are comfortable with fundraising since that will be an essential function of the Friends. In order to incorporate, the founding Board will need to elect a President, Vice President Treasurer and Secretary. It is also important to have one or more persons who can act as a Sparkplug to keep things moving, focused and organized. Bob and David seem likely candidates. The Board needs 3 to incorporate but 5-6 are advisable for start up. For the near term, the Board should be 9-13 members and have latitude in the By-laws to add members as needed. Friends Mission and Goals: These should be drafted and refined ASAP. They will help in drafting the Articles of Incorporation and By-laws and recruiting Board members and support. Bob and David will take the lead on drafting these in the next 14 days. Ray will provide examples from other Park Friends Groups. The mission should be concise and inspirational. The goals should be clear.

Park Liaison with and Support to the Friends: To help launch and sustain a true partnership between the Preserve and the Friends, it is crucial that the Preserve by totally committed to ensuring a synergistic partnership. Dennis Schramm, Larry Whalon and Linda Slater are committed to doing whatever it takes and providing support and facilitation to the partnership. Once the Friends incorporate, this working relationship will be formalized in an Agreement. Ray can supply a template. Incorporation and 501(c)(3) tax exempt status: The Friends need to draft and adopt and file Articles of Incorporation, By-Laws and Minutes of the Meeting that Adopted them as a non profit corporation. Once drafted and filed, the incorporation approval from the Secretary of State is usually received in several weeks. Once received, the Friends can file with IRS for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with IRS. Ray can supply model papers. Often park friends group enlist pro bono support from a law firm. If the Friends elect to do this, make sure the pro bono attorney or law firm can devote immediate attention to drafting and filing. Otherwise it can drag on. It is also important to prepare all the inputs to those papers and the Friends has drafted upfront, the faster papers can be finalized and filed. There are modest filing fees. The Friends should soon adopt an initial portfolio of project/program initiatives and will have to project their first three years of anticipated budget and operations to file with IRS to show how they should qualify as a tax-exempt organization. Develop a basic 3-year Business Plan. Interim financing and banking services: Nobby will help to approach funding potential sources for up to $10,000 is start up assistance. Until the Friends get their 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt status, donors to the Friends cannot claim a tax deduction for their contributions. In the interim, Nobby will try to arrange a dedicated donor advised fund account for the Friends under the Community Foundation Serving Riverside and San Bernardino County to afford initial donors a tax deduction. Friends Website: Once the Friends Group is incorporated, they should post a website that can be linked to the Preserves website. This will afford identity, a point of contact and opportunities for online contributions. It is not to soon to enlist support in designing a website. Distances: The distances to be covered suggest that a critical number of Board members should be recruited from gateway communities. A lot of Board business can be conducted by conference calls and in committees. Face to face full Board meetings maybe 2-4 times year with a lot of business done in between. Meetings can be hosted by the Preserve in Barstow or in Baker.

Conclusion: Formation of the Friends of Mojave National Preserve is very timely. Based on the pre-meeting interest and work and the solid commitments made around the table, the Friends are off to a great start. The Regional Partnership Office will definitely provide assistance as needed.