Special Services & Grants

These opportunities are available to Wisconsin land trusts by a periodic application process.  As a service to the land trust community we develop customized programming that promotes quality land conservation and fosters excellence.  We are able to heavily subsidize these programs and learning opportunities thanks to the generosity of our LEAP supporters, including the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Midwest Peer Mentoring Program

The Peer Mentoring Program fosters relationships and advances learning and sharing opportunities within the land trust community through group calls, online discussions, in-person gatherings, and site visits.

The 2015-2016 program includes Executive and Associate Directors, Land and Stewardship, Fundraising and Communications, and Community Conservation peer groups. Program participants, primarily staff at Wisconsin and Michigan land trusts, applied and have made a commitment to the two-year program through November 2016.

Other interested individuals are welcome to join online peer discussion, quarterly conference calls, and to register for peer gatherings. Please contact us for more information.

Anyone who is interested is encouraged to attend the Fundraising and Communications Peer Gathering, Sunday, November 8 – Tuesday, November 10, 2015 in Novi, Michigan. A one-day training on Best Practices for a Mature Development Program on November 9 is part of the program. Find out more and register by October 22nd!

Gathering Waters partners with the Land Trust Alliance and Heart of the Lakes to offer this program that matches peers of similar experiences to learn from one another as a component of both ACE (Accelerating Conservancy Excellence) and LEAP (Land Trust Excellence & Advancement Program).

Services & Grants by application

Through the Land Trust Excellence & Advancement Program, we're pleased to offer grants to the Wisconsin land trust community for independent projects. This opportunity is open to all member land trusts on a competitive basis. Sign up for our technical e-bulletin, Currents, to get updates on new opportunities.

Periodically, we accept applications from land trusts on a competitive basis in the following categories:

  1. Guided assessment using Land Trust Standards & Practices as a guide.
  2. Mentoring services from the Land Trust Alliance and Gathering Waters to implement an element of Land Trust Standards & Practices. 
  3. Small grants ($1,000-$5,000) to be used to accomplish a needed activity that propels a land trust to a higher level of performance.

2013-2014 LEAP Grants included these exciting endeavors:

  • An endowment campaign for Baird Creek Preservation Foundation
  • A trailfinder mobile application for Bayfield Regional Conservancy
  • Board development for Glacial Lakes Conservancy
  • New membership software for Kettle Moraine Land Trust
  • A new website re-design for Northwoods Land Trust
  • New communications tools for West Wisconsin Land Trust
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