NC Conservation Network Drought Postcard

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
NC Conservation Network
City & State:
North Carolina
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement
The North Carolina Conservation Network is a statewide network of over 100 environmental, community and environmental justice organizations focused on protecting North Carolina’s environment and public health. The NC Conservation Network supports, trains and coordinates diverse groups and directly advocates to achieve equitable and sustainable solutions for our environment.

Submission Information

Impact Essay
In 2007 and 2008, North Carolina was struggling with a historic drought and many citizens were being affected by strict regulations on water use. As the drought worsened, the NC Conservation Network (a statewide environmental organization working to protect North Carolina’s air, water, and quality of life), worked with allies to create a plan that would manage the drought and advocate for strong water management policies by requiring efficient use of water; linking growth decisions to water supplies; and updating our water laws. However, the NC Conservation Network needed a way to get the word out to citizens across North Carolina about the severity of the issue and the need for them to take action regarding our state’s water management. Having no graphic designers on staff and no allocated funds to pay for an out-of-house design effort, we were forced to think creatively and to experiment with the resources we had on hand. We decided to create a compelling postcard that would serve three main purposes: 1) direct people to our website to sign a petition for better water policies; 2) provide easy tips for individuals to save water at home; and 3) improve the NC Conservation Network’s visibility outside of our network of activists. We used Adobe Photoshop CS2, purchased through TechSoup, to create the postcard in-house. We launched the postcards at our annual State Fair—where they proved both eye-catching and informative. The postcards were also distributed by our activists in their neighborhoods, at their churches, and at other community events. All in all, over 3,800 postcards were distributed throughout the state. As a result of our efforts (both with the postcard and through our online action center), over 3,000 people signed our petition to ask the Governor and legislative leadership to take decisive action on the drought; countless people used our tips to conserve water at home; and over four hundred individuals joined our network of activists. In early 2008, the NC Conservation Network and other members of the water community in NC signed onto a letter to the Governor outlining the above proposal. The letter was then delivered with the signatures from our drought petition. During this time, the Governor stepped forward and proposed a set of solutions, which became a bill that the NC General Assembly passed that year. The bill strengthens North Carolina’s ability to weather droughts and takes several steps towards better management of our water resources. Without the use of Adobe Photoshop, which we were only able to purchase through TechSoup due to limited funds, the NC Conservation Network could not have moved so many citizens to take action on the drought. In the end, we were able to provide citizens with professional handouts that not only effectively got the word out about the drought campaign, but enhanced the NC Conservation Network’s public image, helped pass essential legislation, and enabled us to grow our network of activists!
Submission Category
Environmental Impact Print/Photo
Project Image
Supporting Work Files