Friends Group Partner Primers

The primers on this page were created with input from Friends Group Partners, for Friends Group Partners. Learn how to hold a candlelight event, partner with youth service organizations, and more.

Learn from your peers

One of the best features of any membership network is the opportunity to learn from the experiences of groups that share your goals and interests. The primers stored here were developed in conversation with Friends Group Partners who have extensive experience in the topics in question.

Organizing a Candlelight Event

Candlelight events are a frequent feature of the winter calendar at Minnesota’s parks and trails. These events, which can involve hiking, skiing, or snowshoeing, are a great way to get people out onto your park or trail during the coldest months of the year. Our primer shares the insights of Friends Groups with a proven track record of pulling these events off successfully.

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Partnering with Youth Groups

Partnerships between Friends Groups and youth service organizations are a win-win situation: Friends Groups often need additional capacity for their projects, and the members of youth service organizations often need service hours or college credits. This primer details some best practices for a successful partnership with a youth service organization. 

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Membership-Building Events

Because the success of a Friends Group is grounded in the relationships they build with their community, events can be a great way to expand their network of supporters and showcase the group’s work on behalf of their park or trail. This primer shares tips from various Friends Groups around the state on holding a successful membership-building event.

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Becoming a 501c3

Many Friends Groups eventually consider becoming a 501c3 nonprofit. This primer, while not constituting legal advice, provides some introductory information to the process, including pros and cons, a list of key terms, and links to other resources for prospective applicants.

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Organizing a Citizen Science Project

Citizen science is an increasingly popular way for members of the public to get involved in the collection and analysis of scientific data. This primer, while far from comprehensive, shares example projects, links to ongoing citizen science initiatives, and some handy tips for Friends Groups that are considering creating projects of their own.

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