A Guiding Hand

February 1, 2017, Department, by Gina Mullins-Cohen

Gina Mullins Cohen Standing Pond 410

This month’s issue of Parks & Recreation magazine will help guide you through some of the most complicated and daunting financial issues affecting today’s park and recreation agencies, especially when it comes to pensions and fundraising initiatives. Fortunately, we have enlisted some leading experts to walk you through the process and offer some sage advice. In addition, we’ll bring you up to speed on the efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and what legal steps the NRPA Public Policy Team plans to take on your behalf.

In their piece on page 34, titled “The Gathering Pension Storm,” authors Richard J. Dolesh, NRPA’s vice president of strategic initiatives, and Kevin Roth, Ph.D., NRPA’s vice president of research, discuss how the cost of unfunded pension liabilities could potentially affect park and rec agencies’ efforts to meet their goal of effectively serving their communities, not to mention their ability to protect their employees’ retirement plans.

Next, author Nathan A. Schaumleffel, Ph.D., shares his best practices for annual fundraising with his piece, “Forget About Grants!” beginning on page 38. According to Schaumleffel, park foundations and friends groups should employ a multichannel fundraising strategy using five or more channels, including membership, direct mail, direct email, phone solicitation, online and social media, and a signature special event.

Making good on their campaign promise, congressional Republicans have already taken steps to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On page 20, Oliver Spurgeon, NRPA’s government affairs manager, delves deeper into the ACA and points out the challenges Congress will have in repealing and, ultimately, replacing it. What’s more, the NRPA Public Policy Team will continue to work with congressional Republicans to draft a bill that (1) stabilizes or lowers healthcare costs, (2) continues to improve the quality of healthcare, (3) maintains coverage for as many as possible of the 23 million Americans who gained it under the ACA and (4) emphasizes the role park and recreation agencies play in promoting prevention, improving public health and aiding medical research to lower America’s long-term healthcare costs.

You should also check out the 2017 Aquatics Guide. Inside the pages of this special supplement are the latest trends in aquatics. Featured topics include how variable frequency drives conserve energy, the ins and outs of salt chlorination systems, and how to leverage media engagement to promote your aquatics facility.

Lastly, don’t forget to apply for the NRPA awards. This is your agency’s chance to be recognized by your industry peers. Winners will be honored during the NRPA Annual Conference September 26–28, 2017, in New Orleans. Further details can be found on page 46, or email us with your questions. Remember, you can’t win if you don’t apply.

Gina Mullins-Cohen is NRPA's Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Publishing and Editorial Director