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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Anti-Fracking

Mission: The sierra club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization on the planet. Its mission remains: to explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth; to practice and promote the responsible use of the earth's ecosystems and resources; to educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out these objectives. But todays sierra club is not your parents sierra club. Faced with the most important environmental and public health imperative of our timeto end our addiction to dirty fossil fuels and power america with clean energythe club is the grassroots army of a new environmental movement. We are leading efforts to build a domestic and global movement with the scope and power to confront the carbon industry head-on. When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe, said sierra club founder john muir in my first summer in the sie

Programs: Studying and influencing public policy: staff and volunteers engage in legislative and non-legislative activities, including research, education, lobbying, legal and policy development. The sierra club made significant progress on many of our frontline environmental campaigns, working with a diverse range of allied organizations and communities most effected by industrial pollution and the effects of climate change. Here are some highlights: 400,000 take to the streets in the peoples climate marchpublic demand for action on climate change reached an all-time high in 2014, as demonstrated by the historic peoples climate march (pcm). The sierra club played an instrumental role in making this the largest environmental demonstration ever. More than 400,000 environmental, faith, indigenous, labor, and social justice activists --including more than 25,000 sierra clubbers -- joined with businesses and communities to flood the streets of new york city to call for real climate action. We were joined by celebrity and global leader allies -- including leonardo dicaprio, darren aronofsky, mark ruffalo, ban ki-moon, al gore, and jane goodall -- to bring awareness of climate inaction ahead of the un climate summit in nyc. Marchers spread out over more than four miles as they waited to march, and more than 2,600 solidarity events took place worldwide in cities across the united states, in 162 countries, and on every continent except antarctica. The march drew more than four times the anticipated number of participants to the streets of new york and reached billions more through traditional and social media. We hope that future generations will look back on the peoples climate march as the moment in history that public demand for climate action reached critical mass, and leaders across the globe began taking meaningful steps towards change. 350,000 acres protected with san gabriel mountains national monumentland preservation is important not only for protecting our nations wild legacy, but also in preparing for the effects of inevitable climate change and helping species and communities adapt to a changing world. The sierra clubs volunteer leaders in communities surrounding the san gabriel mountains have been working for more than a decade to get urban youth and families out into nature and involved in helping protect their big backyard. This work to build community involvement and an active coalition of local groups paid off in 2014 when president obama used his power under the antiquities act to declare the san gabriel mountains national monument covering 350,000 acres in southern california. This is the president's third landscape-scale designation on our public lands, and it is an important part of our overall goal to protect 3-5 million acres of land through new administrative designations. The voices supporting this national monument come from a broad and diverse coalition that includes elected officials, countless businesses, faith leaders, environmental justice groups, public health leaders, cofem (consejo de federaciones mexicanas en norte amrica), the asian pacific policy & planning council (a3pcon), amigos de los rios, and the city project, among many others. This project represents the sierra clubs vision for our role in future lands protection work: providing technical support and resources to local groups with the deepest connections and the most at stake in preserving local lands. U. S. Moving beyond coal to clean energythe sierra clubs strategic, comprehensive advocacy through the beyond coal campaign has put the united states on track to lock in the retirement of one-third of its entire coal fleet by 2015. We are simultaneously laying the groundwork for replacing the remaining, increasingly expensive coal fleet with cheaper clean energy no later than 2030. We continue to invest in building a broad and growing coalition of more than 100 local, regional, and national allies. Since the launch of our campaign, we have worked with our partners to:stop the development of 183 proposed coal-fired power plants;maintain the resulting de facto moratorium on building new coal-fired power plants in the united states;secure the largest wave of announced retirements of existing coal-fired power plants178 to date and countingin u. S. History; andreplace retired coal capacity with huge investments in energy efficiency and clean energy. Thanks to years of organizing and legal actions by the sierra club and other groups, the environmental protection agency announced a groundbreaking regulation in 2014 limiting the harmful carbon pollution from power plants across the country. Since then, the sierra club has successfully mobilized activists in states across the country to demonstrate their support for the clean power plan. We turned out thousands of supporters to all four public hearings, recruited more than 1,000 testifiers, brought in more than 89,000 online comments, and reached more than 730,000 people through social media. In addition, we held multiple rallies and press conferences all making clear to the epa: the american public supports the clean power plan. 1 billion metric tons of co2 prevented while kxl delayedour beyond oil campaign fights big oil interests across the countryworking to stop oil at all stages: extraction, transport, and end use. Our most significant accomplishment in 2014 has been to force the department of state to delay approval of the keystone xl pipeline again. This latest delay will likely be until sometime in 2015 and was attributed to two factorsboth of which we played a key role in making happen. The first factor was the significant number of comments to the environmental impact statement that needed to be reviewed. The club was responsible for submitting some of the most detailed comments through our legal team, which were later edited into a public report and used by many different groups. We also helped to generate over 200,000 public comments from our network of supporters. The second factor was the successful legal challenge to the constitutionality of the nebraska governors approval of the pipeline route. Our nebraska chapter was instrumental in identifying and promoting this strategy. In this time period we also played a role in getting president obama to set climate as the critical criterion for approving kxl. We organized numerous visibility events wherever the president traveled for fundraisers and dozens of vigils around the country in response to the final environmental impact statement. We understand that any strategy to end our dependence on fossil fuels must also include clean energy as a viable alternative. To this end, the sierra club is working on a number of campaigns to increase both the availability and desirability of clean energy around the country. Significant examples include market research and partnership plans for increasing electric vehicle sales and working with policymakers to increase wind energy by as much as 100% in the northeast. U. S. Leading in international climate effortswe were delighted in june 2013 to see president obama respond to administrative pressure from the sierra club and our allies by outlining a climate plan that includes, with rare exceptions, a ban on u. S. Public financing of overseas coal plants. The plan calls for an end to u. S. Government support for public financing of new coal plants overseas, except for (a) the most efficient coal technology available in the worlds poorest countries in cases where no other economically feasible alternative exists, or (b) facilities deploying carbon capture and sequestration technologies. This announcement gives the sierra club and our partners much greater leverage in opposing u. S. Financing of coal projects and in encouraging investment in off-grid clean energy to bring safe, rapid, and cost-effective energy access to communities in need. Due in part to our efforts, we have seen the u. S. Export-import bank (ex-im) and the overseas private investment corporation (opic) shifting their portfolios away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy. In fy 2013, ex-im rejected the last coal plant in its pipeline, a 1,200 mw plant in vietnam. Just this summer ex-im proposed and then withdrew consideration of support for a new 4 gw coal plant in india, citing the presidents climate action plan (cap) as the reason for withdrawal. Additionally, the united states and china released a groundbreaking announcement to set ambitious goals for climate action and carbon pollution reductions. President obama has made a pledge for 2025 that keeps the united states on track to cut its carbon pollution 80 percent by 2050 and setting a high bar for future administrations. And for the first time ever, china committed to peak its carbon emissions by 2030 at the latest. In conjunction with our international program, the sierra club foundation played a role in this accomplishment by making targeted grants to partner organizations in countries that confront

membership: support and funding of 63 volunteer led chapters and approximately 375 groups, and the development of a broad-based volunteer membership.

information and education: literary programs of sierra club books, sierra, the organization's magazine, and communications group include non-print media channels and digital strategies (mission is to align the online activities and technological investments with the broader strategy and success of the club). Sierra magazine: published 6 issues per year with an average print run in excess of 564,000 magazines. Sierra club books: offered approximately 100 books about nature or the environment for sale to retailers and other resellers, as well as directly to the public.

Community Stories

21 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 3

I joined because I was interested in volunteering. If you do so, expect to be inundated with junk mail. I receive 5x as much junk mail as before I signed up. So much for the environment! And they sell your info to other groups like the World Wildlife Fund. Expect junk like old paper calendars and mailing labels (who uses that stuff any more?). And even though I opted out of the free backpack offer, they still sent me one.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I belong to many scientific, clean energy, and nature groups. The Sierra Club is by far the most informed, well organized, and well focused group. If I could belong to only one group, it would be them. The awareness that they provide on Tar Sands, Fracking, Clean Jobs, etc. is invaluable.

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I often receive letters from the Sierra Club requesting donations and take great issue with their requests for the following reason. With their correspondence, a nickel is attached with the following message: “It costs less than a nickel a day to become a Sierra Club member and help protect America’s wildlife and wildlands.” I typically remove the nickel and recycle the letter. However, if one million of these requests for donations are mailed out with a nickel attached and half of those are tossed in the garbage, Sierra Club is throwing out $25,000 of donors’ money. Is this a good way to spend money donated to the Sierra Club? They are throwing the donors’ money in the garbage. Why isn’t the Sierra Club spending this money in a way that benefits the environment? I cannot in all good conscience make a donation to an organization that uses money in such a wasteful manner. I have sent letters to them regarding this and they typically do not acknowledge my letters. However, they recently responded and said I should send them my address the way it appears on the envelope and they will remove me from their mailing list. They obviously don’t care what their donors or prospective donors think.

Review from Guidestar

2

Donor

Rating: 1

The Sierra Club is an extremely radical group. For example they are trying to totally destroy the coal industry and using very unethical methods in the campaign. They scare parents by claiming that emissions from coal plants will damage their kids brains. They are totally hysterical on the subject of global warming but their understanding of the science is sadly lacking. They are basically elite people who care far more about the welfare of birds and insects than they care about the welfare of people. Don't believe anything coming from this group.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As two long-term volunteers with the Sierra Club, Joan and I spend much of our time with the Club’s Trade and Workers’ Rights Team, a national committee. Our introduction to Sierra Club’s trade campaign occurred in the late ‘90’s when a group of volunteers gathered near San Francisco for a training on globalization.  This experience was a real eye opener for all of us. Back in those days the terms “WTO” and “NAFTA” had a ring of respectability.  Even our Democratic president whole-heartedly supported these trade policies. But we learned about what we could really expect to see happen, and,  unfortunately, it all came true:  jobs leaving our country as corporations seek cheaper and cheaper labor markets, deforestation, species extinction at a rate never before seen, and poverty and human rights violations.  The Sierra Club played an important role protesting the WTO in Seattle and at other demonstrations against an undemocratic global economic system.   Our Trade and Workers’ Rights Team has the daunting task of keeping abreast of current trade policy and educating others on the resulting environmental and social impacts.  We work closely with impressive and dedicated Club staff and trade and environment issues. Together we have accomplished a lot by pointing out the inequities caused by flawed trade policies to our fellow Sierra Club members, congressional offices, and those interested in learning more on these issues. Just a few highlights of our work over the years include:  organizing a weekend campout on the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation in Arizona to highlight the attempts of a gold-mining company to destroy native lands, and bringing several Mayans from Guatemala who testified what that mining company had done to their lands; coordinating two international “Border Tours” in Tijuana, Mexico to highlight the effects of NAFTA on Mexican workers; organizing speakers to address issues of environmental degradation and trade (such as the impact of illegal logging in Indonesia); and producing materials making the connections between trade, climate and the need for green jobs and clean energy.      The Sierra Club is unique among environmental organizations.  We are involved in a myriad of issues which we must tie together to show that all of our many campaigns are really interconnected. 

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for the Sierra Club as an international trip leader and as a member of the India Advisory Council. I cannot think of a better way to spend my time; the organization is fantastic, the staff dedicated, and fellow volunteers inspiring. It is such a pleasure to feel your efforts are helping to produce a positive outcome in environmental conservation in the world.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 3

Last year, I went through the training to become a leader in a very specific chapter of the Sierra Club. I believe that the training that I went through equipped me with the skills that I need to fulfill my roll in taking kids out into the wilderness and keep them safe. I especially love the organization for it's diversity in age; there were people in my training class there were as young as 14 all the way to their mid-40's. The organization helped me build a friendship with many different people, and helps me reach out to many different types of people. I love the organization that I belong to, and I am glad that it is sponsored by the Sierra Club.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked as a volunteer as chair of the Mississippi Chapter of Sierra Club for a number of years working on issues like wetlands protection and toxics when we were devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Soon after people starting receiving FEMA trailers, many people were getting sick. After one couple tested their trailer and found high formaldehyde levels, we were able to get funding to purchase test kits to see how widespread the problem was. What we found was shocking. About nine out of ten trailers initially tested were over recommendations for even 15 minutes of exposure. Sierra Club helped us publicize those testing results, and we followed up with testing over the next four years that confirmed a continuing problem. Sierra Club also helped us bring witnesses to Congressional hearings on this to put a personal face on the problem. And, very significantly, Sierra Club followed up with major campaigns to encourage EPA to develop standards to protect Americans from toxic formaldehyde exposure. The club has also supported legislation now in both the House and Senate to adopt formaldehyde regulations that should have been in place decades ago.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been in leadership roles at both the local and national levels of the Sierra Club for ten years. My capacities include chair of MA Chapter Local Outings (5 years), chair of the Northeast Subcommitte for National Outings (5 years), and member of MA Chapter ExComm and Boston Group Excom (multiple terms during this same period). The Club is unique for a structure and volunteer philosphy that empowers folks to self-fulfill in the capacity that each is comfortable and qualified for, for its legislative activism, for the community that it brings given its national and local presence, and for its history that dates back to John Muir. When I became a life member in 1988, I evaluated all the options and found the Sierra Club to be the most worthy of my support. I still do.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

If the Sierra Club was given $100 million, I feel confident they would save the world. As it stands now, I suspect the Sierra Club will be an integral part of the solution ...doing it the "hard" way, by mobilizing 100,000 creative, passionate, profoundly thoughtful, and deeply caring member volunteers. To put these comments in context, I need to confess that I became aware of the work of the Sierra Club as soon as I was old enough to realize that the environment was headed for trouble if we didn't change the way we lived, worked, and played. In the ensuing years I worked in parallel on environmental issues leaning more towards the academic and research side of the effort. In that light, it seems ironic to me that it took four decades for me to get around to joining the Sierra Club. That said, in the Sierra Club I have discovered an incredible number of people who I think are like myself: willing to volunteer, able to step up, and largely refusing to walk away saying it -- whatever "it" is -- will be somebody else's problem to deal with. I like to think that Sierrans are always thinking in the back of their heads: "If not us, who? If not now, when?" Yet the single factor that has me most solidly planted in the Sierra Club today is the compelling daily experience that it is a slice of America quite literally filled with people who solidly stand with me and behind me on the things that are most important: working to make the world a better place than it is, to make it more what it could be. Last year, I gave up a rather comfortable position to teach in a Title I public school (high need, high risk) that is 95% African American and has the region's largest cohort of students in foster care, state custody, and guardianship. I have no shortage of Sierra Club members are coming to the school to talk to my kids. This morning a Sierran who is more authentically in touch with nature than me, led my class and I on a walk through the woods narrating everything we came upon. We ended the day inviting kids from another class on a kayaking trip wotj the Sierra Club's ICO (Inner City Outings) Program this June. In the meantime, my kids and I have started a Sierra Club Environmental Justice Committee and thrown in with the Sierra Club Water Sentinels to do water quality monitoring throughout the watershed. I think the reality of what we are doing and the possibility of making a real difference is transformative for these kids. The Sierra Club is the overarching structure that makes all this possible. It is a well spring of empowerment for these kids, and really, for anyone who cares enough to step up. And at this very moment, as I sit at my desk writing this reflection, some friends are working just across the parking lot, building raised bed organic gardens so the kids at this school will have greater access to fresh local produce. There is more I could say, but I think it is time to go help move the Earth. Keep the faith! - CTC