PLATINUM2024

FRIENDS OF THE COLUMBIA GORGE

Portland, OR   |  gorgefriends.org

Mission

Friends of the Columbia Gorge shall vigorously protect the scenic, natural, cultural, and recreational resources of the Columbia River Gorge. We fulfill this mission by ensuring strict implementation of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act and other laws protecting the region of the Columbia River Gorge; promoting responsible stewardship of Gorge land, air, and waters; encouraging public ownership of sensitive areas; educating the public about the unique natural values of the Columbia River Gorge and the importance of preserving those values; and working with groups and individuals to accomplish mutual preservation goals. Join us now! https://gorgefriends.org/ways-to-give/donate.html

Ruling year info

1981

Executive Director

Kevin Gorman

Main address

123 NE 3rd Ave. Suite 108

Portland, OR 97232 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

93-0782467

NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

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?

Conservation & Legal

Keeping the Columbia Gorge Wild and Beautiful is at the core of what we do. Friends of the Columbia Gorge is the only conservation organization dedicated solely to protecting the Columbia Gorge. For almost 40 years we have used a combination of old-fashioned grassroots advocacy, sophisticated legal strategies, and cutting edge outreach and public education tools to protect the Gorge from reckless development.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Gorge Towns to Trails is a vision for a comprehensive trail system that wraps around the Columbia Gorge, linking communities with recreation, benefiting tourism, and highlighting and enhancing the beauty and wonder of the Columbia Gorge. Friends of the Columbia Gorge is leading this effort and seeks input and partnerships from Gorge communities, citizens and elected officials.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Friends of the Columbia Gorge Land Trust was created in 2005 to protect and enhance critical landscapes through acquisition and stewardship. Since its inception, the land trust has purchased or received through donations 16 properties totaling over 1,000 acres in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. With emphases to protect scenic and natural resources, as well as to promote recreation opportunities such as trail links, the land trust works with landowners to protect and preserve the Gorge's natural beauty.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The goal of Friends’ outdoor youth education programs – Explore the Gorge and The Great Gorge Wahoo! – is to expose local youth to the Columbia Gorge's wonders and significance as a national treasure, as well as tell the story of its preservation through the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act. These programs aim to provide powerful memories that will develop and inspire the next generation of Gorge protectors, deepening children's connection to the natural world just outside their doorstep.

Public Land Stewardship works to mitigate the spread of invasive plants by removing invasives and then planting natives in the newly created open areas. This two-part approach is critical because the Eagle Creek fire disturbed the soil and burned the tree canopy, allowing more sunlight to reach the forest floor and enabling invasive plants to grow and produce quicker than native plants.

Population(s) Served

Following years of discussion, Friends is addressing accessibility in the Gorge with fresh eyes. Friends launched the Gorge Accessibility Project in 2021 along with representatives from accessibility and family outdoor recreation groups; local Tribes; organizations serving Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities; natural resources, transportation and transit experts; and the U.S. Forest Service. Creating spaces in the Gorge that are accessible and welcoming for a wider audience isn’t just beneficial for today, it also helps to ensure that the Gorge will remain a vibrant, living place for generations to come.

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

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Accredited Land Trust 2019

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 acres of land protected

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

Land Trust and Stewardship

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Each piece of conserved land means cleaner air, healthier soil, and preserved habitat for plants & wildlife. Together, we'll save the land we love and strengthen our communities.

Number of invasive species removed from managed area(s)

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

Public Engagement

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We work to mitigate the spread of invasive plants and track the number of gallons of invasive plants removed. This program began in 2018 after the Eagle Creek fire.

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

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

Public Engagement

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

A large cross section of public support is critical if we are to preserve the Columbia Gorge for future generations. We work to strengthen and diversity our members and volunteers.

Total number of organization members

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

Public Engagement

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Though we may be the tools for much of this work, the ownership belongs to our members. The support provided by our members funds advocacy and education, stewardship, and community outreach.

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: Protect and Enhance the Columbia River Gorge\r\nGoal 2: Increase the Financial Stability of Friends of the Columbia Gorge\r\nGoal 3: Increase the Operational Effectiveness of Friends of the Columbia Gorge

The three major departments of Friends include:\r\n\r\nConservation -- includes political lobbying; activist- and community-building; "watchdog" activities to ensure compliance with Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act; Gorge Towns to Trails (a long-term vision for a comprehensive trail system linking Gorge communities); and the Friends of the Columbia Gorge Land Trust, which conserves land and performs land stewardship.\r\n\r\nDevelopment -- includes fundraising: attracting new members; retaining existing members; applying for foundation grants; soliciting major gifts and bequests; and managing investments. \r\n\r\nOutreach -- includes communications with the public; promoting sustainable recreation; implementing our hiking and youth programs.\r\n\r\nWe are continually working to innovate and integrate these three areas of the organization.

*Staff of 22\n*Vigorous, dynamic Board of Directors (17 members)\n*400+ volunteers in past fiscal year\n*Over 1,400 acres conserved by Land Trust

*No new wind turbines near Scenic Area\n*Four out of six coal export plans shelved or denied; remaining two projects not yet approved by state agencies\n*Formed coalition opposing oil terminals and transport by rail\n*Ensured broad environmental review of proposed oil-by-rail terminal on the Columbia River\n*Achieved majority of conservation-minded Gorge commissioners\n*Large-scale Gorge casino plans stopped\n*Large-scale Gorge resort development plans scuttled\n*Major expansion of The Dalles urban area loses political support, moved to back burner\n*U.S. Forest Service purchases two Land Trust properties\n*Landowner relations plan developed\n*Land Trust accreditation process begun, stewardship staff hired\n*Crucial property for Gorge Towns to Trails purchased by Land Trust\n*Helped Port of Camas-Washougal secure $770,000 for riverfront trail to connect to Steigerwald National Wildlife Refuge (Gorge Towns to Trails priority)\n*Membership over 7,000; business membership program tying recreation to economic development\n*Number of activists cultivated by Friends: approximately 6,000\n*Youth program educating and inspiring more than 1,200 kids to date\n*Hiking program educating and inspiring approximately 4,000 people\n*Legacy Giving Society established; confirmed 187 legacy gifts and 204 interested in making a planned gift\n*Increased development staff capacity\n*Member database installed, greatly improving flexibility and efficacy within organization

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 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 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

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is hard to come up with good questions to ask people

Financials

FRIENDS OF THE COLUMBIA GORGE
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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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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

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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.

FRIENDS OF THE COLUMBIA GORGE

Board of directors
as of 02/21/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Buck Parker

Buck Parker

Kari Skedsvold

Ameriprise

Joe Campbell

Geoff Carr

Gwen Farnham

Don Friedman

John Harrison

Northwest Power and Conservation Council

David Michalek

John Nelson

Carrie Nobles

Allen Trust

Mia Prickett

Sarah Quist

Vision Capital Management

Pleschette Fonteent

Lenovo

Shari Dunn

ITBOM, Inc

Kevin Price

Kevin Howard

Climate Changes Everything, LLC

Barbara Nelson

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 2/13/2023

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

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/01/2023

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 employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
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.