Educational Institutions


  • Boulder, CO

Mission Statement

Alliance for Climate Education's mission is to educate young people on the science of climate change and empower them to take action.

Main Programs

  1. ACE Assembly/Climate Literacy
  2. Youth Leadership and Alliance Building (Action Teams)
  3. Action Fellowship

service areas


Self-reported by organization

ruling year


chief executive

Mr. Matt Lappe

Self-reported by organization


ACE, climate, education, youth, environment, leadership development, high school students

Self-reported by organization

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Also Known As



Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Secondary/High School (B25)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Impact statement

ACE's impact goals are to:

1) Increase knowledge

2) Activate leadership

3) Shift culture

Since our founding we have already reached nearly 2 million students with the ACE Assembly.


What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Self-reported by organization

Program 1

ACE Assembly/Climate Literacy

Through our multimedia assembly, ACE remains on the cutting edge of climate science communication and engagement. We cut through the complexity and controversy to present climate science in a way that is immediately relevant to students’ lives. We accomplish this by presenting the most current, peer-reviewed science through a unique blend of video, custom animation, music, storytelling, and interactive text messaging.



Population Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)


Program 2

Youth Leadership and Alliance Building (Action Teams)

ACE’s innovative Youth Leadership and Alliance Building (YLAB) program model is designed to increase youth participation in climate solutions at the community level after they're inspired by the Assembly. YLAB has been developed on the core principle that teens have a fundamental right to know about and participate in solutions to climate change.

As part of YLAB, Community Action Teams cultivate multigenerational impact by selecting outstanding youth leaders to work in partnership with adult climate allies. The Community Action Teams turn the knowledge, skills and climate science learned during the ACE Assembly into action by providing youth with the opportunity to assess the climate impacts and solutions in their communities and carry out impact projects based on the needs and opportunities of their specific region.

Community Action Teams are made up primarily of ACE youth working in partnership with local energy or climate-focused groups on a specific initiative, project or solution to directly address the causes and/or impacts of climate change. Over the coming year, ACE will continue to seek and formalize partnerships with active climate initiatives and organizations to coordinate channels of long-term participation for teen-based networks.



Population Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)


Program 3

Action Fellowship

The ACE Action Fellowship is a yearlong training program, that gives young people the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be powerful climate leaders. We have developed and tested our model through workshops delivered to more than 4,000 students over the past three years.

In each ACE region, we work with local partners to connect Action Fellows to climate campaigns where they can have immediate, real world impact. Meeting on a weekly basis, our Action Fellows strengthen these efforts with their unique skills, and deepen their own commitment to be lifelong leaders.



Population Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Self-reported by organization

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    Deliver consistent and high-quality climate science education to strategic schools within our 6 programmatic regions.

    Provide students with transformational leadership experiences that develop the skills necessary to take relevant climate action.

    Support youth to execute actions and campaigns that are relevant, realistic and have a positive impact on climate.

    Build confidence and capacity of our national teacher network to teach climate science and further develop young leaders.

    Collaborate with partners and thought leaders to achieve collective impact in program delivery.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    We build strong relationships with teachers, schools, administrators, and districts so that we can reach those students in greatest need.

    Our greatest learning has come from youth participants in our program. ACE values ongoing feedback and iterative input from our students, and draw on the direct input of our Action Fellows in order to fulfill our core mission of empowering young climate leaders.

    ACE works to deepen our commitment to attracting new young people into our action network and better communicate our story, like by launching a new website. We continue to build our expertise in leveraging virtual training tools, text messaging and social media to inspire young people to take meaningful civic actions. We have developed expertise in channeling the millions of students we've reached into a virtual network that empowers student action.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    With more than 18 staff members across the US we have the capacity to implement high quality programs in all of our regions.

    Every year, our annual network capture rate has been at least 20% or higher, bringing the total number of students in our current mobile network to over 209,000 and the total number of students in our email network to over 143,000. We are building a subset of that network called the "Go Team" to serve as a community of readiness for campaigns and to leverage to learn more about the youth demographic.

    We also work to support teachers both before and after the ACE Assembly. We provide access to the best resources available on climate science and literacy, including over 600 climate and energy lesson plans and other educational materials, developed by the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) in conjunction with
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    ACE not only tracks the number of students who are educated via our award winning Assembly, but has additionally been the subject of a recent paper, published by the journal Climatic Change. This paper demonstrated the results of a research project carried out by experts from Yale, George Mason University, and Stanford.

    They found that viewing ACE's award winning assembly deeply impacted students' understanding of climate change. This included:
    - Students demonstrated a 27% increase in climate science knowledge,
    - More than one-third of students (38%) becoming more engaged on the issue of climate change.
    - The number of students who talked to parents or peers about climate change more than doubled.

    This research, along with ACE's tracking of the number of projects completed by our Action Teams and Action Fellowship participants allows ACE to ensure that it is staying on track with our goals to educate and empower.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Since 2008, ACE has educated almost 2 million teenagers nationwide about climate change, trained over 4,500 young climate leaders, and inspired over 400,000 actions to protect our climate. This year, we deepen our work with exciting new opportunities for learning and leadership. We have expanded our Action Fellowship to all of the ACE regions, and look forward to providing opportunities for leadership and action in the upcoming school year.


Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

Alliance for Climate Education
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.


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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.




Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Knowledge Base Search
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.


Mr. Matt Lappe


Matt was ACE's fourth employee, brought on in 2008 to develop the science credibility of ACE's programming. Before taking the role of Executive Director, he served as ACE's Director of Education, developing ACE's multimedia education resources, overseeing the science training of staff, and convening ACE's Science Advisory Board, consisting of some of the top experts in the climate field. He also headed evaluation efforts to measure ACE's impact and managed the ACE Teacher Engagement program to help bring the best climate science into the classroom.

After receiving B.S. and M.S. degrees from Stanford University's Earth Systems program, he studied paleoclimate and environmental hydrology throughout Patagonia, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Upon his return to California, he taught at a small charter high school, heading their science and social studies departments. Before joining ACE, Matt worked as a Policy Analyst for the Tomales Bay Institute, where he worked on federal climate policy, and was a presenter for Al Gore's Climate Reality Project. Matt recently completed an Executive MBA program at the University of Colorado, Boulder. In collaboration with Stanford, Yale, and George Mason Universities, Matt's most recent paper was published in the journal, Climatic Change.



Michael Haas

Orion Energy Group


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Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


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Sexual Orientation

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