COMMONWEAL

Bolinas, CA   |  www.commonweal.org

Mission

Commonweal is dedicated to human well-being and the protection of the planet. Our programs advance research, inform policy decisions, promote healing, educate and create community through a program focus in three areas: Health and Healing, Environment and Justice, and Education and the Arts.

Ruling year info

2002

President

Michael Lerner

Executive Director

Oren Slozberg

Main address

PO Box 316

Bolinas, CA 94924 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

94-2366094

NTEE code info

Public Health Program (E70)

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

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 2020, 2019 and 2018.
Register now

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

This profile needs more info.

If it is your nonprofit, add a problem overview.

Login and update

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?

Commonweal Cancer Help Program

Founded in 1985, the Commonweal Cancer Help Program (CCHP) is perhaps the most respected residential support program for people with cancer and their significant others in the United States. Bill Moyers featured CCHP in his award-winning PBS series, Healing and the Mind. CCHP provides a weeklong program of yoga; meditation; relaxation; breathing practices; massage; morning support groups; sand-tray; exploration of sacred space; healing arts; music; an evening of healing words; primarily vegetarian whole foods cooking; individual sessions with co-leaders, nutritionists, and yoga practitioners; support groups; and explorations of choices in healing, conventional and complementary therapies, pain and suffering, and death and dying. CCHP regularly and reliably transforms the lives of participants in lasting and profound ways; it changes the experience of living—and sometimes dying—with cancer. We currently offer six CCHP retreats each year. Arlene Allsman serves as the coordinator of CCHP.

Population(s) Served

Founded in 2002, the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE) has almost 5000 partners in 50 states and 79 countries who are committed to addressing environmental health concerns related to chronic disease and disability. CHE translates and disseminates emerging environmental health science for different audiences, serves as a highly respected convener of colleagues in various fields, organizes monthly conference calls on relevant topics with leading researchers, and develops scientific consensus statements, white papers, and fact sheets. CHE currently has 18 working groups and initiatives, including asthma, autism, breast cancer, cancer, children’s environmental health, climate change, cumulative impacts, database improvements, diabetes/obesity, electromagnetic fields, fertility/reproductive health, healthy aging, integrative health, learning and developmental disabilities, mental health, neurodegenerative diseases, pet health, and science—and three state-based initiatives in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington. CHE also has a particularly strong working partnership with the Health and Environmental Alliance (HEAL) in Europe. Elise Miller serves as the director of CHE.

Population(s) Served

Founded in 2007, The New School at Commonweal (TNS) is a community of inquiry exploring topics in health, the arts and sciences, the environment, and the inner life. TNS presents conversations, book readings, performances, and other events with thought and action leaders who are changing our world. The events, over 180 over the past seven years, are recorded and then offered as podcasts on iTunes and our website. Most are offered free of charge as gifts to the Commonweal community, giving forward into a circle of generosity. In the year that ended June 30, 2014, TNS conversations have included cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien, California history publisher Malcolm Margolin, social innovator Vicki Robin, British organic food pioneer Patrick Holden, folk musician Ramblin' Jack Elliott, and many others. In addition, TNS continues to refine an online presence, including maintaining the website and sending monthly newsletters that are eliciting good response and discussion. Michael Lerner serves as the director and Kyra Epstein serves as the coordinator of TNS.

Population(s) Served

Founded in 1992, the Commonweal Juvenile Justice Program is widely regarded as one of California’s most influential advocacy organizations in the field. Attorney David Steinhart directs this program, with the founding premise that public safety and welfare are best served by a juvenile justice system that deals successfully with the treatment needs of children. Mr. Steinhart has played a central role in all major juvenile justice reforms in California over the past 22 years and consults with State programs around the nation. In 2012 the California Senate appointed Mr. Steinhart to the California Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC).

Population(s) Served

Founded in 2006, the Commonweal Biomonitoring Resource Center (CBRC) helps citizen groups around the world measure, or biomonitor, the levels of toxic substances or their breakdown products in human tissue and fluids. By documenting the personal chemical body burdens of key individuals, CBRC generates and delivers clear messages about the significance of biomonitoring data to the public, community groups, and state legislators. Biomonitoring data tells us that toxic chemicals pollute our "internal landscape" and suggests that this landscape is precious, fragile, and vulnerable to chemically related harm. Sharyle Patton serves as the director of CBRC.

Population(s) Served

Beyond Conventional Cancer Therapies (BCCT) is a new program that will help patients and practitioners go “beyond conventional cancer therapies” in informed and prudent ways. We are building a website that will enable patients to explore science-based or at least science-informed choices. We are developing databases of natural products and centers engaged in promising integrative oncology work. In a sense, BCCT is a new version of Michael Lerner’s book from MIT Press, Choices in Healing: Integrating the Best of Conventional and Complementary Cancer Therapies. Advisors include a dozen of the leading integrative oncologists in the country.

Population(s) Served

The Gift of Compassion uses art as a portal for introducing mediation as a healing practice for individuals and groups. The focus of the Gift of Compassion collaborations is on underserved, under-resourced segments of society—foster youth and young adults from the foster system, individuals charged with criminal offenses, individuals who are returning to communities after a period of incarceration, and immigrant youth. Every collaboration gives access to learning about and practicing methods that increase self-awareness and the experience of self-healing from trauma. Angela Oh and Tu Ying Ming co-direct the Gift of Compassion.

Population(s) Served

Founded in 2014, the Center for Creative Community (C3) is an umbrella for a number of Commonweal projects that explore the intersection of dialogue, cognition, creativity, and community. Through work in different communities, C3 seeks to deepen our exploration of complex issues in our world. C3 programs include the Power of Hope Youth Camp, the Creative Facilitation Training Series, Commonweal’s Fall Gathering, Visual Thinking Strategies, and the Ecology of Awakening program. These programs are bringing new energy and diversity to Commonweal, strengthening the foundation for the next forty years of work.

Population(s) Served

The Regenerative Design Institute (RDI) offers classes, workshops, and internships in permaculture gardening and nature awareness. Each year, hundreds of people come to the Garden to learn the principles of permaculture and regenerative design, which not only apply to gardening but also represent a tool kit of ethical ways of living on earth. James Stark and Penny Livingston-Stark serve as co-directors of RDI at Commonweal Garden.

Population(s) Served

Founded in 2014, Healing Circles is an international learning community for people who want to do deep intentional healing work with cancer and other diseases or experiences of loss. Designed to extend the core work of the Cancer Help Program, it seeks to bring the deep experiences of healing to people who want to create a healing circle in their living room, church or any other setting. Healing Circles was founded in partnership with three other centers—in Vancouver, B.C., Washington State, and our Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, D.C.—that have done residential retreats based on the Cancer Help Program model for at least 20 years. We now have new centers in Langley on Whidbey Island, Washington, and in Houston, Texas. Our three Bay Area CCHP alumni groups are our laboratories for Healing Circles work in the Bay Area. Healing Circles are forming in North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Another Healing Circle just began in Jerusalem. Hundreds of people have experienced and studied Healing Circles work.

Population(s) Served

The mission of Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) is to transform the way students think and learn through programs based in theory and research that use discussions of visual art to significantly increase student engagement and performance. In addition to flourishing in schools and art museums, today VTS is applied in natural science centers, in medical and nursing schools, as a therapy for adults with dementia and patients with brain injuries, and as tool to support both children and adult English-language learners.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Financials

COMMONWEAL
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our 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.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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.

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.

COMMONWEAL

Board of directors
as of 4/15/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Michael Lerner

President, Jenifer Altman Foundation

Catherine Dodd

Health Consultant

Katherine Fulton

Consultant and Author

Michael Lerner

President, Jenifer Altman Foundation

Judy Hatcher

Independent Management Consultant

Angela Oh

Co-Director, Gift of Compassion

Beth Setrakian

Owner, Beth's Fine Desserts, Inc.

Steven Bookoff

Director and Secretary, Bet Lev Foundation

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? No
  • 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? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No