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Standards & Practices Curriculum

Looking for “How-To” guides? Our new books are more than just course books – they contain essential knowledge for land conservation. The publications also help land trusts learn how to implement the Land Trust Standards and Practices indicator practices that are needed for accreditation. The curriculum works in concert with The Learning Center to provide land trusts with resources to enhance their ability to secure long-term protection of conserved land.

Strong Organizations

Building the Foundation for Fundraising Success 4/10

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Building the Foundation for Fundraising Success

Author: Marc Smiley, 2009
Org Member Price: $20.95 | Download Free!
Regular Price: $25.95 | Download $14.00

Take your fundraising to the next level by ensuring that you're raising money in an effective and ethical manner. This course provides an overview of the fundamentals of fundraising and the ethical and legal considerations that go along with raising funds. You will learn how to track fundraising expenses and determine what percentage of your overall organizational budget is spend on fundraising. Practices covered: 5A-Legal and Ethical Practices; 5B-Accountability to Donors.
Determining Stewardship Costs and Raising and Managing Dedicated Funds 4/10

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Determining Stewardship Costs & Raising and Managing Dedicated Funds

Authors: Paul Doscher, Brenda Lind, Ellen Sturgis and Chris West, 2007
Org Member Price: $24.95 | Download Free!
Regular Price: $32.95 | Download $14.00


How much will it cost your land trust to manage a conservation easement for the long haul? Arriving at a realistic figure is tricky—but essential—if you are going to keep your promises. In this book you will learn how to calculate the full stewardship expenses of conservation easements and fee land parcels. Practices Covered: 6F-Investment and Management of Financial Assets and Dedicated Funds; 11A-Funding Easement Stewardship; 12A-Funding Land Stewardship.
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Financial Management of Land Trusts

Authors: Kay Sohl and Eric Rowley, 2009
Org Member Price: $24.95 | Download Free!
Regular Price: $32.95 | Download $14.00


"We all need money, but there are degrees of desperation" – Anthony Burgess. Learn how to manage your land trust's finances so that you are equipped to protect the land you love. In this course you will receive an overview of how to create budgets, track income and expenses using financial reports and provide adequate oversight of your organization's finances.

 

A Guide to Risk Management for Land Trusts

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A Guide to Risk Management for Land Trusts

Authors: Melanie Lockwood Herman, 2014
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Regular Price: $25.95 | Download $14.00


This book provides an introduction to risk management in order to equip your land trust with information, resources and suggested strategies for designing and implementing a practical risk management program.

Responsible Governance

Avoiding Conflicts of Interest and Running an Ethical Land Trust 4/10

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Avoiding Conflicts of Interest and Running an Ethical Land Trust

Author: Konrad Liegal, Esq., 2006
Org Member Price: $16.95 | Download Free!
Regular Price: $20.95 | Download $14.00


Can you name all of the disqualified persons in your organization? Do you know what to do if a major donor asks to amend her conservation easement? How will your land trust fare if its operations come under close media or IRS scrutiny? If the answers to these questions keep you awake at night, then this book is for you. Practices Covered: 4A-Dealing with Conflicts of Interest; 4C-Transactions with Insiders; 1D-Ethics

Land Trust Boards: Preparing for Perpetuity 4/10

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Land Trust Boards: Preparing for Perpetuity

Author: Marc Smiley, 2007
Org Member Price: $20.95 | Download Free!
Regular Price: $25.95 | Download $14.00


A good board is the cornerstone of a successful land trust. How does your board measure up? This book covers the legal, ethical and fiduciary responsibilities of the board; the roles and responsibilities of individual board members; and the link between a strong board and land conservation success. Practices Covered: 3B-Board Composition; 3C-Board Governance; 3F-Board Approval of Land Transactions; 2B-Nonprofit Incorporation and Bylaws.
Volume 1: Nonprofit Law and Recordkeeping for Land Trusts 4/10

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Nonprofit Law and Recordkeeping for Land Trusts – Volume I: Complying with Federal, State and Local Law

Author: Jane Prohaska, 2007
Org Member Price: $20.95 | Download Free!
Regular Price: $25.95 | Download $14.00


This book is the first part of a two-part series that gives you what you need to know about the legal requirements for operating a land trust. The book will cover the issue of tax exemption, including the major requirements for maintaining charitable tax-exempt status and an overview of IRS Form 990. Practices Covered: 2A-Compliance with Laws; 2B-Nonprofit Incorporation and Bylaws; 2C-Tax Exemption; 2D-Records Policy; 9G-Recordkeeping; 6B-Financial Records
Volume 2: Nonprofit Law and Recordkeeping for Land Trusts 4/10

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Nonprofit Law and Recordkeeping for Land Trusts – Volume II: Recordkeeping Essentials for Land Trusts

Author: Jane Prohaska, 2008
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Regular Price: $25.95 | Download $14.00


This book is the second part of a two-part series that gives you what you need to know about keeping good organizational and transaction records. You will learn how to develop and implement policies to guide how your land trust creates, collects, retains, stores, protects and disposes of these types of records. Practices Covered: 2A-Compliance with Laws; 2B-Nonprofit Incorporation and Bylaws;2C-Tax Exemption; 2D-Records Policy; 9G-Recordkeeping; 6B-Financial Records
Mission, Planning and Capacity 4/10

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Mission, Planning and Capacity

Author: Jean Hocker, 2008
Org Member Price: $16.95 | Download Free!
Regular Price: $21.95 | Download $14.00

A land trust’s mission is its compass, guiding board and staff in all of their work. Is your compass pointing in the right direction? If not, take this book and get your land trust back on the right path. This book will give you the knowledge and tools to lead your land trust in a review and, if necessary, revision of your mission.Practices Covered: 1A-Mission; 1B-Planning and Evaluation; 7A-Capacity

Land Protection

Strategic Conservation Publication

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Strategic Conservation Planning

Author: Ole Amundsen III, 2011
Org Member Price: Price $21.95 | Download Free!
Regular Price: $26.95 | Download $14.00


According to the 2010 National Land Trust Census, land trusts that had strategic conservation plans protected twice as much land as land trusts without plans. Strategic Conservation Planning will help you visualize a future for your community and chart a course to realize that vision. Because your actions today will determine the parks, working farms, forests and scenic landscapes your children and grandchildren will enjoy, it pays to be careful in how you use your resources to ensure you save the right land. This publication provides you with the process and tools to identify, prioritize, pursue and protect the land that will most effectively and efficiently achieve your conservation mission.

What land conservationists are saying:

“The Strategic Conservation Planning guide is a thorough how to manual that explains the big-picture reasons for engaging in strategic planning, as well as giving step-by-step instructions with plenty of sample documents and case studies. This book is an invaluable resource, as our now dog-eared copy can attest.”

 

Acquiring Book

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Acquiring Land and Conservation Easements

Authors: MaryKay O'Donnell and Monica Henderson, 2009
Org Member Price: $20.95 |
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Regular Price: $25.95 | Download $14.00

If land protection is the cornerstone of conservation, learn how to make the acquisition process a solid foundation on which to build your organization’s work. Get an overview of laws on title to property, steps to take in acquiring land, and how to work with attorneys to ensure sound transactions and take care of title matters to make sure that your conservation efforts stand the test of time.
Selling and Transferring Land and Conservation Easements 4/10

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Selling and Transferring Land and Conservation Easements

Authors: Laurie Hunter and Margaret Kohring, 2009
Org Member Price: $20.95 | Download Free!
Regular Price: $25.95 | Download $14.00

From time to time a land trust may need to sell or transfer its land or conservation easements. But how do you ensure that the land’s conservation values are protected once it leaves your control? Take this course so that you can fulfill your obligations to your donors and to the land. This course will provide an overview of the ethical considerations and technical steps involved in selling and transferring lands or interests in land held by the organization.
Evaluating and Selecting Conservation Projects 4/10

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Evaluating and Selecting Conservation Projects

Authors: Jane Ellen Hamilton and Jonathan Moore, 2007
Org Member Price: $20.95 | Download Free!
Regular Price: $25.95 | Download $14.00

Has your land trust ever struggled with deciding whether or not to accept a conservation easement? Ever regretted accepting an easement? Think your project planning process could be improved but not sure where to start? After reading this book, you will know the important elements of a site visit and how to use data gathered from the site visit for baseline documentation reports or management plans. You will learn how to create customized acquisition criteria and project planning forms. Practices Covered: 8B-Project Selection and Criteria; 8G-Project Planning; 8D-Public Benefit of Transactions; 8E-Site Inspection

Tax Benefits and Appraisals of Conservation Projects 4/10

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Tax Benefits and Appraisals of Conservation Projects

Authors: Larry Kueter and Mark Weston, 2007
Org Member Price: $20.95 | Download Free!
Regular Price: $25.95 | Download $14.00

 

This book provides an overview of issues involved with appraising conservation projects and the 2006 changes to the federal law affecting donations of conservation easements. You will become familiar with the different components of IRC §170(h), Forms 8282 and 8283, and will be able to explain a “qualified contribution” and “qualified donee.” You will learn the basic techniques appraisers use in putting a value on conservation easements. Practices Covered: 10A-Tax Code Requirements; 10B-Appraisals


"“Tax Benefits and Appraisals of Conservation Projects is a great resource. The complexity of the Treasury Regulations, combined with the increased scrutiny of the IRS, makes analysis of the potential tax benefits of conservation projects quite challenging. This book provides straightforward answers and practical guidance.”
—Pat Anderson, executive director, Northern Prairies Land Trust (SD)

 

NOTE: The enhanced easement incentive discussed in chapter 2 of this publication was recently renewed for 2013 and 2013. For the latest information on the incentive and the campaign to make it permanent, please visit http://www.landtrustalliance.org/policy

Conservation Easement Drafting and Documentation 4/10

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Conservation Easement Drafting and Documentation

Author: Jane Ellen Hamilton, 2008
Org Member Price: $24.95 | Download Free!
Regular Price: $32.95 | Download $14.00


This book will give you an overview of how to plan conservation easement projects, draft the easement to fit the plan, and prepare baseline documentation materials to support the monitoring and enforcement of the easement. You will learn how to draft a baseline documentation policy or procedure for your land trust, and how to work with professionals to create comprehensive baseline reports and maps. Practices Covered: 8G-Project Planning; 9E-Easement Drafting; 11B-Baseline Documentation Report

It is always by my side!
—Donna Delany, Stewardship Coordinator, French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust (PA)

Stewardship

Managing Conservation Easements in Perpetuity 4/10

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Managing Conservation Easements in Perpetuity

Author: Leslie Ratley-Beach, 2009
Org Member Price: $20.95 | Download Free!
Regular Price: $25.95 | Download $14.00

Learn how to manage change more effectively so your conservation easements will still be here tomorrow. You will learn to distinguish between easement defense and enforcement, develop a system to educate landowners and take the first steps in drafting an enforcement policy to safeguard what you have worked so hard to protect. Practices Covered: 9G-Recordkeeping; 11E-Enforcement of Easements; 11I-Amendments.
Conservation Easement Stewardship 4/10

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Conservation Easement Stewardship

Author: Renee J. Bouplon, 2008
Org Member Price: $20.95 | Download Free!
Regular Price: $25.95 | Download $14.00

This book will give you an overview of how to monitor your easements and build long-term relationships with landowners (the key to long-term success with easements). You will learn the different methods for monitoring easements; how to select and implement the method that works best for your land trust; and how to use a baseline documentation report to protect the land. Practices Covered: 11D-Landowner Relationships; 11B-Baseline Documentation Report; 11C-Easement Monitoring
Caring for Land Trust Properties 4/10

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Caring for Land Trust Properties

Authors: Hugh Brown and Andrew Pitz, 2009
Org Member Price: $20.95 | Download Free!
Regular Price: $25.95 | Download $14.00


How can you be a good guest and care for the land you have been entrusted with? In this book you will learn to manage properties more effectively. The course discusses the different types of land management plans and how to select the right one for your land trust. You will learn how to create policies for developing management plans and monitoring properties in your care. Practices Covered: 8G-Project Planning; 12C-Land Management; 12D-Monitoring Land Trust Properties; 12E-Land Stewardship Administration
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