Membership and Gift Memberships – essential support for a non-profit!
Why become a member? If you are a local resident or a frequent visitor, you are aware of the dramatic increase in development pressure in the Saco-Biddeford area. SVLT is working hard year-round to conserve important lands before they are snapped up, and diligently caring for the lands we have already protected. Your membership dollars cover essential costs to keep the operation going, including appraisals of new properties, help from realtors and lawyers, funding for new trails, monitoring equipment, and more. We are a small operation with minimal overhead costs, but membership income makes a huge difference to how fast we can work toward our goals. As our membership grows, so can our impact!
Members receive our annual newsletter and invitations to any special events. Members are also able to vote on new board members and officers at our annual meeting, held the first Thursday in May. We welcome members that want to get more involved with the leadership of the organization over time (see Volunteering below).
We encourage membership at whatever level you are able to provide. We have members who contribute $10 annually, and others who are able to support us at the $1,000 level – please donate at whatever amount makes sense for you!
Several of our donors have told us how easy monthly membership is for them. They pick a monthly amount that is comfortable for their budget, and the land trust receives their support in regular installments without their needing to remember to renew. Donating $60/year is only $5 per month! If this feels like a good option for you, just check the “Make this a monthly donation” box on the membership form.
Membership in the land trust can also make a meaningful gift – consider whether a nature-lover in your life might appreciate knowing that their gift is helping to conserve land and protect wildlife.
Sustaining Business Members
Businesses may join as Sustaining members at any dollar level, and their business name will be listed on our website. Membership at $500 annually or more will be recognized by a logo, link, and brief business description on our website. Show the community your business cares about conservation! Sustaining Business Members can also be monthly donors.
Want to have your name or business name attached to a specific advertised event? Saco Valley Land Trust occasionally holds public educational or recreational events such as Wildflower Walks, Tree ID walks, Fresh Air Hikes, and more. Let us know if you are interested in sponsoring such an event at $100 or more – your name/business name would be announced in any press release or social media post about the event, and you would be thanked at the event itself.
Membership at any level takes just a couple minutes. Click below to get started, and thank you!
Planned end-of-life gifts are a deeply meaningful way to ensure that your passion for the land, wildlife, or recreation lives on and keeps giving. There are a variety of ways to establish a legacy gift, including bequests written into a will, or designating the land trust as a beneficiary of a retirement or life insurance policy. Some choose to donate items or real estate that can be helpful to the trust. Lands that have important conservation values may become part of SVLT’s permanent holdings, and other donated items or real estate can be sold to support our mission. We understand that this process can and should be a thoughtful one for each individual. We encourage you to speak to your estate planner and to the land trust when establishing a legacy gift. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to:
Saco Valley Land Trust
P.O. Box 1581
Saco, ME 04072
Land Donation and Bargain Sales
Many of SVLT’s amazing properties have come to us through land donation or bargain sales (partial donations). Donating or bargain-selling land can have beneficial tax implications. We recommend discussing donation scenarios with your lawyer and/or tax professional.
(If you are interested in protecting your land while still owning it, please read more about selling or donating a Conservation Easement)
SVLT accepts two types of real estate: Conservation Lands and Trade Lands. Conservation Lands are those that the directors of the land trust determine to have significant conservation values. These might include wetlands, forests, farmland, ponds, shoreline, or strong recreation potential. The land trust maintains criteria for determining whether a given piece of property can be held as Conservation Land. The Trade Lands category includes most donated properties that the land trust cannot hold as Conservation Land – this might include property with houses or other development on it, or lands that are too small or isolated to help support wildlife populations. The land trust would accept Trade Land donations with the understanding that they may be sold later to help fund our main mission. If you are interested in donating or selling any property to the land trust, please start the conversation by contacting us at email@example.com.
Volunteering Outdoors or Indoors – Something for everyone!
Along with Membership, volunteering is what keeps the land trust going. Our board of directors is all-volunteer, contributing hours to meet and make decisions for the land trust, and also to do the hands-on work of monitoring and trail maintenance. Other community members step up to help us with a variety of tasks:
We have a small but growing group of outdoor volunteers that help with a number of tasks as they come up. This includes trail-building and trail trimming, annual property monitoring, checking trails for problems, re-filling trail maps and newsletters at our properties, installing signs, taking photos, and even leading hikes or educational walks. If you’re interested in any of these things, or if you live near an SVLT preserve and would like to do something for it, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the list and learn more!
Are you good with organizing paperwork, making cool social media posts, or planning small events? Maybe you have some accounting skills or know a thing or two about real estate? Or perhaps you just like stuffing and stamping envelopes with a fun group of people. Please talk to us about how you can get involved. It could be a regular arrangement of an hour or two per week, or more occasional as-we-need-help volunteering.
Some who started off as occasional volunteers liked helping us so much, they are now on the board of directors. Your involvement at any level is welcome and appreciated. Contact email@example.com to get started.
Sometimes, you just need professional help. The land trust regularly needs services from the following professionals:
- Lawyers (who draft purchase agreements, advise the board, and more)
- Real estate professionals
- Fundraisers (writing grant applications and reaching out to potential donors)
- Accountants (tax preparation, bookkeeping, and more)
If you think you could donate services occasionally, even for brief consultations, please get in touch and let us know what you might be able to offer. We will put you on the list for when we have a need, and can provide you with a donation acknowledgement for tax purposes. Thank you for considering this way to support our work!
Donated Materials – A Wish List for the Land Trust
At the moment, the land trust needs the following items. Donations should be in usable condition, but can be new or well-loved unless specified below. Please get in touch to find out how to deliver the items or have them picked up. Your donation means that we can use our membership funds to help protect land instead of buying equipment, so thank you!
- Shovels, rakes, loppers, saws, or other trail-building tools
- A post-hole-digger
- A chainsaw (must be in good working order)
- A handheld GPS unit that can record and download tracks and waypoints
- A tablet for recording information while on monitoring walks
- An ice-fishing sled (Jet-Sled or similar) to be used for trail-work and transporting equipment
- Cedar, hemlock, or pressure-treated lumber (these are the types of wood that can be used for outdoor bridges and signs).
- Flat exterior latex paint in white, blue, yellow, red, or orange, for marking trails. Feel free to ask what colors are most needed!
- Trail marking supplies, including 1- or 2-inch brushes, small paint scrapers, and small wire brushes.
- 5-gallon buckets (relatively clean)