National Wildlife Refuge System Friends Academy is a customized course designed for leaders on the boards of Friends organizations interested in having a broader understanding of the National Wildlife Refuge System and enhancing skills to increase the effectiveness of Friends partnerships with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sites. Upon completion of this five-day course, you will be able to:
Friends Mentoring Program
Refuge field stations and their Friends organization can now jointly apply for mentoring on a year-round basis. The Friends Mentoring Program is a Refuge System support program which offers peer-to-peer coaching and information sharing between a trained mentor pair, refuge staff and their Friends board. The program is designed to nurture and add vibrancy to Friends partnerships of all ages and sizes, from formative to mature. The trained mentor pair includes an experienced Friends board member and Service employee who help the mentees assess and evaluate their Friends-Service partnership, organizational effectiveness, overall sustainability.
In the past, mentors have assisted with strategic planning, board development, communications systems, life cycle assessment, prioritizing, and starting over. If selected for mentoring through the application process, partnerships can have a pair of mentors travel to their station, at no cost to the station, for two days of peer-to-peer coaching. Before completing the application, please contact your regional Friends coordinator (http://www.fws.gov/refuges/friends/contacts.html) for Region-specific information. For more information about the program in general, please contact national Friends coordinator Joanna Webb (703-358-2392) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friends Partnership Mentoring Program Action Plan (3.12MB PDF)
Friends Mentoring 2016 Application (139 KB PDF)
Webinars specific to Friends organizations are periodically hosted by the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) and are available for viewing online from NEEF's webinars page.Reinvigorating Your Friends Partnership
Next offering Spring 2017
Friends organizations are important partners for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service field stations. Like all non-profit organizations, they have periods when they flourish and stagnate. During this online course, FWS staff and Friends board members can assess the “health” of their Friends organizational effectiveness and overall sustainability.