Non-profit

Conservation Colorado Education Fund

Website:

conservationco.org/

Location:

DENVER, CO

Tax ID:

84-0614285

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $1,872,982
Expenses: $1,821,679
Assets: $2,392,183

Conservation Colorado Education Fund is a charitable organization connected to Conservation Colorado, a left-of-center environmentalist organization. The organization engages in advocacy and education campaigns in favor of expanding environmental regulations. [1]

In 2019, the Conservation Colorado Education Fund directly lobbied to pass a number of left-of-center environmentalist regulations in Colorado. These included establishing statewide carbon emissions reduction targets by law, imposing regulations on the oil and gas industry to intentionally decrease industry profitability, and requiring mining companies to demonstrate an ability to pay for potential water pollution before opening new mines. [2] The Fund also made grants to left-of-center organizations including the Sierra Club Foundation, the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), and the Colorado Public Interest Group (CoPIRG) Foundation. [3]

The Conservation Colorado Education Fund has received funding from major left-of-center grantmaking organizations, including the Energy Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Conservation Alliance, and the Wyss Foundation. [4] [5] [6] [7]

Grantmaking and Other Activity

Most of the Conservation Colorado Education Fund’s activity is centered around supporting Conservation Colorado, its related advocacy organization. The Fund has worked to engage ethnic minority voters in the environmentalist cause, claiming that they “disproportionately live without clean air, clean drinking water or safe places to work.” [8]

When it has taken action independently of Conservation Colorado, the Education Fund has worked towards the same environmentalist ends. In April 2018, the Conservation Colorado Education Fund backed the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWRB)’s request for a water right in a 33-mile stretch of the Dolores River to protect native fish. The right, which a Colorado judge granted, dictates minim flow between points on a river, preventing development activity that would decrease the flow in a protected area. [9]

In 2019, the Conservation Colorado Education Fund led the Colorado’s Climate Future Coalition. The coalition led a successful pressure campaign to put statewide carbon emissions reduction targets into law, calling for a 50% reduction by 2030 and a 90% reduction by 2050. [10] The coalition involved Colorado jurisdictions that had previously participated in the left-of-center Colorado Climate Network. [11]

Also in 2019, the Conservation Colorado Education Fund claimed credit for implementing “sweeping” regulations on the Colorado oil and gas industry to make conventional energy development more difficult. The Fund also worked to impose regulations which mandated state funding for electric school buses and required mining companies to demonstrate that they could pay to treat potentially polluted waters before opening a mine. [12]

Grantmaking

Aside from supporting Conservation Colorado, the Conservation Colorado Education Fund has made several grants to other left-of-center environmentalist organizations. In 2018, the Education Fund made a $25,000 grant to the Sierra Club Foundation. That same year, the Fund gave $250,000 to Save Our Neighborhoods, a campaign organization that was seeking to defeat legislation which would have required the government to compensate landowners if it enacted regulations that harmed their property’s market value. [13]

In 2019, the Conservation Colorado Education Fund gave another $25,000 grant to the Sierra Club Foundation. The Fund also gave an $80,000 grant to the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), a left-of-center environmentalist organization, and a $45,000 grant to the Colorado Public Interest Research Group (CoPIRG) Foundation, a Colorado affiliate of the far-left U.S. Public Interest Research Group (US-PIRG). [14]

Leadership

Kelly Nordini is the executive director of Conservation Colorado and the Conservation Colorado Education Fund. She is a former campaign strategist and chief of staff to Colorado House of Representatives Speaker Alec Garnett (D). [15]

Deputy executive director Jessica Goad has a long history of left-of-center activism. Goad previously worked at the Center for Western Priorities, the Center for American Progress (CAP), and the Wilderness Society. [16]

The Conservation Colorado Education Fund board of directors also features a number of left-of-center activists. These include Sue Anderson, who sits on the national advisory board of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS); Boulder Mayor Suzanne Jones, who previously worked with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF); and Aaron Hoffman, a volunteer with the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL).[17] [18] [19]

Finances

In 2019, the Conservation Colorado Education Fund reported $3.9 million in revenue and $1.16 million in expenses. The group also reported $4.5 million in net assets. [20]

The Conservation Colorado Education Fund has received funding from a number of major left-of-center grantmaking organizations. This includes $150,000 from the Wyss Foundation, over $420,000 from the Conservation Alliance, $30,000 from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and an undisclosed amount from the Energy Foundation. [21] [22] [23] [24]

References

  1. Webb, Dennis. “Dolores River Ruling Grants Water Right to Protect Native Fish.” The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, April 14, 2018. https://www.gjsentinel.com/news/western_colorado/dolores-river-ruling-grants-water-right-to-protect-native-fish/article_4ea8d362-3f9f-11e8-baba-10604b9f1ff5.html. ^
  2. “2019 Annual Report.” The Conservation Colorado Education Fund, 2019. https://conservationco.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/2019-Annual-Report-v2.pdf ^
  3. “Conservation Colorado Education Fund.” Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, Form 990, 2019. Part VIII. ^
  4. “Grants.” Wyss Foundation. Accessed May 28, 2021. https://www.wyssfoundation.org/grants. ^
  5. “Conservation Colorado.” The Conservation Alliance. Accessed May 28, 2021. http://www.conservationalliance.com/organizations/conservation-colorado/. ^
  6. “Conservation Colorado Education Fund.” Hewlett Foundation, June 24, 2020. https://hewlett.org/grants/conservation-colorado-education-fund-for-fundraising-support/. ^
  7. “Conservation Colorado Education Fund.” Energy Foundation. Accessed May 28, 2021. https://www.ef.org/grant/conservation-colorado-education-fund/. ^
  8. “Our Issues.” Conservation Colorado Education Fund. Accessed May 28, 2021. https://conservationcoef.org/issues/. ^
  9. Webb, Dennis. “Dolores River Ruling Grants Water Right to Protect Native Fish.” The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, April 14, 2018. https://www.gjsentinel.com/news/western_colorado/dolores-river-ruling-grants-water-right-to-protect-native-fish/article_4ea8d362-3f9f-11e8-baba-10604b9f1ff5.html. ^
  10. “2019 Annual Report.” The Conservation Colorado Education Fund, 2019. https://conservationco.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/2019-Annual-Report-v2.pdf ^
  11. Best, Allen. “Colorado Climate Future Coalition Being Formed.” Mountain Town News, February 4, 2016. https://mountaintownnews.net/2016/02/04/new-colorado-climate-coalition/. ^
  12. “2019 Annual Report.” The Conservation Colorado Education Fund, 2019. https://conservationco.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/2019-Annual-Report-v2.pdf ^
  13. Form 990. 2018. Ebook. Guidestar. https://pdf.guidestar.org/PDF_Images/2018/840/614/2018-840614285-17071623-9.pdf?_gl=1*1kqaizu*_ga*MTcyOTQwMTk5OC4xNTczNDQ5NDky*_ga_0H865XH5JK*MTYyMTgzNjU3OC4yNS4wLjE2MjE4MzY1NzguMA..*_ga_5W8PXYYGBX*MTYyMTgzNjU3OC4yNS4wLjE2MjE4MzY1NzguMA.. ^
  14. “Conservation Colorado Education Fund.” Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, Form 990, 2019. Part VIII. ^
  15. “Our Staff & Board”. 2021. Conservation Colorado. Accessed May 24. https://conservationco.org/our-staff-board/. ^
  16. “Our Staff & Board”. 2021. Conservation Colorado. Accessed May 24. https://conservationco.org/our-staff-board/. ^
  17. “Our Board of Directors & Staff.” People & Pollinators. Accessed May 28, 2021. https://peopleandpollinators.org/our-steering-committee/. ^
  18. “Suzanne Jones: Aspen Ideas.” Aspen Ideas Festival. Accessed May 28, 2021. https://aspenideas.org/speakers/suzanne-jones. ^
  19. Hoffman, Aaron. “Opinion: At the U.S. Capitol, Lifting Our Gaze to What Stands before Us.” The Colorado Sun, February 9, 2021. https://coloradosun.com/2021/02/09/capitol-climate-opinion/. ^
  20. “Conservation Colorado Education Fund.” Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, Form 990, 2019. Part I. ^
  21. “Grants.” Wyss Foundation. Accessed May 28, 2021. https://www.wyssfoundation.org/grants ^
  22. “Conservation Colorado.” The Conservation Alliance. Accessed May 28, 2021. http://www.conservationalliance.com/organizations/conservation-colorado/. ^
  23. “Conservation Colorado Education Fund.” Hewlett Foundation, June 24, 2020. https://hewlett.org/grants/conservation-colorado-education-fund-for-fundraising-support/. ^
  24. “Conservation Colorado Education Fund.” Energy Foundation. Accessed May 28, 2021. https://www.ef.org/grant/conservation-colorado-education-fund/. ^

Associated Organizations

  1. Conservation Colorado (Non-profit)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: September 1, 1991

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2016 Dec Form 990 $1,872,982 $1,821,679 $2,392,183 $219,570 N $1,814,755 $0 $22,145 $113,385
    2015 Dec Form 990 $2,353,470 $1,769,017 $2,337,430 $223,315 N $2,295,356 $13,175 $19,134 $130,566 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $2,238,595 $2,028,774 $1,760,937 $232,955 N $2,135,487 $22,000 $22,276 $117,727 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $1,711,516 $1,352,128 $1,538,597 $177,497 N $1,681,692 $0 $16,599 $126,960 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $1,292,754 $1,326,611 $1,015,579 $179,319 N $1,282,474 $0 $18,225 $45,706 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $1,084,465 $1,293,231 $862,797 $151,670 N $1,024,721 $0 $23,763 $78,088 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Conservation Colorado Education Fund

    1536 WYNKOOP ST STE 510
    DENVER, CO 80202-1245