Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF)

Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation
601 N Fairfax St. Suite 140
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 519-0013


RBFF was formed in 1998 to address the boating and fishing communities widespread concern over declining participation in these two recreational activities. During the past 5 years, RBFF's efforts were developed and directed with extensive stakeholder involvement. This effort or AGCO is a plan that consists of Awareness-Grassroots-Communications-and Operations (staff). AGCO is a comprehensive, research-based, integrated marketing and education effort focused on growing boating, fishing and aquatic resources stewardship. Awareness consists of such things as: RBFF's Water Works Wonders Campaign, co-operative Marketing and Marketing Research. Grassroots activities include: National Fishing and Boating Week, Passport to Fishing and Boating, Cooperative Agreements and a New Mobile Marketing Tour. This new Mobile Marketing technique features a 48foot semi-trailer that converts into a "mini-marina" and includes a variety of interactive exhibits on boating, fishing and stewardship. This exhibit recently visited the Kentucky State Fair (600,000 visitors), 38,300 of these visitors saw the truck, 11,500 stopped and visited, over 1,000 engaged in serious boating and fishing conversation, 900 were invited to a boat demo-day in Louisville, KY and 100 showed up 6 weeks later to ride and drive a new boat (figures courtesy of Thom Dammrich - President of NMMA).

January 23 2004

RBFF Gets Its Marching Orders for 2004-2009

Stakeholder feedback has guided the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) since its inception in 1998. The strategic planning process for the next five-years, 2003-2008, was not any different. "We're grateful for the tremendous investment of time and effort from each of our partners. The planning process was multi-tiered, comprehensive and lengthy, and we received excellent participation from our stakeholders every step of the way. Each partner brought a different perspective to the table, and with all the input and positive feedback we received, RBFF is well prepared to forge ahead with a highly focused and integrated marketing/grassroots strategic plan" says Bruce Matthews, RBFF president.

The strategic planning process had three steps, guided and developed by RBFF's volunteer Task Force Four. The first step was a stakeholder Internet survey with more than 1,600 participants. Participants included representatives from state and federal resource management agencies, boating and fishing manufacturers and retailers, aquatic educators, non-governmental conservation organizations and many more. The second step assembled 70 leaders from stakeholder organizations in a day-long Forum to examine and discuss survey results and develop a set of strategic recommendations for the RBFF board of directors. In the third and final step, the board of directors fully considered the strategic recommendations from the Forum and provided RBFF with the following strategic priorities:

1. Move from Production to Implementation

Throughout the planning process, RBFF stakeholders commended the availability and utility of the existing "suite" of tools developed by RBFF and provided to stakeholders for local level implementation over the last three years. The suite of tools includes: Water Works WonderTs marketing campaign materials; state marketing workshops; cooperative agreements with partners; National Fishing and Boating Week event materials; Passport to Fishing, Boating and Stewardship; Aquatic Science, Fishing and Boating Education Directory; physical education grants; and Best Practices in Boating, Fishing and Aquatic Resources Stewardship Education, to name just a few.

Visit for more information on everything available to you to grow fishing, boating and stewardship participation in your community.


2. Test the Suite of Tools in Regional Target Areas

As part of the new implementation focus, an exciting effort will start in spring 2004. RBFF will select a test area and facilitate a partnership with key organizations and agencies from the public and private sectors to promote fishing, boating and aquatic resource stewardship. The "regional test" will incorporate both marketing and grassroots strategies that use RBFF tools to grow fishing, boating and stewardship participation in the test area.


3. Other Strategic Priorities

Other identified strategic priorities directed RBFF to continue to focus its efforts with emphasis in the following areas:

National Fishing and Boating Week (NFBW): RBFF will dedicate more resources and staff time to growing NFBW, making it a highly visible national celebration of recreational fishing and boating.

Grassroots: RBFF will dedicate more resources and efforts to improve rates of boating and fishing adoption, and to help resource management agencies, industry and educators use products, tools and services more effectively.

Accountability: The RBFF board will create an accountability committee to develop consistent metrics to measure RBFF's success. This committee will also work with the Sportfishing and Boating Partnership Council (SFBPC) to develop an independent accountability audit using these primary success measures and other indices identified by the SFBPC.

Market Research and Media: Based on ad campaign evaluation efforts and additional market research completed by RBFF since the launch of the ad campaign, RBFF will begin investigating the utility of new advertising creative. Although new creative will not be developed in 2004, future ad concept development will take advantage of what we have learned over the last three years. Lessons learned from past advertising will help RBFF be prepared to produce new creative in years to come.

RBFF set its strategic priorities within the 6-year plan, and the board of directors is in the process of approving the plan and budget. The plan will drive the first year of implementation, which starts with RBFF's next fiscal year on April 1, 2004. More detailed results of the stakeholder survey and planning forum are encapsulated in the report "Stakeholder Feedback on the Strategic Direction of RBFF." This information helped RBFF's board identify strategic priorities for the next six years, which are condensed in the report "RBFF's Final Report: Strategic Priorities for 2004-2009" available for review at

If you would like more information about the strategic planning process visit: Contact Kirk Gillis, RBFF's director of communications and public relations, at (703-519-0013) for further information.