Protect State Funding for Conservation

Gathering Waters must raise $200,000 between now and March 2019.

We have $90,000 in pledges from individuals and organizations but we need YOU to be successful. 

We are asking Wisconsin land trusts and other organizations that benefit from the Stewardship Program, to make significant financial contributions to this effort.  

Your help will allow us to focus on the most effective strategies to reach our elected officials. One strategy will be to personally meet with elected officials and a select group people in their circle of influence at events or in their offices (Grasstops). A parallel strategy will mobilize people who are concerned about land and water protection in Wisconsin by asking them to write letters or call the election officials in their districts (Grassroots). 

We've started these efforts, but to make a real difference we also need help from individuals and family foundations. Please make a donation today. Or, if you or someone you know would like to discuss how a larger gift could make the biggest impact, please contact Development Director, Mindy Petersen, CFRE, at (608) 251-9131 ext.,15 or email her at

To meet our goals we have:

  • Contracted with a  professional Government Relations firm with a communications professional that specializes in advocacy to help us target our messaging with direct mail, calls, and social media ads firm with knowledge of government processes and access to lawmakers and officials of both political parties. The Schreiber GR Group will really be the engine behind our “Grasstops” engagement strategy, as they will help us to directly connect elected officials with constituents.We worked with the Schreiber GR Group during the last reauthorization effort in 2007, then again in 2011 and 2015. Their relationships in the State Capitol—especially with key Republican legislators—provides us access to meetings at the most critical moments in the state budget process. They are also invaluable in helping us to schedule in-district meetings between elected officials and constituents back in their districts and in providing strategic advice. The total contract with the Schreiber GR Group over two years is nearly $140,000, with $84,000 of that cost slated for calendar year 2019. 

  • Contracting with professional communications firm to run a digital engagement and patch-through call program in targeted legislative districts. This combination of digital video engagement targeting voters, coupled with an interactive phone patch program, will yield an influx of grassroots support and will allow us to reach new audiences beyond just the land trust community. Utilizing a phone patch program will put supportive voters/constituents directly in touch with targeted legislators and their offices to support the funding bill.  We will set a goal for each office and a timeline for engagement.  Live operators contracted by the communications firm would then call up voters in each of our targeted districts or organization supporters (if we decide to do automated patches instead, they will hear a recorded voice). Using a script, the call operators concisely explain the funding issue and why it's important the voter's legislator hears their voice. We then ask if they're willing to be patched to their legislator's office. If they say yes, we explain what will happen once we transfer their call, and remind them what they should say once they're patched. Then, the call operator transfers the call. When the call is transferred, the targeted office will see the phone number of the constituent, and only the constituent will be on the line, as if the call originated from the constituent. Digital engagement and patch-through call program: $100,000.
  • Online platform embedded in our website and land trust website (Soft Edge) that will make it quick and easy for land trust members and supporters and our partner organizations to take action and advocate for reauthorization of the Stewardship: $7,500
  • Unexpected costs will undoubtedly arise as unforeseen opportunities and challenges present themselves: $5,000


If you would like to learn more about the specifics of this campaign or would like to discuss the ways your financial gift could make a huge impact, please reach out to Mindy at (608) 251-9131 x15 or email her at


Special thanks to the following land trusts for their strong partnership in the fight to save the Stewardship Program:


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