My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for The Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education, Inc., Oakland, CA, USA
I volunteer regularly with the Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research and Education (by representing them at various events in the area, as well as by helping to manage their online and social networking presence).
I have been consistently impressed by COARE's presence -- they are invited to (and attend) a large number of events nationwide, and have made a difference not just in the United States, but internationally as well. For example, COARE's SharkSafe program, which certifies restaurants around the globe as serving food that is safe for sharks (the restaurants have to vow not to serve any shark products, as well as to obtain their seafood via sustainable practices) has restaurants participating in places as far away as Indonesia (and as close to home as San Francisco).
COARE's presence at events is essential to getting people involved and starting a discussion about why the oceans are so important. This brings me to another thing that COARE is astonishingly good at: motivating people to take action, and following up with them to in a way that's non-obtrusive or pushy. Their newsletters are informative and give a number of volunteer opportunities, and it's easy to be involved to whatever extent a supporter is comfortable with. I've seen a number of people approach COARE's Executive Director at events, questioning what the organization does and why they should care, and walk away ready to volunteer.