Youth Development

SIERRA SERVICE PROJECT

Explore. Build. Grow.

aka SSP

Sacramento, CA

Mission

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, 2,000 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.

Ruling Year

2001

Executive Director

Mr. Megan Walsh

Main Address

PO Box 13009 1516 Del Paso Blvd

Sacramento, CA 95813 USA

Keywords

Youth, community service, Young adult, Native American, Indian, Christian, housing, housing rehabilitation, construction, reservations

EIN

68-0222320

 Number

1222460177

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.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

Sierra Service Project exists to address two important needs. The first is to give youth people an opportunity to do challenging, meaningful, and hands-on community service work. This is a too-rare and much needed opportunity for North American young people today, who tend to be either lack access to enrichment activities because of poverty, or are over-protected and over-scheduled. Teenagers are hungry to make their lives meaningful by serving in community, and we give them that opportunity. The second problem we address is the alarming prevalence of sub-standard housing in many communities. We address this need by repairing homes, building wheelchair ramps, and performing other service that improves health and safety for residents and improves community quality of life.

Our programs

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Summer Home Repair Program

Weekend Alternative Break Program

Rancho Cordova Community Beautification

Where we workNew!

Our Results

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.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Number of youth who volunteer/participate in community service

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Adolescents (13-19 years)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

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.

Number of clients served

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people,

People with disabilities

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

Serving more families is our goal. This is the number of people living in households we served during the year.

Number of new donors

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

Number of first-time individual donors. First time donors increased significantly in 2018 because of increased peer-to-peer fundraising by supporters on Facebook.

Percentage of participants who would recommend this program to others.

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

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.

Charting Impact

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

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.

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.

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.

Each of our goals has several measurable goals, several of which were mentioned above. Some of the key indicators are: 1. Number of participating volunteers each year. 2. Home repair and community project completion, measured by number of project, as well as volunteer hours and materials invested. 3. Percentage of low-income and participants of color. 4. Donations as a percentage of total revenue.

1. Because of broad demographic trends, participant numbers have dropped slightly in the past five years. By building a substantial scholarship fund and doing significant outreach, we are seeing this trend starting to be reversed. 2. By building strong community partnerships and serving in the same communities for multiple years, Sierra Service Project has increased the positive impact it has on the communities it serves. 3. Participation of young people of color and from low-income families continues to grow. 4. Donations have increased significantly over the past five years and is currently about 45% of total revenues.

External Reviews

Photos

Financials

SIERRA SERVICE PROJECT

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Operations

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

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  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015
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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.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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?

Yes

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).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Gender

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

Race & Ethnicity

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

Sexual Orientation

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

Disability

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

Diversity Strategies

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We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
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We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
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We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
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We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
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We have a diversity committee in place
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We have a diversity manager in place
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We have a diversity plan
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We use other methods to support diversity