PLATINUM2023

CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS FOUNDATION

Champion your California

SAN FRANCISCO, CA   |  http://www.calparks.org/

Mission

California State Parks Foundation is an independent, member-supported nonprofit dedicated to protecting and preserving the California state park system, for the benefit of all.

Ruling year info

1969

Executive Director

Ms. Rachel Norton

Main address

33 NEW MONTGOMERY STREET SUITE 520

SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94105 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

94-1707583

NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (C01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2020.
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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

California’s state parks are a world-class network of unparalleled natural beauty and historic value. Attracting over 81 million annual visits, our 280 state parks are crucial to ensuring vibrant California communities. However, maintaining these spaces requires a tremendous amount of stewardship and care. Our parks are chronically underfunded in the state budget, particularly in times of financial hardship. This is compounded by the growing threat of climate change, including devastating impacts from wildfires and sea level rise. California State Parks Foundation aims to address these challenges, engage Californians with their public lands, and ensure that state parks are accessible and relevant to all. Our state parks need a strong constituency of support from all Californians to protect their natural, historical, and cultural treasures. When we work together to protect and steward our parks, they will be there for us in return – creating some of our most memorable life experiences.

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?

Volunteerism

California State Parks Foundation’s year-round volunteerism program organizes workdays to protect and preserve state parks across California by addressing climate change and demands on natural resources. In partnership with the Department of Parks and Recreation, California State Parks Foundation generates high-quality workday service projects to attend to unmet needs and engage Californians with their local parks, including signature Earth Day Climate Action events in April. Our volunteers provide consistent, sustainable support for park staff and help with critical projects such as planting native plants, removing invasive species, trail repair, trash clean-up, post-wildfire restoration, and clearing brush to reduce wildfire risk.

Population(s) Served

California’s 280 state parks are increasingly threatened by climate change, and building climate resilience is essential. Climate resilience is the ability to withstand and manage the effects of climate change, which have already drastically altered California landscapes. California state parks face numerous climate threats, from devastating wildfires to increased flooding. To address these challenges, California State Parks Foundation has created climate resilience initiatives to prepare parks for this inevitable future, including wildfire, sea level rise, and biodiversity. We are using the best available science and research to learn deeply about climate threats and solutions, educate Californians and the Legislature, activate people to take action, and ultimately influence policy and legislation that prioritizes marginalized communities most impacted by climate change.

Population(s) Served

While California state parks are public spaces, many people cannot access or experience them. Barriers to park access include lack of transportation, cost of visiting, lack of awareness of parks or the activities they offer, and more. Though we are working to reduce these barriers, this is just the beginning of the effort to ensure that every Californian feels welcome and included in state parks. A sense of belonging is fostered by positive park experiences: welcoming signage and staffing, relevant programming, and amenities that are inclusive and well-maintained. California State Parks Foundation works to address these issues in localized areas with communities that face greater systemic barriers, such as Candlestick Point State Recreation Area. This deep learning allows us to identify scalable solutions, educate and activate Californians and the Legislature, and ultimately influence policy and legislation to create state level programs such as the California State Library Parks Pass.

Population(s) Served

Effective staffing, funding, and protection policies are critical to ensuring a thriving state park system. With sufficient staffing, parks can offer high-quality visitor services and maintain facilities and trails to a high standard. Proper funding is equally vital to ensure that parks have the resources they need. Parks are also vulnerable to a variety of threats, including development pressures from adjacent lands, roads, powerlines, and other non-mission use. To address these challenges, it is crucial to have strong policies and regulations in place, such as those that restrict commercial activities within park boundaries, prohibit encroachment, and protect sensitive habitats. In addition to promoting key policy solutions, California State Parks Foundation ensures park excellence by supporting California state parks in creating thriving partnership programs so that they can benefit from all the work of nonprofit partners.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Awards

Partnership Award 2023

California Department of Parks and Recreation

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 volunteers engaged in restoring native habitats, bolstering climate resilience, and improving park access, visitor safety, and the visitor experience

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

Volunteerism

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The program was deeply impacted by COVID-19, resulting in reduced output numbers.

Number of volunteer workdays in state parks

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

Volunteerism

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The program was deeply impacted by COVID-19, resulting in reduced output numbers.

Number of active state park sites in volunteer program

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

Volunteerism

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The program was deeply impacted by COVID-19, resulting in reduced output numbers.

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

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

Volunteerism

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The program was deeply impacted by COVID-19, resulting in reduced output numbers.

Number of grassroots advocates who attended Park Advocacy Day

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

Climate Resilience

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2020 and 2021, we pivoted to a virtual format due to COVID-19 which allowed for greater participation.

Number of legislative visits at Park Advoacy Day

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

Climate Resilience

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

In 2020 and 2021, we pivoted to a virtual format due to COVID-19. We were not able to facilitate legislative visits in Sacramento.

Total number of organization members

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

Park Excellence

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

% of volunteers reporting that participation in our workdays made them feel more connected to state parks

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

Volunteerism

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Some long-time volunteers have noted that they already feel very connected to state parks, so workday participation does not increase this feeling for them.

% of park staff reporting that our volunteer workdays had a high quality impact on their state park(s)

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

Volunteerism

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

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.

Founded in 1969 by William Penn Mott, Jr., California State Parks Foundation’s mission is protecting and preserving the California state park system, for the benefit of all. Our vision is that Californians have a state park system that is accessible and relevant, adequately and sustainably funded, and stewarded for future generations. As we work toward our mission and vision, our primary campaigns focus on building climate resilience, promoting biodiversity, increasing equitable access, and ensuring full funding and staffing for parks. We do this through our theory of change and intentional through-line: we learn, we educate, we activate, and we influence.

GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: When elected officials are equipped with information and understand constituent priorities, they make decisions that ensure California’s state parks remain sustainable and relevant for all Californians. For over 50 years, California State Parks Foundation has been the leading statewide voice for parks. Through advocacy and policy development, we address the root cause of problems and create scalable change for all Californians. Our staff meet with elected officials, develop and support policies and legislation, lobby the Legislature, and mobilize grassroots advocates.

VOLUNTEERISM: When people get in the dirt and weeds, literally, and make a personal connection with their local park and community members, the pride of ownership can spur a lifetime of advocacy on behalf of parks. California State Parks Foundation’s year-round volunteerism program organizes workdays statewide to address climate change and demands on natural resources.

PARTNERSHIPS: When we connect partner organizations and work towards shared priorities, we mobilize and strengthen the state park movement. As a leader for the field, California State Parks Foundation enhances and improves state parks by providing tools and resources, financial support, and other guidance to park partner organizations.

MEMBERSHIP: Our strength as an advocacy organization comes from our 80,000 members across California. With their grassroots support, we make systemic impact for California’s state parks by successfully advocating for key pieces of legislation.

California State Parks Foundation was founded to be a partner to the Department of Parks and Recreation in protecting and preserving the California state park system. Early in our history, we helped grow the system by acquiring land for the state, preserving these treasures for generations to come.

As the new millennium approached, the California state park system began to show its age with crumbling infrastructure and mounting deferred maintenance. It was also increasingly visible that many Californians do not have equitable access. State parks were suffering, at the mercy of California’s boom and bust budget cycle, as well as a target for development threats like road construction, powerline corridors, trains, and more. California State Parks Foundation needed to increase its advocacy and presence in Sacramento to defend the state park system in the Capital. 

Over the course of its first 54 years, the organization built a dedicated community of over 80,000 members and raised more than $300 million to benefit state parks. Today, California has the largest and most biologically diverse state park system in the nation with 280 parks that are vitally important to our state’s environment, economy, and quality of life. California State Parks Foundation continues to fight for state parks wherever and whenever they need us. Our recent successes include restoring wetlands at Candlestick Point State Recreation Area, securing state funding for new park access programs, improving habitat for western monarch butterflies, and ensuring wildfire recovery and future climate resilience.

California’s state park system began with Big Basin Redwoods in 1902. By the end of the 1960s, California’s state parks faced severe budget cuts. Director of California State Parks William Penn Mott, Jr. understood that preserving natural and cultural resources was not enough — parks needed to engage a broader audience and better serve all communities.

In 1969, Director Mott rallied a core group of friends and park supporters to form California State Parks Foundation, an independent, statewide nonprofit. These were exciting days for the environmental movement in California and nationally, as new legislation was passed, the first Earth Day was celebrated, and Californians voted to protect their coastal zone.

Today, California’s magnificent state park system has grown to 280 units and receives more than 81 million visits each year. In the beginning, California State Parks Foundation was primarily purchasing and holding new parklands. Over the years, we have supported programming that connects people to parks, making sure that everyone can visit and feels welcome. When parks were threatened with closure and development, we were the voice for parks, keeping them open for all to enjoy.

As the needs of the times change, for parks and people, California State Parks Foundation will be there to advocate for, enhance, and protect state parks. Over the upcoming year, key priorities include advocating to make new park access programs permanent and publishing a first of its kind report on the status of climate resilience in state parks.

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 strengthen relationships with the people we serve

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, 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 act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback

Financials

CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS FOUNDATION
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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

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.

CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS FOUNDATION

Board of directors
as of 06/02/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Birt Johnson, Jr.

Retired, AT&T

Term: 2021 -

Douglas Beebe

Toyota Motor North America

William Doolittle

Retired

Virginia Chang Kiraly

California Commission for Economic Development

Angel Barajas

City of Woodland

Ben Cipollini

FluentPet

Michon Coleman

Hospital Council Northern & Central California

Birt Johnson

Retired

James Lau

Lau Consulting

Leslie Leonard

Retired

Christi Light

Technology Specialist

Diane Ross-Leech

Retired

Gina Orozco

SoCalGas

Dan Skopec

SDG&E

Darry Sragow

Dentons

Ryan T'Kindt

Robert Walter

Cresleigh Homes

Emily Young

University of San Diego

Carol Hart

Movement Arts Instructor and Trainer

Keith Pettus

JPMorgan Chase

Mukund Srirangapatnam

PwC

Joshua Wood

Sacramento Region Business Association

Jason Glickman

Pacific Gas & Eletric Company

Rachel Alvarez

ATOD ETR

Rao Repeta

NVIDIA

Cindy Yang

Google

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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/18/2023

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

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/19/2022

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.
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 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.