FRIENDS OF ACADIA

Contact: Lisa Horsch Clark, Director of Development at (207) 288-3340
Members: 3,600
Database: 15,000 – includes members, donors, libraries, volunteers, and professional contacts.

Levels of Support

  • $35 – Sand Beach Society
  • $65 – Otter Cliffs Society
  • $100 – Flying Mtn. Society
  • $250 – Beehive Society
  • $500 – Gorham Society
  • $1,000 – Acadia Society
  • $2,500 – Beech Society
  • $5,000 – Parkman Society
  • $10,000 – Pemetic Society

All levels of support (starting with the Sand Beach Society) receive the following benefits:

  • A one-year subscription to the Friends of Acadia Journal, published three times annually
  • A Friends of Acadia window decal

In addition to the basic benefits, higher levels of support receive the following:

Otter Cliffs Society ($65)

  • Sand Beach Society benefits, plus executive bulletins.
Flying Mountain Society ($100)
  • Otter Cliffs Society benefits, plus the summer issue of Acadia National Park’s Beaver Log, and acknowledgment of your support in Friends’ Annual Report.
Beehive Society ($250)
  • Flying Mountain Society benefits, plus a $10 gift certificate for use in the shops operated by the Acadia Corporation, which include the Jordan Pond Gift Shop, The Acadia Shop, Acadia Outdoors, and The Country Store.
Gorham Society ($500)
  • Beehive Society benefits, plus a $10 gift certificate for Jordan Pond House.
Acadia Society ($1,000)
  • Gorham Society benefits, plus an invitation to a special FOA-sponsored educational event.
Beech Society ($2,500)
  • Acadia Society benefits, plus an Acadia National Park pass.
Parkman Society ($5,000)
  • Beech Society benefits, plus invitations to private receptions.
Pemetic Society ($10,000)
  • Parkman Society benefits, plus a special naturalist-led excursion for member and guests.

Philanthropic support is used to:

  • Support and maintain the propane-powered Island Explorer bus system, co-funded by Friends and L.L.Bean
  • Conserve parcels of land threatened by development that would impact Acadia National Park, including the recent protection of Acadia Mountain
  • Organize, annually, more than 2,300 volunteers who contribute more than 10,000 hours of work in the park each summer
  • Fund the Acadia Youth Conservation Corps and Ridge Runner programs, both composed of high school and college-aged students who work to maintain trails and carriage roads
  • Contribute more than $13 million in cumulative grants to the park and surrounding communities since 1995
  • Fund scientists performing research in the park through the L.L.Bean Acadia Research Fellowships program

In 2008, Friends of Acadia’s retention rate for new members was 63%.

New membership is recruited through two programs: a membership brochure and a volunteer-run membership table. In addition to these programs, Friends also offers membership opportunities on its website.

The membership brochure program involves the distributing of informational brochures in several locations, including park entrance stations. Traditionally, this program was moderately successful, but the influx of new members was not as high as staff had hoped.

The membership table program, launched in 2007, has been a great success. Volunteers staff the table, located at the high-traffic Jordan Pond House, and use the opportunity to speak with passers-by. This approach has led to a substantial increase in new memberships each year.

Tips

    Include contribution reply note in journals and newsletters.
    Be honest with people.
    Communication with members is vital. Send thank you letters within three to four days of receipt of a renewal. (The standard is closer to two weeks.)
    Limit mailed solicitations for membership renewal to one notice and one reminder per year. Friends of Acadia also gives members the opportunity to make a year-end gift if they wish.
    Offer donors invitations to outdoor events – such as guided hikes. Get people out to experience the park and become personally engaged. For Friends of Acadia, the appropriate time to do this is the high season in July and August when more people are spending the summer in the area.