Peer Consults

"We are so thrilled with the investment, process and result of the ANCA consult. We distributed the final report to our Board of Trustees yesterday and we all agree it is a fantastic tool for helping us move forward." - Carrie Kasnicka, Conservation Director with Guadalupe Blanco River Trust and 2016 Peer Consult Client

A Peer Consult from the Association of Nature Center Administrators (ANCA) is your chance to get insightful advice and proven problem-solving for your nature or environmental learning center, delivered by professionals who know the business — because they’re in it, too! Peer Consult teams are professionals whose clearly relevant backgrounds will carry weight with board members, staff, funders, and supporters.

A Consult involves an intensive two-day visit to your site from a small team of experts, chosen for their familiarity with your particular challenges. All are ANCA members, and many are current or former members of the ANCA board. For many clients, it is the beginning of an ongoing personal network of peers and friends.

Peer Consults offer flexibility that brings experience and wisdom to the issues facing your organization.

What to Expect

A typical Consult involves an informal reception and discussion on the evening of the Team’s arrival. The following two days are spent touring the site as well as meeting with your staff, board, and stakeholders. As a culmination of the visit, the team presents a report with a review of your organization, recommendations, and resources to specifically address the issue. 

Here’s what else you can expect:

  • Clear understanding and consideration of your challenges;
  • A continuous flow of ideas and insights;
  • News and views on state-of-the-art nature center management;
  • Experienced leaders who will help you structure an effective consulting process;
  • A network of new peers whom you’ll feel comfortable calling with follow-up questions;
  • A team of professionals whose clearly relevant backgrounds will carry weight with board members, staff, funders, and supporters;
  • A written report summarizing the consult;
  • A consultation whose value will easily outweigh the cost!

What Can Be Covered

ANCA Consults provide assistance on a wide range of issues – just about anything involved with the planning, funding, and operation of nature and environmental learning centers.

"We had our ANCA consult over the weekend and it was awesome. It was the most amazing, fantastic experience. I can’t say enough about the team, the process, the product, even though it is just the preliminary report. I really wanted to pass that along to everyone at ANCA." - Loren Smith, Buffalo Audubon Society and 2014 Peer Consult Client

ANCA’s practicing professionals will share their experience on many topics that you select, including, but not limited to:

  • long-range and strategic planning preparation
  • personnel and human resource issues
  • organizational structure
  • facility and land use planning
  • green building
  • capital campaign design
  • board recruitment and training
  • review or brainstorming of education programs, exhibits, or interpretive trails
  • fundraising and fiscal management
  • starting a nature center
  • management strategies
  • community outreach and strategies
  • marketing and media relations


The client organization pays a $3,250 fee that helps cover the operations of ANCA. In addition, the client organization is responsible for Team members’ travel, lodging, food, and relevant incidental expenses usually between $1,500-$2,500. ANCA consultants travel on the most reasonable and least expensive feasible transportation. We are open to creative lodging arrangements, including residential center facilities.

Many organizations have successfully sought grant funding to cover the cost of an ANCA Consult.

“We had an awesome experience with our consult and continue to refer to the guidance provided as we implement our strategic plan.” - Meaghan Boice-Green, Center Director at NYSDEC Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, still using Peer Consult Report 2 years after 2011 consult

Financial Aid

ANCA offers a Peer Consult financial assistance program to help organizations that may not otherwise be able to afford the full consult fee that offers up to $2,250 in assistance. There are two application deadlines a year: October 31st, and March 15th. For more information and the application, click here.

Note: ANCA is currently not accepting applications for financial aid. If you are interested in scheduling a future Peer Consult and will need to apply for assistance, please contact ANCA Executive Director Jen Levy.

I'm Interested!

Please call the ANCA office at 435-787-8209 or contact us here for an initial assessment of your issue or question and to see if a Peer Consult is right for you.