Standard 7: Volunteers, Staff and Consultants
The land trust has volunteers, staff and/or consultants with appropriate skills and in sufficient numbers to carry out its programs.
The work of a land trust is substantial, diverse and often technical or specialized, and includes fundraising, public relations, financial management, landowner contact, designing and carrying out transactions, legal and tax matters, and land and/or conservation agreement monitoring and management. A land trust that acquires, owns, or manages land or conservation agreements, even temporarily, is dealing with complex issues and thousands or even millions of dollars’ worth of assets. Conducting this work properly takes trained individuals. If a land trust is completely managed by volunteers, they have a responsibility to see that the work is carried out with appropriate expertise and supervision, and that a sufficient number of people share the work. If the land trust has staff, it must be sure that the staff is properly trained to manage the complex tasks of land conservation, and the board must establish appropriate policies and procedures to guide staff. All land trusts must engage outside expert help in the event they do not have sufficient time or expertise in-house and must be sure to select projects that are consistent with their capacity.
- Income Tax Act, SC 1985, c. I;
see Canada Revenue Agency guide “Employee or Self-Employed?” at:
- Employment Standards Act, RSBC 1996, c. 113.
- Workers Compensation Act, RSBC 1996, c. 492.
- Human Rights Code, RSBC 1996, c. 210.
- Canada Pension Plan, c. C-8.
- Employment Insurance Act, SC 1996, c. 23.
The land trust regularly evaluates its programs, activities and long-term responsibilities and has sufficient volunteers, staff and/or consultants to carry out its work, particularly when managing an active program of conservation agreements. Land trusts will not assume more properties or conservation agreements than they have the capacity to manage.
A land trust must have enough knowledgeable and dependable assistance to carry out its programs, no matter what its level of activity. A land trust needs to be sure not only that it can undertake the necessary work of the land trust today, but also that it can sustain its work into the future. Because land trusts promise to protect their conservation properties forever, their responsibility to structure transactions knowledgeably and manage their organizations wisely is especially great. With conservation agreements in particular, this places obligations on the land trust to develop conservation agreement stewardship systems and to implement these systems consistently. The land trust should periodically assess the stewardship obligations it has, determine if more assistance is necessary to fulfill these obligations and plan accordingly. A land trust should evaluate projects carefully and select projects that are consistent with their capacity to manage the projects in the short and long-term.
CLTA Assessment Questions
- Number of:
|Volunteers||__________||Full-time staff||__________||Part-time staff||__________|
- Does the land trust have enough volunteers or staff to fulfill its current program responsibilities?
- Does the land trust periodically assess future responsibilities and plan for the appropriate volunteer or staff capacity?
- Do volunteers and/or staff members have a manageable workload, and does the land trust take measures to avoid volunteer/staff burnout?
- Is the land trust considering adding staff within the next three years?