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March 11, 2010

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March 11, 2010

We are engaged in a Beyond Coal campaign in Oregon. We have two knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff members who have recruited a large number of volunteers who have turned out for monthly meetings and various campaign events like phonebanking, tabling, and rallies. Our campaign has been effective in getting Portland General Electric to scale back the shutdown schedule for their coal plant. We have also been effective in getting the Northwest Power & Conservation Council to consider conservation in their next plan.

The Great!

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

being called a superstar volunteer.

Ways to make it better...

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

not have so many different programs.

More feedback...

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

intereaction with the staff members.

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

awesome.

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

buy a bus, buy more meals, add staff

Ways to make it better...

we had more phone lines.

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

not focused enough.

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

I love volunteering or the Sierra Club.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

March 11, 2010

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March 11, 2010

Knowing no one in the Sierra Club, I first went to a Sierra Club meeting about 20 years because I wanted to help protect Oregon's high desert region. Over the years, I have made many new friends while helping to protect some amazing wild land in Oregon as well as contributing to national efforts. Shared values, acceptances of personal differences and the support for volunteers joining together to make change has kept me and my friends with the Sierra Club, recruiting others to join us and doing good work for the environment. Shared victories are empowering!

Photos

More feedback...

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

knowing that my efforts have made a difference in people's lives and for our environment. It's amazing to me that I have helped author national legislation that is now law -- Steens Cooperative Management and Protection Act of 2000.

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

truly dedicated, selflessly so, to our causes. The Sierra Club offers a "big tent" for issues for people to become engaged in.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

March 11, 2010

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March 11, 2010

Eleven years ago I went on this fabulous volunteer (service) National Outings trip with the Sierra Club to some of the Ancient Pueblo (Anasazi) ruins in the Southwest. This began my pilgrimage to all of the sites including Bandelier, Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon and Canyon de Chelly. I've also pulled barbed wire in many other areas in the Southwest, and seen first-hand the evidence of the current immigration policies in the Southwest. Not only did I get very connected to ancient cultures as a result of my first experiences, but also the Sierra Club in general. I became a Local Outings leader, and an Outings Chair ...and also became active on a national level as a (volunteer) Outings Activities trainer and Local Outings Committee member/advocate. I still love exploring new places on my own, but am even more committed to helping others get outdoors to experience and preserve what's special about each of our natural areas. In all my years of volunteer Sierra Club involvement, I can't think of a better group of volunteer leaders and staff members with whom to work. Fun, intelligent and committed --what else can you ask for? The Sierra Club needs to remember that their strength always comes from the "grassroots."

The Great!

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

so many ways from one-on-one outdoors activities with families to national policy input.

Ways to make it better...

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

make sure I didn't forget the grassroots support, and stay away from the "big corporate" influences on policy development.

More feedback...

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

the people who are staffers and the volunteer leaders. The energy is always positive!

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

Awesome! My involvement has been one of the best parts of my life.

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

save the world! (or more realistically, at least influence alot more of the environmental policies in the United States.)

Ways to make it better...

I'd gotten involved earlier in my life.

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

Reaching out to new constituencies and gaining younger members who have more diverse interests.

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

staff folks don't get paid enough!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

March 11, 2010

more

March 11, 2010

I joined the Sierra Club from a magazine after moving to Long Island from Alaska in 1993. I went to college, then grad school and earned a degree in Environmental Science. Frustrated that I was not active locally, I met Sierra members at a tabling event and was shocked to find out that there was local activity. I started out by going to community meetings and outings. The comaraderie was great. I loved getting away from the drama at work and it made everything more fresh at home. My spirit was coming back to life. My first "conquest" came after a cool cities training when we got a sign on. I posted it on the Sierra website and really felt a part of something big. I joined the executive committee as a liason for the Green Buildings (USGBC) and helped get energy star passed in some towns. That was exciting. My passion is water and the opportunity arose to become Coastal Waterways Chair and executive committee member. I joined other local activist groups to facilitate that job and that led to my forming the water sentinels. The Long Island Water Sentinels is my focus and passion. We have a tight group, we are connected to schools, politicians, we know the people locally at DEC and EPA, we know our local baykeeper, we ally with a group called sSelf when we test. It is a dream. I always wanted to do field work. Hardly a day goes by where I don't get an email from someone else who wants to test with us. Sometimes I have as many as 15-20 people at my test site. Sometimes it is just two. We have a phosphorus lab now, what next!!!!! On to heavy metals, life is good. Linda Freilich

The Great!

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

getting legislation passed, posting baseline data, helping the state to maintain the environmental funds, protecting water, stopping development, speaking to key individuals who really make the difference, forming coalitions....

Ways to make it better...

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

make it easier to transfer money.

More feedback...

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

friendships, the trip to New Orleans, meeting people from other states, like minds......

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

dedicated, humorous, activists.....

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

buy me more testing equipment...........

Ways to make it better...

they have been great!

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

bringing in new, young members

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

This is one of the great organizations and I am proud to be a part of it.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

March 11, 2010

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March 11, 2010

IN 1988 I JOINED MY FIRST SIERRA CLUB NATIONAL OUTING AND WAS INTRODUCED TO SERVICE TRIPS IN THE SOUTHWEST. EVERY YEAR SINCE THEN I HAVE DONE ANOTHER TRIP. MANY WERE SO GOOD I DID REPEAT THEM THE NEXT YEAR OR LONGER. MY SELECTION OF SOUTHWEST SERVICE TRIPS SOUNDS LIMITED BUT IT HAS PROVEN TO BE AN EYE-OPENER, LEARNING ABOUT AN AREA, ECOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL ASPECTS, AND FINALLY, THROUGH SELFLESS SERVICE, BEING ABLE TO SAY, "WE DID THAT" AND POINT PROUDLY TO COMPLETED PROJECTS. THOSE STATE AND FEDERAL AGENCIES CHARGED WITH THE MANAGEMENT OF THESE WILDEARTH PLACES HAVE ONLY BEEN MORE DESPERATELY IN NEED OF VOLUNTEER HELP. WE SHOULD ALL PITCH IN SOMETIME, SOMEWHERE, THIS IS THE CHOICE I MADE TO DO JUST THAT. BELIEVE ME, I'VE HAD PEOPLE COME UP AND SAY, "WELL, I KNOW THE SIERRA CLUB IS A GOOD ORGANIZATION, BUT WHAT DO THE MEMBERS ACTUALLY DO?" THAT'S WHEN I PEEL OFF MY GLOVES, SHOW THEM THE CALLUSES, POINT TO A MILE OF NEW BOUNDARY FENCE, AND SAY, "SEE FOR YOURSELF." IT HAS BEEN MY PRIVILEDGE TO WORK IN UTAH, COLORADO, ARIZONA, NEW MEXICO AND WEST TEXAS, ALWAYS EXPLORING, ALWAYS LEARNING. EVERY NEW TRIP HAS BEEN A DOZEN NEW, BEST FRIENDS, IF WE'RE NOT ON A TRIP, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HOW SOON WE CAN GET BACK AND VOLUNTEER. WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE....?

The Great!

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

THE SOUTHWEST USA, IN EVERY KIND OF CAMPING SITUATION UP TO AND INCLUDING LODGE-BASED TRIPS

More feedback...

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

THE DEDICATION OF THE PRUBLIC LANDS MANAGERS DESPITE ANNUAL REDUCTIONS IN FORCES AND BUDGETS; THE ENTHUSIASM GENERATED BY A DOZEN PEOPLE, STRANGERS WHEN THEY MEET, GOOD FRIENDS AT THE END OF THE WEEK; THE AMAZING EFFORT OF THE VOLUNTEER STAFF.

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

COMMITTED, KNOWLEDGEABLE, FRIENDLY; COULD MANAGE THE MOODS AND NEEDS OF THE GROUP AS EASILY AS THEY COULD FOCUS ON A SINGLE INDIVIDUAL'S NEEDS. TOOK ADVERSE SITUATIONS AND TURNED THEM INTO UNFORESEEN OPPORTUNITIES.

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

OFFER MORE TRIPS, INVOLVE MORE MEMBERS AS TRIP PARTICIPANTS AND HOME TOWN ACTIVISTS; REACH OUT FOR SOME LONG-TERM PLANNING IN AREAS THAT SCIENCE UNDERSTANDS BUT THE PUBLIC DOES NOT; BUILD INTERNSHIPS, ETC.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

March 10, 2010

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March 10, 2010

I started volunteering with the Sierra Club because I wanted to enjoy and protect wild lands. The Club is unique in that it provides opportunities to visit and volunteer. I went on an outing to Utah. I began volunteering and have been doing so now for 15 years. It has been an empowering experience. I have worked with people across the country to build campaigns and influence decision makers. The Club is unique among env. org's. in the authority retained in volunteers, that has made my experience a productive one. I grew for contributing necessary tasks to setting strategy and becoming a spokesperson. Via the Sierra Club I can now take my kids to special places whose protection occurred partly due to my contributions.

The Great!

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

the passage of legislation and other protections for land.

Ways to make it better...

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

broaden even further the authority granted to volunteers.

More feedback...

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

the ability to make organizational decisions as a volunteer and the opportunity to visit special landscapes.

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

great. There is a real sense of community in the Sierra Club. It is rare to find a person who is I dislike.

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

Protect more land and habitat by engaging more citizens, not that $10 million is anywhere near enough, but it would help a lot.

Ways to make it better...

there are times when the internal politics can get disagreeable, however, that exists because the Sierra Club is a place where you can get results and passionate people are engaged; so it has a good side too.

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

As with all, increasing the level of participation. Also overcoming the competing interest between clean energy issues and land conservation. The Club is at the forefront of these efforts, but it is a difficult task.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

March 10, 2010

more

March 10, 2010

Working with the Sierra Club started with a simple request for more information about the Building Bridges to the Outdoors Program. I work for a regional non-profit in southwestern New Mexico, and our mission is complimented by the Sierra Club's programming and funding opportunities. That simple email asking for a little backround info has lead to a fantastic partnership! It seems like The Sierra Club's southwest field office staff have the rare gift of making the most out of every opportunity - whether it is a community forum, a service day, a state-wide initiative or advocating for important legislation. The Sierra Club staff at the southwest field office have been intelligent, enthusiastic partners in our efforts to do youth conservation education.

The Great!

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

Event planning, interactions with press, and as a proud grantee.

Ways to make it better...

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

pay them more for the work they do.

More feedback...

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

the creativity and enthusiasm of the staff.

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

intelligent, passionate, creative and professional.

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

change the face of volunteerism and environmental stewardship/advocacy in the U.S.

Ways to make it better...

my work with my own organization had allowed me to focus more intently on this and other partnerships.

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

having a membership that is not as diverse as the general population, and that doesn't include enough youth.

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

This organization values partnerships and supports the efforts of various other non-profits. Cooperation is the future, and The Sierra Club is ahead of the curve in my opinion - at least in the southwest USA.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 4, 2009

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April 4, 2009

This is an effective organization. From Colorado to Washington, DC, I have volunteered for Sierra Club on and off since the early 1990s. Most recently, I have volunteered with the DC Chapter and worked professionally in partnership with their headquarters staff. Especially these folks impressed me with their political savviness and deep commitment to saving the environment.

The Great!

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

Mobilizing community support for threatened natural spaces and building political support for a wide variety of environmental issues.

Ways to make it better...

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

Change very little. The programs and structure of the organization is great. Although I would encourage the HQ staff to be more careful with membership details and have what they need to empower chapters and volunteers to be as effective as they can be.

More feedback...

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

its commitment to protecting the environment at the local, national, and global levels. Also, how it encourages better environmental policies at each of these levels. My involvement is also because there are a wide variety of ways to get active with the organization.

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

highly committed to saving the environment, friendly to volunteer and work with, inspiring in their leadership styles and experiences working on long-term political battles.

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

be a stronger lobbying power against big oil and other super wealthy adversaries. In addition, it could have more paid staff at the chapter and "group" levels.

Ways to make it better...

Sometimes the volunteer-led activities allow little mistakes to hamper logistics and create confusion. It's all well and good, but could better (as we all could be).

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

Time and money. Wouldn't we all like to accomplish more.

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

the long hours and hard work is very worth it. Everyone should spend some time volunteering for Sierra Club.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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