Environmental Educators of North Carolina

aka EENC   |   Chapel Hill, NC   |  www.eenc.org

Mission

EENC's mission is to build connections, provide professional development, and and promote excellence for North Carolina's community of environmental educators.

We accomplish this by promoting and facilitating professional development, fostering networking opportunities, and demonstrating high quality environmental education programs and materials. EENC strives to be a leader in the field of environmental education within North Carolina, the southeast, and the nation.

Our vision is to inspire those we work with to create an environmentally literate citizenry.

Notes from the nonprofit

Why should you get involved? Because everyone benefits from environmental education. As a learner, teacher, parent, or community member, you can play a critical role in helping people access the intellectual, personal, and social benefits of environmental education. As a society, we are facing huge environmental, social, and economic issues. The author Richard Louv spoke at our conference in 2016 and summed it up with a JAWS reference: We’re gonna need a bigger boat. Will you be a part of EENC’s bigger boat? You can learn more about the organizations and research supporting environmental education on EENC’s website. You can increase EENC’s capacity by contributing to our work. You can encourage your kids’ teachers to get involved. You can volunteer at your local environmental education center. Get in touch, get involved, and join our community to help make North Carolina - and our environment - a better place! www.eenc.org

Ruling year info

1991

Executive Director

Lauren Pyle

2021 President

Erin Hines

Main address

PO Box 4904

Chapel Hill, NC 27515 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

56-1715308

NTEE code info

Professional Societies & Associations (C03)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

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 2019, 2018 and 2017.
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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Do you remember growing up catching fireflies, playing in the creek, or building a fort in your yard? Most children in today's world won't, which means that when they grow up, they may not have a vested interest in protecting our natural resources and natural spaces. Environmental educators across the state are working to change that. We believe that environmental education is a learning process that increases knowledge, develops skills, and fosters commitment to empower learners to make decisions for a sustainable future. Environmental education provides time in and a connection to the outdoors, which has been shown to improve physical, mental, and emotional health - making it just as important for our participants as it is for the planet.

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?

Annual Conference

Generally held in late September, our annual conference provides a weekend full of professional development, networking, learning, and field experiences that will help you expand your knowledge of environmental education (EE) and resources in NC and beyond. Nearly 200 EE professionals and educators across the state come together to learn new skills, share program ideas/successes, and share current research in the field. Membership is not required to attend the annual conference. Conference attendees will enjoy educational field trips, an awards banquet, our annual Research Symposium, special Saturday sessions just for classroom teachers, over 40 sessions, and much, much more! The most recent conference information can be found at https://www.eenc.org/conference

Population(s) Served
Adults

Our membership base is divided into four different sections: Mountains, Piedmont, Central and Eastern. These sections hold events from bird walks, to site tours, to social events. EENC facilitates regional and statewide "EE summits" bringing together state offices and agencies, non-profits, and businesses for shared events, advocacy and initiatives.

Each year, EENC hosts a mini-conference, focuses on outdoor skills and learning; this event rotates between each of our four geographic regions. The 2019 Mini-conference was held at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, NC. This professional development and networking event was hosted in partnership with the NC Association of Environmental Education Centers. Across all three days served 158 educators and focused on hands-on learning in nature.

Population(s) Served
Adults

EENC recognizes that in our field, sometimes a little bit goes a long way in making a difference for the teachers, non-formal educators, government employees, students and volunteers we work with. EENC is pleased to announce the inaugural year of our mini-grant program. Open to student, professional, senior, life, and organizational members of EENC, the goal of this grant is to provide support to promote excellence in environmental education across North Carolina.

EENC will award $2500 in mini-grants in 2021. Accepted proposals can range from $50 to $250. Each member can submit one proposal per year, either on their own behalf or on behalf of an organization or school. Funding will be distributed on a reimbursement basis to awardees after their projects are completed.

Grants may be used for anything that would promote excellence for environmental education in NC, including but not limited to: professional development course fees, substitute teacher fees to allow professional development attendance, student field trip fees, educational books or materials for facility/classroom/workshop, garden resources, etc.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Young adults

Each year the Environmental Educators of North Carolina publicly recognizes environmental educators, EENC members, organizations, and partners for their valuable contributions to EENC, the North Carolina community, and to the field of environmental education.

We award the following awards:

MEMBERS ONLY AWARDS

Outstanding Newcomer recognizes an Environmental Educators of North Carolina member of five years or less who has made significant contributions to EENC during his or her short time with EENC.

Outstanding Practitioner recognizes a member of the Environmental Educators of North Carolina who works regularly as an environmental educator, lending their skills to the growing body of environmental education as a profession. The individual will have made significant contributions to the Environmental Educators of North Carolina through statewide participation, leadership in their region, and being an advocate for high quality education through how they teach, live, and do.

Outstanding Service recognizes an active member who has served in several key leadership roles making a significant contribution to further the mission of EENC. This individual has given many hours of dedicated service to help shape EENC into a viable statewide professional organization.

AWARDS OPEN TO EVERYONE

Melva Fager Okun Life Achievement recognizes an individual who has served EENC in key leadership roles for over three years on the Board of Directors. This individual has made very significant contributions in furthering EENC’s mission to serve as a leader in building a statewide network of EE practitioners, providing excellent professional development, strengthening EE throughout North Carolina, and serving as an active state affiliate to the North American Association for Environmental Education.

Environmental Educator of the Year recognizes an educator who stands out among environmental educators as a professional who exemplifies excellence in environmental education and lends credibility to the field. Through valuable contributions and professionalism, the environmental educator is regarded as an ideal example that other EE practitioners should strive to emulate.

Exceptional Environmental Education Program recognizes a program, education center, organization, partnership or educational system that exemplifies excellence in environmental education. The program reaches far beyond the usual magnitude and degree of scope and scale to create: a sustainable commitment to environmental education, a more environmentally literate public, a stronger profession for environmental educators, and otherwise supporting EENC’s mission and objectives.

Outstanding Partner recognizes a business, non-profit, or governmental agency that have partnered with EENC to support the mission and growth of EENC. This organization has made significant contributions to EENC by providing in-kind contributions; donations of employees’ time, talent, and materials; monetary support to the EENC Board or Board Training; or by providing significant funding or services to the annual conference, funding for EENC’s annual conference. This partnership enables EENC to experience a growth in professionalism and/or membership, which may not have been possible without this contribution.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Young adults

Throughout the year and across the state, EENC hosts professional development workshops for educators on the "Guidelines for Excellence in Environmental Education" and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Guidelines for Excellence is a series of materials to help environmental educators hone their practice and programs to national standards for high-quality EE programming. EENC hosts general workshops and one “Train the Trainer” workshop on the Guidelines for Excellence to help educators incorporate best practices in Environmental Education for K-12 learners, nonformal educators, early childhood education, materials, professional development, and community engagement.

To ensure our members feel prepared to provide inclusive learning experiences for diverse audiences, EENC hosts diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings. In 2021, EENC will be launching a 10-hour online Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion course to help educators feel more prepared to talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion in their workplace and more prepared to engage diverse learners and community members. We also coordinate 1-3 small-group workshops on this topic with expert facilitators each year.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

North American Association for Environmental Education 2019

Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance 2020

North Carolina Conservation Network 2020

Children & Nature Network 2020

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 conference attendees

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

Annual Conference

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Includes classroom teachers, park rangers, naturalists, museum staff, government employees, administrators, students, and volunteers. The 2020 Conference was offered virtually.

Number of briefings or presentations held

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

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Presentations about environmental education basics, lessons, and best practices to other organizations/conferences (ex: presentations at NSTA, NAAEE)

Number of training workshops

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

Regional Events and Workshops

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Includes regional section events, Guidelines for Excellence trainings, online webinars, and diversity, equity and inclusion workshops

Total number of organization members

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

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total dollar amount of scholarship awarded

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

Awarded in partial and full-conference amounts. Note: 2020 virtual conference included reduced registration, so this scholarship funding supported many more educators.

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 Environmental Educators of North Carolina (EENC) grew from the desire of environmental educators across North Carolina to meet and share their experiences, aspirations, and tools. Since its inception in 1990, EENC has grown into something much greater. Our organization represents a network of outstanding environmental educators, individuals, and organizations who work together to accomplish our core mission: to build connections, provide professional development, and promote excellence in environmental education. EENC’s vision is to inspire those we work with to create an environmentally literate community.

EENC wants to change the world by:
- Providing professional development and networking for educators. We host a conference, a mini-conference, and section events to connect classroom teachers, park rangers, naturalists, museum staff, government employees, administrators, students, and volunteers.
- Diversifying the field of environmental education. We want our membership to be more representative of our state population and ensure all our members feel prepared to provide inclusive learning experiences for diverse audiences. Our strategies include seeking new partnerships, launching a diversity scholarship, and providing issue awareness trainings.
- Bringing together like-minded organizations to increase capacity. As the state affiliate for the North American Association of Environmental Education, EENC collaborates with state offices and agencies, non-profits, and businesses on shared events, advocacy and initiatives.
- Promoting excellence in environmental education. We provide training on the Guidelines for Excellence, the national standards for high-quality environment education. We celebrate the success of those making a difference in our annual awards program. We provide a mini-grant that covers professional development, teaching materials, workshop expenses, and classroom support.

In 2018, EENC took a leap and hired its first ever paid staff position - a part-time executive director. in 2019, we expanded this capacity by growing the position to full-time. Coupled with the committed dedication of an active and dedicated all-volunteer board, this is a newly created position will advance the mission and vision of EENC, which strives to be a leader in the field of environmental education within North Carolina, the southeast, and the nation. Founded in 1990, EENC has grown to support hundreds of members, has a track record of successful conferences and events, and has found partners to help us achieve our goals.

in 2018 EENC also renewed its strategic plan with five key focus areas over the next three years: diversification so that EENC and environmental education is more accessible and welcoming to all communities, increasing and enhancing membership, strengthening our brand and marketing, implementing a new development plan to ensure sustainable future operations, and building environmental education capacity through targeted partnerships.

Since January 2018, EENC has selected and hired its first executive director. Since that time, EENC has added "Guidelines for Excellence" workshops, diversity, equity, and inclusion training for the board and staff, created a mini-grant program, created an "Equity and the Environment" online resource collection, and expanded other professional development and networking events The board has adopted and begun the implementation of a formal development plan for the year that includes new funding sources and events to increase and diversify our income stream. We are currently in the process of planning our annual conference and regional mini-conferences, targeting new audiences and cultivating new benefits for memberships, designing online professional development, and engaging new partners to expand our reach and impact.

We have big plans for the years ahead - we appreciate any support we receive to help us achieve our goals.

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

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Suggestion box/email, Social Media Comments,

  • 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 strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    EENC is launching an online professional development series and scheduling ongoing community calls in response to individual interviews, requests from previous community calls, and an online survey. Initially, EENC was providing generally community listening calls - but feedback from our community indicated the need for more specific calls. Future calls will be divided into: online social events, topic-based digital round-tables, and virtual conversation spaces for unique subsets of our EE community.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Publicly on website,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

Environmental Educators of North Carolina
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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

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

Environmental Educators of North Carolina

Board of directors
as of 1/29/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Erin Hines

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 01/29/2021

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
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/29/2021

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 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 disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • 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 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.