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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

California ReLeaf

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Environmental Beautification, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection

Mission: California ReLeaf's mission is to empower grassroots efforts and build strategic partnerships that preserve, protect, and enhance California?s urban and community forests.

Results: California ReLeaf is a nonprofit organization working statewide and is dedicated to improving the health and livability of California’s cities by planting and caring for trees. With over 85 partner organizations around the state, California ReLeaf engages volunteers to take action to improve the environment where over 94% of people live: in cities, towns, and metropolitan areas. Together California ReLeaf member organizations have planted and cared for more than 1 million trees with help from over 3 million volunteers.

Target demographics: plant and care for trees and to create healthy, livable communities

Geographic areas served: communities throughout California

Programs: the California ReLeaf Network of urban forest nonprofits, urban forest pass-through grants, outreach and education, and legislative monitoring and advocacy.

Community Stories

86 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

For such a small staff, California ReLeaf does a heck of a job advocating for protecting, enhancing, and expanding urban forests in California. It's been impressive and inspiring to watch them leverage their limited resources to make such big impact on policies affecting our precious urban forest canopy. As someone who's worked with them in coalition, it's also refreshing to work with an organization that is so collaborative - fully capable of pursuing their mission with passion while also seeing the big picture and working in tandem with other organizations as we all work to tackle the big issues of our time (climate change, public health inequity, etc.).

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a co-director of a community-based organization called Growing Together – we carry out re-greening projects in Oakland’s public lands, in partnership with schools and neighborhood residents. For the past several years, California Releaf has been a cherished partner to our organization, providing invaluable support that has played an essential role in our growth and success. Three years ago, their grants program enabled us to install an orchard and outdoor classroom at middle school; between last year and this year, we have been able to finish or set in motion a total of twelve schoolyard greening projects, involving several thousand Oakland K-12 students in re-foresting their campuses. As a small fiscally-sponsored organization, these opportunities would have been likely impossible for us to take advantage of without their direct assistance. Most importantly, they are a joy to work with – even though I have not been with our organization long, I could not imagine a more welcoming group of people, who are so knowledgeable about their field and deeply dedicated to their mission. They have fully embraced our group’s efforts, sharing their extensive networks with us, connecting us to a wealth of opportunities, and helping us navigate the workings of policy and government funding. California Releaf is a non-profit that deserves to be recognized and thanked for their critical role in supporting the success of community-driven greening efforts in California’s urban communities.

Board Member

Rating: 5

California ReLeaf continues to be a valuable resource for CityTrees. Cindy and her staff have kept us informed about grants, lobbying opportunities, and educational webinars. Beyond all that, when CityTrees has a project that is stalled or not going well, I know I can call Cindy and get great advice about how to move forward. CityTrees is more effective as a result of our relationship with California ReLeaf.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

California ReLeaf has been instrumental in building our urban forestry outreach and education program. Without their funding & support, our program would not have grown to this scale in such a short amount of time! Not only do they support programming for individual organizations, they also provide multiple professional development, continuing education, and networking opportunities. Even in two geographic locations! Staff has been so helpful in working with our organization to make sure our reporting is done accurately and in a timely manner. It has been very encouraging to have their help in a process such as grant reporting! They also provide education materials which is very helpful in saving time and communicating with our target audience. Thank you CA ReLeaf!!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am proud to serve as President of CityTrees - a local non-profit based in Redwood City CA that focuses on planting and caring for our local urban forest. California ReLeaf has been tremendously helpful to us in a variety of different ways: informing us of upcoming grant opportunities that are well aligned with our mission, providing coaching on grant-writing techniques, and training us in various ways to do our job better. The professional staff of California ReLeaf is always very happy to take our calls and help us in any way they can. They are super-well-informed and super-helpful in more ways than I can count. Thanks, California ReLeaf!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

California ReLeaf has been enormously helpful in helping us navigate the process of finding external support for our urban forest in Redwood City. We are a small volunteer run organization, and California ReLeaf provided advice and know-how in looking for funding sources, finding partners, or organizing certain types of events. We were very lucky to find and work with California ReLeaf!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

California ReLeaf is an amazing group of people dedicated to improving life for Californians (especially in communities of need) through tree planting and their advocacy work across the state. I was fortunate to partner with them and others in the coordination of the event "Urban Forests for Climate Solutions" at the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. California ReLeaf was an incredibly valuable partner and did so much to ensure that our event was a success. No task was too big or too small for them. I was really impressed with their ability to be such great team players. I would love to work with them again.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We started working with California ReLeaf in 2017 as a Grantee and have been impressed by the staffs' knowledge and expertise. ReLeaf staff are always willing and able to to work with us on any issues with our project. They are equally committed towards the success of our project, which is encouraging for us as we work through a three year tree planting project. Equal to the staffs' expertise is their kindness and openness to people and organizations that are not traditionally in the urban forestry sector. California ReLeaf's commitment to strengthening our urban forests is contagious, and we are grateful to have them as a key piece to our project's success.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

It's great a pleasure to work in coalition with CA ReLeaf! I appreciate their insightful and collaborative staff.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Californie ReLeaf has proven an invaluable coalition partner over the last year (and I assume beforehand, as well, I've only been in this position for a year). The senior staff are incredibly politically savvy and strategic in thinking about how to work cross-sectorally.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have loved getting California ReLeaf's emails this year that help me know when there are opportunities to apply for funding. They are great about giving us a clear-cut picture of what's going on when it comes to funding for urban forestry on the state and national level. They've also been putting on a series on workshops that seem to be really beneficial for anyone working in the urban forestry would who wants to do a better job integrating into their communities and facilitating important discussions in their areas!

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I worked for ReLeaf for nearly 2 years and have yet to find a staff so passionate and thoughtful about the work they do. This is a small nonprofit doing big things. With such a small staff, you'd find it hard to believe they're the ones keeping all of California's urban forest happenings running strong -- until you get to experience the level of energy, expertise, and enthusiasm firsthand. I've since moved into a different industry but feel grateful to have gotten serious statewide communications experience working at ReLeaf, and lucky to know this team is fighting for the health and well-being of Californians through trees.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

California ReLeaf is fantastic! They are truly passionate about what they do and do a phenomenal job of connecting individuals and organizations who care deeply about the environment and their communities.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

California ReLeaf provides an important role in the Environmental community and urban communities across the state. The staff is incredibly professional and love the work they do. California ReLeaf is a model organization that deserves high marks for the service they provide.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I became acquainted with California ReLeaf shortly after moving to Sacramento in search of a job in the environmental nonprofit world. The staff met with me without hesitation and helped me come to understand the vast network of environmental nonprofits across California. As a working organization, my impression is that California ReLeaf is well-organized and thoughtful in their actions. Additionally, the staff are easygoing, passionate, and open-minded. Overall, I see the organization as an integral part of California's environmental efforts and I am extremely humbled to have met and worked alongside them.

Ryan A.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Working for Los Angeles based urban forestry organizations you don't have the immediate access and ability to build relationships on the state level with elected officials in Sacramento. California ReLeaf masterfully fills that gap by supporting non-profits throughout the State of California by advocating for funding, providing the most current research to decision makers, and bringing together the urban forestry community throughout the state. If you're doing urban forestry work in California get to know California ReLeaf.

Review from Guidestar

Jan M.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When we started Richmond Trees, we knew what we wanted to achieve but not how to get there. With the guidance and support of California ReLeaf we were able to grow our small all volunteer group into a well oiled machine that gets the job done. They have supported us with their networks and webinars and all the support a volunteer group needs to succeed.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Currently working closely with much of the California ReLeaf Staff - extremely knowledgeable, responsive, and all around great. Truly a pleasure and one of the leading NGOs in urban forestry

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

California ReLeaf is one of the most respected nonprofit voices in California providing education and support for urban forestry across the state. What makes them unique is their capacity to work with organizations and stakeholders in the field and key legislators in the Capitol. It produces great outcomes for urban forests and the communities that depend on them.

Review from Guidestar

Advisor

Rating: 5

CA ReLeaf has a very great reputation in the State Capitol, which is where I spend most of my own professional time. Their ability to work well with groups on the ground, and develop very large coalitions that are consistently coordinated and on message, speaks to the genuine relationships that the organization has fostered throughout California. As a result, CA ReLeaf is an immense powerhouse when it comes to urban forestry advocacy that has consistently delivered great budget outcomes for communities that otherwise would be left behind without ReLeaf's efforts.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a policy director at a fellow non-profit working on green infrastructure, water and urban forestry issues. California Relief's tireless work to ensure funding and laws from state-level legislation gets to urban forestry projects is and has been critical to the state's overall success in urban forestry. Thank you CA Releaf!

Review from Guidestar