ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) today announced the recipients of its new State Innovative R3 Program Grants. The Georgia Wildlife Resources Division, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department are the first three states to receive funds through this new grants program to support innovative and sustainable state marketing initiatives that focus on increasing fishing license sales and boat registrations through recruiting, retaining and reactivating (R3) anglers and boaters.
"The programs we will be funding in Georgia, Nebraska and Vermont are paramount in our effort to grow the number of anglers and boaters in the United States," said RBFF President & CEO Frank Peterson. "We look forward to sharing the results of these programs and hope that similar initiatives can be implemented in other states to further help with our goal of getting more Americans out on the water."
The Georgia Wildlife Resources Division will test a program to increase boat registration renewals and shorten the lapse period by providing boat owners an easy and convenient telephone Interactive Voice Response (IVR) option for registration renewal. Boat owners will receive a call before expiration and after expiration (if no action was taken) and allow owners to register over the phone. Additionally, the program will include message testing and will be promoted through social media, website and radio PSAs.
"I am thrilled with the receipt of this RBFF grant as it will allow our agency to proceed with the development of a new telephone interactive voice response option for boat registration renewal," said Dan Forster, Georgia Wildlife Resources Division Director. "This easy and convenient system will allow for expedited communication with boat owners prior to the expiration of their boat registration."
In an effort to establish an automated email system to replace their current manual process, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is implementing a program to develop better relationships with customers by automatically sending timely and targeted emails to anglers with information and resources available and expiration reminders. Additionally, emails will be personalized and customized based on past license purchases to encourage short-term license buyers to buy an annual or multi-year license.
"We are pleased to work with RBFF to develop better relationships with our customers by providing them with timely, useful materials to improve their fishing, boating and other outdoor experiences. As an agency, one of our highest priorities is to adopt digital communication methods that enhance our customers' experiences and engage them for a better outdoor experience," said Jim Douglas, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Director.
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is targeting the urban demographic and people who stay in Vermont state parks with "Reel Fun Vermont," a campaign that will utilize a combination of media strategies to increase participation in fishing. Using video PSAs, web, print, radio and social media, they will promote "Reel Fun Vermont" and fishing opportunities in the local parks to reach new target audiences.
"Vermont offers some of the finest fishing in the Northeast," said Louis Porter, Commissioner of Vermont Fish & Wildlife. "We're excited to introduce Vermont State Park visitors to the great fishing in the lakes, rivers, and ponds right where they're camping. We will also use this grant to encourage residents of Chittenden County to get outside this summer and explore the best and most accessible places to fish within a bike ride or short drive from where they live."
Grant proposals were reviewed and selected by RBFF staff and a Proposal Review Working Group made up of industry Board members, Federal agency and NGO representatives. Overall, RBFF received 19 proposal submissions with a wide variety of ideas to consider.
At the conclusion of the programs, learnings will be shared so that successful programs can be replicated and implemented as sustainable programs in states across the country. For more information about RBFF's programs, visit TakeMeFishing.org/corporate.