Christodora, Inc.

Nature, Learning, Leadership

aka Christodora: Nature, Learning, Leadership   |   New York, NY   |  http://www.christodora.org

Mission

Christodora's mission is to encourage the positive academic and developmental growth of New York City's youth through stimulating educational and challenging outdoor programs.

Ruling year info

2002

Executive Director

Ms. Judith Rivkin

Main address

1 E 53rd St 1401

New York, NY 10022 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

13-5562192

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Recreational and Sporting Camps (Day, Overnight, etc.) (N20)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Winter Ecology Program (public middle school classrooms)

Every year Christodora's Winter Ecology Program brings engaging environmental education programs to NYC public middle school students. Our educators are specially trained to inspire curiosity and make concepts of ecology relevant and exciting. After 7 weeks of inquiry-based science exploration, students take home a better understanding of the human impact on the environment, a clearer picture of where their drinking water comes from, an understanding of conservation, and the impact of urban sprawl on the environment and animals. Our curriculum is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and individual science teachers’ classroom goals. After this introduction, students report that they are more interested in science and in helping the environment.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups
Immigrants and migrants

Christodora's Manice Education Center camp in the Berkshires offers true wilderness immersion and the chance for urban students to see the night sky for the first time; we have 200 acres, surrounded by 10,000 acres of state parks. There, school groups experience 3-day field trips in the spring and fall (mostly from schools that have had WEP in their classrooms) and a succession of sessions for middle and high school campers span the summer months. Students leave all electronics behind and participate in multi-day backcountry hiking and canoeing expeditions, tend the chickens and garden, conduct scientific investigations and simply revel in the beauty of nature. Most important are the values that students incorporate into their daily lives: the “3 R’s” of risk, responsibility, and respect; leave-no-trace; and finding their voice as leaders.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Economically disadvantaged people

Our “ecosystem of programs” ensures that once students’ interest is sparked, they can remain connected throughout the year, including as part of our New Youth Conservationists’ urban ecology programs. Based on weekends at the New York Botanical Garden, students engage in 2 stewardship (such as Bronx Park trail maintenance and cleanup) and citizen science projects (including monitoring a wildlife camera, tracking tree phenology, and tallying types of garbage collected during a Bronx River cleanup).

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Economically disadvantaged people

Christodora's Summer Ecology Program provides an opportunity for specially selected urban high school student- all recommended by their science teachers or principals- to explore forest ecosystems and conduct original research. Students who attend the program cultivate a respect for the natural world and a love for the scientific process. Christodora is privileged to base this program at the Yale School of Forestry Camp, within the Great Mountain Forest in Norfolk, CT. At the end of the two week session, each student takes home a formal written report and a unique experience that is a blend of science, fun, and friendship.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

The Edward S. Elliman Scholarship Program for Advance Studies in the Environment builds on students' experience at the Manice Center and in other Christodora programs. Through an endowed scholarship program, a select number of highly motivated high school students are awarded the opportunity to pursue their studies in specialized science and wilderness programs (such as): National Outdoor Leadership Schools (NOLS), Outward Bound, The Environmental Studies Summer Youth Institute at Hobart and Williams Smith Colleges, and Teton Science Schools.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Accreditations

HI Impact Award 2018

HI Impact Award 2017

HI Impact Award 2019

Awards

Volunteers of the Year 2012

Bronx River Alliance

Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition 2008

Congressman Jose Serrano

Volunteer Certificate of Excellence 2021

Bronx River Alliance

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Adolescents, Ethnic and racial groups

Related Program

Winter Ecology Program (public middle school classrooms)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

1800 students are enrolled through our Winter Ecology Program in NYC schools, with a total of 2500 including summer camp and trips to our Manice Education Center.

Number of youth who demonstrate that they have developed social skills (e.g., interpersonal communication, conflict resolution)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2019, 98% of our students demonstrated increased success in at least one social-emotional learning skill.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

Christodora’s goal is to encourage the positive educational and developmental growth of underprivileged New York City youth through stimulating educational and challenging outdoor programs.

Christodora creates a “ladder of opportunity” for our students’ growth through a range of programs with increasing, age-appropriate challenges, and careful attention to each student’s social-emotional growth. Our years of experience and engagement with schools in diverse communities throughout the City enable us to reach students during the school year, excite them about our programming, and engage with them throughout their middle and high school years and beyond. Most of our students meet federal poverty levels to qualify for free or reduced lunch and live in traditionally under-resourced communities in NYC; nearly all are Latino, African-American, from immigrant families, and/or multi-ethnic. Our staff is fully representative of our students: over half of our staff are former students, and peer leadership and mentoring are important elements of the Christodora experience.

The Board of Directors currently stands at 19 members, with 4 new members added over the course of three years. Christodora's board has the following committees: Executive Committee, Nominating/Governance Committee, Finance and Audit Committee, Development and Communications, Program Committee, and Risk Management Committee.

Our Board of Directors remain our key supporters in fundraising with 100% participation in giving. In the past years we have succeeded in increasing revenues and managing costs, so that we now have a budget that is balanced (including the board-designated contribution of 3% of unrestricted net assets).
• In 2013 and 2014, we held our two most successful gala events in our history.
• We have diversified funding sources, including new foundation and corporate support, theater benefits and a canoe relay on the Bronx River.
• We have greatly increased donations from individuals, by broadening our outreach and offering more opportunities for giving.
• As we focus on increasing donations from individual supporters, we also attract new board members; we are about to add 2 individuals to our board roster.

In 2014, through a board member connection, we launched our much-needed new website using NerveWire, a digital media firm. We launched the Salesforce.com database, a system that will allow us to track our students and evaluate their outcomes over a longer term, maintain relationships with school and community partners and with donors, and parse the data for more targeted communications.

In 2015 we look forward to maintaining the positive momentum in our programs. In addition, we will resume our formal strategic planning process, enhance our new website and database capabilities, and improve our communications and development efforts overall.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We collect feedback from alumni, schools, students, parents, and organizational partners that we serve.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

Christodora, Inc.
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Christodora, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 12/2/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Tatiana Pouschine

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    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? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/2/2021,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/29/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.