Permaculture Association Spring 2019 update

Membership

  • Further work carried out to improve the new members area, acting on feedback from members' survey.
  • We have reached 70% of our membership financial target, with one quarter of our financial year left to go. Membership retention was 52% for this quarter, the aim was for 55%.
  • Members benefit from a 15% discount on tickets to the national permaculture convergence - we think this will help increase membership numbers. We also usually get a slight spike in income for quarter 2.

 

Communications

  • We're working on the next issue of Permaculture Works, due to be published in July. We're currently asking for contributions from artists, illustrators and writers.

  • It's been a busy time - we launched the convergence, produced artwork for Permaculture Magazine's 100th issue, and started work on our new communications strategy (with an initial focus on content), as well as regular communications.

  • There has been an error in the members' learning email series, meaning new members over the last few months haven't received it. This has been corrected so everyone should now start to receive a set of 12 emails packed with resources to learn more about permaculture.

 

Diploma in applied permaculture design

  • Registration numbers are lower than anticipated but there has been good interest, particularly with the Diploma Gathering.
  • Work is underway on a new postcard to send out with PDC certificates and we are making steady progress on a new Diploma network website.
  • In terms of motivating and connecting current apprentices, the first e-bulletin was sent out and a plan in place for sending it quarterly.
  • The Diploma Gathering was a brilliant event, good for making connections and planning for the future - for both the tutors, apprentices, and Association.

 

52 Climate Actions

If you're thinking "What can I actually do about climate change?", 52 Climate Actions offers one simple answer: commit yourself to positive action right now.

  • 36 of the 52 cards are completed and uploaded to the website.
  • On target to finish in time for our summer lanch, though there is still plenty to do.
  • Big focus remains on fundraising for next phase; plan in place but too few funders have been identified.
  • Erin is now here, interning with us in the office; she is uploading content and identifying good project examples to use on the website.
  • Sarah is now writng content and supporting Chris with editing.

 

CoLab

A space to collaborate, a space to enhance the effectiveness of permaculture networks.

  • Progressing at realistic volunteer-led pace.
  • Beth and Ewan are doing a great job
  • Continuing to build network capacity hoping for others to take more of a lead on shaping the network. there are additional circles on the brink of emergence but the funding  volunteers recruited for secretariat. website development for IPEN (significant progress) and CoLab (still early stages) now underway. looking at funding for the next phase has changed the dynamics of collaboration and there is an atmosphere of waiting to see how the focus shifts with the funding bid contents.

 

Web

  • If you have 20 minutes to help us improve our website, please click this link - anyone is welcome!
  • By changing their working patterns, Nicola and Nigel are now finding they have better skills sharing.
  • The team is establishing a new common work logging system.
  • Fairly stable stats but our bounce rate really needs improving on all sites - still around 80% of users are new users each quarter, which is a great opportunity for sales that doesn't seem to be being translating properly.
  • New web volunteer Daria is working well on the Scotland website. Progress on 52 Climate Actions, Diploma portal, Member map, CiviCRM event deposits, new Events sub-domain.

 

Educators Network

  • Cara has covered the last 6 months of Jemma's maternity leave. Jemma is due back at the beginning of June.
  • She coordinated the Educators' edge day in Manchester alst September, a full day of collaboration, meetings and networking.
  • Trialing a new 'themed' format for the monthly Educator's online meetings which are proving popular and numbers are consistant and rising. We now have a good waiting list of topics proposed. The monthly newsletter often mirrors these themes.
  • Working on recruitment by contacting expired members, promoting membership to contacts but numbers still stubornly fluctuate around 50-60.
  • Funding and project development work continues on PA courses/online provision with a small working group. We hope to trial one or 2 courses internally during the summer within Diploma Tutor training.
  • Coordinating the Education working group on policy work - regarding complaints proceedures and support; and new certified courses content for 'Teacher Training'.

Wales Network

  • Cara has been steadily writing funding bids for educational support work but to no avail as yet. We eagerly await news of the Awards for All bid in late May.
  • We are planning this years summer gathering in north Pembrokeshire at a beautiful listed farm and intentional community of Brith dir Mawr, the home of That Roundhouse and arguably the trigger for One Planet Development Policy in Wales. 
  • This year we are teaming up on camp with Landworkers Alliance Wales  hoping to double the audience and the workshops.
  • After some legal consultation work, we are looking forward to being the first official Permaculture Association (Britain) branch.
  • We have set up a crowd funding site at Local Giving which we will be promoting.

Strategy

  • We are finalising documentation now. Business plan will follow from strategy which is the current priority.
  • Funding plan very close too, and Chris is helping to pull it together.
  • We do have a very clear set of priorities, we just need to finish the documentation. We're excited to share it!