California Native Plant Society

California is one of the world's biodiversity hotspots. We save and celebrate the native plants that make it so.

aka CNPS   |   Sacramento, CA   |  www.cnps.org

Mission

The mission of CNPS is to conserve California native plants and their natural habitats, and increase understanding, appreciation, and horticultural use of native plants.

Notes from the nonprofit

CNPS recognizes diversity, equity and inclusion as an area that needs intentional focus within our organization. We are currently working with a diversity consulting group to review our processes and procedures from human resources to office administration to our program work. We're excited to see what the review uncovers in the coming months and to develop a plan to improve our equity practices, including equity and diversity training for all staff. This process is critical not just for our organization and our supporters, but for for mission as well. Our state’s diversity is our strength. We recognize that it will take engagement of all regions, communities and individuals to achieve the change needed. With each individual's help, we can reach people young and old, from all backgrounds, across our great state and inspire them to care and to act. Please join us today in working to conserve and protect California’s native plants and their habitats for future generations.

Ruling year info

1965

Interim Executive Director

Vince Scheidt

Finance and Operations Director

Mr. Brock Wimberley

Main address

2707 K Street Suite 1

Sacramento, CA 95816 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

94-6116403

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

California is blessed with tremendous natural diversity, and contains several globally important biodiversity hotspots. The cornerstone of this biodiversity is the plant life that composes our wildlands where we recreate, and provides food, shelter, and places for animal species to reproduce and live. An incredible 6,500 plant types occupy the state, over a third of which are found nowhere else on the planet. Additionally, more than a third of these plant species are rare, threatened, or endangered, and too many California plant species are threatened with extinction in the years to come. Decline of these precious plant resources has direct impacts on animal species, water, air, and soil quality, as well as the quality of human life.

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?

Vegetation Program

The mission of the CNPS Vegetation Program is to develop and disseminate quantifiable definitions of all types of vegetation in California. These definitions will be used to promote science-based conservation at the natural community and ecosystem level throughout the State.

The principal goals of the Vegetation Program are to develop, promote, and maintain a uniform vegetation classification that will be adopted by private, state, and federal resource agencies with jurisdiction over land management, and to develop defensible definitions of the rare vegetation of the state.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The goals of the CNPS Rare Plant Program (The Program) are to develop current, accurate information on the distribution, ecology, and conservation status of California's rare and endangered plants, and to use this information to promote science-based plant conservation in California. The Program, since its inception in 1968, has developed a reputation for scientific accuracy and integrity. The Program’s data are widely accepted as the standard for information on the rarity and endangerment status of the California flora. For this reason, The Program’s primary responsibility is the maintenance of the CNPS Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants of California (the CNPS Inventory), which tracks the conservation status of hundreds of plant species.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The mission of the Gardening Program is to promote, support and encourage the appropriate use of California Native plants in public and private gardens and landscapes. One of the goals of the Gardening program is to provide technical information and resources to homeowners, landscape designers, and nursery owners on the care and maintenance of native plants so that natives are routinely incorporated into public and private landscape designs.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The CNPS Education and Outreach Program coordinates educational resources and programs, workshops, and conservation projects for all ages, levels of knowledge, and enthusiasm. We nurture, train, and support the upcoming generations of botanists and conservationists through the Plant Science Training Program, CNPS Conferences and Symposiums, Rare Plant Treasure Hunt trainings, and Educational Grants Program.
CNPS also develops educational materials that will help children fall in love with the natural world including the CNPS Curriculum, Opening the World through Nature Journaling, which meets State of California education standards for grades 3-7.
Within this section of our website, Californians will find resources, curricula, volunteer opportunities, student research support, and cool projects for teachers, naturalists, scouting groups, and students of all ages.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

The mission of the conservation program is to preserve native plant species and their habitats on public and private lands in California by advocating for the maximum protection of native plants and promoting science-based and ecologically-sound land management practices.

The Conservation Program staff and volunteers serve as advocates for science-based land management practices to conserve native plant species and their habitats on public and private lands in California. There are laws, regulations, and ordinances -- at all levels of government -- that are intended to protect plants. Some accomplish this goal, and we try to ensure they are used as intended. Others are less useful and we work with the appropriate jurisdiction or agency to re-examine and modify sections pertaining to plant issues. To achieve this mission, CNPS conservation work is primarily focused on:

Regional Conservation Planning (e.g., Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP), Natural Community Conservation Plans (NCCP), General Plans for cities and counties, Forest plans for lands managed by the US Forest Service, Conservation area plans for lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management)
Native Plant Conservation in Forest Environments
Control of Invasive and Exotic Plants
Policies and Regulations Supporting Native Plant Conservation
Chapter Based Conservation Issues

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 paid participants in conferences

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

Education and Outreach Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

CNPS Conservation Conferences are held every three years

Number of rare species populations mapped by RPTH

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

Adults

Related Program

Rare Plant Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

New population numbers are declining as we would expect the highest numbers to be in the first few years of the program when all discoveries were new. 2016 and 2017 data is incomplete

Number of volunteers participating in Rare Plant Treasure Hunts

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

Rare Plant Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

2020 saw a significant drop in the number of participants in our group programs due to the pandemic. 2016 and 2017 seasons were shorter due to drought, fire, and staff time.

Number of professionals completing plant science training workshops

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

Adults

Related Program

Education and Outreach Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2020, after moving to a virtual format, although we offered many fewer workshops we saw the attendance rate increase substantially.

Number of plant science surveys completed

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

Vegetation Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

As 2014 was a dry year, conditions were too poor for conducting surveys, so time was instead spent on outreach and manuscript development. Stats prior to 2013 only count grassland surveys.

Number of volunteers

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

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of downloads of CNPS Children's Curriculum

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2018 we did a website conversion. Prior to that time there was a bigger proportion of spam submissions. 2019 and beyond figures more accurately reflect the demand.

Number of Rare Plant Treasure Hunts

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

Rare Plant Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The 2020 pandemic impacted our ability to conduct our targeted number of hunts.

Number of Professional Botanists Certified

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

Education and Outreach Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Botanist certification workshops are live, in-person events and therefore were not offered during the pandemic.

Number of rare species prepared for seed banking

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

Rare Plant Program

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.

California Native Plant Society (CNPS) is a statewide nonprofit organization that advances the understanding, appreciation, and protection of California's native plants and habitats, through scientific activities, education, and conservation. For over 50 years, CNPS volunteers and staff have worked alongside scientists, government officials, and regional planners to protect habitats and species and to advocate for well-informed environmental practices, regulations, and policies.

Our strategic plan through 2021 includes the following goals: 1) Know, 2) Save, 3) Enhance and 4) Restore, Engage and Energize.

Goal 1 Strategies: Improving scientific understanding including taxonomy, floristics, and ecology; mapping and inventorying plants and their communities, including specimen collection; analyzing and prioritizing conservation targets.

Goal 2 Strategies: Building and maintaining a robust legal and regulatory framework to protect native species; proactively improve planning and respond to harmful projects; share information to improve planning and conservation actions.

Goal 3 Strategies: Grow/connect supply and demand for locally grown native plants; build expertise on creating and maintaining native plant landscapes; promote, support, and perform ecologically sound land stewardship practices.

Goal 4 Strategies: Increase public enthusiasm and support for California's native plants, and cultivate and increase our network of partners.

For over 50 years, CNPS has educated, supported, and coordinated citizen volunteers in changing policy and plans to improve the efficacy of plant conservation in California. We have a rich history of reaching across aisles to work alongside government officials, agency staff, and scientists to protect habitats and species and to advocate for well-informed environmental practices, regulations, policies, and the maximum protection of imperiled species and habitats. Our independence from, but constant cooperation with, governmental agencies and other environmental groups grants us a flexibility that helps get our work done. We are also a grassroots organization composed of nearly 10,000 members and volunteers across 35 regional chapters located throughout California and Baja California. Volunteers give CNPS the ability to be in many places at once, respond to critical local needs, and are responsible for our most important conservation successes.

From special places and endangered species saved, to landmark legislation and lawsuits, CNPS propels the cause of native plant preservation and appreciation to new levels. No other organization in California works to be the much-needed voice of plants. We are proud of our hard-won successes, be they championed by an impassioned volunteer advocate, a coalition of organizations fighting for the right course of action, or through concerted program-driven initiatives. CNPS gets things done. Over the course of its 50+ year history, CNPS has successfully petitioned for the inclusion of endangered species to federal and state endangered species lists, saved special habitats, litigated for the protection of special species and places, advocated for the passage of legislation, and we continue to maintain the California Rare Plant Ranks (Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants) and Manual of California Vegetation databases that are used as the accepted references statewide.

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.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Thanks to our donors and members, we are able to support California's important goals of biodiversity preservation. Our work touches thousands of Californians every day, from fire recovery guidelines to student internships and Garden Ambassadors in your communities. Supporting native plants is about so much more than the individual plants, it's about the wildlands we love, the pollinators that depend on our plants, and the people of California who call this amazing place home. We are proud to serve every Californian through our mission.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Quarterly meetings of CNPS Chapter Council,

  • 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,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    CNPS chapter leaders and volunteers were the inspiration for a now much-used and valuable online resource. These advocates were looking a source of information to help them respond to local projects in their communities that would impact native plants and their habitats. They looked to the state CNPS office and asked how best to ensure their voices would be heard at the local level. This led to the development of our Conservation Advocacy Toolkit, a collection of training and reference materials designed to empower volunteer advocates to navigate the complexities of environmental law and bureaucracy. This has increased our advocacy reach across the state and been an incredible resource to for both individuals and small groups.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

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

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    In 2019, CNPS formed a Student Advisory Group comprised of current and incoming undergraduate and graduate students from across California. The students benefit from sharing knowledge, collaborating on programs, and connecting with professionals. By bringing their diverse perspectives and personal experiences to their work, the members are helping with the development and evolution of CNPS’s resources, tools and programs. In particular ensuring that we are reaching a broad spectrum of Californians, spanning age, race/ethnicity, gender identification, and socio-economic status. This diverse group represents the future of CNPS, and they expect CNPS to not only honor the diversity of the people too. We are excited about the shifts we are making to our programs and outreach efforts.

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

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • 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 Native Plant Society
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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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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

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

California Native Plant Society

Board of directors
as of 2/26/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Cris Sarabia

Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy

Term: 2020 - 2022


Board co-chair

Mr. Bill Waycott

California State Polytechnic San Luis Obispo

Term: 2020 - 2022

Bill Waycott

California State Polytechnic San Luis Obispo

Brett Hall

University of California, Santa Cruz Arboretum

Cris Sarabia

Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy

Vince Scheidt

Independent Botanist/Consultant

John Hunter

Environmental Science Associates

David Pryor

California State Parks (retired)

Steve Schoenig

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (retired)

Cathy Capone

Tule River Parkway Association

Lucy Ferneyhough

Independent Landscaper

Dee Himes

Foothill College

Christina Toms

San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board

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? No
  • 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 02/22/2021

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

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data