Sacramento, CA   |
GuideStar Charity Check


EIN: 26-0566540


California Forward (CA FWD) leads a statewide movement, bringing people together across communities, regions and interests to improve government and create inclusive, sustainable growth for everyone. A 501(c)(3) organization, CA FWD drives collective action to identify solutions that can be taken to scale to meet the challenges the state is facing. The organization is driven by the belief that this collective action will help ensure the economic, environmental, and social prosperity of all people. It has a sister organization, the California Forward Action Fund, that engages in aligned lobbying and advocacy activities. CA FWD serves as the backbone for the California Stewardship Network, an alliance of regional leaders, and is the host of the California Economic Summit.

Ruling year info


Interim CEO & Executive Director, California Stewardship Network

Dr. Ish Herrera

Main address

1017 L Street PO Box 368

Sacramento, CA 95814 USA

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Subject area info

Public affairs

Community and economic development

Population served info


NTEE code info

Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (W99)

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

Voter Education/Registration (R40)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

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

Tax forms



See related organizations info

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

California, the world’s fifth largest economy and a state known for innovation, is also home to significant challenges. From having the highest rate of real poverty in the country to disastrous wildfires to systemic social, racial, and geographic inequities, California harbors tremendous barriers for many to achieve shared prosperity and the California Dream.

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?

California Economic Summit

Co-hosted by the California Stewardship Network and grounded in triple-bottom-line solutions, the Summit is a vehicle to put forth policy recommendations that transform regions, including initiatives that create more homes, more skilled workers, and more quality jobs.

From preparing a 21st century workforce, ensuring equitable homeownership, and bridging the digital divide to creating ecosystems and climate resiliency, the Summit is the only space of its kind to provide a platform to showcase inclusive, regional economic development efforts to a broad range of stakeholders, influencers, and powerbrokers, including the governor, legislators, and investors. Leaders across all sectors, industries, and regions come together at the Summit to propel solutions-oriented, bipartisan collaboration that moves the state forward.

Population(s) Served

The California Forward Young Leaders Advisory Council is comprised of Californians ages 16-24 from diverse backgrounds and social identities who are committed to intergenerational collaboration. The Council is poised to address both regional and statewide issues that greatly impact the next generation through advocacy, civic engagement, coalition building, and policy development. The Council is constructing a future of equity and opportunity for all Californians.

Population(s) Served
Young adults

The California Dream Index consists of 10 trackable outcome measures that influence economic security, mobility, and inclusion through a common platform. The California Dream Index offers regions an "apples to apples" comparison across the state. Through the California Dream Index, local, regional, and state leaders have access to both a shared platform of measurement tools and a community of practice that spurs policy and collective action across the state.

Population(s) Served

The Becky Morgan Steward Leadership Program invites local leaders to deepen their understanding of regional and statewide policy issues, hone their decision-making skills, and unite with other leaders to learn, grow, and change California. The learning objectives of the program aim to develop an awareness and commitment to practicing stewardship, building coalitions, leading consciously, and incorporating triple-bottom-line approaches into community-based solutions and decision-making.

Population(s) Served

The California Stewardship Network (CSN) is an alliance of regional leaders who are committed to improving government and creating inclusive, sustainable growth for all. CSN organizations lead innovative regional solutions that can be scaled up to solve some of our state’s most pressing economic, environmental, and social well-being challenges. By creating thriving regions, we can ensure a thriving state.

Population(s) Served

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 people who attended the California Economic Summit

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

California Economic Summit

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Context Notes

2022 Impact: 863 people networking, sharing, learning, and moving policies forward in the state.

Percentage of First-Time Summit Attendees

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

California Economic Summit

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

2022 Impact: 70% of registrants were first-time attendees

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 Forward drives collective action to bring people together across communities, regions, and interests to identify triple-bottom-line (economy, environment, equity) solutions that can be taken to scale to meet the challenges the state is facing; improve government; and create inclusive, sustainable growth for everyone.

California Forward works closely with cross-sector partners throughout the state to improve economic, environmental, and equitable outcomes for the people of California. California Forward carries out this work through a core set of institutional assets that include the California Stewardship Network (a diverse alliance of regional leaders), the California Economic Summit and associated policy work groups (California Forward’s signature event fostering cross-sector collaboration and elevating state and regional policy initiatives), the Young Leaders Advisory Council (representing youth and young adult voices throughout the state), and the Becky Morgan Steward Leadership Program (a leadership development program for rising professionals). All residing under the umbrella of California Forward, these entities are focused throughout the year on creating a more inclusive and prosperous California for all. In addition, California Forward houses the California Dream Index, a data platform that tracks progress toward a more equitable California utilizing 10 indicators for economic mobility, security, and inclusion.

California Forward has extensive experience in areas such as engaging in collective action, building coalitions, hosting convenings, conducting research, and providing policy expertise and technical assistance—all of which contribute to moving the policy needle forward to create inclusive and sustainable impact within the state’s different regions.

We start with the evidence:
The data gathered by the California Dream Index serves as our “North Star,” allowing us to track economic mobility and keep ourselves and others accountable for progress.

We use a regional approach:
We center our work with partners across California’s diverse regions, with a focus on solutions that balance equity, environmental sustainability, and economic growth.

We build collaborative policy solutions:
Through the California Economic Summit and our work groups, we lift up policy agendas and recommendations that will
be advanced throughout the year. We share these recommendations in our annual Roadmap to Shared Prosperity.

We take action to advance policy:
We work with multi-sector partners across the state to advance these policy solutions aimed at giving more Californians the opportunity to thrive. When appropriate, we move policy recommendations forward through our sister advocacy organization, the CA FWD Action Fund.

California Forward, with support from our partners, networks and work groups, continues to advance collective action work that is moving the policy needle forward within interconnected issue areas ranging from homeownership expansion to climate resilience to workforce development.

Throughout the state’s different regions, California Forward also continues to collaborate with California Stewardship Network partners and other stakeholders to identify and elevate inclusive regional economic development priorities through strategic convenings and planning sessions, including those connected to the State's Community Economic Resilience Fund.

Other recent accomplishments include:

In 2022, CA FWD partnered with the Newsom Administration and former Los Angeles mayor and current California Infrastructure Advisor, Antonio Villaraigosa, on a statewide infrastructure project to ensure federal funding is maximized in communities and regions across California. Although the partnership is ongoing, it has already produced significant outcomes, including vital recommendations captured from the 30+ roundtables and 20+ thought leader listening sessions convened in 13 regions, on Zoom, and at the 2022 California Economic Summit, that will continue to inform statewide public policy and boots-on-the-ground efforts.

In 2021, CA FWD was selected by the State Treasurer’s Office to design the framework for the California Dream for All program (AB 140). This program addresses inequities in BIPOC homeownership and wealth accumulation.

The road ahead:

CA FWD is excited about the road ahead. From advancing inclusive, regional economic development plans
and investments across the state to advocating for the equitable distribution of federal infrastructure
funding to standing up a statewide advisory council of leaders to broaden access to pragmatic policy and
practice, CA FWD will continue to engage a very diverse group of state, regional and local stakeholders to
establish common ground and a productive way through California’s most difficult challenges.

We have a reputation for convening "middle tables" that bring divergent schools of thought and approaches closer together to spur collaboration, out-of-the-box thinking and common-sense solutions that position all of us who love this great state to organize with—instead of against—each other. When addressing the complex issues of the regions, the most transformative path forward has rarely been to the right or left; rather, it is often through the middle. CA FWD will continue to hold the space and extend an open invitation to local, regional and state
stakeholders curious and courageous enough to meet us in the middle where we can collectively move California forward.


Fiscal year: Jul 01 - Jun 30
Financial documents
2022 CA FWD 2022 Final Audit Report 2020 Financial Statement 2014
done  Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant. info

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 6.73 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 5.3 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 15% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of CALIFORNIA FORWARD’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $23,013 $32,653 $371,301 -$314,454 $1,018,919
As % of expenses 0.9% 1.5% 11.7% -11.0% 21.9%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $19,963 $32,070 $369,867 -$315,836 $1,017,779
As % of expenses 0.8% 1.5% 11.6% -11.0% 21.8%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $2,673,084 $4,548,441 $2,515,467 $1,928,668 $6,989,171
Total revenue, % change over prior year 24.2% 70.2% -44.7% -23.3% 262.4%
Program services revenue 46.0% 16.3% 13.8% 15.4% 31.1%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0% 0.1% 0.1% 0.0%
Government grants 1.7% 1.3% 4.8% 12.3% 10.5%
All other grants and contributions 52.9% 82.2% 81.3% 72.2% 58.4%
Other revenue -0.5% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $2,629,039 $2,139,569 $3,183,460 $2,861,955 $4,659,286
Total expenses, % change over prior year -4.0% -18.6% 48.8% -10.1% 62.8%
Personnel 30.8% 31.1% 44.8% 59.3% 45.4%
Professional fees 47.8% 48.6% 33.0% 17.7% 32.1%
Occupancy 1.4% 0.3% 0.7% 0.6% 0.4%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 1.3% 0.1% 1.3% 10.4% 7.1%
All other expenses 18.7% 19.9% 20.1% 11.9% 15.1%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $2,632,089 $2,140,152 $3,184,894 $2,863,337 $4,660,426
One month of savings $219,087 $178,297 $265,288 $238,496 $388,274
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $3,419 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $2,851,176 $2,318,449 $3,453,601 $3,101,833 $5,048,700

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 2.5 3.4 5.2 4.9 7.3
Months of cash and investments 2.5 3.4 5.2 4.9 7.3
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 0.1 0.3 1.6 0.5 2.9
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $542,524 $598,463 $1,391,534 $1,169,499 $2,850,614
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $271,094 $2,527,310 $1,143,901 $1,080,421 $1,084,475
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $1,743 $1,743 $5,162 $5,162 $5,162
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 19.4% 52.9% 45.6% 72.4% 94.5%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 25.9% 3.7% 8.2% 37.7% 7.2%
Unrestricted net assets $25,976 $58,046 $427,913 $112,077 $1,129,856
Temporarily restricted net assets $590,471 $2,966,690 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $590,471 $2,966,690 $1,927,396 $1,308,563 $2,619,529
Total net assets $616,447 $3,024,736 $2,355,309 $1,420,640 $3,749,385

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


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

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Interim CEO & Executive Director, California Stewardship Network

Dr. Ish Herrera

Ismael D. Herrera, Jr. is the Interim CEO and Executive Director of CA FWD’s California Stewardship Network. He is responsible for coordinating the collective impact activities of members of the California Stewardship Network (CSN) and to advance the policy initiatives of CA FWD through the California Economic Summit. Prior to joining CA FWD, Herrera spent 10 years at the Office of Community and Economic Development at California State University, Fresno (OCED), most recently as its Executive Director. Herrera has dedicated over a decade to public service. He has served on the Board of Trustees of Mendota Unified School District (Fresno County), the Fresno County Board of Education, and is currently serving on the City of Kerman’s (Fresno County) City Council and Recreation & Community Services Commission. Herrera earned two Bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Chicano/Latino Studies from the University of California, Irvine and a Master’s degree in Education Policy and Management fr

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990


Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization


Highest paid employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

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Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of highest paid employee data for this organization


Board of directors
as of 09/14/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Gustavo Herrera

Arts for LA

Jennifer Hernandez

Holland & Knight

Pete Peterson

Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership, Pepperdine School of Public Policy

Caroline Whistler

Third Sector Capital Partners

Catharine Baker

Hoge Fenton

Sunita Cooke

Miracosta Community College District

Jim Heerwagen

Voter's Right to Know

Jacqueline Martinez Garcel

Latino Community Foundation

Lenny Mendonca

Former Chief Economic and Business Advisor for Gov. Gavin Newsom and Director of the Office of Business and Economic Development

Kausik Rajgopal


Dave Regan


Evan Schmidt

Valley Vision

Jeffery Wallace


Ashley Swearengin

Central Valley Community 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? 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 9/14/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/19/2021

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

  • 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.


Fiscal year ending
There are no fundraisers recorded for this organization.