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EO Quarterly Report April 2024

April 2024–Quarterly Report to the Conservation Districts

Nonprofit status-benefit to Conservation Districts in Montana

The EO was recently granted nonprofit status by the IRS and we have gotten questions in the past few months about what that means for Conservation Districts in Montana and how it will benefit CD Employees. MCDEO was informally created in 1994. In 1994, email was just really getting going and zoom was unheard of. We had 58 districts whose employees were essentially “on their own”. The need was identified, and those forward-looking employees formed a group to share knowledge, support and resources with each other.

Our stated mission is:

  • To assist in developing and furthering the interest, objectives, and purposes of Montana Conservation Districts by providing training and support to their employees;
  • to foster and promote charitable and educational purposes designed to further the principles of soil and water conservation and stewardship, water conservation and stewardship;
  • to provide a professional network for conservation district employees to better prepare them to promote natural resource conservation in Montana and their local conservation districts to the general public;
  • to assist in the implementation of district programs providing natural resource conservation to private landowners benefiting the public good

Given our mission, nonprofit status will allow our organization to find funding to increase the capacity of the organization to better fulfill our mission by boosting training type and availability. We are exploring the availability of things like TechSoup, which has offers for software and tech services to nonprofits, as well as grants and other funding sources to benefit districts.

To learn more about the EO and what we do and provide, see our website at https://employees.macdnet.org.

CD Projects & Programs Mini Library

One of the questions we often get is about how to start a new project or program in a District. The MACD Education Work Group came up with the idea of creating a template for CDs to fill out about their projects and programs. This template was sent out with a request for Districts to fill out one for each project or program) if they wanted, and to return them to Chris Evans at chris@lewisandclarkcd.org. These will be sorted and will create a mini-library of ideas on the EO website as a resource for CDs who are looking for new ideas for their district to start. If your district didn’t get a link to the template or the pdf form, let Chris know at the above email address.

MCDEO Spring Board Meeting

The MCDEO will be having our Spring Board meeting on June 12th during the MACD Spring Board meeting week. We will be meeting at the DNRC Montana Room at 1539 11th Avenue in Helena and also available via Zoom from 2:30-5:30. We will be reviewing the new framework of the organization’s strategic plan, for which we’ll be seeking feedback and ideas from our members. Those will be incorporated into the plan as possible, and the final draft will be available for review by the MCDEO Fall Membership meeting. Following the Spring Board meeting, in-person attendees are invited to take part in the MACD Sponsored dinner at Ten Mile Brewery.

NCDEA in Billings, August 19-23, 2024

The National Conservation District Employees Association will be having their mid-year meeting in Billings this year. CD Employees from the region will be able to participate for 2 of the days that week (TBD). The MCDEO is developing ideas for those 2 days (tours and training) and will continue working with their planning committee. We would encourage all employees to attend if they are able. The MCDEO will have some travel scholarships available for that event. 

Dues invoices have been sent 

Dues invoices have been sent out to all the Conservation Districts. Employees can pay these dues ($30 annually per employee) or the Conservation Districts can pay the dues for their employees. These dues are a very small part of the funding that we use for travel scholarships for employees to attend events, meetings and training. These dues also allow members to attend training at half the cost of non-members.

If you have not received your dues invoice, contact the MCDEO Treasurer, Robbie Savelkoul at treasurer.eo@macdnet.org to let her know.

CD Training Needs Survey

We have an ongoing survey for Districts to contribute needed training ideas. You can also find this link on the Resources and Training page of the EO website at https://employees.macdnet.org/conservation-district-resources at the bottom of the tab for Roundtables/Training.

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