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The COAC Platform

Capacity Building for 21st Century Conservation Projects
This presentation is by Betsey Merkel, Consultant,
and is shared under a Creative Commons license,
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC
BY-NC-SA which means you can share and adapt
materials with attribution, for non-commercial
purposes, and distribute under share-alike
licensing.

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History
History as of January 25, 1969
● A small group of people came
together
● No contact existed between
chapters unless accidental
● A statewide organization was
“wanted and needed”
● The Ohio Audubon Council was
formed
History as of 2002 (33 years later)
Updated COAC By-Laws and Mission
Statement

● A new name was adopted: Council of Ohio
Audubon Chapters (COAC)
● COAC is to “aid chapter development in
strength, growth, and leadership through
dialogue and networking between the
Chapters, Audubon Ohio, and the National
Audubon Society; and to provide an
independent, collective voice of Ohio
chapters and affiliates in all Audubon
affairs.”
● National Audubon representation
● At least two inter-chapter forums/meetings
per year
History as of 2006 (4 years later)
“COAC Strategic Plan of 2006”
1. Updated mission, vision, values.
2. Summary of core strategies, goals &
objectives:
a. Communicate and collaborate
with Audubon Ohio and other
entities.
b. Review proposals COAC receives
to see if they are within our
mission to fulfill.
Audubon flourishes
c. Work with chapters that want our in 60% of Ohio
help.
History as of 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009,
2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016...
History as of 2017 (11 years later)
● Audubon activity has declined 50% in
the State of Ohio.

● The COAC chapters meet Oct 2017 to
reconnect.

● In March 2018 COAC chapters voted to fund
the construction of an Internet platform to
connect all chapters in a network.

● Provided we can identify funding for the
maintenance of the platform in years 2 & 3
How do we keep
COAC moving
forward?
Build a hub of Internet-based
tools called a “platform”
● Library

● Operations
“Platforms deliver hosted services over the
Internet.” - Wikipedia ● Collaboration

● Publishing

● Marketing

● Ecommerce

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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
In 1969, COAC was a small council of people who would meet in person, talk on the phone, and
send letters USPS.

In 2018, COAC will become an
Internet-based platform for
everyone.
To connect
next gen
Audubonners
Could COAC function without a
platform?
● If a chapter does not publish new material
to its website and social media every day,
it will be only be found by those who know
it’s there - that’s static.

● By publishing and posting every day to a
● Yes, but not as well as it could. platform, search engines elevate content
● All of the chapters have their own website so everyone on a computer or device will
but they are probably static. see it - that’s dynamic.
● A COAC platform will be dynamic.
What will the COAC Platform do?
● Connect the chapters in a network. ● Raise funds.

● Develop relationships. ● Connect people to policy issues.

● Foster communications. ● Deepen member involvement.

● Enable chapters to interact with each ● Grow conservation projects.
other.
● Expedite network learning.
● Recruit volunteers
● Share ideas and practices.
● Grow memberships
● Connect next gen Audubonners

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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
How will the COAC Platform do these
things?

● Market each chapter’s activities to anyone ● Enable chapters to sell their merchandise
who wants to see them online and on their on the platform so anyone can buy it.
devices. ● Enable all chapters to keep up with each
● Recognize every chapter’s brand. other’s social media posts.
● Track what readers like about other
chapters.
Who - Project Manager and Developer
Betsey Merkel is an experienced professional ● Orchestrate events and campaigns
platform developer who builds and manages
platforms and the services they offer. A website ● Publish and market content on social
doesn’t have these services. media

What I do: ● Manage contributed chapter stories,
media, activities, events, articles, reports
● Produce creative digital media
● Build relationships online and face to face
● Analyze content metrics to understand
audiences and identify opportunities ● Guide collaborations

● Advise leadership informed by content ● Coach, mentor, and train users
metrics results

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What are we trying to accomplish?
● COAC chapters voted in March 2018
to fund the construction of a platform.

● The construction is occurring this
year provided, we can identify
funding for maintenance of the
platform in years 2 & 3.

● We need to raise between $10,000
to $20,000 to fund the platform
costs in years 2 & 3.
Ways to Fund the COAC Platform
● Memberships ● Campaigns

● Small contributions to ● Collaborations
‘Big Asks’
● Grants
● Programs and services
● Chapter fees, sliding
● Sponsors scale

● Store ticketing, sales,
coupons 18
Copyright © Betsey Merkel
Thank you!

Betsey Merkel, Consultant

The COAC Platforms, Digital Strategy, Multimedia

Platform Producer, Social Network Developer

Email: betseymerkel@gmail.com
Capacity Building for 21st
Century Conservation Phone: 216-246-2447
Projects

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Thank You Photographs: Tom Fishburn

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