Non-profit

GRID Alternatives

Location:

OAKLAND, CA

Tax ID:

26-0043353

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $30,442,665
Expenses: $26,947,027
Assets: $27,716,507

Formation:

2001

Executive Director:

Erica Mackie

Type:

Non-profit

Executive Director's Salary:

$154,352

GRID Alternatives is an environmentalist organization that specializes in installing solar power systems in the U.S., Mexico, Nicaragua, and Nepal. Headquartered in Oakland, California, GRID has multiple offices in California, in Colorado, and in the Mid-Atlantic region. [1]

Founded during the 2001 energy crisis in California, GRID intends to provide solar energy to low-income and underserved communities. GRID began managing the Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) program in 2008, an incentive created by the California Public Utilities Commission. [2]

GRID Alternatives uses its influence to promote a left-of-center policy agenda, especially as it relates to climate change, and claims to have affected supporting legislation, program initiatives, and research. [3] GRID is part of a larger group of left-of-center organizations that supports the Green New Deal (GND), demanding that the U.S. replace its use of conventional fuels with environmentalist-preferred energy sources. [4]

Activity

GRID Alternatives was founded by engineers Erica Mackie and Tim Sears during the 2001 energy crisis in California to provide solar energy to low income communities. GRID began managing the Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) program in 2008, an incentive created by the California Public Utilities Commission, intended to expand solar energy across California. [5]

Currently, GRID has offices across California and in Colorado and the Mid-Atlantic region and claims to be the country’s largest non-profit solar installer. [6] GRID’s National Tribal Program focuses on bringing solar education, projects, and energy to American tribal communities. [7]

GRID’s International Program works with communities in Mexico, Nicaragua, and Nepal to install solar systems. Funding for this comes from corporations like Google, Toshiba, and Resource Environmental Solutions. Individuals and groups can pay to participate in international projects with GRID. [8]

GRID Alternatives claims to have influenced legislation, program initiatives, and research in support of its left-of-center policy agenda, especially as it regards climate change. GRID sponsored a California bill that gave its SASH program $108 million, advocated for a Solar for All program to increase solar energy usage in underserved areas, and lobbied Congress to require solar loan and grant programs through the Department of Energy. [9]

In 2019, GRID was one of the 626 left-of-center groups that signed a letter urging Congress to support legislation supporting the Green New Deal (GND). The letter demands policy that will end the use of conventional fuels and convert the U.S. to 100% environmentalist-aligned energy. [10]

GRID Alternatives’ newest initiative is to increase accessibility to electric cars in underserved communities, which would be powered by solar energy. This initiative works with funding from the California Air Resources Board (CARB). [11]

People

Erica Mackie is a co-founder and the chief executive officer of GRID Alternatives. Mackie has been recognized by multiple organizations that support left-of-center and liberal policies and activism, including the New Leaders Council, the James Irvine Foundation, and the U.S. Green Building Council. [12]

Tim Sears is a co-founder and the chief operations officer of GRID. Sears was recognized by the White House, under former President Barack Obama, as a “Champion of Change” for solar deployment in 2014. [13]

Zach Franklin is the chief strategy officer of GRID and serves on the board of the Rising Sun Center for Opportunity. [14]

Erika Symmonds is the vice president of Workforce Development and Service Learning for GRID and is the co-founder of Green City Force. [15]

Adam Bad Wound is the vice president of philanthropy of GRID and founder of the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund. Bad Wound is a former philanthropy officer for the Wilderness Society, a former director for NatureBridge, and a former philanthropy program manager for Stanford University. [16]

Sarah Bucci serves as GRID’s communications director, is the former Virginia state director of Environment America, and a former canvass director for Work for Progress. [17]

Laura Shapiro is a senior marketing director at GRID. Shapiro is the former director of digital engagement at the Global Fund for Women, former web designer for Mother Jones, former consultant for Roots of Change, and co-founder and former communications director of the Indivisible-affiliated group Stand Up San Francisco. [18]

Cathleen Monahan is the vice president of program administration and serves on the board of the California Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). [19]

Stan Greschner is the chief policy and business development officer of GRID and serves on the boards of the California Public Utilities Commission and the Disadvantaged Communities Advisory Group of the California Energy Commission. [20]

Jeff Coleman is the vice president of outreach at GRID. Coleman was a deputy field director for the Obama 2008 Presidential Campaign, a senior advisor for the Obama 2012 Presidential Campaign, a co-founder and former president of Empower Campaigns, and a former development officer for Earthjustice. [21]

Jenean Smith is the senior director of international programs at GRID. Smith is the founder and former executive director of Power to the People and formerly held marketing positions with the Solar Division of Mitsubishi Electric and the Renewable Energy Division of the Trojan Battery Company. [22]

Renee Sharp is the executive director of the Bay Area GRID office and the former director of research at the Environmental Working Group. [23]

Tim Willink is the director of tribal programs at GRID and a former lobbyist for the Navajo Nation Washington Office. [24]

Other staff include Anna Bautista, Vice President of Construction; Bambi Tran, Vice President of Regions; Katie Kerr, Vice President of People and Culture; and Steven Fernandez, Vice President of Operations. [25]

Board of Directors

Karen Edson is a former president of the board and is a public participation specialist at the Department of Energy’s Office of Legacy Management. Edson is a former community involvement coordinator at the Environmental Protection Agency and formerly served in the Peace Corps. [26]

Board chair Phyllis Currie serves on the Electricity Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of Energy. Currie is a former general manager for the Pasadena Water and Power Department and the former FCO of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Currie formerly served on the boards of the American Public Power Association, the California Municipal Utilities Association, and the Southern California Public Power Association. [27]

Orson Aguilar serves as vice chair of the board and is the president of the Greenlining Institute. [28]

Board treasurer Pilar Thomas formerly served as the deputy director of the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs at the Department of Energy, the deputy solicitor for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior, and trial attorney for the Department of Justice[29]

Mary Wenzel is senior vice president and director of environmental affairs at Wells Fargo. Wenzel formerly worked for the EPA in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. [30]

Each of GRID Alternative’s regional offices maintains its own boards of directors. [31]

References

  1. “Mission and History.” GRID Alternatives, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://gridalternatives.org/who-we-are/mission-history. ^
  2. “Mission and History.” GRID Alternatives, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://gridalternatives.org/who-we-are/mission-history. ^
  3. “Policy Leadership.” GRID Alternatives, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://gridalternatives.org/what-we-do/policy-leadership. ^
  4. “Legislation to Address the Urgent Threat of Climate Change.” The Center for Biological Diversity, January 10, 2019. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/climate_law_institute/legislating_for_a_new_climate/pdfs/Letter-to-Congress-%20Legislation-to-Address-the-Urgent-Threat-of-Climate-Change.pdf. ^
  5. “Mission and History.” GRID Alternatives, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://gridalternatives.org/who-we-are/mission-history. ^
  6. “Mission and History.” GRID Alternatives, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://gridalternatives.org/who-we-are/mission-history. ^
  7. “Tribal Program.” GRID Alternatives, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://gridalternatives.org/what-we-do/tribal-program. ^
  8. “International Program.” GRID Alternatives, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://gridalternatives.org/what-we-do/international-program. ^
  9. “Policy Leadership.” GRID Alternatives, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://gridalternatives.org/what-we-do/policy-leadership. ^
  10. “Legislation to Address the Urgent Threat of Climate Change.” The Center for Biological Diversity, January 10, 2019. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/climate_law_institute/legislating_for_a_new_climate/pdfs/Letter-to-Congress-%20Legislation-to-Address-the-Urgent-Threat-of-Climate-Change.pdf. ^
  11. “Access to Clean Mobility.” GRID Alternatives, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://gridalternatives.org/what-we-do/access-electric-vehicles. ^
  12. “Headquarters Staff.” GRID Alternatives, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://gridalternatives.org/who-we-are/headquarters-staff. ^
  13. “Headquarters Staff.” GRID Alternatives, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://gridalternatives.org/who-we-are/headquarters-staff. ^
  14. “Headquarters Staff.” GRID Alternatives, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://gridalternatives.org/who-we-are/headquarters-staff. ^
  15. “Headquarters Staff.” GRID Alternatives, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://gridalternatives.org/who-we-are/headquarters-staff. ^
  16. “Adam Bad Wound.” LinkedIn, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/badwound/. ^
  17. “Sarah Bucci.” LinkedIn, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarah-bucci-15146820/. ^
  18. “Laura Shapiro.” LinkedIn, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/laura-shapiro-24380b2/. ^
  19. “Headquarters Staff.” GRID Alternatives, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://gridalternatives.org/who-we-are/headquarters-staff. ^
  20. “Stanley Greschner.” LinkedIn, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/stanleygreschner/. ^
  21. “Jeff Coleman.” LinkedIn, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffreyacoleman/. ^
  22. “Jenean Smith.” LinkedIn, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenean-smith-2a84488/. ^
  23. “Bay Area Staff.” GRID Alternatives, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://gridalternatives.org/regions/bayarea/about/staff-members. ^
  24. “Headquarters Staff.” GRID Alternatives, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://gridalternatives.org/who-we-are/headquarters-staff. ^
  25. “Headquarters Staff.” GRID Alternatives, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://gridalternatives.org/who-we-are/headquarters-staff. ^
  26. “Karen Edson.” U.S. Department of Energy. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://www.energy.gov/contributors/karen-edson. ^
  27. “Board of Directors.” GRID Alternatives, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://gridalternatives.org/who-we-are/board-of-directors. ^
  28. “Board of Directors.” GRID Alternatives, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://gridalternatives.org/who-we-are/board-of-directors. ^
  29. “Board of Directors.” GRID Alternatives, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://gridalternatives.org/who-we-are/board-of-directors. ^
  30. “Board of Directors.” GRID Alternatives, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://gridalternatives.org/who-we-are/board-of-directors. ^
  31. “Board of Directors.” GRID Alternatives, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://gridalternatives.org/who-we-are/board-of-directors. ^

Supported Movements

  1. Green New Deal (GND)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: May 1, 2014

  • 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
    2017 Dec Form 990 $30,442,665 $26,947,027 $27,716,507 $14,314,686 N $16,943,862 $13,196,428 $275,195 $510,910 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $17,023,762 $18,235,074 $23,717,046 $13,810,863 N $7,235,988 $9,570,360 $217,414 $471,347 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $22,520,432 $20,012,776 $14,411,684 $3,294,189 N $7,988,522 $14,196,964 $100,143 $338,321 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $19,444,035 $18,709,055 $11,938,817 $3,328,978 N $4,059,508 $14,913,051 $27,305 $284,168 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $4,739,740 $4,319,402 $2,301,089 $1,880,751 N $917,058 $3,822,682 $0 $126,470 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $33,895,965 $29,878,751 $9,598,046 $2,625,744 N $4,566,328 $29,328,763 $874 $249,219 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $21,023,868 $18,562,171 $7,059,722 $4,104,634 N $2,426,035 $18,597,598 $235 $216,603 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    GRID Alternatives

    1171 OCEAN AVENUE STE 200
    OAKLAND, CA 94608-1147