Posted by: Bridgett Hernandez

  • 05/03/2021

A day in the life of ACRES Advancement Director

Together with our members and volunteers, ACRES protects more than 7,200 acres of natural and working land in northeast Indiana, northwest Ohio and southern Michigan while maintaining 50 miles of trails for free public use. Seven full-time staff members ensure the protection of this land every day, but what does that work look like? This is the third post in our “A day in the life” blog series where we share our different roles and how they support our mission to protect land.

Relationships are at the core of Heather Barth’s work as advancement director. She works closely with the individuals, businesses and foundations that provide the financial support needed to acquire new land, care for natural areas, maintain trails and provide programming. Heather listens carefully to individuals’ reasons for protecting land so that she can connect them with meaningful opportunities for giving. She has a gift for making sure ACRES supporters feel seen and valued.

Heather brings this same level of personal care to her other duties, which include leading ACRES advancement team and collaborating with our community partners. Here’s what a “typical” day in her life looks like:

Heather at a members-only outing on a closed preserve in Ohio
  • Pick up mail from post office box
  • Open and sort donations, prepare for data entry
  • Meet with Advancement Team to discuss current projects and support needs
  • Enter donations in database; import online donations into database
  • Generate donation thank-you letters and new member welcome letters for Executive Director to sign at next week’s staff meeting
  • Prepare and print materials for ACRES volunteer project (April membership reminders; reminder postcard for members who lapsed in January; welcome notes for February new members)
  • Zoom meeting with Jason Kissel to discuss new standards for preserve and trail-head signs
  • Respond to inquiries in [email protected] email inbox, including questions about renewing memberships, trail conditions and upcoming events
  • Return phone message about picking up preserve guides during temporary office hours
  • Introductory phone call with municipality representative interested in partnering with ACRES on land/climate/environmental initiatives
  • Phone call with potential land donor who is ready to move forward with making her gift
  • Respond to Advancement Committee chairperson’s email about recent committee meeting