The IRS had already taken six months on the application, having misplaced our files somewhere.
In other regards, we were just learning the ropes, reading a lot of material from the Trust for Public Land and the Land Trust Alliance. We had a volunteer board of six or seven people. We had insurance and great legal help. We had a name, the Woodstock Land Conservancy, but no one had heard of us, except for a few lawyers. The field provided a beautiful view of Overlook Mountain.
There are a few other fields on Zena Road where corn was grown but this was always the Zena Cornfield. Its long-term owners had sold it a few years before to someone from New York City, causing concern. The realtor said he knew we were worried about https://find-lovetoday.site/e15/dating-matrix-3480.php field being developed.
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In fact, we had written the owner a year before about the possibility of a conservation easement. There was some big money in town so we decided to go after it. We began by contacting the biggest money — the answer was no. We then tried a few of the medium-sized monies — again, no.
I called the Land Trust Alliance then called the Land Trust Exchange and they gave me the names and numbers of other land trusts that had experience with pledge systems.
I spoke with two land trusts who were helpful, encouraging, and full of information. They were also very big; trusts with staff. One made clear to me that the amount of work involved could not be underestimated.
I worried about how we could handle such a big commitment. We had a board meeting and decided to try the pledge system. We would ask people to give over three years, which seemed like enough time to pledge some serious money, but not too long.
This would be explained right on our pledge form and would save us the trouble of returning money if we did not make it. The pledge system also would allow the community to see our progress as we went along. We signed a contract with the realtor and put up a thousand dollars as down payment. A boardmember agreed to provide an anonymous loan for the full amount should the deal go through.
The closing date was set for August 17th. That gave us five weeks. How Do You Ask for Money? I had never asked anyone for money for an organization before. Neither had the other boardmembers. We made up lists of people we knew who might give. The first evening of phone calls I felt shy and tentative; nonetheless people, I spoke with pledged money to the cornfield.
I coached some other boardmembers and we gave the job of assembling mailing lists to those too shy to attack the phones.
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Our local newspaper, The Woodstock Times, ran a big front page story about the https://find-lovetoday.site/e7/should-we-469.php at the end of May. The story ran with a large picture we had created. It showed what the cornfield would look like if developed as it could have been.
A local architect drew two houses onto a photo of the cornfield. Everyone volunteered: a musician did a radio ad with a local actress doing the voice over and a video person did another ad for the local TV station which ran it as part of its public service ads.
Two boardmembers kept the weekly newspaper ads varied and effective. Boardmembers and others did mailings as we collected mailing lists from other non-profits, politicians, organizations down the road from cornfield — anyone we could think of.
And we all made phone calls, spending endless evenings. It helped that we had to raise money fast.
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It helped that dating site ads zena near me were giving money to save a specific parcel. It helped that Woodstock is small so that when we solicited pledges at the local supermarket we would see people we knew.
It helped that the cornfield was full of history having been in agriculture since native American times, having been drill field for militia in the War ofand having grown corn in a town with little agriculture. It helped that it had some of the best soil in the county. At this point we wrote the Kaplan Fund.
After a few weeks it became clear we would make it and then some, which would provide a buffer to guard against unfulfilled pledges. We closed on our expected date and began sending bills out. We sent second bills to those who needed a reminder. The following year we did the same. It was fortunate that the billing was on the anniversary of the closing. August is a good time to pay bills compared to April or December.
Some people pre-paid their pledges. We paid back the loan as we received the donations. In we sent our last bills in the midst of a bad recession with very little building going on. For a final notice I sent people copies of their pledge pages which show their signatures.
Oddly enough we received one check for the full amount from a donor who never paid us anything till he received the copy of his pledge page. The largest pledge was from the Kaplan Fund. Down the Yellow Corn Road We succeeded in buying the cornfield due to the emotional response people had to the property.
Four people basically devoted.