Mission: The Geos Institute helps communities build resilience in the face of climate change using science and local knowledge. Our holistic approach prioritizes the needs of ecosystems and those on the frontlines of climate change impacts.

We have two primary programs: ClimateWise (a full service climate resilience consulting team) and Climate Ready Communities (an assisted do-it-yourself program for small to mid-sized and under-resourced communities). See www.ClimateWise.org and www.ClimateReadyCommunities.org.

Our staff is large enough to be a significant presence in the climate resilience field, yet small enough to remain nimble. This allows us to take advantage of opportunities and address shifting circumstances as they arise. By focusing our expertise on developing holistic solutions in partnership with other allied organizations, we are able to impact large systems.

Geos Institute is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1993, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://geosinstitute.org

  84 Fourth Street
Ashland OR 97520 

  541-482-4459


 Important note on the timeliness of ratings

The IRS is significantly delayed in processing nonprofits' annual tax filings (Forms 990). As a result, the Financial and Accountability & Transparency score for Geos Institute is outdated and the overall rating may not be representative of its current operations. Please check with the charity directly for any questions you may have.

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.




Good

This charity's score is 81.45, earning it a 3-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. More recent filing data is available, but it has not been factored into this score, due to COVID-19's effect on this organization.

View this organization’s historical ratings.

Rating update postponed due to COVID-19's impact on this organization. View Geos Institute's response.


Back to Overall

Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

81.8%


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

14.9%


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

3.2%


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

71.3%


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

$0.06


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

0.20 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

-8.50%


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 can be reluctant to contribute to a charity when their name, address, or other basic information may become part of donor lists that are exchanged or sold, resulting in an influx of charitable solicitations from other organizations. Our analysts check the charity's website to see if the organization has a donor privacy policy in place and what it does and does not cover. 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 Form W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting



Dominick Dellasala, President

$124,249 (15.47% of Total Expenses)


Tonya Graham, Executive Director

$91,083 (11.34% of Total Expenses)


Current CEO and Board Chair can be found in the Leadership & Adaptability report below.

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:

Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, etc. (BMF activity code: 320)


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

This organization was impacted by COVID-19 in a way that effected their financial health in 2020. This normally would have reduced their star rating. 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, and doing this pauses our revision of their rating. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.


Geos Institute reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Revenue

  • Staffing


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

Geos Institute experienced a decrease in several revenue streams due to the pandemic. We had to close our community room, which eliminated the ability to rent that space out for local meetings and gatherings. In addition, funding sources that had previously offered climate grants changed their focus to grants that provided social services during the pandemic. Our region also experienced a significant wildfire, which along with the pandemic, added strain to our local donor base. Finally, local governments, which are a main revenue source for the Geos Institute, slowed significantly in the release of climate planning RFPs as they focused on addressing the local impacts of the pandemic.


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

As referenced earlier, local governments turned their attention to emergency and essential services, which caused existing project contracts with local governments to slow considerably. Throughout 2020 and into 2021, significantly fewer new opportunities to help local governments plan for climate change were posted. In addition, several forest projects were in their final year of funding and experienced the difficulties of funders re-focusing on pandemic needs.


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

In response to the changing grant landscape, the Geos Institute made the difficult, but necessary, decision to allow our forest program and staff to move to a different organization. Going forward, the Geos Institute is focused only on helping small to mid-sized and under-resourced communities build climate resilience across the U.S. In addition, we worked hard to take advantage of government relief programs, such as the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. We worked together to adjust hours to complete programmatic obligations while caring for our staff needs.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

We are now a fully remote staff and intend to maintain that flexibility going forward. We have also become much more adept at video conferencing and workshop facilitation and will continue to use those tools in our community-based climate resilience program work.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
12/23/20202019 81.45
9/1/20202018 83.28
12/1/20192018 82.79

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

12/21/20182017 82.30
3/1/20182016 85.00
9/1/20172015 90.50

Previous: Finance & Accountability  / Next: Leadership & Adaptability

...   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

Geos Institute 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



Geos Institute reported its three largest programs on its FY 2019 Form 990 as:


$339,926

Spent in most recent FY

52%

Percent of program expenses


Forest Legacies Initiative


$302,163

Spent in most recent FY

46%

Percent of program expenses


ClimateWise Initiative


$7,114

Spent in most recent FY

1%

Percent of program expenses


Working Waters Initiative


Previous: Impact & Results  / Next: Culture & Community

...   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 Geos Institute is a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating.

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


Back to Overall

Leadership & Adaptability Report

100

of 100 points

Mission

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


Geos Institute helps communities build resilience in the face of climate change using science and local knowledge. Our holistic approach prioritizes the needs of ecosystems and those on the frontlines of climate change impacts.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

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


We envision a world with climate resilient communities, flourishing ecosystems, and equitable societies. Humanity is on track to avoid the most catastrophic, long-term climate impacts. People are deeply connected to the natural world, appreciate its value, and make evidence-based decisions to maintain its integrity. Decision-makers consistently center the voices of frontline communities in building Whole Community Resilience.


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: Support small, mid-sized, and under-resourced communities across the United States and Canada in developing Whole Community climate change solutions

Goal Type: Focus on core programs to achieve mission and scale back on programs not seen as core.


Goal Two: Develop Climate Ready America as a comprehensive climate services program to help communities plan for climate change nationwide.

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


Goal Three: Lead a team of climate adaptation leaders in developing a nationwide Climate Resilience Strategies Database to help communities find potential solutions that are good for people and nature.

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


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

Our entire staff has gone through a training program on the Living System management process and worked through our staff meetings to adapt our management culture to this new process. As a result, we have changed authorities and responsibilities within our staff and developed programming that sits on a similar foundation of the Living System model. We have also had staff members attend diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings and workshops and bring the material back to the organization for larger discussions. Finally, we sponsor staff members to attend (virtually this year) conferences related to climate resilience in order to contribute our learning to the field and stay up-to-date on what others are learning in their work.

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?

We worked with climate resilience practitioners across the climate resilience field to develop a paper on the Climate Ready America concept of a nationwide system of climate support services. In addition, we led a group of leading climate resilience organizations in developing 10 guiding principles for the federal government to develop a system of climate resilience services that was signed on to by over 40 organizations and delivered to the White House, Congress, and federal agencies. Geos Institute partners with others in the climate resilience field to develop the Climate Resilience Strategies Database and to respond to grant opportunities to help the federal government develop climate services. We have a regular social media program that supports our work through regular E-news publications and social media.

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.


We were fortunate in that we had already put in place the ability to operate remotely, but we fully implemented a remote staffing model to protect our staff during the pandemic and follow government restrictions. We worked together as a staff to ensure that our work was done to the best of our ability and our staff members and their families were well cared for during this challenging time. We also made programmatic changes to allow us to focus on the most critical elements of our mission both now and in the future. And, we took full advantage of federal relief programs as they came available. In addition, we are based in southern Oregon where there was a major wildfire that destroyed 2400 homes in two of our neighboring towns, creating thousands of homeless people. Since we were not using our community meeting room, which is 800 square feet and has two bathrooms attached to it, we turned it into a studio apartment of sorts for fire survivors. We had an extended family of 11, including four children under age four, live there for five months. After they found housing, we offered it through our local homeless agency to a single mother who was about to give birth. She and her children have been living in our building for several months and will continue to do so until she finds housing or we determine that we need to re-claim our community meeting space.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Additional Information

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Organization Leadership

Organization Leadership


Tonya Graham

Executive Director

Ken Crocker

President

Previous: Leadership & Adaptability

...   Culture & Community


This score provides an assessment of the organization's culture and connectedness to the community it serves. Learn more about how and why we rate Culture & Community.


Culture & Community Score

Not Currently Scored

Geos Institute is currently not eligible for a Culture & Community score because we have not received its Constituent Feedback or Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion data. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen and Equity Practices sections of their Candid profile.

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.


Back to Overall

Culture & Community Report

Unscored

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Constituent Feedback

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion


This organization has not provided information regarding the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices it is presently implementing. As such, the organization has not earned a score on this metric. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations implementing effective DEI policies and practices can enhance a nonprofit's decision-making, staff motivation, innovation, and effectiveness.


Methodology


We are utilizing data collected by Candid to document and assess the DEI practices implemented by the organization. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the Equity Strategies section of their Candid profiles to receive a rating.


Learn more about the methodology.

Constituent Feedback

Not Scored


This organization reported that it is collecting feedback from the constituents and/or communities it serves. However, it did not respond to one or more survey questions, and therefore is not eligible for a score on this metric. (View our beacon 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.


View this organization's Constituent Feedback Practices




Methodology


We've partnered with 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.


Learn more about the methodology.

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. Below you can find more information about the metrics we currently evaluate in this beacon and their relevance to nonprofit performance.


Constituent Feedback


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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