GOLD2023

FRIENDS OF SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK INC

Tucson, AZ   |  www.friendsofsaguaro.org

Mission

We are the nonprofit partner of the National Park Service at Saguaro, with the mission to help preserve, protect and enhance the fragile environment and unique cultural heritage of the Sonoran Desert at Saguaro National Park by promoting citizen and corporate stewardship through philanthropy, volunteerism, advocacy and public education. We were created to help protect wildlife and habitat, preserve cultural resources, promote environmental education, improve recreational trails, enhance visitor experiences, and build environmental stewardship at Saguaro National Park.

Ruling year info

1997

Executive Director

Fred Stula

Main address

2700 North Kinney Road

Tucson, AZ 85743 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

86-0842503

NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Public Foundations (T30)

Parks and Playgrounds (N32)

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

The impact of past government shut downs, limited federal appropriations and increased visitation are creating many new challenges for Saguaro National Park and it is relying more heavily on Friends of Saguaro, to provide philanthropic support and engage the public in protecting these places for future generations. We help protect natural and cultural resources, preserve native landscapes, promote environmental education, improve recreational trails, enhance visitor experiences, strengthen community partnerships, and build environmental stewardship for Saguaro National Park through philanthropy, education, volunteerism, and public awareness.

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?

Protecting the Park's Resources

FOSNP provides the Park with financial support for projects that help protect its wildlife and habitat.  These include annual saguaro monitoring (and decennial saguaro census), Sonoran desert tortoise conservation, Gila monster conservation, mountain lion and bobcat research, and ecological monitoring activities.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The ecological balance within Saguaro National Park is threatened by the invasion of non-native plants -- particularly buffelgrass.  FOSNP provides the Park with financial and volunteer support to remove buffelgrass, and control its spread within the Park.

Population(s) Served
Adults

FOSNP and the National Park Service have developed a diverse array of innovative environmental and cultural education opportunities to help people better understand the need to protect the ecological diversity and rich cultural heritage of the Sonoran Desert region.  These have included the Teacher-Ranger-Teacher program, school transportation grants, and support for Junior Ranger and Cactus Ranger programs.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

FOSNP works with the NPS to provide opportunities for the public to understand and enjoy Saguaro National Park in a manner that is compatible with the preservation of the Park's resources and distinct wilderness character, and at the same time, to build a greater public awareness of the anthropological perspective of the region's native descendant peoples.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Saguaro National Park has an extensive (and popular) network of approximately 200 miles of hiking and horseback trails;  FOSNP provides financial and volunteer support to the National Park Service to ensure the trails are properly maintained, and negative resource impacts are minimized.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Friends established this program in January 2015, in response to the National Park Service (NPS) “Call to Action.” The program is designed to enable young people to discover Saguaro National Park and its different operational divisions, by providing them with a supportive, engaging and educational working opportunity at the Park. They are mentored by Park staff, and specialize in areas including environmental education, community outreach, natural resource monitoring, environmental restoration and other relevant areas. NextGens are vital to expanding the parks program capacity and providing a quality visitor experience.

Over the past three years, 62 NextGen Rangers have participated and 68% were women, 45% were from underserved communities and 70% worked at least 640 hours qualifying them for the “Public Land Corps” hiring authority with the NPS and other federal land management agencies. 16 NextGens has been hired by the NPS ( 9 at Saguaro) and most other program participants work in the environmental field.

Population(s) Served
Non-adult children

Where we work

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.

Southern Arizona's Sonoran Desert and Sky Islands comprise one of the most biologically-rich and diverse ecoregions in the world -- described by University of Arizona botanist Peter Warshall as a place "unique on the planet." Archeologists believe that sites found in present-day Tucson, along the banks of the Santa Cruz River, likely represent the oldest continuously-inhabited area in the United States -- and perhaps one of the oldest inhabited places in the world. Nearly 80% of Saguaro National Park is federally-designated wilderness, and the Park contains the largest, roadless "Sky Island" in North America -- yet, it's all just minutes away from an urban area of more than one million people. Friends of Saguaro works with the National Park Service to preserve and protect the ecoregion's many biotic communities, cultural features, and scientific, scenic and wilderness values.

Goal I: Exploration and Discovery
Our national parks - including Saguaro - represent complex communities of native plants and animals that have developed over thousands of years, and they present unique opportunities to educate the public about biodiversity, climate change, and the need for environmental protection. At the same time, our national parks - including Saguaro - offer unique opportunities to teach contemporary peoples about our rich cultural and ethnographic heritage. Through its educational, interpretive and recreational experiences, Saguaro National Park provides visitors the chance to explore and discover our collective natural and cultural heritage.

Goal II: Preservation and Conservation
Saguaro National Park is an integral part of a larger network of lands - both public and private - which allows for the sustainability of the ecosystems of the Desert Southwest. National parks and protected public lands preserve many of the nation's areas of greatest biodiversity, and play an important role as natural laboratories -- locations for developing ecological baselines against which data from more disturbed areas can be compared. Additionally, the region's extraordinarily diverse cultural heritage is reflected in the Park's 523 known archeological sites and the conservation of the Park's archeological, historic and ethnographic resources help preserve the heritage of southern Arizona.

Goal III: Celebration and Stewardship
Saguaro National Park has a strong positive impact on the economic, recreational and educational life of the Tucson community -- and Friends of Saguaro seeks to create a greater public understanding that stewardship for the Park is the responsibility of all of us. Through community outreach, advocacy, and collaborative partnerships, we must attempt to create a better connection between "people and place" at Saguaro National Park. Through our celebration and stewardship of this special place, we can express our collective faith in the future, and fulfill our promise to succeeding generations.

Goal 1: To encourage the exploration and discovery of the resources, heritage, and recreational opportunities of Saguaro National Park.
1. Enhance the visitor experience by updating interpretive exhibits.
2. Strengthen the community's connection to the Park by sustaining support for special events and activities at the Park.
3. Reconnect children and nature at the Park, by supporting NPS environmental education programs and increasing youth involvement in conservation activities.
4. Promote environmental education within the community, and support lifelong learning opportunities.
5. Support the maintenance and improvement of recreational trails at the Park.

Goal 2: To assist the preservation and conservation of the natural and cultural resources of Saguaro National Park.
1. Strengthen collaborative research partnerships in the community, and support scientific research at the Park.
2. Support sustained efforts to monitor ecologically-sensitive areas in the Park.
3. Support ongoing saguaro research and monitoring activities at the Park.
4. Support efforts to remove invasive plants at the Park, and preserve native habitat.
5. Assist in the preservation of the Park's archeological, historic and ethnographic resources.
6. Promote student research at the Park, and foster the next generation of resource professionals.

Goal 3: To build environmental stewardship for Saguaro National Park.
1. Increase the operational revenues (from all sources) for Friends of Saguaro by at least 10% per year.
2. Increase the Friends of Saguaro members (individual donors) by at least 10% per year.
3. Increase the number of volunteer hours at Saguaro National Park by at least 10% each year.
4. Increase the Friends of Saguaro Endowment (through planned giving) to $500,000.

Since our founding in 1996, Friends of Saguaro has sought to establish collaborative partnerships within the Tucson community, develop a broad donor base, and provide both funding and volunteer support for some of the Park's most critical needs. Despite the struggling national economy in recent years, the organization has consistently balanced its annual operating budget, maintained a prudent operating reserve, and devoted at least 85% of total expenditures to programs, rather than fundraising or overhead costs.

Thanks to the generous support of our donors, Friends of Saguaro provided $473,751 to support programs and projects at Saguaro National Park in 2019.

Each year, nearly 900 volunteers provide Saguaro National Park with more than 35,000 hours of volunteer service -- time valued by the National Park Service at more than $894,000.

And, for the past eleven years, Friends of Saguaro's accountability and transparency have been recognized by GreatNonprofits - a national group that develops tools to help people rate charities - when we have been named a "Top-Rated Environmental Nonprofit."

We've enhanced the visitor experience at Saguaro National Park by providing a better connection between people and place. In 2019, Friends provided $65,0000 to complete the $175,000 renovation of Rincon Mountain Visitor Center including a 2,500 square foot outdoor interpretive patio. We're re-connecting youth with nature at the Park by supporting the NPS environmental education programs. We annually assist the presentation of both park-based and community -based programs, and Friends of Saguaro annually provides local schools with transportation grants so that nearly 3,000 students can participate in field trips to the Park. Altogether, the Park's environmental education programs reach more than 10,000 students each year.

We've supported scientific research at Saguaro National Park -- to help ensure the protection of the Park's extraordinary biodiversity. This support has included over $100,000 (and 6,000 volunteers) to help the NPS conduct a "BioBlitz" species inventory. We've provided over $50,000 in funding to support six years of research on Gila Monsters at the Park. Friends of Saguaro funded the Saguaro Census to gather vital information on over 20,000 saguaros park scientists wanted to gain a better understanding of the life cycle of saguaros, and the factors affecting their health. We've provided over $25,000 to support research to monitor and protect endangered Lesser Long-Nosed Bats within the Park, and conserve Lowland Leopard Frogs (a sensitive species, native to southeastern Arizona, that is being impacted by diminution of riparian habitat). We've provided nearly $50,000 to support a major research project to study the critical relationship between "Water and Wildlife", as southern Arizona endures a (long-term) drought.

Friends of Saguaro is also promoting environmental stewardship for Saguaro National Park by enhancing public awareness, building local capacity, and growing collaborative partnerships. We're building our organizational capacity -- increasing our individual donor base by at least 10% for each of the last five years. And, we're growing collaborative partnerships throughout the community.

Financials

FRIENDS OF SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK INC
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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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FRIENDS OF SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK INC

Board of directors
as of 06/16/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr. Lisa Harris

Harris Environmental Group

Catherine Bartlett

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Lisa Harris

Harris Environmental Group

Kai Pan

Tucson Electric Power Company

Kevin Dahl

National Parks Conservation Association

Graeme Hughes

Visit Tucson

Dan Kimball

National Park Service (retired)

David Rabb

IT and Software Development

Joe Theobald

Raytheon Missile Systems (retired)

R. William Mannan

University of Arizona

Travis Tufts

Farhang & Medcoff

Nick Fox

Cima Enterprises

Doug Siegel

Pima County

Steven True

White Stallion Ranch

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 12/14/2020

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, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data