For over 50 years, the Park Authority’s Friends Groups have supported,
enhanced, and advocated for Fairfax County’s parks, facilities, and
services. In order to acknowledge and expand upon the added benefit of
Friends Groups, the Park Authority’s 2013-2018 Strategic Plan included
a project to formalize the partnership between the Park Authority and
its Friends Groups.
The Friends Group Project deliverables are: a Friends Group Handbook,
a new Park Authority Board Policy, and a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).
The input and responsiveness of the Friends Groups during this project
is tremendously helpful and influential on the development of the
Handbook, policy, and MOA, so we thank you for your help!
We hope the Friends Project Page will help keep our Friends Groups
up-to-date on the project status, including what we already
accomplished, the current phase, and what is on the horizon!
- Distribute survey to Friends Groups
- Develop and distribute Handbook Table of Contents (TOC) 1st
draft for Friends
- First Friends Group Staff Team Meeting
- Staff Team reviews TOC 1st draft
- Refine TOC 1st draft
- Winter Federation of Friends meeting
- Friends review TOC 2nd draft
- Handbook draft begins
- Staff Team reviews Handbook Release 1
*Reprioritize: determined we need Policy approval and MOA
confirmation to move forward with the Handbook
- Policy and MOA work begins
- Begin to receive input on Policy and MOA
June 8, 2017
- Spring Meeting with Friends
- Friends review Policy and MOA
- Begin Handbook 2nd draft
- Staff Team reviews Handbook Release 2
- Policy goes to Park Authority Board for final approval
- MOA’s are signed
- Friends review Handbook
- Handbook goes live!
Summary of August 2016 Survey Responses
1. What information should
be included in a Park Authority Friends Group Handbook?
The most common suggestions for what to include in the handbook
were background and organizational information on the Fairfax
County Park Authority (FCPA), the Park Authority Board, and the
Fairfax County Government; advice and examples of how Friends
Groups can manage, structure, and maintain their organization and
their membership; information and guidance on fundraising,
advocacy, and partnership opportunities; how to establish a
nonprofit and get incorporated; and an explanation of the
relationship between Friends Groups and the FCPA.
2. What would be helpful
to including in the handbook about fundraising and tapping into
resources to leverage dollars to meet the Friends Groups’ financial
Explain the role of the Fairfax County Park Foundation (FCPF)
and the relationship between the Friends Groups and FCPF. Provide
examples and guidance on grant opportunities, developing
partnerships, and fundraising, including regulations and
requirements to fundraise.
3. As a part of this
project we want to address the requests to update or establish
MOU’s/MOA’s between Friends Groups and the FCPA. Please let us know
your ideas on the elements that should be included in such an
In the MOU/MOA define the agreement purpose, timeframe, scope of
relationship (roles and responsibilities) between the Friends
Groups and FCPA, use agreements, transference of funds, and what
would happen if a Friends Group dissolves.
4. How can we best keep
the communication channels open on this project to make sure you are
informed of developments as they occur?
Send out emails to Friends Groups with updates, schedule
Federation meetings, include Friends Groups representatives in
the process, and distribute materials to Friends Groups with
enough time for review and modifications.
5. Any additional thoughts
Some of the suggestions were for Friends Groups to partner
together to do joint activities; the Federation meetings could
include presentations from FCPA Division Directors; and for the
FCPA to look into and share other Friends Groups models.