The RP Group Inc.

aka The Research and Planning Group for California Community Colleges   |   San Rafael, CA   |
GuideStar Charity Check

The RP Group Inc.

EIN: 94-3207140


As the representative organization for Institutional Research, Planning, and Effectiveness (IRPE) professionals in the California Community Colleges (CCC) system, the RP Group strengthens the ability of CCC to discover and undertake high-quality research, planning, and assessments that improve evidence-based decision-making, institutional effectiveness, and success for all students.

Notes from the nonprofit


Ruling year info


Executive Director

Dr. Darla Cooper

Main address

369-b 3rd St # 397

San Rafael, CA 94901 USA

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Subject area info

Equal opportunity in education

Community college education

Social sciences

Population served info



People of Middle Eastern descent

People of Asian descent

People of African descent

Show more populations served

NTEE code info

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (B05)

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?

Leading from the Middle

Leading from the Middle (LFM) is a leadership development program focused on developing and equipping middle leaders with skills and strategies to advance lasting reform efforts at their respective colleges aimed at closing achievement gaps for underrepresented students.

LFM uses a project and problem-based learning model, to engage college teams comprised of community college faculty, administrators, staff, and researchers in collaborative learning to explore and apply effective strategies to the development of a project centered on closing opportunity and outcomes gaps while at the same time honing their individual and collaborative leadership skills.

To facilitate learning, LFM’s academies are located in a retreat setting. Over the course of a year, participants attend three 2½-day convenings that enable campus teams to engage with and learn from one another. An assigned coach helps guide each team and provides targeted support during and outside the convenings.

Population(s) Served

This RP Group effort focuses on identifying ways to increase transfer for a “high-leverage” group of community college students: those who are close to transfer but have not yet made it to university. In 2016, the RP Group began taking a more nuanced look at this population through our inaugural Through the Gate transfer study – establishing a “transfer continuum” to recognize that students at different points along the transfer path may have various experiences, obstacles, and needs. We also found that each year, nearly 60,000 California community college students who demonstrate the determination and academic ability to transfer do not make it to university. Who’s most likely to get stuck? Students from historically marginalized by our higher education systems.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Research increasingly indicates that integrating instruction and student support can facilitate college efforts to significantly increase student progress and completion.

Student Support (Re)defined examined how community colleges can deliver support both inside and outside the classroom to improve success for all students, with a specific focus on what students themselves say they need to succeed.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Growing evidence that multiple measures, such as high school transcripts and noncognitive variables, can greatly improve the accuracy of student placement in English and math, therefore facilitating their movement into and through college-level coursework.

Part of the California Community Colleges Common Assessment Initiative, the Multiple Measures Assessment Project aims to contribute to the advancement of this approach across the state’s system.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work


Catalyst Winner (For Executive Director) 2023

National Institute for the Student of Transfer

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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.
  • 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 share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection


The RP Group Inc.
Fiscal year: Jul 01 - Jun 30
Financial documents
2021 2020 2020 Audit
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 2.98 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 3.7 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 16% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

The RP Group Inc.

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

The RP Group Inc.

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

The RP Group Inc.

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of The RP Group Inc.’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 $666,712 $1,122,198 $690,247 -$46,633 -$602,834
As % of expenses 14.2% 21.1% 16.1% -1.8% -21.7%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $666,500 $1,118,551 $690,247 -$46,633 -$602,834
As % of expenses 14.2% 21.0% 16.1% -1.8% -21.7%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $5,589,538 $6,395,577 $4,753,868 $2,507,202 $2,427,943
Total revenue, % change over prior year 23.1% 14.4% -25.7% -47.3% -3.2%
Program services revenue 90.9% 94.3% 93.2% 93.6% 76.7%
Membership dues 0.8% 0.9% 1.1% 2.3% 2.4%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.3% 1.4%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 8.2% 4.8% 5.7% 3.8% 15.2%
Other revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 4.3%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $4,693,561 $5,323,379 $4,281,026 $2,645,605 $2,773,363
Total expenses, % change over prior year 12.2% 13.4% -19.6% -38.2% 4.8%
Personnel 36.9% 29.9% 39.9% 56.5% 58.1%
Professional fees 36.3% 47.4% 40.7% 35.1% 34.9%
Occupancy 0.1% 0.0% 0.1% 0.1% 0.1%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 26.8% 22.7% 19.3% 8.3% 6.9%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $4,693,773 $5,327,026 $4,281,026 $2,645,605 $2,773,363
One month of savings $391,130 $443,615 $356,752 $220,467 $231,114
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $3,449 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $5,088,352 $5,770,641 $4,637,778 $2,866,072 $3,004,477

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 2.0 4.8 7.6 7.5 3.7
Months of cash and investments 2.0 4.8 7.6 14.2 10.4
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 3.2 5.4 8.6 13.7 10.5
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $773,682 $2,124,784 $2,696,184 $1,648,537 $847,715
Investments $0 $0 $0 $1,481,486 $1,562,903
Receivables $1,576,138 $1,316,876 $1,070,204 $408,170 $689,898
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $62,131 $63,686 $63,686 $63,686 $63,686
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 94.8% 98.2% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 32.1% 22.6% 16.7% 14.7% 25.1%
Unrestricted net assets $1,257,375 $2,375,926 $3,066,173 $3,019,540 $2,416,706
Temporarily restricted net assets $339,834 $289,834 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $339,834 $289,834 $72,429 $0 $0
Total net assets $1,597,209 $2,665,760 $3,138,602 $3,019,540 $2,416,706

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.

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

Executive Director

Dr. Darla Cooper

Dr. Darla M. Cooper is an educational leader and expert in research and evaluation dedicated to using inquiry, data, and evidence to improve the lives of all community college students. Dr. Cooper has worked in the California Community Colleges system for over 20 years, having previously held institutional research director positions at Santa Barbara City College, Oxnard College, and Ohlone College. She led Student Support (Re)defined, a landmark research project that examined what supports student success, and is currently co-directing Through the Gate, a research study that examines what happens with students who appear ready to transfer, but do not. Dr. Cooper has worked on various projects designed to promote student success including the American Association of Community Colleges’ (AACC) Pathways Project and Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. Dr. Cooper holds a BA in Psychology from UC, San Diego, and an MSEd and EdD from the University of Southern California.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

The RP Group Inc.

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

The RP Group Inc.

Highest paid employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

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

The RP Group Inc.

Board of directors
as of 09/20/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Dr Pamela Mery

City College of San Francisco

Term: 2022 - 2024

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 4/6/2023

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
Black/African American
Gender identity

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/20/2023

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 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.


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