PLATINUM2024

WONDER WOOD RANCH

Hope on Hooves

Salinas, CA   |  www.wonderwoodranch.org
GuideStar Charity Check

WONDER WOOD RANCH

EIN: 81-2269799


Mission

Wonder Wood Ranch exists to bring hope through horses (and other ranch animals) to a hurting community, especially gang-impacted, low-income, homeless, at-risk, foster, and other kids and youth in need in Monterey County.

Ruling year info

2016

Principal Officer

Marlo Schalesky

Main address

8100 Wild Horse Rd

Salinas, CA 93907 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

81-2269799

Subject area info

Domesticated animals

Animal welfare

Youth services

Population served info

Children and youth

People of Latin American descent

Economically disadvantaged people

At-risk youth

NTEE code info

Animal Related Activities N.E.C. (D99)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

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

Show Forms 990

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Wonder Wood Ranch seeks to bring hope through horses and other ranch animals to kids/youth with high trauma, including gang-impacted, homeless, low-income, and other disadvantaged kids and youth in Monterey County. We bring equine education and therapy to the neediest kids in our community who have no other access to horses or the ranch environment. We also address literacy and social development needs.

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?

Hope on Hooves

20-30 low-income, underprivileged, or homeless kids per month come to the ranch, to experience a day of hands-on equine education. We target unreached high-crime, at-risk areas of our city and bring kids from those areas to our Ranch to learn about horses and to ride, usually for the first time. You should see the look on a kid’s face when he first sits on a horse and realizes there can be more to life than gangs, drugs, and desperation. From atop a horse, kids find a new perspective, a better perspective, on life.
We also provide food, crafts, lessons in grooming, donkey care, and other fun farm animals such as chickens and bunnies.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Children and youth

Horses & Heroes is our program for foster kids and you. It focuses on using horses to give kids the tools they need to become heroes in their own communities. This program teaches the value of overcoming fear, past hurts, and negative pressure so that kids/youth can value others, make good choices, and impact the lives of siblings, friends, and classmates. Through this program, kids are encouraged to be the positive change in their communities and lives.

Population(s) Served
People of Latin American descent
Children and youth

Our Animals & Art program combines the power of animals and artistic expression to heal and give hope to kids who are the most at-risk in our community. Professional artists and teachers of art partner with us and our animals to open the world of art to kids. Kids learn basic forms of art (painting, sculpture, sketch, watercolor, etc.) with animals to increase the personal impact of this program.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Children and youth

T.A.I.L.S stands for:
Trauma-informed
Animal-assisted
Interactive
Leadership & Life
Skills development
TAILS is a weekly program either offsite (such as at juvenile hall) or onsite at Wonder Wood Ranch. Each week, various animals are incorporated into the session, such as full-sized or miniature horses or donkeys, sheep, goats, chickens, chinchillas, guinea pigs, etc.. Our staff facilitates a trauma-informed, interactive session designed specifically to develop positive, compassionate leadership skills in trauma-impacted kids/youth. Our fun, hands-on methods and activities help kids/youth to break through long-standing barriers so that they can envision a violence-free future and acquire the tools to accomplish such a future! This program is also available in individual sessions.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Children and youth

Taught by a multi-published, award-winning professional author of both fiction and non-fiction, this course will combine creative writing instruction with animal-related activities at the Ranch. Participants will learn how to express themselves and communicate effectively through writing. The goal of this course is for each participant to create a publishable piece of writing that will be included in a compilation after the course has concluded. The instructor for this course also teaches workshops and seminars for professional writers as well as for students and has found that writing has a unique healing effect on kids and youth as they learn to express themselves through words.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
People of Latin American descent

Our summer horse camps aim to transform lives through focused week-long camps during the summer. Kids learn about ranch life, learn to ride on their own, and are trained for positive life activities. Camp changes lives and will be remembered for a lifetime! Our Camp Esperanza is one of these camps, offered in partnership with the DA's Victim's Unit, YWCA, Monterey County Rape Crisis Center, and Monterey County Behavior Health.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth

Picnic in the Pasture is a fun program for kids of all ages. Our most basic, introductory program allows kids to experience our animals while having a fun "picnic" at the Ranch. We find that even simple exposure to the Ranch environment and the animals can open kids to hope and new perspectives in life. A mere $10 can provide lunch and a wonder-filled experience for kids who otherwise are stuck inside their homes due to neighborhood violence and gang activity.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
At-risk youth

Our Boronda Manor program brings art, fun, and wonder of childhood to kids at Boronda Manor and other low income apartment complexes in North Salinas. Wonder Wood Ranch has targeted a specific high-crime area in North Salinas to bring this impactful program. Our first program has launched at Boronda Manor, a low-income apartment complex with over 500 kids. Regularly, we bring a message of hope along with animals-related art, crafts, activities, food, and other fun to the kids at Boronda Manor, at no cost to them. We hope to expand to other low-income apartment complexes in the area as well as the local elementary and middle schools. We aim to transform this gang-impacted area of our city with the power of horses and hope!

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Children and youth

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 participants attending course/session/workshop

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

Social and economic status, Children and youth, Foster and adoptive children, Orphans, People with disabilities

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Wonder Wood Ranch is beginning to do more intensive work with trauma-impacted youth.

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.

We aim to introduce disadvantaged kids in Monterey County to life options other than gangs and drugs, expose them to alternate choices, and educate them on those choices using equine education, and pairing animals with literacy, writing, art, and other educational programming. We also aim to partner with other nonprofit organizations in our community to enhance our mutual goals.

We pair animals (horses, miniature horses, donkeys, miniature donkeys, pigs, rabbits, chinchillas, chickens, etc.) as well as activities such as archery with art programs, writing programs, literacy programs, gang prevention and intervention programs, etc. to make the greatest impact. Our programs are so unique that they are able to make significant life impact.

We also partner with other effective nonprofits in our community to bring Hope on Hooves to their clients and increase the impact of their programs.

We have professional volunteer artists, writers, educators, equine experts, etc. in our programs.

We also have over 50 animals (with needed equipment), an archery range (with equipment), and the onsite facilities to run our programs.

Last year we served over 1,000 disadvantaged kids, bringing hope on hooves to our target youth and kids. We hope to expand our outreach to more foster kids, human trafficking victims, and victims of violent crime.

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 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, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, 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 demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, 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?

    The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback

Financials

WONDER WOOD RANCH
Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

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

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

WONDER WOOD RANCH

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

WONDER WOOD RANCH

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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

Operations

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

Documents
Letter of Determination is not available for this organization
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Principal Officer

Marlo Schalesky

Marlo Schalesky started Wonder Wood Ranch in 2016 to serve underprivileged, homeless, and low income kids (and families) on the California Central Coast. Marlo's horse experience began when she was nine years old, after saving her money for years to buy her very first horse, Hustling Hobo. Marlo is also an award-winning author of several books and runs the business side of an engineering firm. She's a graduate from Stanford University (B.S., Chemistry) and Fuller Theological Seminary (M.A.T. with an emphasis in Biblical Studies). She lives lives with her husband and six children, as well as (currently) nearly 60 animals in a log home on California's central coast.

WONDER WOOD RANCH

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Compensation
Other
Related
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.

WONDER WOOD RANCH

Board of directors
as of 06/10/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Marlo Schalesky

Jean Waddy

Central Coast College

Sarah Eddings

Accountant

Anthony Santacruz

Student

Miranda Beymer

MA Student, UC Riverside

Carol Cervantes

Gang-Impact Expert, City of Salinas

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 9/2/2022

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
Decline to state
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/02/2022

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.
  • 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 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 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.