Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification

TRANSFORMCA

  • Oakland, CA
  • www.TransFormCA.org

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.

Main Programs

  1. World Class Transportation - Regional
  2. GreenTRIP
  3. Great Communities Collaborative
  4. Safe Routes to Schools Alameda County
Service Areas

Self-reported

California

TransForm primarily serves the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area and the state of California.

ruling year

2002

Executive Director and President

Self-reported

Stuart Cohen

Deputy Director of Organizational Development

Self-reported

Jo Ann Prompongsatorn Farrant

Keywords

Self-reported

transform, public transportation, bay area, walkable communities

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Also Known As

TransForm

EIN

72-1521579

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (C01)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (W01)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

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.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

World Class Transportation - Regional

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. This includes ensuring Plan Bay Area, our regional transportation and land use planning blueprint, brings more affordable, walkable communities to the Bay Area while reducing greenhouse gas pollution and meeting other equity, health, and safety targets.

Category

Transportation

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

None

None

Budget

$1,999,269.00

Program 2

GreenTRIP

GreenTRIP is an innovative certification program that rewards multi-family, mixed-use projects that apply comprehensive strategies to reduce traffic and greenhouse gas emissions. Projects meeting GreenTRIP certification criteria provide appropriate amounts of parking and incentives for new residents to drive less and own fewer vehicles. By creating less driving and using less land for parking spaces, there’s space freed up for services, shops and more affordable homes.

As people move into GreenTRIP-certified developments, we are predicting impressive environmental and social outcomes including dramatically fewer miles of driving per day than the regional average, lower car ownership rates, and a new definition of affordable living that bring families savings on car ownership, free transit and carshare memberships. The first five GreenTRIP projects led to developers voluntarily offering to provide of 80,000 years of free transit passes and 24,000 years of CarShare for residents of GreenTRIP buildings.

Our new GreenTRIP Connect initiative will provide groundbreaking tools, data, and community engagement to overcome some of the greatest obstacles to well-designed development near transit such as requirements for excessive parking. The goal is to dramatically increase the supply of homes affordable to all incomes, pair those with free transit passes, car-sharing and more to create a new paradigm of affordable, low-carbon development.

Category

Land Use Planning

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

None

Budget

Program 3

Great Communities Collaborative

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.

Category

Land Use Planning

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

None

None

Budget

Program 4

Safe Routes to Schools Alameda County

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.

TransForm continues to lead the school-based programming for one of the largest and most successful Safe Routes to Schools programs in the country, now serving close to tens of thousands of students at 100 public schools. To learn about the Program, go to the official website at http://www.alamedacountysr2s.org/.

We offer tailor-made trainings and consulting services with experts who have successfully worked in all kinds of elementary and middle schools. We also provide ready to use materials, templates, and curriculum. Trainings and consulting are offered on a fee-for-service basis.

TransForm's Safe Routes to Schools Director Nora Cody has trained and mentored many nearby Safe Routes to Schools efforts, including in San Francisco, Contra Costa County, Humboldt County, Sonoma County, and San Mateo counties.

The Safe Routes to Schools Program is funded in part with a major grant from Measure B (Alameda County's half-cent transportation sales tax) administered by ACTC.

Category

Physical Fitness

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

None

Budget

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    TransForm's theory of change is grounded in the connections between our work at the local, regional, and state levels.

    Theory of ChangeThe local level is where we can test out innovation solutions to overcome some of the most challenging barriers to creating more affordable places with abundant transportation choices. The local level is also the best place entry point for people to engage in transportation issues and community planning.

    This feeds into the regional level, where we can link transit, housing, and jobs in a systemic way – and win policies and funding to bring successful innovations to scale.

    At the state level, we can spread proven solutions, plus the supportive policies and sufficient funding needed for all regions to actually be able to make change.

    Between all levels and often through diverse coalitions, we connect local advocates and regional leaders to work together to win!
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Engaging Communities in Planning: We believe people should play a central role in shaping the future of their communities, especially disadvantaged communities who are most impacted by changes.

    Whether we are directly organizing at the grassroots or working with partners at the regional level, we make sure that planning genuinely and deeply involves residents.

    Bringing Innovative Programs to Life: We're developing – and spreading – new solutions to some of the most challenging barriers to creating more affordable places with abundant transportation choices.

    Some highlights are GreenTRIP's innovative approach to getting new developments to reduce traffic, plus our model urban-focused program that's getting thousands of kids walking and biking to school.

    Winning Policy Change: There are hundreds of decisions that together determine our transportation choices and what our communities are like.

    That's why TransForm works in the Bay Area and at the state level to transform laws, funding decisions, and planning processes. Check out some of the reports that have shaped our approach.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    TransForm was founded in 1997 by Bay Area environmental and social justice groups that recognized the region was at a critical point in time. Public transportation was being bled dry while more highway projects got the green light. Bulldozers were carving up remaining open spaces and farms. Huge numbers of people – especially low-income families – were moving in pursuit of affordable places to live only to have grueling, costly commutes. For those on foot, bicycle, or using a wheelchair, it was getting far too dangerous.

    The time had come to turn the tide on sprawl, and redefine transportation in terms of access, health, justice, and sustainability. In the years since TransForm's founding and often working closely with the founding groups, TransForm has won literally billions of dollars and groundbreaking policies in support of public transportation, smart growth, affordable housing, and bicycle/pedestrian safety.

    TransForm seeks to make the Bay Area a model region, but also works across California to spread solutions plus win big changes in state funding and policy. TransForm opened an office in Sacramento in 2009.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    TransForm's work is focused on four key impact areas:

    Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

    Reducing the combined cost of housing and transportation

    Increasing the rates and safety of walking and bicycling

    Increasing access to jobs via public transportation

    For each measure, TransForm focuses on reducing inequalities. For example, we want to see bicycle and pedestrian safety improved in all communities. But as importantly, we want to eliminate the large disparities that currently exist since people of color, youth, and senior suffer disproportionately from higher rates of injuries and fatalities.

    TransForm's impact measures help us evaluate what's working and what's not, and determine when and how to shift our approach and resources to have the greatest impact. While measuring impact is difficult, this effort is central to our success.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    TransForm's work is widely recognized and includes awards from Senator Barbara Boxer, the American Lung Association, the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the California Association of Nonprofits, Public Advocates as a "Voice of Conscience", the American Planning Association of California, Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, Breathe California, and others.

    In 2013, TransForm's Executive Director Stuart Cohen received the prestigious James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award for championing innovative regional planning.

    TransForm was also honored by the U.S. Green Building Council - Northern California Chapter as a 2013 Green Building Super Hero for our work to advance sustainability through transportation and community planning.

    TransForm is ranked one of the top ten climate change-related nonprofits in the Bay Area by Philanthropedia's experts.
Service Areas

Self-reported

California

TransForm primarily serves the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area and the state of California.

Social Media

Blog

Funding Needs

TransForm is a proven advocate: we've delivered literally billions of dollars and groundbreaking policies in support of public transportation, smart growth, affordable housing and bicycle/pedestrian safety.     TransForm seeks programattic support each year from various funding sources, and we would be happy to discuss our current needs in your specific interest area.   Another way you can help make TransForm an even stronger advocate is with a donation to the Advocates' Fund. The Advocates' Fund will help ensure we have the flexibility and resources to respond and win on urgent, high-impact advocacy opportunities. Funds will provide core support for TransForm, thereby allowing us to direct dollars to the areas of greatest need and urgency, enabling us to seize the incredible opportunities over the next few years and usher in a new era of smart growth and sustainable transportation for the Bay Area and California.

Accreditations

Videos

External Reviews

Source: greatnonprofits.org

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

TRANSFORMCA
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

TRANSFORMCA

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Executive Director and President

Stuart Cohen

Deputy Director of Organizational Development

Jo Ann Prompongsatorn Farrant

BIO

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.

TransForm's campaigns on transportation sales taxes and other funding measures have brought together diverse coalitions and helped raise over $8 billion for sustainable and socially-just transportation. Stuart has spearheaded a number of these efforts, as well as the successful effort to initiate the Bay Area's Regional Smart Growth Strategy. Stuart has been the primary author of ten TransForm reports, including the seminal World Class Transit for the Bay Area and, more recently, Creating Healthy Regional Transportation Plans.

Stuart has helped launch many of TransForm's pioneering programs, including the Great Communities Collaborative, ClimatePlan, and GreenTRIP. The Great Communities Collaborative, founded in 2005, is an award-winning partnership of non-profits and community foundations engaging communities around the Bay Area in planning for sustainable, equitable development near transit. In 2007 he co-founded ClimatePlan, a statewide network that is promoting smart land use and transportation as critical components of California's climate strategy. In 2010, Stuart was awarded an Ashoka Fellowship for his leadership in developing innovative programs such as GreenTRIP, TransForm's innovative program to certify and support low-traffic developments. In 2013, Stuart was named a recipient of the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award for championing innovative regional planning to create affordable, vibrant communities that improve quality of life and help the environment.

Founded in 1997, TransForm now has 30 staff with offices in Oakland, San Jose and Sacramento. Stuart now oversees TransForm's work on state policy, the expansion of GreenTRIP and dissemination of regional policy innovations outside the Bay Area and California.

Previously, Stuart worked with ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability as a researcher on the climate impacts of alternative transportation policies and fuels, and at NYPIRG (New York Public Interest Research Group) as a toxics campaign coordinator and Statewide Canvass Director. Stuart received a Master's Degree in Public Policy (MPP) from the Goldman School of Public Policy at U.C. Berkeley.

STATEMENT FROM THE Executive Director and President

"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."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Jeniffer Jeffers

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Term: Dec 2014 - Nov 2015

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


ORGANIZATIONAL DEMOGRAPHICS

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

Gender
Race & Ethnicity
This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Volunteers.
Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members and Volunteers.

Disability

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Diversity Strategies
No
We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
Yes
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
Yes
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
Yes
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
Yes
We have a diversity committee in place
Yes
We have a diversity manager in place
Yes
We have a diversity plan
Yes
We use other methods to support diversity
Diversity notes from the nonprofit
TransForm has an Equity and Inclusion Committee that reviews hiring practices, organizational development, and other practices throughout the organization and a member of this committee sits in on every hiring process for new staff and ensures that the hiring process is fair and equitable to all candidates and that we recruit for a diverse pool of candidates prior to making a hire. TransForm also has two Social Justice Task Groups: one on the board level and one at the staff level that coordinate to integrate social justice values, diversity, inclusion and access into all of our programs, fundraising, financial management and business practices.