GREEN CITY FORCE

Service. Training. Sustainability. Justice.

aka GCF   |   Brooklyn, NY   |  www.greencityforce.org

Mission

Green City Force trains young leaders to power a green and inclusive economy, through service. Our model corps in New York City enlists and trains young people from low-income housing communities for a new and more equitable economy. We equip them with the tools to change the trajectory of their lives and access good jobs. Corps Members develop a passion for sustainability and service through driving large-scale environmental and health initiatives in public housing and other frontline communities. We design service as a path to greater wellbeing and means to enlist young people to become contributors and leaders in the movement to build a greener, fairer and more just world.

Ruling year info

2009

Executive Director

Ms. Tonya Gayle

Main address

630 Flushing Ave., Mailbox #1

Brooklyn, NY 11206 USA

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EIN

80-0428040

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Botanical, Horticultural, and Landscape Services (C40)

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?

Service Corps

GCF is an AmeriCorps program of intensive job training for New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) young adults. We engage young adults in 6-10 months of service as AmeriCorps Members providing a platform for them to develop a passion for sustainability and service through driving large-scale environmental and health initiatives in frontline public housing communities while building their workforce skills. We engage approximately 100 participants annually, and support our 580 graduates through ongoing career guidance and coaching as well as training and next step job opportunities post their service term.
Our model starts with a foundation for culture building and community norms, which our teams take into the field while in service. Corps Members (CMs) spend 20% of their time in classroom eco-literacy and professional development training, and 80% in the field using service learning as a platform to build their professional skills. Currently, through our virtual Green City Academy (GCA) program, the CMs become familiar with both technical and classroom training. Training varies from resume and soft skills building to technical, hands-on training related to the green sector. These include certifications such as OSHA 30, a common prerequisite for trade and construction jobs, and the Green Professional (GPRO) certification. CMs are also exposed to green infrastructure training and increased agricultural knowledge through hands-on work at the five Eco-Hub sites. Outcomes include team building, leadership and hard skills which prepare them for entry level career tracks. CMs receive regular feedback and career coaching to develop their essential workplace skills, including: attendance and punctuality, teamwork, work ethic, professionalism, and problem-solving.

Population(s) Served
Young adults
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 clients who complete job skills training

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

Adolescents, Young adults, Low-income people, Unemployed people

Related Program

Service Corps

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

2021 - Cohort 21 2020 - Cohort 20 2019 - Cohort 17-19

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.

We work throughout the 326 New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments across New York City’s five boroughs. We recruit 18-24 year old NYCHA residents with a high school diploma or equivalent, who are under- or unemployed, and face barriers to workforce entry. This target group is unemployed in massive numbers, with 72% reporting no income from employment (NYCHA, 2017), compared to the citywide 22% unemployment rate for 18-24 year olds in March 2017 (JobsFirstNYC, 2018). Ninety-nine percent of our members are people of color, an average of 68% identify as Black and 24% as Hispanic.

GCF is using our Eco-Hub/farm sites in communities that have historically had limited access to healthy foods. We are distributing produce free of cost to community members as well as cooking demonstrations and sustainable communities. Among our staff and Corps Members we are educating them around health and nutrition. GCF is also engaging local leaders in efforts to connect with the community around issues that matter most to them ensuring that GCF continues to support from line communities.

Our Corps Members are trained during their service term. Our alumni are then trained and hired to support the communities where they live to be the most energy efficient in an aging structure. We are actively placing graduates in clean energy jobs.

For our GCF staff, we have centered well being amidst the additional impact that the pandemic has presented. We are taking an equity lens to salaries and career opportunities that are aligned with the nonprofit sector in NY. We are also looking at the economic mobility of the staff through training.

At the Corps level, we have been deeply embedded in the service movement in NY with a proven model, GCF Eco-Hubs. We invest in employing our graduates which makes them exceptional trainers for incoming corps members.

At the staff level we are investing in expanding our compensation, health and investments.

We have developed a repore with employment partners to identify opportunities for our Corps members.

In 2018, GCF received The Corp Networks Standards of operational excellence through a national organization.

Currently, Green City Force has a pool of close to 600 graduates with GCF hiring over 150 alumni through the innovative Social Enterprise (SE) program. GCF’s SE has historically hired alumni through contracts in energy services, one of New York State’s fastest-growing sustainability sectors.

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.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    GCF was founded with the goal of modeling a citywide corps that created an inclusive green economy for young adults in low-income communities of color in NYC. Low-income young people without college degrees do not have equal access to jobs with family-supporting wages. We serve 18-24 year old New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents with high school degrees/GEDs.

  • 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), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • 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,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We used surveys during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to better understand how we could support staff impacted by the pandemic, including those staff working from home with young children, and staff whose schedules required additional flexibility. Based on staff feedback we introduced “flex time” where staff are able to spend up to four hours during the workday on non-work activities. On the same survey we assessed work-from home needs across staff and were able to make accommodations available. Overall our staff rated us as very responsive to their needs during this time.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Asking for feedback creates a more equitable and transparent organization and holds us accountable to addressing areas for improvement. It also creates a better understanding of barriers, expectations, and goals improves empathy and accountability from both staff and members. Sharing the results from staff surveys and how we plan to address builds trust across the staff, and collective understanding of where we are as an organization.

  • 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,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

GREEN CITY FORCE
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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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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.

GREEN CITY FORCE

Board of directors
as of 3/9/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Steven Berkenfeld

Ecotopia Consulting

Lucian Cohen

Lonicera

Timothy Bradley

Signal Equity Partners

Daria Hirsch

Communications Consultant

Margarett Jolly

Former Director of Demonstration Projects, Con Edison

Mark Miles

MMCI Solar

Kenneth Pucker

Berkshire Partners

Micah Kotch

Urban X

Rasmia Kirmani-Frye

Consultant

Ibrahim Abdul-Matin

Green Squash Consulting

Natasha Lifton

Trinity Church Wall Street

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 ? No
  • 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 03/08/2022

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
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/08/2022

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 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 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 help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • 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.