When Two Become One

Restructure Restores Future of Landcare in Southern New England

When Two Become One

Restructure Restores Future of Landcare in Southern New England

Building our Future -


The issue

In mid 2015, Southern New England Landcare almost wound up its operations. This was due to a number of factors: key staff had left the organisation, core funding was cut, project funding reduced, administrative burdens were at an all-time high, group activity was extremely low and volunteer board members were struggling to keep the organisation afloat. This case study showcases how Southern New England Landcare is‘re-birthing’ to become a more relevant organisation for its members, the community and investors.

The solution

For the past 15 years, Southern New England Landcare operated two individual organisations, Southern New England Landcare Coordinating Committee Inc and Southern New England Landcare Ltd. This duplication of administrative burden and other stressors listed above were the catalyst for a review of the organisations operations, leading to some difficult but critical changes - staff and membership restructures, a  website overhaul, merger of two organisations, (ongoing process to follow due process), and the archiving of 15 years of hard copy documentation produced by these organisations.

The impact

The above activities have enabled Southern New England Landcare to work within its mission: to lead, connect and enable our communities to achieve their sustainable living goals. To assist in serving our members we have actively sought new partnerships with local businesses; and developed existing partnerships.  Additional staffing from the Local Landcare Coordinator Initiative has enabled the development and review of planning documents and as a result we are already starting to see our organisation increasing in its ability to source external funding. Key achievements include:

  • Increased voluntary Board membership and greater male/female balance
  • Reduced administrative burden through merger of the two organisations
  • New website with new online membership subscription process.


The review and adaptation process has taken almost two years, but has enabled our organisation to reach a new equilibrium and aim for a new, prosperous future. There is a significant lag-time between rebuilding an organisation and adoption of services and support available to members. Once lost, the momentum of volunteers and groups is slow to recover.

Key facts

  • Planning for the future is critical to the success of our organisation.
  • Non project-specific funds and staffing were essential to enable the necessary changes to the organisation.

Project Partners