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 includes
a project to develop agency wide consistency in how the Park Authority
partners with and supports all of our 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
- Friends review Policy and MOA
- June 8, 2017 Spring Meeting with Friends
- Individual meetings between PA and Friends Groups or
- Friends provide feedback on the Policy, MOA, and PVT 1st
- PA makes revisions and sends out 2nd drafts
- Summer Federation Meeting August 8, 2017
- Form Friends Group Task Force
- Continue individual meetings between PA and Friends Groups
- Friends Group Taskforce refines MOU template, Policy, and
identifies next steps
- Friends Group Policy goes to the Park Authority Board for
Summary of August 2016 Survey Responses
information should be included in a Park Authority Friends Group
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’
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.
additional thoughts or suggestions?
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.