OLCV Education Fund leads a number of programs that improve the capacity of the environmental community by educating, training, and coordinating citizens and organizations.

The Oregon Conservation Network

Since 1996, OLCV Education Fund has coordinated the Oregon Conservation Network (OCN), a coalition of more than 30 organizations that work together to build the environmental community’s political power in Salem.

In its initial years, OCN primarily served to defend environmental safeguards from hostile legislative leaders. In the process, we helped build momentum to pass positive, commonsense laws that protect Oregon’s natural legacy.

The Central Oregon Conservation Network

The Central Oregon Conservation Network (COCN) is similar to the Oregon Conservation Network but more focused on local and regional government bodies and voter engagement efforts in Central Oregon.

COCN has two main guiding principles: to increase coordination in the conservation community and increase awareness and public support of our issues at the regional level. By adhering to these principles we will better foster local political leadership, improve advocacy efforts at all levels of government, and help to make the region a leader in passing innovative environmental policy, that includes but is not limited to measurable improvement in biodiversity, environmental quality and environmental justice and equity.

OCN Lobby Day

At a strategic time in each regular legislative session, OLCV Education Fund and the Oregon Conservation Network organize a “Citizen Action Day” at the state capitol. OCN’s 2021 Lobby Day was held virtually in March. Over 200 participants from around the state came together (virtually!) to urge legislators to pass OCN’s 2021 Priorities for a Healthy Oregon.

Message Development

OLCV Education Fund brings together conservation groups to explore how framing and language impact our individual and collective success in protecting Oregon’s environment.

The goal is to discover the values that motivate us all and to teach conservationists to stress these values when they talk about the issues. In 2010, the Education Fund commissioned a public opinion poll and a resulting messaging playbook to help Oregon Conservation Network member organizations talk about legislative priorities.

Non-Partisan Voter Participation

The OLCV Education Fund has developed an ambitious project to educate voters in key counties about the importance of voting the whole ballot. Our work has targeted thousands of environmental voters, providing information about how elected officials make critical decisions that impact them.

We’ve also led an outreach project in three counties – Jackson, Marion and Clackamas – in which OLCV Education Fund has teamed up with legislative leaders to discuss environmental issues important to their communities.

List Enhancement

This project has helped conservation groups raise more money and recruit more volunteers by providing them with demographic information about their membership from a commercial voter file.

Grassroots Leadership

Periodically, the OLCV Education Fund conducts intensive skills training programs targeting potential candidates and citizens interested in building electoral skills. Participants receive training on fundraising, voter contact, campaign strategy and messaging, and take part in a simulated campaign.