Hitchcock Center for the Environment

Education for a Healthy Planet

Amherst, MA   |
GuideStar Charity Check

Hitchcock Center for the Environment

EIN: 04-2487748


To educate and to inspire action for a healthy planet

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Billy Spitzer

Main address

845 West St.

Amherst, MA 01002 USA

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Subject area info

Education services

Climate change

Environmental education

Youth organizing

Population served info

Children and youth




NTEE code info

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

What we aim to solve

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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?

K-12 School Programs

Serving an average of 5,500 students in 45 schools annually, our inquiry-based learning experiences are steeped in our local environment, serving as one of the most influential sources of environmental education to shape students' attitudes, beliefs and values for a healthier planet. All programs are aligned with the Massachusetts Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Framework. Programs include: Field Trips (9+ topics), Classroom Programs (6+ topics), Schoolyard Habitat Program, Naturalist-in-Residence Series.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Beginning with children in their earliest years, we believe that involvement at every developmental stage of a child’s life encourages ecological awareness and stewardship. Each year, our programs help get an average of 2,150 children outside, connected with their own natural environment, exploring and understanding the life around them, developing their sense of citizenship, addressing real-world environmental problems, and empowering them to take action in solving those problems in constructive and meaningful ways. Programs include: Nature Play Afterschool, Girls into the Wild, Hitchcock Homeschool, Nature Discovery Preschool, Nature Summer Camp, School Vacation Camp & Curriculum Days, Monarch Tagging, Youth Birding, Pollination Celebration, and more.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

The Hitchcock Center offers a wide range of adult education programs aimed at fostering greater environmental awareness, literacy and action. These programs serve an average of 2,100 people each year, and are offered through our highly skilled education staff as well as through a strong network of scientists, naturalists, environmentalists, educators, advocates and organizations who partner with the Hitchcock Center. Program areas include: Natural History, Citizen Science, Phenology, Birding, Plants, Energy Literacy, Water Literacy, Educating for a Healthy Material World, Living Well on Earth, Sustainability, Environmental Justice, and more.

Population(s) Served

Professional development trainings help prepare 525 educators and sustainability practitioners for the best practices of environmental education and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Framework by strengthening content knowledge and teaching methods in earth, life, and physical sciences, and sustainability and energy education utilizing our new Living Building. Free online curriculum units are on our website, and our Peg McDaniel Resource Center is an extensive curriculum resource and lending library for teachers and a member of the Western Massachusetts Regional Library System. The Hitchcock Center also offers several internships each year to students and graduates who are interested in environmental education.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


Living Certified Award 2019

International Living Future Institute, Seattle, WA

Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education Award 2019

Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Boston, MA

Honor Award for Sustainable Design 2018

Boston Society of Architects, Boston, MA

Paul Winske Access Award 2018

Stavros, Amherst, MA

Living Hero Award 2021

International Living Future Institute

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total dollar amount of grants awarded

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

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success


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.

1. Build greater internal capacity to deliver high-quality climate change, sustainability, and environmental justice
education in school and community settings.
2. Leverage the Center’s building and grounds as a resource for learning in and from nature.
3. Build a more diverse, equitable and inclusive organization.
4. Increase the visibility, recognition, understanding, and support of the Hitchcock Center.
5. Ensure that sound financial management approaches are in place to secure the organization’s long-term financial sustainability.
6. Increase effective board engagement to support the work of the Center

● Create a new narrative about climate change that uses storytelling and interpersonal conversations as powerful
tactics to build hope and support for climate action.
● Champion nature-based education to instill a life-long love of nature among children during their formative years
● Expand our existing efforts in building youth leadership, providing professional development and curriculum for
educators, and using our Living Building as a resource for learning about sustainability.
● Increase staffing, develop new partnerships, and target funding support to meet the critical need for a
well-informed, environmentally literate, and engaged public.
● Advance the field of environmental education through greater engagement with national and statewide peer
networks, associations, and member organizations.
● Create a high quality experience for visitors by using our teaching gardens, nature play areas, and nature trails to create an unrivaled destination for outdoor and community learning and exploration.
● Use our convening power to promote creative public dialog about the relationship between humans and nature,
particularly as it relates to environmental and human health.
● Recruit and retain a diverse staff and build a strong culture of inclusion.
● Increase our reach and diversify our program participants, volunteers, partners, donors, and supporters to ensure that we are serving all communities.
● Expand use of a sliding scale fee structure to lower barriers to program access.
● Convene a Task Force to develop and implement a comprehensive and ongoing DEI strategy for programs, staff
training, operations, HR practices, communication, and governance.
● Ensure that staff feel meaningfully engaged, highly supported, and fairly compensated.
● Increase professional development opportunities for staff so that they can perform with the highest level of
knowledge and expertise.
● Develop and implement more effective communication and marketing strategies to broaden and deepen
engagement with the Center.
● Implement a well-coordinated and integrated fundraising, grant, and communications plan designed to increase ongoing annual support.
● Develop recommended budgets for staffing, facility and site maintenance, IT, marketing and advertising, and capital
replacement needs.
● Develop a multi-year operating budget and plan for endowment growth to meet the needs of the Plan.
● Increase board diversity in support of DEI goals.
● Use quantifiable and measurable performance metrics and program evaluation to assess progress toward strategic
goals, and strengthen use of data-driven decision making.
● Adjust strategies and manage resources to incorporate evolution of the plan.


Hitchcock Center for the Environment
Fiscal year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

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 4.79 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 14.4 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 14% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Hitchcock Center for the Environment

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Hitchcock Center for the Environment

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

Hitchcock Center for the Environment

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Hitchcock Center for the Environment’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.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $490,777 $86,872 $193,117 $198,981 -$55,837
As % of expenses 67.1% 10.9% 24.3% 32.0% -5.7%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $337,546 -$69,060 $35,217 $42,432 -$206,004
As % of expenses 38.1% -7.3% 3.7% 5.5% -18.3%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $1,180,404 $905,800 $1,615,020 $1,014,093 $786,437
Total revenue, % change over prior year 31.1% -23.3% 78.3% -37.2% -22.4%
Program services revenue 23.8% 31.2% 14.3% 20.0% 41.6%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 1.2% 1.7% 1.2% 2.6% 4.6%
Government grants 7.0% 1.0% 1.0% 12.1% 13.9%
All other grants and contributions 65.0% 59.7% 82.3% 63.6% 38.3%
Other revenue 3.0% 6.4% 1.2% 1.7% 1.5%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $731,953 $795,955 $793,429 $620,894 $972,566
Total expenses, % change over prior year 16.7% 8.7% -0.3% -21.7% 56.6%
Personnel 71.1% 69.9% 68.1% 74.3% 73.3%
Professional fees 6.8% 6.9% 12.1% 5.2% 6.7%
Occupancy 5.4% 5.7% 6.1% 5.8% 5.6%
Interest 5.0% 4.3% 2.6% 1.9% 1.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 11.8% 13.2% 11.1% 12.7% 13.5%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $885,184 $951,887 $951,329 $777,443 $1,122,733
One month of savings $60,996 $66,330 $66,119 $51,741 $81,047
Debt principal payment $208,333 $261,595 $0 $91,304 $201,045
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $1,154,513 $1,279,812 $1,017,448 $920,488 $1,404,825

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 7.9 6.3 7.6 14.5 4.9
Months of cash and investments 17.5 15.7 26.7 41.3 21.0
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 7.8 4.2 5.3 8.5 3.5
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $479,821 $415,166 $500,541 $750,030 $395,571
Investments $589,845 $626,550 $1,266,854 $1,388,771 $1,305,397
Receivables $432,920 $288,775 $222,616 $345,368 $282,491
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $5,913,135 $5,936,449 $5,964,005 $5,958,104 $5,968,342
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 5.4% 8.0% 10.6% 12.9% 15.4%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 13.2% 10.1% 8.1% 7.6% 5.2%
Unrestricted net assets $5,278,663 $5,209,603 $5,244,820 $5,287,252 $5,081,248
Temporarily restricted net assets $264,913 $249,602 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $636,917 $656,073 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $901,830 $905,675 $1,490,678 $1,804,877 $1,593,271
Total net assets $6,180,493 $6,115,278 $6,735,498 $7,092,129 $6,674,519

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

Executive Director

Billy Spitzer

Billy has more than 30 years of experience as a non-profit leader and innovator in science and environmental education, climate communication, and network building to accelerate collective impact. He is currently a member of the coordinating team for the US Action for Climate Empowerment Coalition (, as well as a member of the leadership board for the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network ( He is former Vice President for Learning and Community at the New England Aquarium. He has been recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change for Engaging the Next Generation of Conservation Leaders, and has received a Visionary Award from the Gulf of Maine Council for innovation, creativity, and commitment to marine protection. He has a Ph.D. in Oceanography from MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and an undergraduate degree in Physics and Chemistry from Harvard University.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Hitchcock Center for the Environment

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

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Hitchcock Center for the Environment

Board of directors
as of 11/15/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board co-chair

Clay Ballantine

Smith College

Term: 2020 -

Board co-chair

Tom Davies

Amherst College

Term: 2020 -

Victoria (Tori) Thompson


Rhea Banker

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 10/20/2022

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:

Gender identity
Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/27/2022

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

  • 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 help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • 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

Professional fundraisers

Fiscal year ending

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 Schedule G

Solicitation activities
Gross receipts from fundraising
Retained by organization
Paid to fundraiser