PLATINUM2024

PennFuture

Pennsylvania's watchdog for clean air, pure water, and a healthy climate.

aka Citizens for PennSylvania's Future   |   Harrisburg, PA   |  http://www.pennfuture.org

Mission

PennFuture is leading the transition to a clean energy economy in Pennsylvania and beyond. We are protecting our air, water and land, and empowering citizens to build sustainable communities for future generations.

Ruling year info

1998

President and CEO

Patrick McDonnell

Main address

610 N. Third St.

Harrisburg, PA 17101 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

31-1607866

NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (W01)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (W01)

IRS filing requirement

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

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2023, 2022 and 2021.
Register now

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

PennFuture was created in 1998 to address the critical environmental issues facing Pennsylvania through our signature legal, policy, outreach, and communications strategies. Now in our 22nd year, the urgency of our work has never been greater as we defend bedrock environmental policies and advance new protections. Challenges we currently face include: • An unfavorable political environment resulting in few policy pathways for solutions to climate change impacts and environmental degradation. • State investments are predominately being made in natural gas development, related petrochemical industries and supporting infrastructure such as pipelines, with a minimal understanding of the economic development opportunities if renewable energy was equally invested in. • A public that is largely uninformed about the urgent need to transition to renewable energy and about the true adverse health and environmental impacts behind natural gas development.

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?

Underfunded and Polluted: Solutions to Fund Clean Water in Pennsylvania and the Chesapeake Bay Water

We are at an inflection point for Pennsylvania’s efforts to save the Chesapeake Bay.

What policymakers in the Keystone State do—or more importantly, what they do not do—over the next five years will determine not only the fate of many of the Commonwealth’s rivers and streams in the Susquehanna and Potomac River Basins, but also the fate of America’s largest estuary and third largest in the world.

With that sense of urgency in mind, PennFuture today released a policy agenda designed to give Pennsylvania lawmakers a roadmap to fund clean water programs and to get us back on track toward meeting our obligations to clean up the bay.

Titled “Underfunded and Polluted: Solutions to Fund Clean Water in Pennsylvania and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed,” our report puts forth a legislative agenda that, if acted upon, would provide the technical assistance, agency support, and public investments needed to put Pennsylvania on the path toward meeting the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load, or the so-called “pollution diet” goals, by its 2025 end date.

Pennsylvania plays a key role in helping to save the bay.

To that end, the Susquehanna River provides half of all the freshwater that flows into the Chesapeake Bay, and there are more than 15,000 miles of polluted streams within Pennsylvania’s portions of the Susquehanna and Potomac River Basins alone.

Our water pollution problem has become so severe that Pennsylvania is required to reduce its load of pollution into the Susquehanna River by 34 million pounds of nitrogen and 756,000 pounds of phosphorus by 2025.

Unfortunately, Pennsylvania’s history in attaining these results has been murky to date. Our leaders have lent support to plans for years to achieve clean water, but haven’t found the mechanisms to fully implement them.

The hope is that our report will be the missing link to bridge that gap toward clean water.
Read the report here: https://www.pennfuture.org/Files/Admin/Final-Chesapeake-report.pdf

Population(s) Served

PennFuture’s Green Stimulus and Recovery Platform for Pennsylvania aims to achieve four overarching goals:

- Safely and equitably restart the economy in a way that protects human health from both the pandemic as well as pollution.
- Avoid state budget cuts that will harm economic recovery and set back our nature-based businesses.
- Target recovery investments that put Pennsylvanians back to work rebuilding our natural infrastructure.
- Support Pennsylvania’s homegrown sustainable industries, like clean energy, that have long-term growth trajectories.

The policy agenda is estimated to require $2.83 billion in annual investments for the duration of the crisis and recovery, preserving or creating as many as 389,000 jobs.

Read the report here: https://www.pennfuture.org/Files/Admin/Green-Stimulus-FINAL.pdf

Population(s) Served

ReImagine Appalachia is a broad and inclusive coalition of individuals and organizations based in Appalachia, specifically in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky. As part of this coalition, PennFuture helped to craft a blueprint to amplify voices to expand economic opportunity and reduce our greenhouse gases.

Now is the time to come together and reimagine a 21st century economy for the Ohio Valley that’s good for workers, communities, and the environment.

The coalition’s policy blueprint, released on July 21, has three guiding principles.

-Expand opportunity through public investments
This blueprint calls on policymakers to maximize good union jobs, ensure access to union jobs for Black, Indigenous, women and low-wage workers, and ensure the community benefits from federal investments via public input and community oversight.

-Build a 21st Century sustainable Appalachia
In addition, the blueprint demans for officials to restore our damaged lands and waters, build a sustainable transportation system and create new jobs for transit workers, revive the Civilian Conservation Corps, modernize the electric grid, and grow manufacturing by making it cleaner and more efficient while also making Appalachia a hub for electric vehicle production and alternatives to single-use plastic.

-Rebuild the middle class
Finally, the blueprint advocates for union rights, better pay, benefits and local ownership models for working people across all industries in the region.

You can read the entire blueprint here: https://www.pennfuture.org/Files/Admin/ReImagineAppalachia_Blueprint_FINAL.pdf

Population(s) Served

Lake Erie provides drinking water to more than 240,000 residents in northwestern Pennsylvania, and it serves as the centerpiece for a booming tourism industry that brings in more than $1.2 billion annually to the region.

While we should do everything in our power to protect this vitally important natural resource, Lake Erie and its watershed are already facing a number of threats that jeopardize clean water and with it, the future of our region. For this reason, it is important to put protective measures in place now to ensure that these resources remain valuable and viable well into the future.

To that end, 13 local organizations on Dec. 3 released a new blueprint designed to protect the Lake Erie Watershed in Pennsylvania from threats like plastics pollution, climate change, invasive species and surface runoff, among others.

The 50-page document, called “Our Water, Our Future: A Common Agenda for Protecting Pennsylvania’s Lake Erie Watershed,” identifies threats to water quality in the Lake Erie Watershed of Pennsylvania and recommends solutions to those threats.

Spanning several months, the document was created by 13 Erie region partner organizations, as well as a Technical Advisory Committee composed of regional scientists that helped develop the agenda.


The overarching theme is for Erie to increase protection for water resources through inclusive decision making processes and policies that lead to sustainable, equitable communities.

You can read the report here: https://www.pennfuture.org/Files/Admin/ErieCommonAgenda_web_12.2.20.pdf

Population(s) Served

If our elected officials had a chance to inject billions of dollars back into Pennsylvania’s annual state budget, why wouldn’t they act immediately? The answer is simple: because they continue to coddle the fossil fuel industry with massive subsidies that incentivize dirty energy and extraction at a time when we need exactly the opposite.

This new report, titled “Buried Out of Sight: Uncovering Pennsylvania’s Hidden Fossil Fuel Subsidies,” is intended to shine a light on the preferential treatment received by the fossil fuel industry in Pennsylvania, while offering solutions to chart a better future.

PennFuture was able to identify over 50 ways that our state and local governments subsidize fossil fuels. Of the $3.8 billion total, the shale gas industry captured 52.1 percent, or $2.0 billion.

Read the report here: https://www.pennfuture.org/Files/Admin/PF_FossilFuel_Report_final_2.12.21.pdf

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

National Wildlife Federation 2023

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Total number of messages our supporters sent to decision makers.

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

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Refers to email action alerts. 2023 saw a significant decrease in actions due to a protracted budget stalemate and legislative gridlock resulting in the legislature not taking action until Fall 2023.

Number of legislative pieces PennFuture worked on.

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

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Refers to the number of PA state legislative pieces, which had an environmental impact (positive or negative), that PennFuture staff were actively involved in supporting or fighting against.

Number of hours of legal services dedicated by PennFuture to protecting the environment.

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

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Includes full-time legal staff and interns for both legal matters and grant projects.

Number of media pieces on PennFuture’s work on environmental issues.

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

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Earned media hits as well as media hits in local, state, and national media. In 2023, PennFuture shifted to prioritizing and increasing its social media engagement, which is not captured here.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

PennFuture is leading the transition to a clean energy economy in Pennsylvania and beyond. We are protecting our air, water and land, and empowering citizens to build sustainable communities for future generations. We have been instrumental in nearly every state environmental policy victory of the last 20 years. We have provided millions of dollars of pro bono legal services to citizens throughout the state, establishing a long track record of successes that have set critical precedents, reduced pollution, and ensured that environmental laws are enforced. Looking to the future, PennFuture aims to protect the state’s environmental laws from rollback as well as advance a new generation of clean energy, air, and water policies. In 2016, PennFuture strategically aligned with Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, establishing a new program on civic engagement to create more informed elected officials and build a more engaged electorate on environmental issues. More information at pennfuture.

PennFuture’s signature strategies include:
LEGAL: PennFuture provides low or no-cost legal services to citizens and conservation organizations so that they have a voice in decisions that impact their health and environment.
POLICY: PennFuture tracks key legislation and communicates positions to policy-makers that will protect our air, land and water resources, and promotes a clean energy economy.
OUTREACH: PennFuture connects with local communities on the issues that matter most, such as clean air and water, public health, and clean energy communities.
COMMUNICATIONS: PennFuture executes high visibility advertising, earned media, and communications campaigns to educate the public and put pressure on polluters.
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT: Through our association with Conservation Voters of PA, PennFuture executes voter and candidate education programming to elevate public debate on environmental and energy issues during elections.

We are a statewide organization with over 25,000 supporters. We have offices in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Mount Pocono and Erie, and serve citizens across the state who care about clean air, land, water, and energy.
We conduct issue campaigns, mobilize our members, network with local, state, regional and national environmental organizations, conduct policy analysis and advocacy, and provide legal services to communities impacted by pollution.
PennFuture’s staff includes attorneys, outreach and media professionals and policy experts. PennFuture is uniquely qualified to provide public education, lead campaigns and coalitions, represent communities, and engage with legislators.

Thanks to our members, PennFuture helped to secure $900 million in public investments this year for the Clean Streams Fund, the Agriculture Conservation Assistance Program, the State Parks & Outdoor Recreation Program, the Water Infrastructure projects at PennVEST, the Commonwealth Finance Agency & DEP, and the Whole-Home Repairs energy efficiency program– benefiting everyone in the Commonwealth!

PennFuture just released our annual Impact Scorecard that details the work we’ve done, thanks to you, during this year. This work is what helped make that $900 million in public investments possible. The scorecard is available on our website at pennfuture.org/2022scorecard. Here are some highlights:

• Since January of 2022 we’ve held 362 meetings with legislators. During that time, we successfully passed 6 pro-environmental bills; supported 60 good environmental bills; and defended against 50 bad bills.
• We also get our representatives attention by submitting 22,409 action alerts to them from supporters like you, as well as having over 300 media mentions in outlets including NBC News, CBS News, ABC News, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. This includes having 38 Op Eds and Letters to the Editor published.
• Our legal/policy/campaigns staff has directly submitted more than 30 public comments alone, plus dozens more have been submitted with coalitions. The legal team has also filed 9 amicus curiae and 3 rulemaking petitions to state and federal agencies.
• Speaking of the legal team, this year they have engaged in 14 new legal actions, and have had 3 big legal wins including stopping construction of the liquefied natural gas plant in Wyalusing, protecting water quality across three major watersheds, and protecting air quality in Renovo.
• Throughout this work we represented all our supporters, including our more than 1,100 Members in 58 PA counties, as well as 18 other states across the country.


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 demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • 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

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback

Financials

PennFuture
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our 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.

Operations

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

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

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.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

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.

PennFuture

Board of directors
as of 01/22/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Scott Tobe, CAP®

Signature Financial Planning

Term: 2022 - 2023

Cecily Kihn

Retired

Michael E Mann

University of Pennsylvania

Corey C Wolff

John Vanco

Erie Art Museum (retired)

Ellen Lutz

Retired

Ann King Foster

Joyce Marin

Steve McCarter

Jennifer Swann

Suzette Munley

Michael Werner

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? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • 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 1/22/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/03/2022

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 disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • 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 have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • 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 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.