​NYS Park Friends Technical Assistance Program

A Program for NYS Park and Historic Site Friends Groups

PTNY selects participants for new Technical Assistance Program

April 10, 2013: Two New York State Park and Historic Site Friends organizations have been selected to receive targeted technical assistance through the NYS Park Friends Technical Assistance Program (TAP). The groups selected in this inaugural year of the program are the Friends of Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site and the Friends of Caleb Smith Park Preserve. PTNY will work with the selected organizations on areas such as communications, board development and increasing and engaging volunteers. Read the press release.

About the Program
Are you involved with a Friends group that works to promote and enhance one of New York's 214 state parks and historic sites? Are you interested in building the capacity of your organization?

PTNY is excited to announce the launch of our new program for state park and historic site Friends groups. The NYS Park Friends Technical Assistance Program will help build the capacity of Friends organizations by working one-on-one with a few groups on areas such as communications, board development and engaging and recruiting volunteers.

By working together, we can strengthen the community of park supporters and enhance stewardship of the state park system.

Background
State park and historic site Friends groups are invaluable partners in efforts to protect and enhance New York State Parks and Historic Sites. With parks still facing significant underfunding, Friends organizations – oftentimes made up entirely of volunteers – are more important than ever in keeping New York’s state parks and historic sites inviting and welcoming places for visitors. Greater investment in these organizations will serve to enhance the state park system and thus the visitor experience at New York’s 214 state parks and historic sites.

Goals
To build the capacity of New York State Park and Historic Site Friends organizations and, therefore, strengthen the community of park supporters and enhance stewardship of the state park system.

Program
The NYS Park Friends Technical Assistance Program is not a grant program; rather PTNY staff provides one-on-one technical assistance and support to help strengthen Friends groups and enhance their efforts to support state parks and historic sites.

PTNY will annually select, through an application process, one to two park and historic site Friends groups to provide technical support for a period of up to two years.

PTNY will work with the Friends group to determine what its needs are and develop an MOU outlining a plan to achieve agreed upon goals. Areas of PTNY assistance may include:

  • Board development
  • Strategic planning
  • Fundraising planning
  • Communications
  • Financial management
  • Increasing and engaging members and volunteers
  • Building partnerships
  • Incorporation/launching new Friends group

Once a plan is finalized, PTNY will work with the organization to build its capacity to accomplish agreed-upon goals.

Eligibility
The program is open to nonprofit Friends groups linked to one of OPRHP's 214 New York State Parks or Historic Sites. Preference is given to organizations with annual budgets of less than $100,000.

Application Process
Interested organizations complete a simple application form which provides an opportunity for applicants to indicate areas of support needed. PTNY staff will review the applications for:

  • the organization’s eligibility and the completeness of the application;
  • the organization’s statement and area(s) of need;
  • the organization’s level of commitment and partnership with the park/historic site; and
  • the ability of PTNY to provide assistance in the area(s) of need.

**The application period is currently closed.**

Workplan
Once a Friends group has been selected, a workplan will be developed collaboratively and outlined in an MOU. The specific workplan will be tailored based on each group’s individual needs and goals, but the general process is as follows:

  • Friends complete an assessment form in order to identify needs and to provide baseline information on the organization
  • Initial in-person consultation with PTNY staff
  • Development of MOU outlining agreed upon workplan with goals, objectives and activities
  • Implementation of workplan
  • Review of progress towards goals at 6-month mark (or other interval depending on length of assistance)
  • Ongoing implementation of workplan
  • Final evaluation of progress
  • PTNY prepares recommendations for next steps for Friends

Timeline

January 30, 2013
Call for applications
March 15, 2013
Application deadline
March – April 2013
PTNY review of submissions
April 10, 2013
Friends selection announcement
May 2013Begin work with selected organizations

Have questions? Call (518-434-1583) or email Laura DiBetta.