FRIENDS OF SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK INC

Rating: 4.94 stars   96 reviews

Issues: Environment, Philanthropy, Sports

Location: P.O. Box 18998 Tucson AZ 85731 USA

Mission: We are the nonprofit partner of the National Park Service at Saguaro, with the mission to help preserve, protect and enhance the fragile environment and unique cultural heritage of the Sonoran Desert at Saguaro National Park by promoting citizen and corporate stewardship through philanthropy, volunteerism, advocacy and public education.
Programs: FOSNP provides the Park with financial support for projects that help protect its wildlife and habitat.  These include annual saguaro monitoring (and decennial saguaro census), Sonoran desert tortoise conservation, Gila monster conservation, mountain lion and bobcat research, and ecological monitoring activities.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been astounded and inspired by the support that the FOSNP provides the park. From tireless fundraising, to timely cheerleading, and providing creative solutions for administrative issues, the FOSNP are incredible advocates for park resources, programs and staff. I am honored to work with them, and for the park!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

can't think of a thing

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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1 previous review
Rating: 4 stars  

FOSNP plays a crucial role in fund-raising and advocating for the park. Many of the park's most interesting programs and projects would not be possible without their support.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I consider FOSNP one of the best non-profits I am involved with. The communications to donors from the Executive Director are timely and informative. I feel support for the National Parks is especially critical at a time when government funding is unreliable. The Friends group not only is helping preserve this national asset but it enhances the experience for all park visitors.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

The organization is a wonderful adjunct to the Park and helps provide the margin of excellence federal funding is unable to provide. The organization's Director is an excellent communicator and knows how to deal with donors respectfully. I have donated both funding and art to be auctioned to support the Friends.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

I have thoroughly enjoyed feeling that I have made a difference in enhancing one of our national Parks. Although I leave several thousands miles away from the Park I am committed to the friends group.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very friendly and dedicated to the organization.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Help the Park Service rebuild one of the Park visitor's centers. I recently saw such a center funded by private funding in Pecos National Park in New Mexico and it is superb.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

There are few greater blessings that we have as a nation than our national parks. The beauty seen, diversity offered, and opportunities for experience they provide for each visitor is limited only by the visitor himself. As our public lands dwindle, our parks remain a shining beacon. As public funds to protect, maintain, and promote our parks dwindle, groups like FOSNP stand in the gap. Their task is large and expectations are high, but FOSNP doesn't disappoint. Their programs are varied and expansive and the quality of service is excellent. They are dedicated to their mission and perform professionally with limited funds. I am grateful for their service and perseverance. Thanks guys!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have worked with many Friends groups in my long career in state and national parks, but I've never worked with a group like the Friends of Saguaro National Park. They are incredibly dedicated and effective. They not only raise funds, but they do so in a way that is strategic and innovative. They are instrumental in creating a connection between this park and the community. The Friends create a spirit of partnership and place that would not exist if the Friends did not exist. I wish every state and national park in America had friends like the Friends of Saguaro National Park!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

...not!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

The Friends do so many things to benefit Saguaro National Park. As an employee of the park, I have seen first-hand how important these contributions are. Among these are the support for education programs for Tucson kids, bringing them out into the desert and teaching them to appreciate it; the support for important improvements to the park, such as trails and interpretive opportunities; and being involved with research and Citizen Science opportunities. I worked on the Saguaro Census this year and this effort, which involved literally hundreds of volunteers, would have not been possible without the Friends.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

...seeing some of the on-the-ground results in the park, such as educational programs and the Saguaro Census.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

...find someone who has that 10 million bucks! More seriously, I would start an outreach program to bring lots of young members into the Friends.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

...meeting members of the organization and the Board, and also Bob Newtson, all of whom are so dedicated and really care about the park.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

...involved with the organization because they think the work is important.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

...help the park even more, especially with some of the long-term, difficult problems like buffelgrass, which threatens the saguaro...provide more facilities and opportunities for visitors to enjoy the park...bring more young people into the wilderness.

Ways to make it better...

I have been involved with other "Friends of" groups as a member, volunteer, etc. and the Friends of Saguaro is head and shoulders above all these other groups.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

...the need for a higher profile in a city that has lots of other organizations and needs.

One thing I'd also say is that...

...Keep up the great work!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

Friends of Saguaro helps to support the park's education, preservation, and research programs, allowing a level of stewardship that would not be possible without their grants to the park. In addition to supporting curriculum-based environmental programs for local students, they also support youth backpacking programs, wildlife research, community events at the park and in the local community and more. The board and staff (paid staff of only one!) is enthusiastic and dedicated to supporting the park. Thanks for your hard work and support Friends of Saguaro!

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

FOSNP helps the park manage its resources which are set aside to preserve and protect for the enjoyment of future generations. FOSNP puts the donated dollars to tangible and realized projects that as a donor can see the effectiveness of FOSNP dollars, as a volunteer can appreciate the support FOSNP gives to programs, and as a visitor can see the improvements/enhancements FOSNP dollars mean to maintaining park facilities.

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

We first visited Saguaro in 2005 on a cross country motorcycle trip. We have donated to the Friends ever since that time, and have also visited the park two additional times from our home state of Vermont, always impressed with the initiatives they have wisely undertaken to help the park's flora and fauna deal with the combined effects of long-term drought, overuse of local water resources, global climate change, and shortfalls in federal funding. They leave no stone unturned, and their efforts from "Adopt a Saguaro" to fundraising auctions to the encouragement of volunteerism have born fruit. We applaud their initiative and the positive results they have brought. All of us benefit.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Reach out to donors to fund a student work program, that might include international volunteers supported by local home stays.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

Great organization that truly helps to connect kids with natural spaces by supporting the Park's mission of preservation and conservation. My own children have benfitted tremendously from the work that Friends does.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give them a bigger budget

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of advisors?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

This is a terrific organization with the mission of supporting Saguaro National Park

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

In their efforts to support the upcoming BioBlitz event.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Assist in raising their profile within the local community

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Rating: 5 stars  

Saguaro National Park needs the support that excellent organizations like Friends of Sagauro National Park provide. With decreases in Government funding while visitation and park uses increase, it takes groups like Friends of Sagauro National Park to help maintain programs and research in the park that would normally go unfunded. They carefully review and select to fund each project they know will greatly benefit the park and the public that visits and uses the park resources.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

By supporting FRIENDS, we are able to invest in one of Tucson's (and America's) gems, Saguaro National Park. We are so fortunate to have two biotic communities in the Tucson Mountain district and six biotic communities in the Rincon district, both hosting a variety of plants and animals. We make donations yearly and have done so since we moved to Tucson six years ago.

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