Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification

Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy

Minneapolis, MN


Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy empowers individuals and their communities to engage in solutions to climate change.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Ms. Nicole Rom

Main Address

2801 21st Ave South Suite 110

Minneapolis, MN 55407 USA


Climate change, climate change education, Environmental education, advocacy, clean energy, youth leadership





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (C01)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

Citizenship Programs, Youth Development (O54)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Our programs

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Emerging Leaders

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Charting Impact

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We believe that climate change is the most pressing issue of our time, and that building climate literacy and action are essential pathways towards effectively decarbonizing and preserving a livable planet for future generations. Our organizational vision is a world of resilient communities with equitable solutions to climate change. To advance that vision, we support a policy goal of 100% clean energy and 80% greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2050 at the latest. Internally, we have a goal of building organizational health through strong governance, financial stability, proactive multi-year fundraising, a cohesive and empowered team, and Will Steger's legacy. Our Education program goal is to share and implement a science-based, interdisciplinary model of climate change education and public engagement that engages all learners, and fosters climate literacy and action. Our Emerging Leaders program goal is to provide opportunities for high school students to engage as stakeholders in the just transition to a healthy and resilient climate future.

With the election outcome of November 2016, it is evident that basic science, climate literacy, clean energy progress, and reducing harmful carbon emissions will be challenged at every corner. As Climate Generation looks to the next three years, it remains firmly committed to rapidly accelerating the transition to a clean energy future and caring for the precious natural resources that sustain us all. Addressing climate risk and embracing the positive health, environmental, and economic benefits of an equitable and resilient low-carbon future cannot be delayed.

What we've learned is that the most important thing is to build bridges and not to focus on what divides us. The most effective way forward is to connect around a value or concern we genuinely share, and there are no shortage of ways climate change affects us all. With shared values and the power of personal story guiding our approach, we will seek out common ground whenever possible and stand our ground whenever necessary.

We believe that communities collectively hold the power to innovate and demand climate change solutions. Empowering individuals in their communities to make long-term, lasting change requires building climate literacy, understanding personal connections to climate change, and developing powerful advocates through a model of collaboration and partnership. By engaging educators, youth, and the public, we believe that communities can be better positioned to build a resilient and equitable future.

Supported by a robust group of 13 board members and a team of 12, Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy thrives off of the efforts of its savvy, collaborative, and empowered staff. We are accomplishing a great deal with lean operations. We are proud to have the same core staff involved in the organization since its creation in 2006; even interns and volunteers return to work with us year after year based on the positive experience they have had working with our organization. We have dedicated staff that is knowledgeable in their area of expertise and have an established record of successfully implementing our education, youth leadership and development programming.

We are a small non-profit organization with a budget of just over $800,000, but we do a tremendous amount of work by maximizing synergistic partnerships across all sectors, maximizing Will Steger's significant political clout, harnessing in-kind support to provide much of our professional services, nurturing our volunteer program to provide over 1,000 hours a year and making the most of every donation dollar we receive. Over 80% of our revenue directly supports our programs.

Our programming is based on best practices in environmental education, climate literacy, civic engagement and youth leadership, and we carefully track our progress to ensure maximum impact.

For our Education Program, each educator must provide information before they can download our curriculum. All of our curricula resources are reviewed by scientists, education professionals, and assessment experts. We periodically send surveys to educators to gather information on how the curriculum is being used and assess its impact on learning goals and behavior change. We collect surveys at each Summer Institute in order to evaluate each year and make changes for next year. We have also hired outside evaluators to conduct a formal evaluation of our Minnesota's Changing Climate program and our 2014-2016 Climate Minnesota public engagement initiative. We also engage educators in the planning of each Institute and work closely with a core network of schools to refine the program. Our public engagement work is measured by attendance at public events, public policy victories, and media coverage of our efforts.

For our Youth Program, we collect feedback at events, from our YEA! MN participants and from our youth leaders at the beginning and end of the academic year. We also host a year-end retreat for the program to collect feedback and plan for the future. Each summer, staff spend a significant amount of time reviewing the previous year and strategizing about how to make the program even more effective for the upcoming school year.

We're proud of the impact that we've had over the 10+ years of our organization's work. Early on, our founder Will Steger's eyewitness to climate change presentation inspired over 60,000 Minnesotans to take climate action since he began presenting in 2006. Will's story also captured the attention of our decision makers and the media, helping to pass Minnesota's Renewable Energy Standard and Next Generation Energy Act in 2007. Our youth programming has also helped advance strong climate and clean energy policy at the state level, including the passage of Minnesota's solar energy standard in 2013. On the education front, we have worked closely with thousands of educators to support them in bringing climate change into their classrooms, and we're seeing results in terms of a new generation of environmental stewards now coming into adulthood. Our public engagement work is connecting the public to climate change in deep, meaningful ways, helping people to discover their own stake in the issue as a means to motivate action.

We know climate change is not an issue that will be solved quickly, so each year we strive to set even more ambitious goals for our organizational impact. Climate change is too urgent not to be ambitious. Looking forward, we plan to enhance our climate change education program with new curriculum and professional development offerings; we will continue to support youth climate leadership across the Midwest, while working closely with and mentoring a small core of dedicated students; and we will strive to expand our public convenings, discussions, and forums as a platform for furthering civic engagement on this issue. We are also an active member of several campaigns to support national and state level climate and clean energy policy.

External Reviews


Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy

Fiscal year: Sep 01 - Aug 31

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

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

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  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2015 and 2014
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



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?


Organizational Demographics

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Sexual Orientation

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Diversity Strategies

We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
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We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
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We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan
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