River Network

connecting people, saving rivers

Boulder, CO   |  http://www.rivernetwork.org

Mission

River Network empowers and unites people and communities to protect and restore rivers and other waters that sustain all life. We envision a future with clean and ample water for people and nature, where local caretakers are well-equipped, effective and courageous champions for our rivers. We believe that everyone should have access to affordable, clean water and healthy rivers.

Ruling year info

1992

President/CEO

Nicole Silk

Main address

PO Box 21387

Boulder, CO 80308 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

93-0969979

NTEE code info

Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation and Management (C32)

Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C. (S99)

Pollution Abatement and Control Services (C20)

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

River Network empowers and unites people and communities to protect and restore rivers and other waters that sustain all life. We envision a future with clean and ample water for people and nature, where local caretakers are well-equipped, effective and courageous champions for our rivers. We believe that everyone should have access to affordable, clean water and healthy rivers.

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?

Strong Champions

Through our Membership and Leadership Development programs, we help state, regional and local grassroots water conservation groups to form and organize, and to gain the skills and tools they need to become effective and work together for greater impact. Each year we host River Rally, a focal point for professional advancement, strategy development, networking and organizing for the watershed protection community, attracting more than 400 participants per year from across the U.S. and abroad. We also provide webinars and targeted, in-depth training on topics such as financial management, board development, and strategic planning for more than 100 organizations per year through our Leadership Development program.

Population(s) Served
Adults

High quality water is essential to all life and part of what functioning freshwater ecosystems deliver on a regular basis. River Network has provided guidance on clean water and restoration approaches to citizen groups for nearly 20 years. For more than a decade now, we have helped watershed leaders understand and effectively implement the Clean Water Act by publishing 'The Clean Water Act Owner's Manual' and providing online and in-person trainings on the Clean Water Act. We also facilitate, support and aid in the replication of local water monitoring and clean-up programs, as well as state and regional collaborations aimed at improving water quality such as the Urban Waters Learning Network, the Blue Cities program, and the Mississippi River Collaborative.
Moving forward, we will do even more to improve local caretaker understanding of the causes of water quality decline, advance policies and restoration practices that can turn this situation around and sustain improvement over the long term, and foster opportunities for expanded impact through collaboration.

Population(s) Served
Adults

How to advocate for enough water for people and nature has become an urgent issue across our network, and not just in areas where water scarcity is common. In response, River Network is growing our support for local caretakers seeking to better understand what they can do to make a difference, share solutions that meet both human needs and ecosystem functionality, and foster expanded impact through collaboration.
We recently launched two new initiatives to support ample water: Building Local Caretaker Capacity and Engagement for Water Supply Security and Sustainability in the Southeastern US, and a collaboration with the Alliance for Water Efficiency and Environmental Law Institute to develop a ‘net zero water’ model land use ordinance toolkit for testing and refinement in numerous markets across the US.

Population(s) Served
Adults

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 individuals attending community events or trainings

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

Adults

Related Program

Strong Champions

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

These numbers include both clean-up events and trainings (e.g., River Rally and other workshops and distance learning opportunities).

Number of rallies/events/conferences/lectures held to further mission

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

Adults

Related Program

Strong Champions

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Value of direct financial support provided to local groups.

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

Strong Champions

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These figures include a combination of direct support, small grants, scholarships, and other support.

Number of individuals reached through our website, newsletter, and social media

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

Strong Champions

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of River Network clean-up events.

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

Adults

Related Program

Clean Water

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Value of scholarships granted to River Rally participants in need

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

Strong Champions

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

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.

Thousands of rivers and the watersheds weave a tapestry across our landscape that connects our ecosystems, cities, economies, communities and culture. We believe that local caretakers, advocates, and enthusiasts are essential to protect and restore these systems. That is why we focus our full attention on building and expanding the capacity and capability of these people and the communities they are part of.

River Network aims to CONNECT people with others facing similar changes, to proven approaches for addressing specific threats, and to new ideas and innovations from across industry, academia, government and non-governmental organizations. We EMPOWER concerned citizens and local caretakers of all varieties to make a difference locally, providing them the mentoring and capacity they need to make a difference. We EXPAND the impact of this large and diverse community by activating them for regional and national influence.

Three strategies focus our investment and align with our organizational strengths, threats to rivers and watersheds, and needs within our community:

Strong Champions: Strengthen coalitions, organizations and leaders
Clean Water: Promote clean water solutions and innovations
Ample Water: Advance water supply security and sustainability

These three strategies inform all of our work, from our newsletter and themes at River Rally, technical support, mentoring and collaboration, and distance learning opportunities, to best practices and impact stories shared through this website. They help us focus our limited resources and capacity on the most significant needs and the greatest value. For more information, please take a look at our complete strategic plan for River Network 2.0 accessible from this page.

River Network's current employees bring a wealth of skills, perspective and enthusiasm to their daily work, plus many years' experience related to taking care of our waters and supporting nonprofits. Our team is structured around the primary functions necessary to deliver on our strategies as well as deliver basic organizational support needed for accountability and financial solvency. River Network's Board of Directors has a deep understanding the vision and priorities stated above.

River Network has forged deep and long-lasting partnerships with local, regional and national non-profits, foundations, government agencies, companies, tribal nations, and water advocates. To achieve the strategies and goals listed above, we invest in our current relationships, expand partnerships where appropriate to reach common goals and forge new alliances.

Three years ago, we began a journey to invigorate River Network's brand and value proposition. With care and deliberation, we focused our attention on three areas: strong champions (strengthening coalitions, organizations, and leaders), clean water (promoting clean water solutions and innovations) and ample water (advancing water supply security and sustainability). We also launched a new website and upgraded our internal systems, technologies, and culture of inclusion, building the backbone necessary for River Network's success and evolution.

By dreaming big yet being methodical, garnering the support and enthusiasm of our funding and strategic partners we grew our net assets from slightly over $860,000 in 2014 to $1.89 million in 2017. We invested in 29 coalitions working toward greater impact in specific geographies and on threats to our rivers and communities, provided financial resources for 134 local events, attracted over 5,000 to our educational events, and reached nearly 200,000 with important news about the waters of our country.

These past three years also witnessed a significant shift in the social and political context of water. As became clear to our team through the events harming the people of Flint, Michigan, and other areas threatened by contamination, flood risk, and drought, the costs of water are not equally distributed, nor are the gifts of access to healthy rivers. We brought these issues to center stage through our quarterly River Voices publication and blogs, our national River Rally annual conferences, and our first Trends Report: Our Water, Our Future. We also did hard work ourselves, examining our values, how we do our work and with whom, as well as our recruitment practices.

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.
  • 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), Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • 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,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

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

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection,

Financials

River Network
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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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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

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.

River Network

Board of directors
as of 4/23/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Jumana Vasi


Board co-chair

Rebecca Wodder

Suzi Wilkins Berl

Consultant

Lynn Broaddus

Broadview Collaborative, Inc.

Gary Collins

State of Wyoming

Brian Richter

Sustainable Waters

Paul Sloan

Beth Stewart

Cahaba River Society

Greer Tidwell

Bridgestone Firestone

Rebecca Wodder

Andrew Fahlund

Ellen Gilinsky

Peggy Hill

Ann Mills

Jacqueline Patterson

NAACP

Cary Ridder

Richard Roos-Collins

Water and Power Law Group, PC

Jumana Vasi

Nonprofit/Environmental Consultant

Julia Blatt

Massachusetts Rivers Alliance

Bill Brandt

Arizona State University

Sandra Postel

Global Water Policy Project

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 04/23/2021

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

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/15/2020

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 ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • 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 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 use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • 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 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 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.