SIERRA SERVICE PROJECT

Explore. Build. Grow.

aka SSP   |   Sacramento, CA   |  http://www.SierraServiceProject.org

Mission

Sierra Service Project's mission is to build faith and strengthen communities through service to others. We provide teenagers and young adults with opportunities to do meaningful service through a year-round ministry of home repair and other types of community service. Each year, 2,000 teenage and adult volunteers complete over 100 projects in communities throughout the western United States. SSP builds bridges of understanding between our volunteers and the communities they serve. Through the service experience, young people gain valuable leadership and social skills.

Ruling year info

2001

Executive Director

Ms. Megan Taylor

Main address

PO Box 13009

Sacramento, CA 95813 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

68-0222320

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Housing Rehabilitation (L25)

Religious Leadership, Youth Development (O55)

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Sierra Service Project exists to address two important needs. The first is to give youth people an opportunity to do challenging, meaningful, and hands-on community service work. This is a too-rare and much needed opportunity for North American young people today, who tend to be either lack access to enrichment activities because of poverty, or are over-protected and over-scheduled. Teenagers are hungry to make their lives meaningful by serving in community, and we give them that opportunity. The second problem we address is the alarming prevalence of sub-standard housing in many communities. We address this need by repairing homes, building wheelchair ramps, and performing other service that improves health and safety for residents and improves community quality of life.

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?

Summer Home Repair Program

SSP runs week-long immersion service experiences for high school youth groups from schools and churches. These programs take place in rural communities in California, Arizona, Oregon and South San Diego County. This is our largest program.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Economically disadvantaged people

Sierra Service Project provides alternative winter and spring break experiences for high school and college age young adults, as well as Weekend programs for middle and high school youth. These are challenging service-learning programs which take place in Sacramento and Portland, Oregon. Common to all sessions are combining challenging community service work with a series of visits, tours and guest speakers aimed to give participants real insight into the dynamic communities where they are serving. We expect to have 200 students from across the US participate this year in this program.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Volunteer home repair and neighborhood cleanup program focused on the older neighborhoods of the City of Rancho Cordova. Work includes yard cleanup, fence replacement, house painting and other repairs.

Population(s) Served
Seniors
Economically disadvantaged people

Volunteer home repair and neighborhood cleanup program focused on the older neighborhoods of North Sacramento, Near our Central Office location. Work includes yard cleanup, fence replacement, house painting and other repairs.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

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.

Number of youth who volunteer/participate in community service

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

Adolescents

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Participation in Sierra Service Project is a powerful, transformative experience for a teenager, and we work to get more youth to experience SSP. Non-adult volunteers in all programs are reported.

Number of clients served

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

Economically disadvantaged people, People with disabilities

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Serving more families is our goal. This is the number of people living in households we served during the year.

Number of new donors

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

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of first-time individual donors. First time donors increased significantly in 2018 because of increased peer-to-peer fundraising by supporters on Facebook.

Percentage of participants who would recommend this program to others.

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

The percentage of youth and adult participants who would recommend this program to others on the end-of-program survey. Possible responses: Yes, Maybe and No. Only Yes responses are counted.

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.

Our goal each year is to provide a transformative volunteer experience to at least 2,300 people and to positively impact the lives of low-income families by completing about 100 hundred home repair projects.

The first goal - providing a volunteer experience for young people - is the means by which we accomplish the second goal. In addition, we seek to engender in our volunteers a strong sense of their own ability to be change-agents in their communities.

Our strategies for continuing to achieve our organizational aims and to increase our organization's impact are the following:

1. Continue to engage more volunteers in community service each year by:
- providing scholarships and fee discounts to those in need
- doing consistent outreach to churches, schools, scouting organizations, and civic groups to recruit volunteers
- carefully managing our costs and increasing donated income in order to keep our fees low.

2. Become more efficient at completing home repair projects by:
- continuing to invest in excellent training for our supervisory staff;
- regularly evaluating our construction methods to ensure maximum efficiency.

3. Multiply the impact we have in individual communities by actively collaborating with other community organizations.

Sierra Service Project has a number of core capabilities and areas of expertise on which it has built its reputation for great value and high impact. Those capability fall into several areas:

1. We are experts in faith-based service-learning experiences designed for young people. We know how to safely provide work experiences for teenagers that aid the communities in which they work and which are life-changing and eye-opening learning experiences.

2. We have developed an outstanding process for identifying, developing and training young adult leaders. These are the hands-on leaders of our programs. Through careful selection, encouragement, coaching and training, these young people develop the skills and maturity to plan and organize the details of all of our service experiences.

3. We have created a very efficient administrative framework that enables us to enroll volunteers, organize projects and handle all of the administrative details associated with our activities.

1. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to radically re-evaluate the work that we do in our communities. In 2020, we were able to hold successful online programs while re-allocating donations into direct financial investment in the organizations that are making a difference in our partner communities. In 2021, we are continuing to complete home repairs through the use of subcontractors and gathering online while we await a safe return to in-person volunteer service.

2. Because of broad demographic trends, participant numbers have dropped slightly in the past five years. By building a substantial scholarship fund and doing significant outreach, we are seeing this trend starting to be reversed.

2. By building strong community partnerships and serving in the same communities for multiple years, Sierra Service Project has increased the positive impact it has on the communities it serves.

3. Participation of young people of color and from low-income families continues to grow.

4. Donations have increased significantly over the past five years and is currently about 45% of total revenues.

Financials

SIERRA SERVICE PROJECT
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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
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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SIERRA SERVICE PROJECT

Board of directors
as of 3/3/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Franklyn Shen

St. Mark's School

Term: 2018 - 2020

Royce Porter

Crenshaw United Methodist Church

Mark Cordes

Park Presidio United Methodist Church

Kimberly Furnari

Brooks Running

Franklyn Shen

Saint Mark's School

Rachel Mellby

Opening Doors Legal

Melissa ("Moe") Leneweaver

High Mountain Institute

Daniel Ross-Jones

United Church of Christ

Charles Schaller

Retired

Jessie Fossenkemper

Freestore Foodback, Cincinnati, OH

Peter Williams

Boeing

William ("Russ") King

CalCERTS

Amanda Smith

High School Student

Tiye Kurtz-Miott

High School Student

Molly Leach

High School Student

Cindy Chow-Snavely

Tokio-Marine HCC

Debrah ("Deb") Manahan

Retired

Robin ("Rob") Taylor

Retired

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 03/03/2021

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

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data