Here's where you can see the latest news, updates, and announcements from Water Words That Work, LLC, along with the occasional thought-provoking observation. 

New Course: Be a Nonprofit CEO

posted Jan 26, 2018, 7:55 AM by Eric Eckl

Conservation Impact is excited to launch its new learning platform Impact Lab, and first course, Reshape the Future: Be a Nonprofit CEO.

Reshape the Future: Be a Nonprofit CEO is designed to develop the skills, mindset, and confidence of people interested in becoming a successful nonprofit CEO.* Participants attend virtually, so they can access this dynamic 14-week course from any location. 

Participants can expect to:
  • Be challenged and supported as they learn what it takes to succeed as a nonprofit CEO
  • Build strong connections with their professional peers and supportive mentors
  • Have the course customized to meet their unique needs 
  • Complete exercises that build real-world skills 
  • Be able to apply what they learn immediately
Cohorts start in March, April, and August. Applications for the March cohort are due March 1. To learn more, visit www.impactlabtraining.com, where you can find: 

  • The week-by-week course overview
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Reshape the Future: Be a Nonprofit CEO application

Job: Communications and Outreach Specialist in Olympia, WA

posted May 11, 2017, 11:19 AM by Laura Ganus

Thurston County Stormwater Utility is hiring!

Do you love helping people understand complex issues, encouraging behavior change, and finding creative ways to make a real difference? Bring your passion and vision to our innovative team as we forge new paths in engaging our communities in a sustainable future!

This is an exciting opportunity help design and deploy new outreach and training programs from the ground up, where you'll get to sink your teeth into a wide variety of fascinating challenges in managing water resources as our region's population continues to grow.

For more details and to apply, visit: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/thurstonwa/jobs/1732553/communications-and-outreach-specialist-education-and-outreach-specialist-ii


Job: West Coast Director of Development

posted Jan 25, 2017, 4:43 AM by Eric Eckl

Environmental Outreach Logo
The American Farmland Trust is preparing to launch a $100 million comprehensive fundraising campaign, and they are seeking a West Coast Director of Development to cultivate and solicit California-based donors.  The Trust says they want "...an energetic go-getter skilled in board collaboration and training, all phases of capital campaign planning, and donor stewardship and solicitation. This is a career-transforming opportunity for a major-gifts fundraiser who is hungry to join a fast-growing organization."

The location of the position is flexible. However, the Director of Development is expected to travel frequently to visit with supporters in Northern and Southern California, and in other Western-US states. Here is the full description:

American Farmland Trust

West Coast Director of Development

Job Description


American Farmland Trust (AFT) is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to saving America’s farm and ranchland, promoting sound farming practices, and keeping farmers on the land. Since its founding in 1980 by a group of farmers and citizens concerned about the rapid loss of farmland to development, AFT has helped save more than five million acres of farmland from development and led the way for the adoption of conservation practices on millions more. Additionally, AFT actively works to keep more farmers on the land by linking next generation farmers to farmland, championing women landowners and educating farmers on conservation techniques.

The Position:

American Farmland Trust seeks a Director of Development (“DoD-West”) for fundraising operations on the West Coast, particularly in California, our country’s leading farm state. Reporting to a Washington DC-based Vice President of Development and External Relations, the DoD-West will be responsible for the oversight, planning and implementation of a comprehensive development program for that region and will coordinate national outreach as assigned. Additionally, the DoD-West will secure gifts from individuals and other sources to support AFT’s priorities throughout the U.S.; work with the Vice President to establish fundraising goals; cultivate a select group of prospects (150+) working closely with the development and program team to steward gifts; and plan/execute selective prospect cultivation and stewardship events.  The person who fills this position will be responsible for meeting specific annual revenue goals and contributing to the overall achievement of the organization's revenue goals.


The ideal candidate will be an entrepreneurial professional who enjoys front-line relationship building, soliciting, developing and driving strategies with senior leadership, and demonstrating creativity and relationship-building savvy to make connections and secure in-person appointments.  The candidate must be able to articulate the case to support the vision/mission/goals of AFT for the purpose of securing major gifts and pledges. The DoD-West position requires significant travel with emphasis on numerous face to face donor meetings, particularly in northern California.


Primary Responsibilities 

  • Work with Vice President to lead Development team’s successful implementation of the major gifts plan.
  • Implement programs/activities to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward donors at the major gift level.
  • Oversee movement of donor/prospect visits, solicitation, and gift closure for other staff members, volunteers, AFT leadership and board members.
  • Execute events and other fundraising activities that advance AFT’s relationship with donors/prospects.
  •  Prepare written documents in support of solicitation, cultivation and development events, including correspondence, strategic plans, invitations and reports. Develop highly tailored proposals.
  • Coordinate an effective program for recognition, involvement and stewardship of donors.
  • Manage aggressive personal portfolio of prospects and donors.
  • Design, develop, plan, oversee and evaluate individual donor/prospect identification, cultivation, solicitation, gift closure and recognition for assigned portfolio. Includes renewable gifts and new incremental revenue.
  • Travel throughout assigned region and nationally as necessary to cultivate relationships with donors and prospects.
  • Develop and execute ongoing strategy for qualifying potential donors and moving them to prospect status using tools such as small cultivation events, research and community networking.
  • Conduct individualized responses to donor/prospect contacts with appropriate communications and reporting.
  • information on planned giving opportunities with donors as appropriate.


  • A bachelor’s degree in a related field and 7+ years of relevant professional experience in major gift fundraising, with a demonstrated success in closing major and principal gifts.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Expert knowledge in planned giving.
  • Proficiency in event planning and campaign management, or any equivalent combination of experience and/or education from which comparable knowledge, skills and abilities have been achieved.
  • Knowledge and related experience in direct mail, public relations, advertising or marketing.
  • Professional skill preparing and presenting proposals and case statements.
  • Proficiency in Raiser's Edge and Microsoft Office.
  • Expert skill with membership databases and moves management systems.
  • Working knowledge of prospect research methodologies, best practices and evolving trends in major and principal gifts philanthropy.
  • Team player with a commitment to the mission, philosophy and values of AFT.
  • Superior organizational skills; creative, proactive, and detail-oriented with a strong ability to prioritize.
  • Sound judgment in maintaining confidentiality of donor information.
  • Excellent oral, written, interpersonal, analytical and organizational skills.
  • Knowledge of tax laws that impact charitable giving.

For more information about the American Farmland Trust, visit www.farmland.org


To Apply:

The American Farmland Trust has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications may be directed in confidence to:

Debbie Farrell

Senior Director, Leadership and Development

Harris Rand Lusk

122 E. 42nd Street, Suite 3605

New York, NY  10168


Please include “AFT, West Coast DoD” in the subject line of the email.

Digital Director: Yale Program on Climate Change Communication

posted Dec 4, 2016, 6:00 AM by Eric Eckl   [ updated Dec 4, 2016, 6:00 AM ]

The Yale Program on Climate Change Communication is seeking a talented and data-driven digital director to develop our online strategy and grow our
audience, which has experienced rapid growth over the past year (e.g., +500% followers on Facebook; +300% on LinkedIn; +67% on Twitter; +225%
website visitors). The director will oversee our digital programs, including managing our websites, email lists, and social media to communicate our public opinion research and climate news content. The director will also manage our online advertising and conduct message tests. We are looking for an environmentally-focused digital professional, with a passion for promoting engaging content to a variety of public, policymaker, and expert audiences (The YPCCC does not conduct advocacy campaigns or online fundraising).


  • Develop and direct a new digital strategy for the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and our online news site *Yale Climate
  • Connections
  • Manage websites, email communication, creative development, online advertising, and social media campaigns.
  • Increase the size and engagement of diverse audiences with our content.
  • Develop and test new tactics to engage different audiences in climate change science and solutions.
  • Conduct social media and digital advertising message tests (e.g., A/B, audience experiments, etc.).
  • Manage and lead a team of part-time graduate student assistants to execute communication campaigns.
  • Coordinate digital strategy with internal and external stakeholders including academic, media, and advocacy partners.


  • Digital marketing and message testing, including hands-on experience with SEO, SEM, social, web, email, and online advertising, as well as different tech and social media platforms for content distribution (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, ActionSprout, etc.), email communication & deliverability, and social media management.
  • Superior communication skills, including the ability to communicate scientific concepts to diverse audiences.
  • Strong creative content development (emails, posts, tweets, videos, etc.).
  • Understanding of social media, email, and other digital best practices.
  • 3+ years digital and/or campaign experience, such as digital work for news organizations, non-profit advocacy groups, think tanks, universities, or political campaigns, or in a relevant marketing role.
  • Relevant experience for managing a team of students working part-time.
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills, and an ability to adapt to evolving priorities and deadlines.


Yale University offers competitive salaries commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits package. Yale University is an equal opportunity employer.


Please send a cover letter and a CV/resume to climatechange@yale.edu with the subject heading "YPCCC Digital Director Position." Members of under-represented groups are particularly encouraged to apply.

Recorded Webinar: Enlisting Citizens to Report Illicit Discharges on January 12, 2017

posted Nov 21, 2016, 10:00 AM by Laura Ganus   [ updated Jan 12, 2017, 12:12 PM ]

Webinar Recording Date: Thursday, January 12th at 1pm Eastern

With a fresh MS4 permit in hand, New Castle County found themselves with a dilemma. The Education and Outreach Minimum Control Measure required the county to generate at least 250,000 advertising impressions and to use before-and-after surveys to demonstrate a “statistically valid” increase in stormwater awareness.

NCCDE chose to meet this requirement by setting up an illicit discharges hotline -- and promoting that hotline heavily. On January 12th at 1:00 p.m., join us for a free informational webinar to hear how the effort turned out!

Learn the answers to these and other questions:
  • How much did it cost to generate 250,000 advertising impressions?
  • Did the county actually measure a "statistically valid" increase in stormwater awareness?
  • How many discharges did county residents report? Were the reports any good?
  • What would they do differently if they could do it over again?


  • Michael Harris, New Castle County Department of Special Services
  • Eric Eckl, Water Words That Work, LLC
Information Webinar Presentation:

Presentation Recording (73 minutes):

Water Words' Client In the News

posted Nov 2, 2016, 3:13 PM by Eric Eckl

The organization-formerly-known-as-the-Vallejo-Sanitation-and-Flood-Control-District (say that three times fast!) was featured in the Vallejo Times Herald today. The paper covered a vote from the District's board to change that awkward and ambiguous name to "Vallejo Flood and Wastewater District." Read the full story here

Water Words is helping this waste and stormwater utility with all aspects of the rebranding process. We did extensive discovery to explore the situation and population demographics, brainstormed around the utility's needs, and came up with a suite of candidate names, slogan, and missions statements. Next on the agenda for the District is a new logo!

If you are interested in branding or rebranding your organization, we'd love to chat!

Recorded Webinar on October 26, 2016: Trees in the City

posted Oct 20, 2016, 4:53 PM by Laura Ganus   [ updated Oct 26, 2016, 12:03 PM ]

When: Wednesday, October 26th at 1pm Eastern

Many local governments and nonprofit organizations seek to reduce stormwater runoff by increasing the tree canopy in urban areas -- only to struggle to recruit willing homeowners to participate in their programs. In this webinar, we will explore two case studies of successful street tree programs in “underserved” urban neighborhoods.

You will learn:
  1. What market research says about residents' attitudes towards trees and the messages they respond to
  2. What promotional techniques worked -- and which ones didn’t
  3. Tips for measuring outreach success
  4. What the participants would do differently if they could do it over again
Informational Webinar Presentation:

Webinar Recording:

Job: Social Media Manager/Digital Marketing Strategist for national Environment-themed TV Project

posted Sep 18, 2016, 3:01 AM by Eric Eckl

A pioneering Green Media broadcaster based in the Bay Area is seeking a top-notch experienced Digital marketing strategist to join her team this fall. 

You will help us use web technologies to achieve our business growth goals. and will identify needs and new opportunities and aspire to increase her brand awareness on a national level. This will be an exciting opportunity for someone interested in issues around sustainability, climate change, shift to renewable energy, greener lifestyles, etc. and how to expand the impact of messages  aimed at reaching the broader American public. This person is in the process of pitching a new genre of TV shows to the major news and entertainment networks, so the candidate will assist in creating the robust social media calendars necessary to continue growing her community and outreach, while adding traction to reach a higher profile impressive enough to attract network programming execs.

Duties will include:
  • Set digital marketing strategies using all necessary tools (e.g. website, emails, social media and blogs)
  • Implement Social Media Strategy & grow followings on Social Media Networks, especially Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • Create and maintain Social Media Editorial Calendar 
  • Help curate relevant content to reach the passionate
  • Green/Environmental community as well as strategically reach out to influencers, innovators and green-leaning celebrities
  • Post graphics and photographs provided by us
  • Help create just the right tweets to incorporate and reach the major
  • influencers needed, helping raise Twitter followers
  • Engage in dialogue and monitor issues (respond to comments, feedback)
  • Research products, services and current strategies to identify new opportunities
  • Analyze web traffic metrics and suggest solutions to boost web presence
  • Monitor SEO/SEM, marketing and sales performance metrics to forecast trends
  • Stay up-to-date with digital technologies development
  • Proven work experience as a Digital marketing strategist or Digital marketing manager
  • Previous social media management experience (including tracking performance metrics)
  • Demonstrable experience with SEO/SEM and CRM software
  • Experience implementing and optimizing Google Adwords campaigns
  • Solid knowledge of web analytics tools like Google Analytics
  • Hands on experience with online marketing tools and practices
  • Familiarity with web design and HTML
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong analytical and project management skills
  • Sc degree in Marketing, Advertising or relevant field

Additional skills would include:
  • Passion for the topic of sustainability, and the environment
  • Possess skills in writing, presentation, and interpersonal relations
  • Performs well in an environment that values creativity, flexibility, and
  • variety
  • Exhibits personal qualities, such as open-mindedness, enthusiasm, and
  • adaptability
  • Welcomes challenges, new ideas, and a fast-paced, future-focused,
  • unstructured environment
  • Interest in being a part of a team that cares deeply about catalyzing
  • change in the status quo as it relates to impact on the planet, people and future progeny
  • Able to work virtually but with occasional in person meetings at office in
  • Marin.

Please respond to Lea Saslav, PR Manager, at lea.saslav@gmail.com
 with a resume and email cover letter with your background and we will be sure to respond quickly.*

Job: Vice President for Community Engagement

posted Aug 31, 2016, 1:07 PM by Eric Eckl   [ updated Aug 31, 2016, 1:08 PM ]

The Buzzards Bay Coalition, in New Bedford, Massachusetts, is seeking a Vice President for Community Engagement. The Vice President of Community Engagement reports to the President, is a member of the Coalition’s senior management team, and leads a team of six full time staff and four to six service corps members. The VP of Community Engagement is responsible for the development and implementation of all aspects of fundraising and public outreach.

The ideal candidate will have:
  • Proven track record of fundraising success in nonprofits of equal or greater size.
  • Demonstrated success in the acquisition and stewardship of all levels of supporters from members, donors and foundations.
  • Experience with capital campaign planning and management preferred.
  • Ability to reach out to and directly engage the community in the mission of the Coalition.
  • Superior communication skills.

To learn more and apply for this position, download the full position description.

Recorded Webinar: What to Expect from Your Website

posted Aug 16, 2016, 12:56 PM by Laura Ganus   [ updated Aug 17, 2016, 8:55 AM ]

In early 2016, Water Words That Work, LLC analyzed the website traffic patterns of two dozen watershed associations, waterkeepers, land trusts, conservation districts, and related organizations. Our goal was to determine what website visitors expect in 2016 -- how to design websites that hit the mark for them.
In this webinar, we’ll reveal some of our most important observations:

  • The highest, lowest, and average # of monthly visitors in our benchmark

  • How long they stay and how much they read while they are there

  • What drives traffic to conservation websites, and what doesn’t

  • How many visitors use computers vs. phones and tablets

  • And more!

If you have a website already, you will be able compare how your site is performing compared to your peers. And if you are planning to replace your website soon, you will get valuable insights on how to tailor your site to meet your visitors’ needs.

The benchmark summary file highlighted on slide 8 is attached as a pdf below the recording image.

Webinar Recording:

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