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TRANSFORMCA

AKA TransForm

Oakland, CA

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TRANSFORMCA

Also Known As:
TransForm
Physical Address:
Oakland, CA 94612 
EIN:
72-1521579
Web URL:
www.TransFormCA.org
Blog URL:
blog.transformca.org/
Leadership:
Stuart Cohen
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Legitimacy Information

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Fiscal Year Starting: Jan 1, 2011
Fiscal Year Ending: Dec 31, 2011
Revenue
Total Revenue $2,621,609
Expenses
Total Expenses $3,094,065

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Basic Organization Information

TRANSFORMCA

Also Known As:
TransForm
Physical Address:
Oakland, CA 94612 
EIN:
72-1521579
Web URL:
www.TransFormCA.org 
Blog URL:
blog.transformca.org/ 
NTEE Category:
C Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification 
C01 Alliance/Advocacy Organizations 
S Community Improvement, Capacity Building 
S20 Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement 
W Public, Society Benefit 
W01 Alliance/Advocacy Organizations 
Ruling Year:
2002 
How This Organization Is Funded:
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation - $400,000
James Irvine Foundation - $300,000
Alameda County Transportation Improvement Authority (ACTIA) - $820,000

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Mission Statement

TransForm works to create world-class public transportation and walkable communities in the Bay Area and beyond. We build diverse coalitions, influence policy and develop innovative programs to improve the lives of all people and protect the environment. TransForm believes that: 1. All people deserve affordable, safe, and easy access to jobs, services, and nature on foot, bicycle, or public transportation; 2. People should play a central role in shaping and transforming the future of their communities; 3. Communities can become healthier and more vibrant while also nurturing the diversity and inclusion of existing residents, rather than causing displacement; 4. Growth should be directed towards existing developed areas, not our precious remaining open space; 5. We can only achieve our mission by working with people from a wide range of backgrounds, abilities, and perspectives.

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Financial Data

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Revenue and Expenses

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Balance Sheet

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Forms 990 Provided by the Nonprofit

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Financial Statements

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Annual Reports

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Leadership (GuideStar ExchangeThe GuideStar Exchange allows nonprofits to regularly update key information directly to GuideStar. It provides richer and broader information about their programs, impact, finances, people and more. June, 2013)

Stuart Cohen

Profile:

Stuart Cohen is co-founder and Executive Director of TransForm. By combining high-quality policy analysis with coalition building and strategic media efforts, TransForm has become a powerful and effective voice for world class transit and walkable communities in the Bay Area and beyond.

Leadership Statement:

When I helped establish TransForm back in 1997, there was no way of knowing our work would gain so much momentum over the years. Yet the reasons our mission matters more than ever are tragic ones: our climate is in crisis, we’re suffering from shocking rates of obesity-related diseases and inequities based on income and race continue to grow. Sweeping changes are possible, though. In fact, we’ve already made incredible strides over the past decade. TransForm, working with a diverse range of partners, has won literally billions of dollars and groundbreaking policies in support of public transportation, smart growth, affordable housing and bicycle/pedestrian safety in the Bay Area. TransForm has initiated innovative programs that are involving a huge range of people in local land use decisions and embracing transportation choices. We continue to work toward world-class public transportation and walkable communities in the Bay Area, and have expanded our role at the state level, where we are bringing together a range of stakeholders to develop and work towards a vision for sustainable, equitable transportation in California. TransForm also continues to help lead ClimatePlan, a network of organizations ensuring that California’s landmark smart growth law, SB 375, ushers in an era of smarter growth. The stakes have never been higher, nor the window of opportunity wider. I’m confident that together we can make the Bay Area and California a beacon of livability, sustainability, and equity.



Officers for Fiscal Year (IRS Form 990)

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Highest Paid Employees & Their Compensation (IRS Form 990)

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Program: Public Transportation

Budget:
$1,999,269
Category:
Public, Society Benefit
Population Served:
General Public/Unspecified

Program Description:

Safe Routes to Schools (SR2S) is a proven, comprehensive program to encourage more children to walk and bike to school and beyond. SR2S reduces traffic around schools, improves air quality, saves families money, fosters a stronger sense of community, and most importantly, increases physical activity. Walking and bicycling to school can provide an important part of the hour per day of exercise children need.  GreenTRIP is a certification made to overcome these barriers. The GreenTRIP process creates a focused dialog on what really makes a difference in attracting and encouraging lower driving lifestyles. During its first pilot project, GreenTRIP certified five projects in the San Francisco Bay Area – and the direct and indirect impacts are exceeding expectations. GreenTRIP certification has three requirements, and in the Bay Area the thresholds for those requirements vary by six “place types”. Great communities are walkable, bikable places with good public transportation and a mix of housing, shops, offices, community facilities, and parks. Abundant parks and sidewalks create spaces for kids to play. Foot traffic keeps local businesses bustling. People in all phases of life and income levels can have a place to call home. Everyone is more active and engaged in their communities, bringing life to the streets and reducing congestion. We can make great communities come to life by involving a wide range of people in local land use planning processes. That's because when planning involves the people impacted by new development, amazing things happen. New development doesn't just build houses, condos, and apartments. It creates space for parks, libraries, childcare, and health facilities. It supports local businesses and diversity. It builds community in the truest sense of the word. And together, great communities make the entire region more sustainable and livable. In comes the Great Communities Collaborative. Over 50 cities in the San Francisco Bay Area have identified areas where they plan to refocus growth around public transportation stations and existing downtowns. Meanwhile, dozens of new rails stations and Bus Rapid Transit corridors will open over the next decade. Together, these opportunities offer a chance to significantly shape land use planning and achieve countless local and regional benefits. The Great Communities Collaborative was established to make the most of these opportunities by engaging people - particularly low-income people and people of color - in local land use planning so they can shape future growth and create great communities. TransForm coordinates the Great Communities Collaborative, which includes Greenbelt Alliance, Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California, Reconnecting America, Urban Habitat, San Francisco Foundation and Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and numerous local groups. These groups work in key locations around the Bay Area. For more information, visit http://greatcommunities.org. Using a blend of community engagement, policy development and coalition building, TransForm has helped shape and pass funding measures that have allocated literally billions of dollars in support of public transportation, smart growth, affordable housing and bicycle/pedestrian safety. These included transportation measures in Alameda, Contra Costa and Santa Clara Counties, as well as a leading role in developing and helping to pass Regional Measure 2, a one-dollar bridge toll increase to fund public transit that was ultimately approved by voters in 2004. To realize our vision, TransForm is focused on achieving world-class public transportation in the Bay Area and providing state-level leadership on transportation and land use. By achieving world-class transportation in the Bay Area, we can realize the following outcomes by 2035: Transit ridership will double to 12% (3.5 million daily trips); Greenhouse gas emissions from transportation will drop below 1990 levels and our air will be healthier to breathe with 45% fewer coarse particulates thanks to reduced per capita driving, cleaner cars and better fuels; Low-income families will be able to reach over 80% more jobs within a 30-minute transit trip, and reduce their combined transportation and housing costs by 10%. Through state-level leadership on transportation and land use, we can realize the following outcomes by 2035: Greenhouse gas emissions from transportation have been reduced by almost 50%, allowing California to meet its overall reduction goals and putting the state on track for an 80% reduction by 2050. State policies creating a healthier state, including expanded funding for public transportation, walking and bicycling California’s working families spend 10% less of their household income on transportation and housing costs. For more information abour our regional and state world class transit work and strategies, visit www.TransFormCA.org(http://www.transformca.org/) . From the climate crisis to the economic crisis, California stands at a pivotal moment in our history. These challenges make it clear that California must change how we plan for future growth. The passage of SB 375 in 2008 created an opportunity for California communities to provide a better range of housing and transportation choices while reducing harmful emissions.ClimatePlan, a network of leading non-profit organizations in California, is committed to taking advantage of this window of opportunity.

Program Long-Term Success:

1) Served Served over 25,000 students at public schools in Alameda County. 2) Brought educational assemblies on pedestrian and bicycle safety to over 20,000 students at more than 25 schools in Alameda County. 3) Provided bicycle safety trainings to over 1,000 students. 4) Conducted audits of the areas surrounding 10 schools in order to determine what types of safety improvements were needed for children. 5) Led the way as an urban SRS2 model and spurred the MTC to allocate $17 million to bring Safe Routes programs to each Bay Area County.

Program Short-Term Success:

Program Success Monitored by:

Program Success Examples:



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Impact Summary from the Nonprofit

By combining high-quality policy analysis with coalition building and strategic media efforts, TransForm has become a powerful voice for world class transit and walkable communities in the Bay Area and beyond. TransForm is based in Oakland, California and has two satellite offices in Sacramento and San Jose to focus on reforming state transportation policy and implementing several key South Bay transportation programs, respectively. TransForm co-founded and fiscally sponsors the Great Communities Collaborative. Made up of five regional non-profits, two community foundations, and over 20 community organizations, the Collaborative is engaging Bay Area communities in planning for sustainable, equitable development near transit. In 2007, TransForm co-founded ClimatePlan, a statewide network promoting smart land use and transportation as critical components of California's climate strategy. TransForm is now hosting Transportation for America’s (T4A) California Coordinator (T4A is a national coalition to transform and reform federal transportation policy.)  TransForm also coordinates the Safe Routes to Schools Alameda County Partnership, which is now in 70 schools in the county. Its proven approach to getting more kids walking and biking safely to school is leading the way as an urban SR2S model. TravelChoice provides residents with tailored transportation information about their transit, walking and bicycling options, and TravelChoice New Residents is expanding this approach by creating a more intensive program focused on residents of new transit-oriented developments. In addition, TransForm launched GreenTRIP: the Traffic Reduction and Innovative Parking Program in 2008, which certifies and promotes new transit-oriented developments with exemplary programs promoting the use of alternative transportation and reducing excessive parking. Given the transformative nature of GreenTRIP, TransForm and its Executive Director were honored to receive a prestigious Ashoka Fellowship in 2010. TransForm is recognized nationally, with awards from Senator Barbara Boxer, former State Senator Don Perata, the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the California Association of Nonprofits, and others. TransForm was named a top Bay Area nonprofit organization working on climate change by Philantropedia in April 2010.

Expert Assessment

TransForm has advanced more sustainable land use and transportation policies in the Bay Area. They took on the Bay Area's transportation funding blueprint, and won millions of dollars for public transportation. They helped pass the $1 bridge toll increase to fund transit. They played an influential role in AB32 and SB375, and their GreenTRIP and Safe Routes to School programs has demonstrated quantified, impressive results. Read More »

Expert Reviews and Comments

2010 Philanthropedia Top Nonprofit

This organization is a 2010 Philanthropedia top nonprofit, recommended by experts as having high impact.

These expert reviews were generated through Philanthropedia's research methodology to identify high-impact nonprofits. Learn more


Evidence of Impact

TransForm has advanced more sustainable land use and transportation policies in the Bay Area. They took on the Bay Area's transportation funding blueprint, and won millions of dollars for public transportation. They helped pass the $1 bridge toll increase to fund transit. They played an influential role in AB32 and SB375, and their GreenTRIP and Safe Routes to School programs has demonstrated quantified, impressive results.

Impact
Transform has steered the regional metropolitan planning organization to direct more money for transit than roads, and more specifically, less carbon heavy transportation than more carbon and other resource intense activities. Our metropolitan planning organization sets an example for the state and the federal governments, which could potentially create ripple effects. Foundation Professional
Transform has impacted policies in the Bay Area to increase funding for transit and to reprioritize transportation funding to walking, cycling, and transit projects. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Transportation is one of the most important and difficult sectors regarding climate change. TransForm focuses on the key levers of change. For example it funds decision makers at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission as well as those at the state level. They produce credible studies to make their case, and they organize and exert political power. They form strategic alliances to further their goals. They also inspire, educate, align, and mobilize allies. Nonprofit Senior Staff
TransForm advocates good policies on transportation and land use and has strong contacts in the legislature. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Since the late 1990s TransForm has used the skills of cutting edge research, policy advocacy, and coalition building to significantly reshape the priorities and perspectives of regional agencies, in particular the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Plans and programs from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission now reflect goals of sustainability and social equity much more than they did a decade ago because of TransForm's efforts. TranForm can bring this track record of success from the transportation sector to impacting climate emissions. Nonprofit Senior Staff
TransForm is by far the most knowledgeable, respected, and effective group in California working on local and statewide smart growth issues. As the state struggles to implement AB32, the global warming solutions act, TransForm is at the negotiating table to help establish local targets for emissions reductions. TransForm works with diverse communities to ensure that residents, especially low income families, get fair access to transportation. Nonprofit Senior Staff
TransForm is an expert on the connection between land use, transportation and climate change. They have produced reports quantifying the economic benefits of improved transportation and land use planning, tying their efforts to issues people care most about right now. They are the watchdog of the metropolitan transportation commission, and have secured 70M in transit funding from boondoggle Oakland airport connector. Nonprofit Senior Staff
TransForm's car-free challenge is a great social marketing tool they do every June to raise money and change behavior. Their GreenTRIP program endorses and improves potential developments. Their Bus Rapid Transit in San Jose/Santa Clara County is a grassroots campaign to educate the public on the benefits of the Bus Rapid Transit. Nonprofit Senior Staff
TransForm has been working on the land use aspects of AB32 and SB375. Nonprofit Senior Staff
TransForm has made an impact by bringing a much needed focus to the issue of transportation and land use, and the roles that transportation and land use play in climate change. Nonprofit Senior Staff
TransForm has successfully shifted Bay Area transportation policy towards more climate-friendly choices, both at the regional level with the Regional Transportation Plan and at the county level through transportation sales tax measure campaigns. Nonprofit Senior Staff
TransForm is well connected into Bay Area policymakers and has been a strong and effective advocacy voice in favor of progressive local and state level transportation and land use policy decisions. Nonprofit Senior Staff
TransForm has strong collaboration and participation in their network. Nonprofit Senior Staff
TransForm is effective at advocating for transit and land use planning. They played an influential role in AB32 and SB375. Nonprofit Senior Staff
TransForm is active in supporting transportation investments that promote alternatives to driving. Transportation (primarily personal cars & pickups/SUVs) accounts for over 40% of greenhouse gas in the SF Bay Area, so that clearly should be our focus. Other
Transform has the ability to influence transportation policy in the region. Other
Transform's focus on land use changes as a way to reduce greenhouse gas has been forward-thinking, including their creation of a new tool to create a certification program for trip reduction in new development. Their Safe Routes to School program has demonstrated quantified, impressive results. Other
TransForm worked in communities to get specific plans approved for transit oriented development. They also have an impact on higher level policy work. In addition, their new program Green Trip holds tremendous promise for building a base of support with infill builders. Other
TransForm has been the most effective NGO in the Bay Area pushing to advance more sustainable land use and transportation planning and investment. They have single-handedly re-directed the debate at the regional level, forcing transportation funding agencies to re-focus on transit provision, transit oriented development, provision of transit to transit-dependent populations, and advancing the dialogue on climate mitigation through land use and transportation investment strategies. Other

Organizational Strengths

Experts agree that TransForm has a truly outstanding Executive Director and equally impressive staff working for the organization. The organization is able to translate complicated policy issues into language that everyone can understand. They are great advocates and successful coalition builders.

Exceptional Leadership and Staff
The Executive Director is a great speaker and sits on state boards. The staff is rich in skills and quite passionate and there's not much turnover so the institutional memory is deep. Foundation Professional
Their core strengths are leadership, expertise in policy making, ability to quickly mobilize and engage many organizations in advocacy, and community organizing to influence policy making at the local level. Nonprofit Senior Staff
I am very impressed with all the TransForm staff I've met. They seem professional, upbeat, responsive, smart, energetic, and dedicated. I trust Stuart Cohen's unswerving "eye on the prize." As long as I've known him, he finds the right path and moves his organization and other followers along this path. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Stuart Cohen is a visionary leader with years of experience. Nonprofit Senior Staff
The senior leadership at TransForm has been very consistent. The Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director have been with the organization for more than a decade. This senior leadership team has significant issue expertise and also brings a great deal of experience about policy campaigns. TransForm is also good at translating complicated policy and planning information into information that can be understood by numerous constituencies. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They have strong leadership, a compelling vision for a sustainable transportation future, and exceptional coalition building skills. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They have strong leadership and impressive growth. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They have a large staff and policy experts. Nonprofit Senior Staff
I think the mission and the staff of this organization is strong. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They have very strong executive leadership and extremely capable senior staff. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They have strong staff with a high level grasp of transportation and land use issues, experience with and knowledge of local policy makers and agencies, and coalition building. Nonprofit Senior Staff
This is an impressive organization - on the technical and political side, they are systems thinkers, and they're savvy. As a former ICLEI staff member, ED Stuart Cohen ensures that TransForm keeps its eye on reducing GHG emissions. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They have strong leadership from the Executive Director down through the program managers. They focus on developing metrics to gauge progress and results. Their visionary leadership keeps other organizations and agencies pushing the envelop. Other
They have a talented Executive Director in Stuart Cohen. They have a depth of staffing (and they are trying to increase staffing in key ways). They have creative programming such as GreenTrip that could eventually help sustain the organization financially through certification programs. Other
Stuart Cohen, their Executive Director is a demigod. He has a great staff. Transform has widespread support among/collaboration with Bay Area environmental organizations, including EJ organizations. Other
They are a well-run, competent organization with visionary leadership. This group is excellent at making local change happen and is often my go-to reference for land use issues. Other
Proven Track Record
This group is tremendous in their single-minded focus to promote smart growth & reform destructive transportation policies. They are the true David (v. Goliath, the MPOs). Researcher and Faculty
TransForm has over 20 years of deep experience in figuring out how to develop a regional transit system that allows people to get out of their cars, one of the trickiest pieces of the climate change puzzle. They do excellent alliance building work to drive their expert policy recommendations forward. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Commitment: Transform has been active in transportation and land use planning and decision making in the Bay Area for 10+ years. They have a proven track record and high levels of knowledge. Other
They have smart staff. They have a great blend of activism and knowing how to get high level policy makers to listen. Other
TransFormCA is the sort of organization that can help to advance the technical knowledge of the field around what are the most effective local policies and where are the numbers we need to be able to defend new policy proposals and get them adopted (e.g., a regional gas tax). TransFormCA should be pushed to do more of this. Other
Successful Coalition Builder
TransForm is a leader in the field. They have many strengths: they work as a coalition to pull together diverse groups, health, social justice, and labor, they are excellent strategic thinkers, and they are extremely hard working. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They have a great, holistic vision and are a model coalition. Nonprofit Senior Staff

Areas for Improvement

Some experts believe TransForm should stay focused on their main efforts while others believe they should be bolder and more ambitious in their work, expanding regionally and trying to impact state policy, as well as think more about social justice goals. In order to accomplish this, they will have to develop their staff more.

Think about Social Justice Goals and Grassroots Work More
The organization needs to put social justice goals more squarely in its agenda and communications. Then it will not only garner more members, but be more clear that it's goals aren't only about the air, but also about people. Foundation Professional
It'd be great to have a better idea of how they can support grassroots efforts that accomplish their mission. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Focus on HR and Develop Staff More
TransForm has focused on programmatic growth and their operations and oversight capacities are probably not as developed as they should be for an organization of their size. The role of external spokesperson lies with the leadership and their seems to be a lack of "back bench" leadership at the staff level. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They too need more staffing to pull off their ambitious agenda. Other
TransForm like Greenbelt Alliance has a great template for change on the ground including their new GreenTrip system. However, it takes qualified staff to be out in California's communities to assist them in community based planning to make change on the ground. Staffing takes resources. While GreenTrip is a potentially promising funding mechanism in the future, we need Transform's field folks now. Other
Develop Regional Presence More and Impact State
They could grow their presence and sophistication of advocacy in Sacramento. Nonprofit Senior Staff
This organization could grow by being more politically savvy and by taking a larger role in state legislation and state policy around transit and transit funding specifically. I think they have good organizing skills that could be translated into more political power. I think they should stay focused on transportation issues and advocacy, and be careful not to become too policy-wonkish. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They could use more staff to engage in local and state policy issues - their expansion to Sacramento is helpful in this regard. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Stay Focused
They may try to bite off more than they can chew. They should focus on a few key initiatives. Nonprofit Senior Staff
It is important for them to stay consistent across a large region. Other
Be Bolder
I'd like to see TransForm be even bolder and more ambitious in their work. Let's go after that regional climate change fee (aka gas tax)! Nonprofit Senior Staff
They should keep up their advocacy work, and take even stronger positions! I'm concerned TransForm may be becoming too much of an inside player, and not taking the strong advocacy stances we need to see. Tell it like it is. Nonprofit Senior Staff

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