Michigan Nature Assn.

aka MNA   |   Okemos, MI   |  www.michigannature.org

Mission

The purpose of the Michigan Nature Association is to acquire, protect, and maintain natural areas that contain examples of Michigan endangered and threatened flora, fauna, and other components of the natural environment, including habitat for fish, wildlife, and plants of the state of Michigan and to carry on a program of natural history study and conservation education.

Ruling year info

1963

Executive Director

Mr. Garret Johnson

Main address

2310 Science Parkway, Suite 100

Okemos, MI 48864 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

38-6093404

NTEE code info

Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation and Management (C32)

Land Resources Conservation (C34)

Forest Conservation (C36)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Over 700 plants and animals in Michigan are rare and/or declining, and this number continues to increase due to habitat loss, invasive species, hydrological alterations, climate change, unsustainable use, disease, and other threats. The need to act is urgent. The impacts on rare species and natural communities have been severe. Nature provides us with essential ecosystem services – air, water, soil, natural resources, food, energy, medicine, etc. Biodiversity is a critical component for healthy ecosystems and for maintaining the ecosystem services we need to survive. Some of Michigan’s largest industries (tourism, forest products, agriculture) are based on fundamental biological and ecological processes. Many of our natural habitats have been significantly altered and replaced with biologically poorer and more homogenous human-dominated landscapes.

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?

Environmental Education

Partner with schools and other groups to increase access to nature

Population(s) Served
Adults

Maintain the ecological values of our sanctuaries and nearby lands through programs including, but not limited to, invasive species removal, low impact visitor access and habitat restoration

Population(s) Served
Adults

Acquire and maintain a network of nature sanctuaries across Michigan focusing on areas that contain rare species or natural features

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

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 volunteer hours contributed to the organization

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

Age groups

Related Program

Land Stewardship

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Total volunteer hours reported to MNA at workdays and other volunteer activities. This does not include volunteer work done by stewards or trustees that is not reported.

Total dollars received in contributions

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

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Total contributions including the value of land and easements donated or purchased below market value

Number of acres of land protected

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

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Total acres protected by the Michigan Nature Association

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.

The purpose of the Michigan Nature Association is to acquire, protect and maintain natural areas that contain examples of Michigan's endangered and threatened flora, fauna and other components of the natural environment, including habitat for fish, wildlife and plants of the state of Michigan and to carry on a program of natural history study and conservation education.

Our overall goal: To inspire people and communities across the state to be engaged in preservation of rare, threatened and endangered species and imperiled natural communities and to have a significant and measurable impact.

NOTE: MNA's 2020 Strategic Framework extended for one year due to Covid.

MNA began laying the groundwork for its 2020 Strategic Framework at the Board of Trustees retreat in July of 2013 through focused discussions on MNA's brand, membership-based business model, organizational capacity,strengthening the ecological integrity of our sanctuary system, the importance of strategic partnerships and organizational sustainability.

The resulting MNA 2020 Strategic Framework builds on a proud history that begins with MNA's founding in 1952. MNA's founders envisioned an organization that would connect people with nature and inspire the protection of rare, threatened and endangered species. Over the years, MNA expanded the scope and scale of its work to become a statewide conservation organization. Using volunteers, science and its growing expertise MNA has now protected more than 170 nature sanctuaries in 58 of Michigan's 83 counties, ranging from the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula to Michigan's southern border with Ohio and Indiana.

Michigan and the world around it are both changing rapidly. To respond to the challenges and opportunities ahead, MNA's 2020 Strategic Framework includes these three-cross cutting strategies:

PEOPLE—Engage and Inspire: MNA will engage individuals and communities to take an active role in the conservation of rare, threatened and endangered species and imperiled natural communities; we will use powerful, place-based experiences at key sanctuaries to inspire action; we will design our education programs to have enduring impact; we will leverage social media and digital tools to reach larger audiences; and we will broaden the base of support for conservation across Michigan.

LAND—Protect and Restore: MNA will protect and restore critical habitat in five priority regions and other key landscapes across Michigan; we will strengthen the ecological integrity of our statewide network of nature sanctuaries; we will work with partners to impact larger landscapes by linking protected areas, establishing wildlife corridors, and working with private landowners to influence the management of their lands; we will work to restore degraded habitat; and we will build, extend and strengthen our stewardship capacity throughout the state.

LEGACY—Build and Expand: MNA will enhance our effectiveness in order to sustain, and build on, the remarkable legacy left by those who came before us; we will seek to meet the highest professional standards, because our mission demands nothing less; we will aggressively take calculated risks and pursue growth while ever mindful of the need to protect the assets that have been entrusted to our care; we will set MNA on a course to become the premier organization of its kind in Michigan and beyond.

Several years ago MNA embarked on what has been termed a period of “strategic growth", where the Board's investments in operations have been driven by a shared sense that MNA has accrued over the years what might be called “non-financial deficits" in a number of key organizational attributes.

Perhaps the most conspicuous of these was stewardship of MNA's sanctuaries – until the Board took action to invest in additional personnel, MNA lacked the staff necessary for a stewardship program to care for a statewide network of more than 170 nature sanctuaries.

The Board's rationale behind addressing this “stewardship deficit" was clear – lack of adequate stewardship capacity risked the destruction or degradation of the very things MNA was designed to protect.

There have been other, less conspicuous “non-financial deficits" as well, ranging from a very limited membership base, minimal marketing and public relations, and a thin pipeline of major donors to foster future major gifts fundraising.

To address these issues, the Board has moved aggressively to:
• Support new marketing and membership strategies, like periodic public radio underwriting radio spots and special supplements of the magazine in The New York Times.
• Invest in continued staff growth, including a new outreach position and a reinstatement of a dedicated development position.
• Purchase of new office space, with a special emphasis on enhancing MNA's stature and reputation in addition to other considerations.

While making these investments, the Board has also remained committed to saving funds for the long-term to ensure MNA has resources for its future stewardship obligations. MNA has been able to both “grow" and “save" because it has benefited from significant annual surpluses in unrestricted revenue over the last five years.

What started as a small bird study group transformed into a state-wide land conservation organization.

In 1951, Bertha A. Daubendiek and a few of her friends started a group to study birds. The group started out with a mission to protect ecological diversity and to educate people about Michigan's diverse wildlife. This mission was revised over time as the organization expanded its ideology to accommodate land acquisition and conservation.

For over six decades, MNA members, donors and volunteers have built a network of more than 170 nature sanctuaries across the state - the largest network of natural areas owned and maintained by a nonprofit conservation organization in Michigan.

1952
What started as a bird-watching group signs Articles of Incorporation.

1960s
The organization acquires its first ten properties, including the first Upper Peninsula property.

1970s
MNA joins the Save the Pines campaign, and acquires one of its crown jewels: the Estivant Pines Nature Sanctuary.

1980s
Twin Waterfalls in Munising becomes the 100th property protected by MNA.

1990s
MNA creates nearly 40 new nature sanctuaries, including many that will become the most frequently visited.

2000s
MNA partners with the Michigan Karst Conservancy to protect the Mystery Valley Karst Preserve and Nature Sanctuary.

2014
MNA achieves national accreditation through the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.

2017
Today, MNA protects more than 170 nature sanctuaries across Michigan.

Financials

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

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Michigan Nature Assn.

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Yu Man Lee

Michigan Natural Features Inventory

Term: 2020 - 2022

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 ? 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? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/11/2021

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

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/11/2021

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

Policies and processes
  • 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.