Mission: Acadia Center is a non-profit organization committed to advancing the clean energy future. Through research and advocacy, it works to empower consumers and offer rea ... (More)

Acadia Center is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1998, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information


 8 Summer Street
Rockport ME 04856 

  PO Box 583
Rockport ME 04856


You are viewing this organization's new Charity Navigator profile page. To view the legacy version, click here.

Star Rating System by Charity Navigator

Charity Navigator evaluates a nonprofit organization’s financial health including measures of stability, efficiency and sustainability. We also track accountability and transparency policies to ensure the good governance and integrity of the organization.


This charity's score is 94.63, earning it a 4-Star rating. Donors can "Give with Confidence" to this charity. 

This score is calculated from two sub-scores:

This score represents Form 990 data from 2019, the latest year published by the IRS.

View this organization’s historical ratings.

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Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio


The Program Expense Ratio is determined by Program Expenses divided by Total Expense (average of most recent three 990s).

This measure reflects the percent of its total expenses a charity spends on the programs and services it exists to deliver. Dividing a charity's average program expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.

Source: IRS Form 990

Administrative Expenses


As reported by charities on their IRS Form 990, this measure reflects what percent of its total budget a charity spends on overhead, administrative staff and associated costs, and organizational meetings. Dividing a charity's average administrative expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.

Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Expenses


This measure reflects what a charity spends to raise money. Fundraising expenses can include campaign printing, publicity, mailing, and staffing and costs incurred in soliciting donations, memberships, and grants. Dividing a charity's average fundraising expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.

Source: IRS Form 990

Liabilities to Assets Ratio


The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990).

Part of our goal in rating the financial performance of charities is to help donors assess the financial capacity and sustainability of a charity. As do organizations in other sectors, charities must be mindful of their management of total liabilites in relation to their total assets. This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and or long term sustainability. Dividing a charity's total liabilities by its total assets yields this percentage.

Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Efficiency


The amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions. To calculate a charity's fundraising efficiency, we divide its average fundraising expenses by the average total contributions it receives. We calculate the charity's average expenses and average contributions over its three most recent fiscal years.

Source: IRS Form 990

Working Capital Ratio

1.45 years

Determines how long a charity could sustain its level of spending using its net available assets, or working capital, as reported on its most recently filed Form 990. We include in a charity's working capital unrestricted and temporarily restricted net assets, and exclude permanently restricted net assets. Dividing these net available assets in the most recent year by a charity's average total expenses, yields the working capital ratio. We calculate the charity's average total expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.

Source: IRS Form 990

Program Expense Growth


We compute the average annual growth of program expenses using the following formula: [(Yn/Y0)(1/n)]-1, where Y0 is a charity's program expenses in the first year of the interval analyzed, Yn is the charity's program expenses in the most recent year, and n is the interval of years passed between Y0 and Yn.

Source: IRS Form 990


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has these governance practices in place.

Sources Include: IRS Form 990

Independent Voting Board Members  ... (More)
No Material Diversion of Assets ... (More)

A diversion of assets – any unauthorized conversion or use of the organization's assets other than for the organization's authorized purposes, including but not limited to embezzlement or theft – can seriously call into question a charity's financial integrity. We check the charity's last two Forms 990 to see if the charity has reported any diversion of assets. If the charity does report a diversion, then we check to see if it complied with the Form 990 instructions by describing what happened and its corrective action. This metric will be assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Full Credit: There has been no diversion of assets within the last two years.

  • Partial Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity has used Schedule O on the Form 990 to explain: the nature of the diversion, the amount of money or property involved and the corrective action taken to address the matter. In this situation, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity's explanation on Schedule O is either non-existent or not sufficient. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
Audited Financials Prepared by Independent Accountant ... (More)

Audited financial statements provide important information about financial accountability and accuracy. They should be prepared by an independent accountant with oversight from an audit committee. (It is not necessary that the audit committee be a separate committee. Often at smaller charities, it falls within the responsibilities of the finance committee or the executive committee.) The committee provides an important oversight layer between the management of the organization, which is responsible for the financial information reported, and the independent accountant, who reviews the financials and issues an opinion based on its findings. We check the charity's Form 990 reporting to see if it meets this criteria.

  • Full Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant with an audit oversight committee.

  • Partial Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant, but it did not have an audit oversight committee. In this case, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: The charity did not have its audited financials prepared by an independent accountant. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
Does Not Provide Loan(s) to or Receive Loan(s) From Related Parties ... (More)
Documents Board Meeting Minutes ... (More)
Distributes 990 to Board Before Filing ... (More)
Compensates Board ... (More)


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization has these policies in place.

Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Conflict of Interest  ... (More)
Whistleblower ... (More)
Records Retention and Destruction ... (More)
CEO Compensation Process ... (More)
Donor Privacy ... (More)

Donors have expressed extreme concern about the use of their personal information by charities and the desire to have this information kept confidential. The exchanging and sale of lists for telemarketing and the mass distribution of "junk mail," among other things, can be minimized if the charity assures the privacy of its donors. Privacy policies are assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Yes: This charity has a written donor privacy policy published on its website, which states unambiguously that (1) it will not share or sell a donor's personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations or (2) it will only share or sell personal information once the donor has given the charity specific permission to do so.

  • Opt-out: The charity has a written privacy policy published on its website which enables donors to tell the charity to remove their names and contact information from lists the charity shares or sells. How a donor can have themselves removed from a list differs from one charity to the next, but any and all opt-out policies require donors to take specific action to protect their privacy.
  • No: This charity either does not have a written donor privacy policy in place to protect their contributors' personal information, or the existing policy does not meet our criteria.

The privacy policy must be specific to donor information. A general website policy which references "visitor" or "user" personal information will not suffice. A policy that refers to donor information collected on the website is also not sufficient as the policy must be comprehensive and applicable to both online and offline donors. The existence of a privacy policy of any type does not prohibit the charity itself from contacting the donor for informational, educational, or solicitation purposes.



Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization makes this information easily accessible.

Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

CEO Salary Listed on 990 ... (More)
Board of Directors Listed on Website ... (More)
Key Staff Listed on Website ... (More)
Audited Financial Statements on Website ... (More)
Form 990 Available on Website ... (More)

Additional Information


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Total Revenue and Expenses

Total Revenue and Expenses

This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.

Salary of Key Persons

Presented here are this organizations key compensated staff members as identified by our analysts. This compensation data includes salary, cash bonuses and expense accounts and is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting

Daniel Sosland, President

$220,808 (10.70% of Total Expenses)

Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2019

Business Master File Data

Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website


Described in section 170(b)1)(a)(vi) of the Code (BMF activity code: 994)

Preservation of natural resources (conservation) (BMF activity code: 350)

Foundation Status:

Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi) (BMF foundation code: 15)


Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations). (BMF affiliation code: 3)

Data Sources: IRS Forms 990

The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. Click here to view this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available).

Pandemic Response

Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, we give charities such as this one the opportunity to share the story of COVID's impact on them. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.

Acadia Center reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Revenue

  • Staffing

  • Administrative Capacity

  • Balance Sheet

  • The pandemic had an impact on various expenses and budget planning.

How COVID-19 impacted the organization's operations financially:

The pandemic introduced immediate challenges to Acadia Center’s revenue and expense forecasts. Acadia Center limits its revenue to foundations and individual donor support and the pandemic introduced uncertainties to both primary revenue sources. On the revenue side, most existing foundation grants remained steady and with approval of a PPP loan, we proceeded with several staff additions. The ability to attract new sources was difficult. The number and amount of individual donations increased during the pandemic as a result of receiving high ratings, improved giving platforms and significant donor generosity. Travel and conference expenses declined but home office support and technical costs rose. Rent expenses also declined, as a five year lease for office space in Boston ended as the pandemic began and we held off on a renewal. We worked carefully to manage risk and uncertainty to end our fiscal year on Dec. 31, 2020 in good shape.

How COVID-19 impacted the organization's delivery of programs:

Acadia Center’s work with government agencies and coalitions shifted to virtual settings. As stakeholders became comfortable with virtual meetings, participation in coalitions and meetings grew larger and more diverse. Acadia Center had been accustomed to regularly scheduled Zoom and instant messaging software that connect our staff across the region daily and we were able to utilize virtual meeting technologies for community outreach that, in the past, would have required significant logistical planning. The closure of legislatures and government reduced opportunities for outreach to decision-makers and created some slow-downs. The pandemic crisis deeply affected our sense of urgency to address racial, socio-economic and environmental burdens in our program materials, analyses and advocacy and work to build trusting, meaningful relationships with a wide range of environmental justice voices.

How this organization adapted to changing conditions caused by COVID-19:

We rapidly shifted to online tools to maintain program work. For example, in early March 2020, in a matter of only a few days we shifted a long planned in-person coalition and speaker forum to an online. The event was a success, probably attracting more people than an in-person event. Because of our familiarity with online communications tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, the shift to online meetings and outreach went as smoothly as one could hope.

Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

We saw that using online virtual meeting tools to engage with partners, coalitions and government processes unexpectedly allowed more people to participate and more diverse representation occurred from persons who might have had difficulty traveling to a legislative or administrative agency meeting. We have been encouraging government entities to provide for virtual attendance permanently as a means of increasing the diversity of voices who can participate. Historically, different groups and voices found the cost and time requirements to travel to meetings insurmountable and virtual meeting tools offer a helpful way to address this problem.

Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
7/1/20212019 94.63
6/1/20202018 100.00
6/1/20192017 100.00
7/1/20182016 94.88
6/1/20182016 94.46

This organization received multiple star ratings within this fiscal year, due to an update to it's Accountability and Transparency data and/or the receipt of an amended Form 990.

7/1/20172015 94.16
6/1/20162014 96.01
Rating Version: 2.0
8/1/20152013 99.35
6/1/20142012 93.81
4/1/20142012 92.07
6/1/20132011 95.07
5/1/20122010 97.11
11/1/20112009 97.59
9/20/20112009 84.25
Rating Version: 1.0
6/1/20112009 96.60
7/1/20102008 99.10
4/1/20092007 99.05
4/1/20082006 99.01
2/1/20072005 99.25

...   Impact & Results

This score estimates the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.

Impact & Results Score

Not Currently Scored

Acadia Center cannot currently be evaluated by our Encompass Rating Impact & Results methodology because either (A) it is eligible, but we have not yet received data; (B) we have not yet developed an algorithm to estimate its programmatic impact; (C) its programs are not direct services; or (D) it is not heavily reliant on contributions from individual donors.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.

Learn more about Impact & Results.

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Additional Information


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Largest Programs

Largest Programs

Acadia Center reported its three largest programs on its FY 2019 Form 990 as:


Spent in most recent FY


Percent of program expenses



Spent in most recent FY


Percent of program expenses



Spent in most recent FY


Percent of program expenses


...   Leadership & Adaptability

This score provides an assessment of the organization's leadership capacity, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/need or other relevant social and economic conditions to achieve the organization's mission.

Leadership & Adaptability Score


out of 100

The score earned by Acadia Center is a passing score.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of the organization's Leadership & Adaptability through the nonprofit organization submitting a survey response directly to Charity Navigator.

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Leadership & Adaptability Report


of 100 points


The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s mission

Acadia Center’s mission is to advance bold, effective, and equitable clean energy solutions for a livable climate and a stronger, more equitable economy. Grounded in impactful data analysis and inclusive partnerships and collaboration, we fight for economic and environmental policies that will have the greatest impact on carbon emissions in our region. Working at the intersection of government, industry, grassroots organizations, advocates and communities, Acadia Center develops courageous solutions for our region’s systemic energy challenges. Together with policymakers, environmental justice partners, and donors, we can build an energy system that puts people front and center, shifting conversations to promote equitable solutions. We work to amplify voices that are not always heard or heeded, striving to find common ground so that our communities have clean, healthy, affordable energy so we all can thrive.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses


The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s vision.

Acadia Center envisions a low-carbon economy that advances clean energy—not fossil fuels—to heat buildings, power transportation options and generate electricity. The clean energy future can improve the quality of life and human and environmental health while lowering greenhouse gas emissions that are pushing the climate towards an unstable and dangerous state. Acadia Center is working to build the energy system of the future. States and regional systems urgently need policy changes and regulatory barriers that limit new technology need to be removed. To this vision, Acadia Center’s work is organized around interrelated Areas of Focus: • Advance Ambitious, Effective State, Community and Regional Climate Paths • Invest in Making our Buildings Energy Efficient • Electrify Buildings and Transportation • Align Utilities, the Power Grid and Government Decisions With Clean and Community Energy • Change the Climate Conversation to Focus on Solutions that Reduce Emissions and Help People

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Strategic Goals

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting through sharing their most important strategic goals.

Goal One: Reduce Climate Pollution in the Largest Emitting Areas Threatening Our Future: 85% of climate emissions come from three sectors: buildings, transportation, and energy production.

Goal Type: New program(s) based on observed changes in needs among our constituencies/communities served.

Goal Two: Fossil fuels threaten a climate safe future. We can electrify buildings and transportation and modernize the electric grid to support clean energy, consumer choice, efficiency and healthy communities.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.

Goal Three: Increase Public Support for a Clean Energy Future: to accelerate progress, Acadia Center engages the public, decisionmakers and partners with targeted research and innovative communications.

Goal Type: This goal reflects our commitment to further our advocacy work for our organization and or cause area.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development

Describe an investment in leadership

Acadia Center made several investments in leadership in 2020 and 2021. We retained an expert to update our management structure and ensure efficient decision making; provide career advancement; address diversity; and clarify goals and responsibilities. In April 2020, we created a senior management “cabinet” composed of the president; director of policy; director of communications; and director of finance. The Executive Cabinet is 75% female and 25% male. The leadership team attended courses on training, hiring, and diversity. Acadia Center also sought expertise for its environmental justice and diversity efforts. We retained a firm with expertise in these issues that is working with our staff and board to implement environmental justice across all programs and activities. We created an Environmental Justice Associate position to provide improve capacity to advance EJ goals and implementation efforts.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Mobilizing for Mission

The nonprofit provides evidence of leadership through focusing externally and mobilizing resources for the mission.

This organization mobilizes for mission in the following ways:
  • Strategic Partnerships

  • Networks of Collective Impact Efforts

  • Thought Leadership

  • Raising Awareness

  • Policy Advocacy

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

Acadia Center’s theory of change uses credible research to illustrate the benefits of clean energy options and offers solutions that improve public health, offer greater consumer and economic benefits, make the buildings we live in cleaner and healthier, offer better and fairer transportation options, and position our economic and environmental future to provide stronger and sustainable opportunities for the next generation. We deploy an array of tools towards this vision that are oriented to expanding public awareness and support for clean solutions. These tools include preparing fact based analytic reports that show why a clean energy technology is a better choice, such as our Clean Heating Pathways handout; presenting effective yet practical pathways for the region, states and communities to take to achieve a climate safe future; and showing media, decision makers and the public how clean energy solutions are already providing economic, health and environmental justice benefits.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Story of Adaptability

The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.

Like many organizations and people, Acadia Center was deeply impacted by the racial and social disparities that become even more obvious in our society in the past year. The murder of Americans solely due to their race, religion or national origin is a national scourge that undermines national ideals and a commitment to a just society and places unacceptable barriers to the basic human right that all individuals are entitled to lead lives of promise and potential. Acadia Center’s mission is grounded in building a climate safe future, and since the organization’s inception we work from a core belief that a transition to a clean, low emitting society must be done to benefit all and improve consumer, economic, public health and justice goals. We believe that a sustainable future depends upon implementing government and regulatory reforms that not only change energy systems, transportation, buildings and communities to be cleaner, but do so in ways that improve the lives of all people. As the Black Lives Matters and social movements arose in the past year to press these needs front and center, Acadia Center redoubled its own commitments and assessed its strengths and weaknesses in reaching these goals. We thoroughly reviewed all program, analysis, hiring, board and staffing to ensure that we do a better job of embracing climate and racial justice. We implemented a diversity, inclusiveness and environmental justice screen to all work. We began new projects like an assessment of how lower income urban and rural communities have not benefitted adequately from leading energy efficiency programs. We made a determined effort to seek partners and earn respectful relationships with environmental justice voices. We created a new position for environmental justice and have been fortunate to staff that position with a knowledgeable committed person who will provide leadership and guidance to an effort that requires all staff and board to embrace.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

...   Culture & Community

This score provides an assessment of the organization's engagement with the constituents it serves, a practice we term Constituent Feedback. When organizations listen to constituents, they are able to better deliver on programs and meet the needs of stakeholders. A future version of this Beacon will also assess an organization's people operations and its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) metrics.

Culture & Community Score


out of 100

The score earned by Acadia Center is a passing score.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of an organization's Culture and Community by measuring its Constituent Feedback practices (see report below). Constituent Feedback data provides 100% of the basis for the initial evaluation of the Culture & Community Beacon.

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Culture & Community Report


of 100 points

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Constituent Feedback

Constituent Feedback

Full Credit

This organization reported that it is collecting feedback.

Here's how this organization is listening and learning from the people they serve:

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

Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings or town halls, Suggestion box/email, Other means

How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

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

With whom does your organization share the feedback you got from the people you serve?

Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners

What challenges does your organization face in collecting feedback from the people you serve?

It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection

Briefly describe a recent change that your organization made in response to feedback from the people you serve.

Acadia Center has long worked to advance programs that make our homes and businesses energy efficient. This has been successful: $4 billion will be invested in the coming 3 years, saving consumers billions, reducing climate pollution, and producing more affordable and healthier buildings. In the past 2 years, in discussions with many voices from lower-income communities and communities of color, it is clear the programs are not adequately serving these communities. We re-prioritized our work to focus on lower-quality housing improvements identified as priorities by community voices. We seek changes to the process to ensure participation from voices in these communities so they have early, equal and direct influence. We are developing metrics to monitor implementation.


Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people and communities they serve, may be more effective. We've partnered with GuideStar by Candid to survey organizations about their feedback practices. Nonprofit organizations can fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile to receive a rating.

Charity Navigator awards full credit for this Beacon to every nonprofit that is eligible for an Encompass Rating that completes the survey, in recognition of their willingness to publicly share this information with the nonprofit and philanthropic communities. This data is not evaluated for quality at this time. Validation will be added in future iterations of this Beacon.

Analysis and Research

Like the overall Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community Beacon is designed to evolve as metrics are developed and ready for integration. Our partnership with Feedback Labs and Guidestar by Candid, and other partners including Fund for Shared Insight, GlobalGiving, and Keystone Accountability, enables us to launch the first version of this beacon with Constituent Feedback information collected on Candid's site.

Feedback practices have been shown to support better Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion outcomes, an essential area of assessment that we intend to further expand and develop in the future. Feedback Labs has documented several studies which indicate that beyond achieving organizational goals, nonprofits that are attentive and responsive to concerns and ideas raised by beneficiaries establish stronger relationships with the people they serve, promote greater equity, and empower constituents in ways that can help to ensure better long-term outcomes. You can find resources to help nonprofits improve their feedback practices here.

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