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Environment : Environmental Protection and Conservation

Sustainable Conservation

Because the environment is everyone's business

two stars

79.61

98 Battery Street Suite 302
San Francisco, CA 94111
tel: (415) 977-0380   Web Site
EIN: 94-3232437

Board Leadership
Daniel M. Dooley
Board Chair

CEO
Ashley Boren
Chief Executive Officer

  Score
(out of 100)
Rating
Overall Score & Rating 79.61 two stars
  Financial 71.17 two stars
  Accountability & Transparency 100.00 four stars
This rating was published 02/01/2020 and includes data from FY2018, the most recent 990 received at that time.

Founded in 1993, Sustainable Conservation helps California thrive by uniting people to solve the toughest challenges facing our land, air, and water. Every day, we bring together business, landowners, and government to steward the resources that we all depend on in ways that make economic sense. Because we know that common ground is California's most important resource.

Our work focuses on supporting landowners to restore California's lands and water, partnering with farmers to grow a vibrant future, and engaging business to solve environmental challenges.

Sustainable Conservation's impact has been recognized by a variety of national and regional media, including the Today show, National Public Radio, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and many others. Sustainable Conservation has received numerous awards for our enduring commitment to a healthy environment and thriving economy, including the Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award.

Founded in 1993, Sustainable Conservation helps California thrive by uniting people to solve the toughest challenges facing our land, air, and water. Every day, we bring together business, landowners, and government to steward the resources that we all depend on in ways that make economic sense. Because we know that common ground is California's most important resource.

Our work focuses on supporting landowners to restore California's lands and water, partnering with farmers to grow a vibrant future, and engaging business to solve environmental challenges.

Sustainable Conservation's impact has been recognized by a variety of national and regional media, including the Today show, National Public Radio, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and many others. Sustainable Conservation has received numerous awards for our enduring commitment to a healthy environment and thriving economy, including the Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award.

Impact Information

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Financial

two stars

71.17

Accountability & Transparency

four stars

100.00

This rating was published 02/01/2020 and includes data from FY2018, the most recent 990 received at that time.
Overall Rating Chart
  Program Expenses
(Percent of the charity's total expenses spent on the programs
and services it delivers)
71.6%
  Administrative Expenses 9.8%
  Fundraising Expenses 18.5%
  Fundraising Efficiency $0.24
  Working Capital Ratio (years) 0.48
  Program Expenses Growth -3.1%
  Liabilities to Assets 7.2%
All data for Financial Performance Metrics calculations was provided by Sustainable Conservation on recent 990s filed with the IRS.
All data for Financial Performance Metrics calculations was provided by Sustainable Conservation on recent 990s filed with the IRS.

Highly Rated

Charity Name & State Overall Score Overall Rating
Sustainable Conservation (CA) 79.61 two stars
American Wind Wildlife Institute (DC) 89.34 three stars
Resource Central (CO) 93.57 four stars
Rocky Mountain Institute (CO) 95.12 four stars
Greater Yellowstone Coalition (MT) 97.76 four stars

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REVENUE  
Contributions  
   Contributions, Gifts & Grants $3,519,156
   Federated Campaigns $0
   Membership Dues $0
   Fundraising Events $0
   Related Organizations $0
   Government Grants $108,631
Total Contributions $3,627,787
   Program Service Revenue $50,000
Total Primary Revenue $3,677,787
   Other Revenue $122,613
TOTAL REVENUE $3,800,400
   
EXPENSES  
   Program Expenses $3,098,683
   Administrative Expenses $513,711
   Fundraising Expenses $878,993
TOTAL FUNCTIONAL EXPENSES $4,491,387
   
Payments to Affiliates $0
Excess (or Deficit) for the year $-690,987
   
Net Assets $3,441,628

Program names and associated costs are listed for the top programs as reported on the charity's most recently filed Form 990. The top programs displayed will include the largest three programs, or those programs covering at least 60% of the charity's total expenses, whichever comes first.

Program Name Amount Spent % of Program Expenses
Water Management $1,362,117 44.0%
Accelerating Restoration $906,857 29.3%
Dairies $632,504 20.4%

Ratings History

Form 990 FYE Date Published Overall Score Overall Rating
CN 2.1
2018-12 02/01/2020 79.61 two stars
2017-12 03/01/2019 88.59 three stars
2016-12 07/01/2018 90.38 four stars
2016-12 03/01/2018 89.97 three stars
2015-12 06/01/2017 92.22 four stars
2015-12 05/01/2017 91.94 four stars
2014-12 06/01/2016 92.18 four stars
 
CN 2.0
2014-12 12/22/2015 92.87 four stars
2013-12 07/01/2015 94.52 four stars
2013-12 06/01/2015 90.48 four stars
2012-12 02/01/2014 90.54 four stars
2011-12 02/01/2013 92.63 four stars
2010-12 03/01/2012 85.19 three stars
2009-12 09/20/2011 81.61 three stars
 
CN 1.0
2009-12 04/01/2011 73.68 two stars
2008-12 04/01/2010 95.66 four stars
2007-12 12/17/2008 92.48 four stars
2006-12 11/01/2007 90.36 four stars
2005-12 11/01/2006 92.85 four stars
2004-12 10/01/2005 95.46 four stars

The data displayed on this tab is provided by the IRS in the form of Publication 78 and the Business Master File (BMF).

EIN 94-3232437
Name in IRS Master File SUSTAINABLE CONSERVATION
NTEE Code C01
NTEE Classification Alliance/Advocacy Organizations
NTEE Type Environmental Quality, Protection and Beautification
Classification Charitable Organization
Subsection 501(c)(3)  (View the list of codes)
Activities (994) Described in section 170(b)1)(a)(vi) of the Code
Foundation Status Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
Deductibility Contributions are deductible
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).
Group Name [Not Applicable]
Ruling Date September, 1996
Filing Requirement 990 (all other) or 990EZ return
Fiscal Year End December
IRS Forms 990
(provided courtesy of Foundation Center)
(Log In or Register Now to View Forms 990!)
  • December, 2017
  • December, 2016
  • December, 2015
  • December, 2014
  • December, 2013
Compensation % of Expenses Paid to Title
$164,400 3.66% Ashley Boren Executive Director

Highly Rated

Charity Name & State Overall Score Overall Rating
Sustainable Conservation (CA) 79.61 two stars
Sky Island Alliance (AZ) 96.18 four stars
Oregon Natural Desert Association (OR) 91.44 four stars
The Wilderness Society (DC) 87.11 three stars
New Mexico Wilderness Alliance (NM) 96.27 four stars

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This charity has an official representative registered with Charity Navigator.

Official Charity Response

As Sustainable Conservation has grown our programs, and the budget and infrastructure needed to support expanded efforts to solve California’s most pressing environmental challenges, our Charity Navigator rating has shifted. We’d like to explain why and assure you that we are in fact positioned more strongly than ever – thanks to strategic decisions designed by Board and staff – to leverage charitable donations and drive meaningful conservation change for our Golden State.
 
Based on our financial records of 2018, the latest year evaluated by Charity Navigator as of February 2020, we received a two-star rating for the first time. This change is not alarming, and due to the following reasons: 
 
Our 2018 program expenses were lower than the year prior because of an $800,000 USDA Conservation Innovation Grant we strategically expended in 2017 to prove the effectiveness of innovative irrigation technology for protecting water quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from California dairies. Due to this significant, one-time grant, our program expenses decreased in 2018; in turn, our Charity Navigator score for program expense growth during this period decreased.
 
We also successfully completed our multi-year Making Big Ideas Work fundraising campaign in 2015 to scale the impact of several successful programs even though we knew we would spend down assets after building them up, thus decreasing our score. 
 
Our team will always seek major funding opportunities that align with our work.
  
Both the Conservation Innovation Grant and our Making Big Ideas Work Campaign have yielded great environmental benefits for California. The Conservation Innovation Grant demonstrated a pioneering technology that helps protect water quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions – and that is now being installed on dairies across the San Joaquin Valley thanks to our pilot program and active promotion. If this system were adopted on all dairy corn silage acreage in California, dairies would save enough water to support nearly a half-million Golden State households over the course of one year, and reduce enough greenhouse gases to match the annual carbon footprint of 85,000 cars. 
 
The Making Big Ideas Work Campaign enabled significant growth for our programs – including our Accelerating Restoration Program, which expedites federal and state permitting for badly needed habitat restoration across the state, and our Water for the Future Program, which replenishes our groundwater stores by capturing precipitation during wet seasons in our underground aquifers for use in dry years.
 
We will continue to make strategic and prudent decisions that support our mission and our long-term financial health – as well as generate the impact our donors expect.
 
For more information please contact:
Robyn Carliss, Creative and Communications Director, rcarliss@suscon.org / 415-857-9157

Charity Contact Info

Sustainable Conservation
98 Battery Street
Suite 302
San Francisco, CA 94111
tel: (415) 977-0380
EIN: 94-3232437

Visit Web Site

Board Leadership

Daniel M. Dooley
Board Chair

CEO

Ashley Boren
Chief Executive Officer

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