Resources designed to empower Trout Unlimited volunteers to build and sustain healthy and effective chapters and councils.
COVID-19 Updates & Resources
Our priority is to ensure the safety and health of all TU volunteers, members and supporters.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all TU indoor, in-person events – including local chapter and council events – are cancelled through April 30.
We will post an update on or before April 30 as we review the changing situation.
At this time chapters and councils may continue to hold small group, outdoor activities – such as trash cleanups or tree plantings etc… – but must follow all federal guidelines and the requirements of state and local authorities when making event decisions. (For instance a number of states have ordered the cancellation of all group events of any size – even if they are outdoors.)
The following resources and opportunities are designed to help you connect to your community in a digital way, as well as potential replacements for outdoor group events with “do it yourself” opportunities for your members and supporters. These resources will be updated frequently.
While we will continue to provide information on opportunities and ways for you to engage in your chapter work, please know that we recognize the challenging times we are in and that many of these suggestions will be impractical or impossible in your specific community based on the conditions and local health and safety requirements.
Volunteer Training Schedule
The following trainings and discussions are being held to support chapters to manage the challenges of COVID-19 and identify opportunities. To join these live web sessions, simply click the link in the session title to register. All sessions are listed in Eastern time.
Join the following volunteer trainings and roundtable conversations by selecting the training to register:
- April 1 – Annual Financial Report & IRS Training
- April 3 – TU Social Hour: Volunteer Community Conversation with Chris Wood (5PM)
- April 6 – Leaders Roundtable: Communications Tools & Tips (12PM)
- April 7 – Connecting with Members During COVID-19 (8PM)
- April 9 – Using TU’s New Online Fundraising Tools (8PM)
- April 14 – Leaders Roundtable: Membership Engagement (2PM)
- April 21 – Organizing a Leader Recruitment Committee (8PM)
- April 22 – Leaders Roundtable: Leadership Development (4PM)
- April 30 – Leaders Roundtable: Fundraising Tools & Tips (8PM)
- May 5 – Generating & Prospecting Leadership Leads (8PM)
- May 7 – Keeping Conservation Going this Summer (8PM)
- May 19 – Innovations Driven by COVID – Tactics & Technology (8PM)
- June 4 – Planning for the Fall: What Activities Work Best (8PM)
Communications & Engagement
Communicating and connecting with members and supporters will require a digital focus for the foreseeable future. Here are some great resources and tips:
Had a chapter meeting you needed to cancel? Ask the speaker to do a Facebook Live session on your chapter page instead! Also great for weekly fishing reports, fly tying demonstrations and more…
Whether you host an online fly tying class, have a digital happy hour to talk trout, or want to offer a live training to your members, use tools like Google Hangouts Meet or Zoom video conferencing which are providing free tools during the pandemic.
Run An Online Contest:
Whether it’s a coloring contest for kids, a fishing photography contest, or an online quiz testing your members’ knowledge about conservation, fishing and local waters, there are lots of fun ways to engage the community.
Fundraising Tools & Tactics
COVID-19 has caused banquets to be cancelled and other fundraisers to be postponed. Raising money in this challenging environment will take new tools and strategies:
In the coming days and weeks, TU will be launching a suite of online fundraising tools for your chapter or council to use. These will include the ability to run an online auction, host a legal online sweepstakes, conduct crowdfunding, or run fun challenges (remember the ice bucket challenge) for your members.
At the same time, we’ll be here to talk through fundraising strategy, and how to consider what tools will work best for your community, and if waiting to launch a fundraiser until times are more certain is a better plan.
Sign up for the fundraising training offerings at left, or contact your Volunteer Operations Staff for more information and ideas for raising money in tough times.
Top Tacklebox Resources For Volunteers
Click the buttons below to jump straight to the Tacklebox section or resources you need. Click here for a roadmap of all the resources you can find in the Tacklebox. Scroll down to view all the Tacklebox sections.
Risk Management & Financial Controls Resources
Safeguarding TU assets, protecting your chapter or council against liability, and ensuring our credibility remains strong relies on a focused effort to make sure all the policies, procedures and requirements are being followed. These essential steps not only help prevent future issues, they strengthen your practices and increase your abilities as a volunteer-led organization.
Council Leader Resources
Designed for the officers, directors and committee leaders of our 36 state council, these resources include council officer resources, National Leadership Council information, council board & committee resources, council leadership development resources
Chapter Leader Resources
Designed for the officers, directors and committee leaders of our 385+ local chapters, these resources cover chapter leaderships, requirements of managing a nonprofit and a TU chapter, strategic planning, leadership recruitment and development and more.
Conservation & Science Resources
Driving the "Protect, Reconnect and Restore" aspects of our mission, these resources are designed to help volunteers implement conservation projects, engage in hands-on science and monitoring work, and grow a community around their conservation efforts!
Diversity, Youth and Veterans Services Resources
At the core of the "Sustain" part of our mission, are the activities that help build a community within our chapters. Efforts to engage and educate the next generation of conservationists, to broaden the diversity of our members and leaders and to serve and connect with veterans are critical to building strong and healthy chapters and councils.
Membership Recruitment & Engagement Resources
With more than 300,000 members and supporters, TU's greatest strength is the army of angler advocates and volunteers we can muster to lead, support and promote our organization and its mission. At the chapter and council level, recruiting new members and getting existing members more active are among the best ways to grow your volunteer and resource pool and increase your local work.
Effective communications are essential to success in all of our chapter, council and national activities. In this day and age, reaching members, potential members and supporters requires a healthy mix of print, digital and social media communications and use of messages and images proven to grow the TU brand and awareness and participation in our work.
From banquets and traditional fundraising, to our vendor partner discount program and new fundraisers such as film tours and brewery events, there are plenty of tried and true tactics to raise money to support your mission. Review resources, guides, and see the lessons learned from fellow volunteers.
Trainings, Regional & Annual Events
Learn about powerful weekend retreats where you can meet and network with fellow volunteers, attend live online webinar trainings with TU staff and outside experts, and view recordings of past sessions and helpful tips for using and navigating the TU leaders tools.