PLATINUM2023

Nature Forward

Connecting People and Nature in the Capital Region

aka ANS   |   Chevy Chase, MD   |  www.natureforward.org

Mission

Nature Forward’s mission is to inspire residents of the greater Washington, DC region to appreciate, understand and protect their natural environment through outdoor experiences, education and advocacy. We seek to create a larger and more diverse community of people who treasure the natural world and work to preserve it.

Notes from the nonprofit

The Board approves each five-year strategic plan which we follow carefully, creating departmental dashboards and reporting on progress to the Board each quarter along with monthly program and fundraising updates. Our Finance Committee meets 4-5 times per year and is responsible for oversight of the budget.

Ruling year info

1947

Executive Director

Lisa Alexander

Main address

8940 Jones Mill Rd

Chevy Chase, MD 20815 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

53-0233715

NTEE code info

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation and Management (C32)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (C01)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Blog

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?

Environmental Education Programs

Nature Forward provides GreenKids programs to more than 14,000 public school students and teachers annually. We also offer a nature preschool and kindergarten, summer camps, and countless natural history explorations and Naturalist Hour presentations for adults. We host biennial Taking Nature Black and Naturally Latinos conferences to connect and empower diverse environmental leaders.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
Adults
Children and youth

ANS provides opportunities for adults to hike, bird and botanize at more than 120 nature classes, field trips and outings each year. These programs offer nature novices and experienced naturalists alike a wide array of opportunities to explore and learn more about our area's natural history. All programs are led by experienced naturalists; foray lectures are at the Woodend Sanctuary,.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Thirty-six Natural History Field Studies courses, offered quarterly on a rotating basis, provide a unique opportunity to learn natural science from experts while exploring the ecosystems of the Central Atlantic region. Intended for the lay person and taught at the college freshman level, these evening courses are open to anyone at least 18 years old. Individual courses are useful to professional and amateurs alike in acquiring knowledge of specific subject matter and enhancing enjoyment of the out-of-doors.

The Natural History Field Studies curriculum has been designed to provide participants with a comprehensive and stimulating overview of the regions natural history and conservation issues and applications with an emphasis on learning in the field. A Certificate of Accomplishment is awarded for completion of a required curriculum of 39 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) taken in five subject areas.

Population(s) Served
Adults

GreenKids is a grant-funded educational outreach program of the Audubon Naturalist Society. GreenKids provides participating public schools with two years of free resources and field experiences to foster watershed stewardship and environmental literacy while meeting established curriculum goals. GreenKids operates in partnership with Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland and Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia. The GreenKids Network provides continuing support to alumni schools upon completion of the two-year GreenKids partnership.

Population(s) Served

The Audubon Naturalist Society Water Quality Monitoring Program is one of the largest and longest-running citizen science programs in the country. Since the early 1990s, the program has operated throughout Montgomery County and in parts of the District of Columbia. For many years, it also operated in northern Virginia.

Our region's environment faces huge challenges as our population continues to grow. At ANS, we believe that our quality of life depends upon the preservation of our precious remaining forests, wetlands, water resources, and open space. We work with government officials and citizens to encourage careful planning and environmental policies, which will ensure our children inherit a clean, safe, and beautiful environment.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Maryland Green Trees Award 2018

3rd place in the Chesapeake Stormwater Network BUBBA Awards 2023

Melanie Teems award from the Chesapeake Bay Trust 2016

Green Award from Bethesda Magazine 2012

Distinguished Service to Public Education Award from the Montgomery County Board of Education 2010

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 participants attending course/session/workshop

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Environmental Education Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Public school students and adults in the DC metro area

Number of clients who self-report increased skills/knowledge after educational program/intervention

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Environmental Education Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Based on before and after verbal questions to individuals or teacher reports

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

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

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We depend on dedicated volunteers to assist in all areas of our education, advocacy, and restoration work.

Number of comment letters to government agencies

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

More than 1,000 people were energized to send letters objecting to sale of 105 acres of NASA-owned forest land for development. Instead, that land is now likely to be transferred to Patuxent Refuge.

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.

Goal 1 – Enjoy
Grow a range of powerful experiences for our shared and diverse communities to form positive
emotional connections to nature that lead to discovery and engagement with the natural world.

Goal 2 – Learn
Equitably share knowledge with people of all ages and backgrounds about how nature works, its
components, how it affects us, and how we affect it.

Goal 3 – Protect
Act as a steward and catalyst for protecting our region’s natural environment in the face of the
climate crisis as well as preserve, maintain, and grow natural habitats for the future.

Goal 4 – Lead, Collaborate
Evolve Nature Forward’s role as a convener and connector in the region, modeling the
transformation of a historic environmental organization moving into the future.

Goal 5 – Sustain
Sustain and strengthen the core functions that allow Nature Forward to carry out its mission and
support success in the future.

We have set detailed objectives and assigned the directors responsible and target audiences for each of the five pillars listed above for the current fiscal year. The status of each of these goals will be reported and reviewed on a quarterly basis by our Leadership Team and Board of Directors.

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 share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

Nature Forward
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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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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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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.

Nature Forward

Board of directors
as of 10/10/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Diane Wood

Beth Ziebarth

Smithsonian

Hughey Newsome

EGE-saquared

Rob Timmons

Pantheon

Dr. James Burris

Georgetown University

Noel Carson

Bozzuto

Sarah Davidson

World Wildlife Federation

Josefina Doumbia

Retired, World Bank

John Green

Sandy Spring Bank

Rebecca Lemos-Otero

Consultant

Rebecca Long

American Forests

Chanceé Lundy

Nspiregreen LLC

Bill McGrath

MCPS Physical Disabilities Program

Abel Olivo

Defensores De La Cuenca

Isha Renta López

NOAA

Alan Spears

NPCA

Nancy Voit

Nature Educator

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 1/19/2023

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
Female, 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: 09/26/2023

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 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.