Youth Development

SIERRA SERVICE PROJECT

  • Sacramento, CA
  • http://www.sierraserviceproject.org

Mission Statement

Sierra Service Project's mission is to build faith in young people and strengthen communities through service to others. We provide teenagers and young adults with opportunities to do meaningful service through a year-round ministry of home repair and other types of community service. Each year, 2,400 teenage and adult volunteers complete over 100 projects in communities throughout the western United States. SSP builds bridges of understanding between our volunteers and the communities they serve. Through the service experience, young people gain valuable leadership and social skills.

Main Programs

  1. Summer Home Repair Program
  2. Weekend Alternative Break Program
  3. Rancho Cordova Community Beautification
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

Sierra Service Project puts young people to do work doing home repair and other community service projects in rural and urban communities in California, Arizona, Washington and Oregon.

ruling year

2001

Executive Director since 2001

Self-reported

Mr. Rick Eaton

Keywords

Self-reported

Youth, service, Native American, Indian, Christian, housing, housing rehabilitation, construction, reservations

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Also Known As

SSP

EIN

68-0222320

 Number

1222460177

Physical Address

1516 Del Paso Blvd.

Sacramento, CA 95815

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Housing Rehabilitation (L25)

Religious Leadership, Youth Development (O55)

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

The Sierra Service Project experience is a life-transforming one for our young volunteers.  They develop important social skills, learn about a community other than their own, and build a life-long commitment to serving others.  By using young volunteers, we are able to make a considerable and very cost-effective impact on the communities we serve.

In the past 20 years alone, at least 10,000 teenagers have participated in our challenging, transformative community service experiences. They have gained valuable social skills, increased their self-esteem, become committed to helping others, and grown their faith. Most of these young people have matured into leaders in their communities, volunteering, contributing and giving of themselves in ways which strengthen our society and world.

At the same time, we have made a significant improvement in the quality of life experienced by hundreds of residents of low-income communities by making their homes safer, drier and more attractive.

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

Summer Home Repair Program

SSP runs week-long immersion service experiences for high school youth groups from major Protestant denominations. These programs take place in rural communities in California, Nevada, Arizona and Oregon and in the urban communities of Stockton, South Los Angeles and San Diego. This is our largest program. In 2015, we expect over 1,800 individuals to participate in one of the 30 week-long sessions that we will offer.

Category

Housing

Population(s) Served

Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

None

Budget

$614,847

Program 2

Weekend Alternative Break Program

Sierra Service Project provides alternative winter and spring break experiences for high school and college age young adults, as well as Weekend programs for middle and high school youth. These are challenging service-learning programs which take place in Sacramento and Portland, Oregon. Common to all sessions are combining challenging community service work with a series of visits, tours and guest speakers aimed to give participants real insight into the dynamic communities where they are serving. We expect to have 200 students from across the US participate this year in this program.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Young Adults (20-25 years)

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

None

Budget

$18,520

Program 3

Rancho Cordova Community Beautification

Volunteer home repair and neighborhood cleanup program focused on the older neighborhoods of the City of Rancho Cordova. Work includes yard cleanup, fence replacement, house painting and other repairs.

Category

Housing

Population(s) Served

Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

$60,000

Results

Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

1. Number of youth who volunteer/participate in community service

Target Population
Adolescents (13-19 years)

Connected to a Program?
n/a
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
Participation in Sierra Service Project is a powerful, transformative experience for a teenager, and we work to get more youth to experience SSP. Non-adult volunteers in all programs are reported.

2. Number of clients served

Target Population
Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people, People with disabilities

Connected to a Program?
n/a
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
Serving more families is our goal. This is the number of people living in households we served during the year.

3. Number of new donors

Target Population
No target populations selected

Connected to a Program?
n/a
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
Number of first-time individual donors.

4. Percentage of participants who would recommend this program to others.

Target Population
No target populations selected

Connected to a Program?
n/a
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
The percentage of youth and adult participants who would recommend this program to others on the end-of-program survey. Possible responses: Yes, Maybe and No. Only Yes responses are counted.

5. Percentage of donors retained

Target Population
No target populations selected

Connected to a Program?
n/a
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
Percentage of donors who continue to give for consecutive years. For example, the 2016 figure indicates that 70 percent of those who gave in 2015 gave again in 2016.

6. Number of organizational partners

Target Population
No target populations selected

Connected to a Program?
n/a
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
One of our operating principles and values is to collaborate with other organizations as much as possible. We counted 89 such partners in 2016.

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?
    Our goal each year is to provide a transformative volunteer experience to at least 2,300 people and to positively impact the lives of low-income families by completing about 100 hundred home repair projects.

    The first goal - providing a volunteer experience for young people - is the means by which we accomplish the second goal. In addition, we seek to engender in our volunteers a strong sense of their own ability to be change-agents in their communities.

  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Our strategies for continuing to achieve our organizational aims and to increase our organization's impact are the following:

    1. Continue to engage more volunteers in community service each year by:
    - providing scholarships and fee discounts to those in need
    - doing consistent outreach to churches, schools, scouting organizations, and civic groups to recruit volunteers
    - carefully managing our costs and increasing donated income in order to keep our fees low.

    2. Become more efficient at completing home repair projects by:
    - continuing to invest in excellent training for our supervisory staff;
    - regularly evaluating our construction methods to ensure maximum efficiency.

    3. Multiply the impact we have in individual communities by actively collaborating with other community organizations.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Sierra Service Project has a number of core capabilities and areas of expertise on which it has built its reputation for great value and high impact. Those capability fall into several areas:
    1. We are experts in faith-based service-learning experiences designed for young people. We know how to safely provide work experiences for teenagers that aid the communities in which they work and which are life-changing and eye-opening learning experiences.
    2. We have developed an outstanding process for identifying, developing and training young adult leaders. These are the hands-on leaders of our programs. Through careful selection, encouragement, coaching and training, these young people develop the skills and maturity to plan and organize the details of all of our service experiences.
    3. We have created a very efficient administrative framework that enables us to enroll volunteers, organize projects and handle all of the administrative details associated with our activities.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Each of our goals has several measurable goals, several of which were mentioned above. Some of the key indicators are:
    - number of participating volunteers each year.
    - home repair and community project completion, measured by number of project, as well as volunteer hours and materials invested.
    - percentage of low-income and minority participants.
    - donations as a percentage of total revenue.
    - unrestricted liquid reserves as a percentage of operating budget.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    1. Number of participants: we have struggled against a downward trend in participation over the past five years. In 2017, we expect to have more participants than in 2016, reversing this trend!

    2. We have steadily increased the number of project completions and community impact that we have, investing more money in building materials. We expect this to continue.

    3. We believe the number of low-income participants and participants of color continue to increase, although we have not yet found an adequate and non-intrusive way to measure this.

    4. Donations have increased significantly over the past five years to total amount and as a percentage of total revenue.

    5. Unfortunately, reserves have not increased significantly in recent years.
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

Sierra Service Project puts young people to do work doing home repair and other community service projects in rural and urban communities in California, Arizona, Washington and Oregon.

Social Media

Funding Needs

Sierra Service Project actively solicits donations from individuals, churches, businesses and foundations.  These donations account for approximately 35 percent of our overall budget.  This funding component enables us to expand our programs, offer generous scholarships and discount to low-income youth, and to keep our participant fees low. Our #1 funding need is for donations to our Scholarship Fund. Every year, we attempt to provide at least $50,000 in scholarships or fee discounts to youth from low income families. Despite the fact that our participant fees are low compared to similar week-long youth activities, without the financial assistance we provide, many youth would not be able to participate. Our second funding need is for our Building Material Fund. Each year, we spend more than $65,000 just on building materials for the home repair projects we undertake. We are unable to perform somer requested repairs because of building materials budget limitations. Because our repairs are undertaken by volunteers, we estimate that every $1 donated to our building material fund results in $5.25 in project value delivered.

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Financials

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

Sierra Service Project
Fiscal year: Oct 01-Sep 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

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

SIERRA SERVICE PROJECT

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2015 and 2015
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Executive Director

Mr. Rick Eaton

BIO

Rick Eaton spent 20 years in a variety of management roles at Hewlett-Packard. These included managing technology, procurement and marketing activities. In 2001, he left HP to devote his energies to something he is passionate about: providing life-changing growth experiences to young people. He has served as the organization's Executive Director since September of 2001.

Rick's areas of expertise include team development, board development and forging creative partnerships with other groups and organizations. Under his leadership, Sierra Service Project has doubled the scope of its activities, created a robust and sustainable fundraising program, expanded its program offerings to urban settings and to Central America, helped to develop a strong board culture of engagement and philanthropy, and developed a team of next-generation organizational leaders.

STATEMENT FROM THE Executive Director

"I have had the honor to serve as the head of this organization since 2001. During this period, the organization has doubled in size, grown significantly in the quality of its programs, and established a stable financial foundation. I have sought to apply the skills I gained during a twenty-year career with Hewlett-Packard Company to the challenges faced by small and mid-sized nonprofit organizations. Those skills include applying sound financial management practices, including employees, board members and stakeholders in our vision-setting and decision-making processes, and being very customer and quality focused."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Rev Mark Cordes

Trinity United Methodist Church, Berkeley

Term: Oct 2015 - Sept 2017

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 Part-Time Staff and Volunteers.
Sexual Orientation

We do not display sexual orientation information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Disability

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Part-Time Staff and Volunteers.

Diversity Strategies
Yes
We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
No
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
Yes
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
No
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
No
We have a diversity committee in place
No
We have a diversity manager in place
No
We have a diversity plan
No
We use other methods to support diversity