I attended the annual River Rally event sponsored by River Network and was very impressed with the entire event. I attended workshops and a one-on-one session that inspired me and helped guide me in endeavors for my organization. It was also just incredibly encouraging to be among so many people working toward the same goals. Thanks to River Network for organizing and sponsoring such a great event!
I run a statewide river conservation non-profit, and River Network's 'River Rally' is a once-per-year shot in the arm for me. It refreshes me, educates me, and reminds me that I'm not alone in the conservation struggle. It renews my passion. It's emotional unlike other any professional conference I've ever been to.
River Network links river and watershed groups from across the country into a movement. It provides individual groups with the tools they need to be stronger and more effective. The annual River Rally they've hosted for 20 years allows river folks to get together - to learn and to share.
I became more deeply involved with River Network (as a board member and donor) because of the life-saving support it gave to the watershed group I previously led. Our watershed organization was teetering on the brink of solvency, getting tangled up in our own organizational issues at the expense of the rivers we needed to serve. With scholarship support from River Network we were able to send our one staff person to River Rally, and she returned with the basic tools we needed to get ourselves organized and bringing in small but important support. We returned each year (and that organization still returns each year) to learn the latest, network with the leaders in water protection and restoration, and strategize about work ahead. That organization is now 15 years old, well-staffed, and is a solid, respected, and needed part of its region. Without River Network's help I'm certain it would have disappeared or remained a kitchen table organization.
River Network has served my organization for several years and I have worked directly with them for the past 2 years. They continue to provide me with networking resources, professional development tools, program ideas, and industry news and data that is invaluable to growing my programs and organization.
River Network is like the glue or duck tape that helps a local, state or regional group put it together to achieve their mission. The glue they provide is diverse. It includes but is not limited to webinars, documents, list serve, research, access to experts and networks of information and training that cover organizational development, fund raising, board development, management and recruitment, budgeting and accounting, volunteer management, leadership and technical assistance in Clean Water Act implementation, interpretation, water quality and biological monitoring, restoration planning, implementation and monitoring, green infrastructure, storm water, energy extraction, connection between energy and water and so much more! If you are a local group, regardless of composition (grass roots, agency, academia, etc.) you are LOOSING money and resources if you are not connected to River Network. They only add value to what you do and help you do it bigger, better, more efficient and more often!
River Network's River Rally has been a part of training for watershed coordinators in my state. Many watershed groups operate with very small budgets. The scholarship program to cover expences for the training conference registration allows so many more folks the unique opportunity of networking with
collegues frm around the country and to learn from exerts in their fields. The webinars throughout the year are very beneficial to continue that dialoge.
River Network lives up to its name. Those of us who work with rivers and watersheds are usually working within a local sphere. It is so helpful to have an organization that taps into the expertise throughout the country on issues that affect each of us. Whether it's insurance, organizational policy, strategies, or inspiration, River Network has been a source of great information and guidance.
I help run a small nonprofit watershed organization. Because this business is geographically-based, and many cities only have one or two organizations like ours, finding help to advance our organization is a challenge. One of the main goals of River Network is to facilitate dialogue between groups, and their annual meetings and online webinars allow me to find many other groups that are (or have been) in our exact stage of development. This engagement helps us maximize the benefits of our efforts by minimizing the frequency and depth to which we re-invent the wheel for our particular geographic region. While the networking end is the most valuable aspect to us, River Network also provides frequent and free educational opportunities. Our success would be significantly hampered without River Network.
My watershed group has been served by River Network since 1995. They are our most valuable national partner. They've trained us so that we've learned from the best practices in nonprofit management and advocacy work from across the US. They've linked us with affordable resources that take us to new levels, such as our Watergrass database made especially for river groups. They've helped us connect with mentors and peers and ally with groups from all over the country working on our same issues to multiply our access to innovation and our joint influence. They inspire and energize us every year at River Rally, the most fun and useful conference ever! They uplift us through burnout, guide us through complex technical issues, make sure we have time to play, help us raise more money for our mission, and love us. Their staff is consistently the hardest working, most service-oriented, hilarious, and talented bunch I know. Their Board members are deeply committed to this work and bring wide resources to the organization. While my link to RN for 18 years has been as my organization's Exec. Director, I am excited and humbled that RN has brought me onto their Board recently. Long live River Network! Rally Ho!