CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS FOUNDATION

Rating: 4.79 stars   62 reviews

Issues: Environment, Sports

Location: 50 Francisco Street Suite 110 San Francisco CA 94133 USA

Mission: With our 130,000 members, the California State Parks Foundation (CSPF) is the only statewide independent nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting, enhancing and advocating for California's 280 magnificent state parks. CSPF is committed to improving the quality of life for all Californians by expanding access to the natural beauty, rich culture and history, and recreational and educational opportunities offered by California's state parks. For more information about California's state parks, visit calparks.org.
Results: Since 1969, CSPF has raised over $209 million for state parks.
Target demographics: our 280 state parks
Geographic areas served: California
Programs: volunteer days, advocacy, capital improvements, and grant giving.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 94-1707583
415-262-4400
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

We take every opportunity to visit our California State Parks. We travel a lot in our 1931 Model A Ford and plan our routes to include as many historic and scenic sites as time will allow. We have seen first hand what happens when funding falls short to run and maintain these parks. There are many places that would not be open or in existence, if not for the California State Parks Foundation.

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Rating: 5 stars  

We are lucky enough to live near some of California's most beautiful state parks. Just yesterday we stopped by Pt Lobos State Reserve to walk the forested trails and watch sea otters tumble in the emerald-colored water at Whaler's cove. Two weeks ago we camped at DL Bliss State Park at Lake Tahoe--an annual family-centered trip. And last month, my daughter and nephew spent a week at the Monterey State Historic Park adobes. While dressed in period costumes, they made tortillas, braided rope, branded leather and learned songs, games and dances from the early California period. These experiences enrich us and provide a much-needed respite from our highly structured, screen-focused lives. Site improvements & restoration, educational programs, and simple access to our state parks would not be possible without the California State Parks Foundation. The work of this nonprofit is more important than ever.

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?

2013

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars   Featured Review

I've been fortunate to work with several staff members of the California State Parks Foundation. In addition, I frequently visit my local state parks and beaches. Just yesterday, I went hiking with my kids in my favorite local state park--Point Lobos. Gave me a chance once again to appreciate the important work of the dedicated professionals who make up the California State Parks Foundation. We need our state parks more than ever and the California State Parks Foundation plays a vital role in keeping our parks open and accessible. Keep up the great work!

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

I recently consulted with the Parks Foundation on a policy report and a resource guide.

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

No changes.

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Rating: 5 stars  

CSPF provides such important support for our state parks. They keep a vigilant watch, inspire and enlist volunteers, and advocate for our glistening gem of a park system.

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?

2013

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Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Hello,
First off; this is the first time reading online about California State Parks Foundation. I received a donation request via USPS mail. I was extremely interested in making a donation. My husband requested before I send any money, to check and see exactly what percentage is used for the state parks. I found Charity Navigator rating just by luck. Still not sure what percentage my donation is actually used for the parks. My concern was after reading 2011 fiscal report, $10,179,097 was collected from donations. The President Elizabeth Goldstein's compensation/pay was $169,469 for 2011. Call me crazy, WOW I'd like that (NON PROFIT ORGANIZATION) job. I WOULD like someone to explain to me the basics. I realize no one works for free. But seriously.... $170,000 for what. Im not minimizing the job. Im just saying!!! If this non profit organization is really wanting to help California's State Parks, MAYBE admin shouldnt take so much off the top. NON PROFIT ORGANIZATION's mean lots & lots of money for the administrators. What happened to simple; I make donation of $100 and $95 actually goes towards the cause. I think that somehow along the way we have lost the ideal..... non profit organizations were established to help. Somehow the person/persons running the organizations are making more money then the actual cause. How sad...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

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

None

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Hi Chandra, Thank you for your interest in our organization and for taking the time to learn more about our finances. We at CSPF are highly dedicated to our work on behalf of California state parks, and we have a 44-year history of fundraising, advocating for and protecting parks. Of the money we raise, 79% percent goes to our program and member advocacy work – this is all the work we do to support California state parks. 13% of our resources go to fundraising efforts so that we can continue our program work. Only 8% of our resources go to management and general admin expenses – this money allows us to have a staff of 40 exceptional professionals who work hard every day to fulfill our mission. Our hardest worker is certainly our president, Elizabeth Goldstein. She works tirelessly for CSPF, dedicating countless hours to her work. Her salary compensation was carefully determined based on industry analysis, and she makes less than colleagues in comparable positions. So although we are a nonprofit organization, we still need to support our staff as well as ensure we are somewhat competitive in our ability to attract highly-qualified professionals. For third-party validation on our financial position, we have a 4-star Charity Navigator rating because they have reviewed our finances, accountability and transparency and found us to be among the highest standing of nonprofits. We truly strive to dedicate as much of our resources to our program work as possible, and we are above the curve in that regard among nonprofits. I hope you will reconsider us as an organization worth your trust and your donation. If you have further questions, please feel free to reach out to us at members@calparks.org or 415-262-4400. Thank you, California State Parks Foundation

Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 1 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

California State Parks Foundation is destroying cities throughout California, they are backed by SCE, utilities companies and regulators ... look at what they say below, do not support them! Read all the details here: http://www.calparks.org/programs/policy/chino-hills-trtp-project.html Wayne Mass · Chino Hills, California
Well I thank you for actually responding to us. However to call the easement through Chino Hills VALID route is insulting. No person in their right mind who has seen these dangerous 200ft towers next to homes,parks and schools would ever classify them as such. I would like you to also consider who uses the Chino Hills State Park! Chino Hills residents do and not one person I have ever spoken to sees an issue with replacing existing power lines in an already existing right of way. So that leaves the last issue. Your foundations fear that this will somehow set a presidence to install power lines though State Parks. Frankly I don't buy it. Power lines and towers are already there. Has your organization lobbied in the past to remove those....answer...NO. So again your motivation comes into question. When we see the huge donations to your foundation from SCE it just supports our belief that you have been bought.
Reply · 23 · Unlike · Follow Post · January 26 at 6:06pm

Jan Palmer
Ah, but I disagree with you, CSPF! When people bought their homes along the SCE easement, the poles were about 75' tall and inactive for app. 4 decades and NOBODY IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would ever have thought that giant 200' TRANSMISSION poles would be erected in that narrow 150' easement! Green energy and wind turbines were not even in our lexicon. Your statment leads people to think we were fully informed about what was to come. Some have owned their homes for 30 years. Isn't there already a right-of-way in the park with electric poles? And I doubt the numbers of people that visit CHSP today is the same as before the 3-day a week closure. And visitors to a park are not subjected to the health and danger concerns that residents will be exposed to 24/7/12. You are purposely tweeking and putting out misinformation. Shame on Edison and Shame on CSPF!
Reply · 19 · Like · Follow Post · January 26 at 4:55pm

Debbie Dean
Every time the CSPF makes a statement about the annual number of visitors to the Chino Hills State Park the total increases. This is something we've come to expect from SCE but not you! Not just here in Chino Hills, SCE also has a "valid right of way" in the State Park and it contains SCE transmission towers and lines. I could agree with your concerns about setting a precedent if NO towers existed in Chino Hills State Park. Likewise can you imagine the precedent that would be set if public utility companies were allowed to run 500kv 45 ft from homes anywhere and any time they want, all over the country?
The Charitable Donations you receive from SCE have created a conflict of interest. Facing the possibility of losing that support, should you contradict SCE's favored route, surely influences your opinions.
Reply · 13 · Like · Follow Post · January 26 at 8:39pm

California State Parks Foundation
Alternative 4CM would replace some lines along the existing easements, but it would also create at least two entirely new paths in biologically- and visually-sensitive areas of the park where no easements currently exist.
Reply · Like · January 30 at 4:46pm

Chrisanne Goodwin
Hey what about me? I don't live anywhere NEAR the easement. No one ever informed me I would be looking at this 265ft Lattice Monster out of my kitchen window, bedroom window and backyard and out of my dining room window a 200 ft Monster Power Pole! They are SOOOO HUGE they impact MY quality of life and I live in CARBON CANYON no where NEAR the easement SO PLEASE do NOT use the easement as an arguement! This is a COMMUNITY ISSUE not about the unfortunate people who were LIED to by SCE when they purchased their homes (yes, believe it or not we used to believe and trust the company...now we know better!) who were told when they bought the homes those poles were INACTIVE! By the way, reduce the number of visitors to your park you 99,999 because I WILL not be going any more. Your issue for "parks only" is upsetting to me. If you do not care about the very people who are YOUR biggest supporters of CHINO HILLS State Park then I don't feel welcome.
Reply · 12 · Like · Follow Post · January 27 at 10:08am

Ruth Dickie
CSPF~You should join us instead of fighting us! Why don't you support the idea of burying the lines under the state parks in CA? In Chino Hills State Park the easement is already there---bury the lines--yes, the terrain is hilly but the digging can be level, it seems to me. It could be a win-win situation. With new technology the emf on four-legged creatures is greatly reduced. It doesn't seem to me that you care about that at all~nor do you really care about the people using the park or you wouldn't have let the easement be built there in the first place. All you really care about is the money that it brings into your dept. You and SCE have a lot in common!
Reply · 12 · Like · Follow Post · January 26 at 7:48pm

Gregg Fresonke · Vice President Marketing and Sales at Hollywood Ribbon Industries
WHY IS YOUR N-P AGENCY LOOKING TO HIT TAX PAYERS UP VIA THE CPUC FOR $44,000 TO COVER LAWYER COSTS TO FIGHT THE PEOPLE LIVING IN CHINO HILLS? ARE YOU SUPPORTING SCE BECAUSE THEY GIVE YOU CHARITABLE DONATIONS? WHY SHOULD SOMEONE SITTING IN AN OFFICE IN SAN FRANCISCO HAVE THE POMPOUS ATTITUDE OF DETERMINING WHAT SHOULD BE DONE IN THE PARK WE ARE USING? IF YOU HAD ANY UNDERSTANDING OF THE PROBLEM YOU WOULD UNDERSTAND THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT IS JUST BEING MOVED... THE SAME PROBLEM STILL EXISTS. YOU COME ACROSS AS A BUNCH OF SLEAZE-BALL LAWYERS SQUEEZING MONEY FROM TAX PAYERS TO FUND YOUR IDEALISTIC IDEAS.
Reply · 9 · Like · Follow Post · January 26 at 6:11pm

California State Parks Foundation
Any compensation for legal fees granted to organizations in a proceeding like this is always paid by the applicable utility company in the proceeding. No state and/or taxpayer funding is involved.
Reply · Like · January 30 at 4:48pm

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

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

Some

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I visit Topanga State park regularly. I was very impressed to learn about CA State Parks Foundation and the important work they do to support our natural beauty found in the parks. This well organized, positive, pro-active group was so good at motivating people to Save the Parks during the last/recent budget crisis. I attended a town meeting they helped organize where local officials, park employees, volunteers, and the public shared information and encouragement. It was very well done!

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

enjoying our parks, making a donation, receiving newsletters. I hope to volunteer for Earth Day activities to beautiful and clean up a near by park.

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

not have any suggestions.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I've volunteered with the California State Parks Foundation for Earth Day, and attended 3 of their Park Advocacy Days in Sacramento. The Foundation really knows how to get citizens active in and advocating for parks. Every event has been extremely well-organized. I left feeling like I was having a real impact in really important work and learned quite a bit along the way. Not only are these guys efficient and knowledgable, but they are just fantastic people to work along side of. I really believe that it is their work that has kept our parks as great as they are. I look forward to being a part of these activities next year.

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

their grassroots organizing to get people out in support of parks.

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

I wouldn't.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have worked with the fine people of the CSPF on more than one occasion. Each time they were professional, kind,and very helpful. I wish all non-profits were run like this one.

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

working with them on projects within the state parks.

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

no changes.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been to many events and also volunteered in park cleanups, functions, etc. The enthusiasm and dedication of the staff in furthering the integrity of the parks is unsurpassed. With funding cutbacks I'm sure the staff and donors alike will rise to the occasion! This is an outstanding organization.

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

Northern California, desert areas, coastal/beaches.

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

advise to keep doing what they're doing.

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

I use the state parks several times a week to get out in nature, enjoy the trees, the fresh air, the wildlife, and activities such as hiking and running. They are a critical resource to the health of our people and our planet. We must preserve and maintain our open spaces. At a time when drug dealing and other criminal activity is increasing in our state parks, we cannot afford to be cutting back or closing them! These are the dangers that lead to fires, and worse. The state parks need our support now more than ever. The California State Parks Foundation is doing an excellent job of educating people about the value of our parks system, and helping to fight the cutbacks the system is facing.

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

my use of parks in Santa Cruz County.

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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