Mission: OUR PURPOSE: To cultivate an environmentally conscious and responsible public
OUR VISION: That people's everyday actions are guided by an understanding and concern for the well-being of people and the planet
OUR MISSION: To make the environment more accessible, relatable, relevant, and connected to the daily lives of all Americans

National Environmental Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1991, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.neefusa.org/

 4301 Connecticut Avenue NW
Suite 160
Washington DC 20008 

  202-833-2933


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.




Exceptional

This charity's score is 90.27, 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

86.7%


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

6.0%


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

7.1%


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

15.9%


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

$0.07


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

0.64 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

1.25%


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

Governance


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


Sources Include: IRS Form 990

Governance:
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.
(Less)
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.
(Less)
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)

Policies


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

Policies:
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.

(Less)

Transparency


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

Transparency:
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

Unscored

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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



Meri-Margaret Deoudes, President, CEO

$266,556 (7.86% of Total Expenses)


Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2020

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


Activities:

Other conservation, environmental or beautification activities (BMF activity code: 379)


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)


Affiliation:

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.


National Environmental Education Foundation reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Revenue

  • Grants Sent

  • Balance Sheet


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

NEEF’s private revenue stalled during the COVID-19 pandemic as we were unable to fundraise face-to-face nor attend conferences to network. This made it difficult to secure new supporters while some of our existing donor base contracted their philanthropic spending or pivoted to support COVID-related efforts. Federal commitments, meanwhile, increased. Closures and restrictions, however, delayed our ability to execute all planned in-person programming (especially school-based activities) and grantmaking which affected NEEF’s ability to recognize (e.g., get reimbursed for) significant amounts of federal revenue, which was deferred to subsequent fiscal years. NEEF was able to secure two PPP loans to keep our full staff. Both the federal timing and PPP loans affected our balance sheet as NEEF was unable to release hundreds of thousands of dollars from restriction.


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

COVID restrictions greatly impacted the delivery of our work with in-person volunteers, students, and educators. However, NEEF was able to innovate and provide more opportunities for virtual engagement. Through online educational projects, interactive exhibits, informative webinars, and other resources, we have connected even more people to our work and the outdoors. The annual National Public Lands Day (NPLD) celebration each September is the largest single-day volunteer effort for America’s public lands. In 2019, over 2,000 public lands sites across the US hosted NPLD events, and together they engaged more than 150,000 volunteers in hands-on conservation activities. In 2020, NPLD needed to look a little different. While public land sites were still able to register socially distant in-person events, NEEF focused on supporting innovative virtual events designed to engage volunteers and connect people to public lands from the safety and comfort of their homes.


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

With classes moving online and teachers scrambling to update their lesson plans, NEEF stepped in to help by compiling a list of educational resources for parents, educators, and caretakers to use while their children are stuck at home. We also released many of our National Environmental Education Week resources early to make them more readily available when teachers needed them most. With social distancing regulations in place and recreation centers closed, people turned to the outdoors more than ever for exercise and rejuvenation. Many public lands have seen a surge in usage—two to three times as many visitors—as well as a reduction in staff and maintenance projects. In response, NEEF established the Restoration & Resilience Fund to distribute resources and mobilize volunteers to help restore these special places.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

NEEF sponsored 38 innovative virtual events during the September 2020 National Public Lands Day (NPLD) celebration as part of our “More Ways to Connect to Nature” campaign. We also held NEEF’s very first virtual signature event to kick off NPLD. With partner Corazón Latino, NEEF hosted a virtual musical tour of some of America’s most scenic public lands sites, from Joshua Tree National Park in California to Kenilworth Gardens in Washington, DC. These virtual events were well received, proving more educational and accessible than traditional volunteer projects, and NEEF will continue to offer a hybrid NPLD. In addition, we hosted NEEF's first virtual: -Children's Environmental Health Series: exploring the impact of environmental factors on children’s health and well-being, especially vulnerable populations -Public Lands roundtable discussions: focused on underrepresented communities (e.g., Black, Latinx, etc.) We also intend to iterate on these successful virtual events.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
12/1/20202019 90.27
11/1/20192018 89.30
10/1/20182017 90.40
9/1/20182017 89.20

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.

12/22/20172016 88.98
12/21/20162015 85.90
12/1/20162015 85.62
6/1/20162014 88.48
Rating Version: 2.0
3/1/20162014 83.19
11/1/20152014 81.69
9/1/20142013 74.56
7/1/20132012 91.20
6/1/20132012 89.90

...   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

National Environmental Education Foundation 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.

Do you work at National Environmental Education Foundation? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


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Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



National Environmental Education Foundation reported its three largest programs on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:


$988,021

Spent in most recent FY

32%

Percent of program expenses


CONSERVATION: WITH A COMMITMENT TO CONNECTING PEOPLE TO NATURE AND PREPARING THE NEXT GENERATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDS, MANY OF NEEF'S PROGRAMS ENGAGE THE PUBLIC WITH THE OUTDOORS, PRIMARILY ON PU ... (More)


$635,612

Spent in most recent FY

21%

Percent of program expenses


K-12 EDUCATION: NEEF IS DEDICATED TO CULTIVATING AN ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS AND RESPONSIBLE PUBLIC THROUGH ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS AND INITIATIVES. AT NEEF, WE BELIEVE THERE IS MUCH TO LEAR ... (More)


$457,036

Spent in most recent FY

15%

Percent of program expenses


PUBLIC OUTREACH: PUBLIC OUTREACH WORKS TO LEARN ABOUT AND MARKET TO NEEF'S AUDIENCES. NEEF DISSEMINATES PRACTICAL AND INFORMATIVE INFORMATION THROUGH ITS MONTHLY NEWSLETTER, THE NEEF CONNECT.


...   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

100

out of 100

The score earned by National Environmental Education Foundation 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

100

of 100 points

Mission

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


OUR PURPOSE: To cultivate an environmentally conscious and responsible public OUR MISSION: To make the environment more accessible, relatable, relevant, and connected to the daily lives of all Americans


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

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


OUR VISION: That people's everyday actions are guided by an understanding and concern for the well-being of people and the planet


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: Lasting positive impact on the economy: diversify and strengthen future STEM workforce by engaging Title I students in hands-on, place-based investigations using the environment as a learning context

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


Goal Two: Lasting positive impact on people’s health: address racial health disparities by delivering training around environmental health issues, like pediatric asthma and mitigation strategies

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


Goal Three: Lasting positive impact on the environment: by organizing cleanups and community activities on public lands and waterways, and engaging visitors underrepresented in these spaces

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


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

NEEF is committed to upholding a learning culture that celebrates our diversity of thought and experiences and also supports the advancement of our team within the organization. A few ways we do this is by encouraging staff to discover and develop their personalized Clifton StrengthsFinder themes into their work and budgeting for individual professional development annually.

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

  • Thought Leadership

  • Raising Awareness

  • Community Building

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

NEEF believes partnerships are key to delivering information and experiences through people and organizations the public trusts. For example, to help make public lands more welcoming for underrepresented populations, we are working with Corazón Latino, Disabled & Outdoors, and Pride Outside to host a series of “Nature for All” webinars. NEEF’s thought leadership activities include conferences (e.g., NEEF and International Paper presented “Engaging Your Hourly Workforce in Your Company’s Community Sustainability Efforts” at the 2020 GreenBiz Conference) and publishing research (the corresponding report shares promising strategies and lessons learned). NEEF’s trainings include the Environmental Management of Pediatric Asthma eLearning course for health professionals which offers continuing education credit via CDC. NEEF raises awareness through iHeartRadio Earth PSAs, inspiring radio listeners to take simple actions that positively impact the planet and help save money.

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.


The pandemic is an ongoing challenge, especially for the in-person and school-based aspects of NEEF's work. However, our K-12 education team was able to offer “EE at home” resources to support parents and caregivers who suddenly found themselves homeschooling in spring 2020. Our conservation team launched a Restoration & Resilience Fund to support the recovery of public lands from overuse during COVID, while pivoting National Public Lands Day (NPLD) in September 2020 from in-person volunteer service to virtual engagement. And, NEEF's health team convened a virtual Children’s Environmental Health Symposium in June 2021 to discuss social justice and environmental health issues impacting children and their families amid COVID-19, with a focus on pediatric asthma and mental health. We embraced these and more virtual alternatives to continue delivering quality programming—which we found be more inclusive of people with disabilities, for example—and look forward to resuming group activities on-the-ground when and where appropriate. NEEF secured two PPP loans to retain 100% of our staff, and initiated weekly virtual team-building activities to inspire them such as an internal book club to share DE&I viewpoints and perspectives. Like many organizations, we experienced our share of setbacks. Delays in our ability to execute on government awards due to the aforementioned COVID restrictions delayed our ability to execute school-based programming and impacted our financial statements. Despite these challenges, NEEF’s robust staff culture helped us weather the worst of the storm. We are now well-positioned to redouble our efforts to support students, teachers, public lands managers and visitors as well as healthcare providers as we adapt to a post-COVID world and to deepen our engagement with our partners as we work together to cultivate an environmentally conscious and responsible public.

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

100

out of 100

The score earned by National Environmental Education Foundation 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

100

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?

Note: The organization did not respond to this question.


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

Note: The organization did not respond to this question.


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

Note: The organization did not respond to this question.


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

Note: The organization did not respond to this question.


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

Note: The organization did not respond to this question.



Methodology


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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