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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Transition US

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: Vision Our vision is that every community in the United States has engaged its collective creativity to unleash an extraordinary and historic transition to a future beyond fossil fuels; a future that is more vibrant, abundant and resilient; one that is ultimately preferable to the present. Mission Transition US is a resource and catalyst for building resilient communities across the United States that are able to withstand severe energy, climate or economic shocks while creating a better quality of life in the process. We will accomplish our mission by inspiring, encouraging, supporting, networking and training individuals and their communities as they consider, adopt, adapt, and implement the Transition approach to community empowerment and change. The Transition approach is based on four key assumptions: 1. That life with dramatically lower energy consumption is inevitable, and that it’s better to plan for it than to be taken by surprise. 2. That our communities currently lack resilience. 3. That we have to act collectively, and we have to act now to build community resilience and prepare for life without fossil fuels. 4. That by unleashing the collective genius of our communities it is possible to design new ways of living that are more nourishing, fulfilling and ecologically sustainable.

Geographic areas served: US primarily

Programs: Strategic Action Goals 1. To raise awareness of the need to work together to build resilience in the face of fossil fuel depletion, climate change and economic crises. 2. To support the emergence and growth of Transition Initiatives and leaders in all regions of the United States. 3. To mirror the diversity of the United States in Transition Initiatives by supporting Initiatives’ efforts to include all major cultural and demographic segments of their local communities. 4. To support the continued development and delivery of high quality education, training and consulting in support of the advancement of the Transition Movement in the United States. 5. To achieve financial sustainability for Transition US and Transition Initiatives in the United States.

Community Stories

24 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I went to a potluck hosted by a local Transitions group and watched a movie about people making changes in the way they live that will benefit society and the environment. Everyone I met was very friendly and optimistic. I joined the local group and look forward to future events.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Transitions US has built a strong board and executive team to roll out the Transition movement in the United States. They have impressively facilitated 22 official city/region transition initiatives being developed in 2 years. The operation is bringing a very necessary culture shift to sustainability to the world. I see some challenges to the model including adaption to urban areas, diversity and business inclusion and funding for initiatives, but I know these issues are being addressed through the network and ongoing experience.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Transition US is a young organization gearing up to meet a massive challenge: educating and facilitating positive grassroots responses as energy and resources decline globally. There is no lack of commitment or vision. TUS is establishing its presence, providing trainings and communication links between member groups, facilitating local action in multiple ways. I think that as it gets on solid footing financially and with adequate staff for the task, it will need to launch a second phase of support once groups have become established and specific new needs arise.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been following the transition initiative for about 3 years, and find it the one shining hope amongst a sea of depression. Our problems are so great, and the time to engage so short, that having a constructive, community focused organization that channels our positive and creative energy toward solution, is like manna from heaven. I was so discouraged about our leaders lack of attention, inaction, you name it, that the possibility of joining with other concerned citizens, has reenergized me and given me something to work towards, and a hope that my daughter may have a chance to grow up healthy and with some modicrum of happy.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As an organizer working with congregations to engage in building healthy communities, sustainability and care of creation need to be balanced with human well-being. Transition offers a process of engagement, training, support, and shared values (inclusivity, heart & soul, permaculture principles) to not only develop resilience, but to create communities which thrive. Transition US has been very supportive of this work, recognizing that multiple demographic groups may have different motivation but want to engage in the process of creating holistic communities. I introduced Transition to multiple groups in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Transition U.S.is an incredibly hopeful response to the very challenging situations our communities face. it is grassroots, solutions-based and very empowering. To know that this group is emerging to support smaller local Transition Initiatives across the U.S. to help inspire, educate and activate our communities is amazing to be a part of.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I found Transition US to be a dedicated and intelligent group of individuals who were patient and instructive in helping our group get organized. I have attended several webinars hosted by TransitionUS and found them to be enlightening in the way they taught issues and concepts on the varied topics they presented. The TransitionUS website is also a goldmine of information both of resources and individual stories of other groups' experiences which are useful for networking new groups starting out. All my interactions with the people at Transition US have been friendly, positive experiences, resulting in practical solutions to any problem.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a construction contractor, real estate developer, and permaculture designer who's been active promoting Transition on blogs and in my home town. I support this movement because endless growth can’t be sustained on a finite planet. Transition offers responsible ideas about how to collaborate locally to create robust, self-reliant, sustainable ways of life. I like the practical emphasis on promoting local food production, and resilient local infrastructures for things like water, waste treatment, health care, transportation and energy. I think TransitionUS is critically important as the standard-bearing, identity-holding center of the movement supportive of the local groups where the rubber meets the road. It’s a place to share ideas, gain inspiration, ask questions, and blend energies to reap synergistic effects. It’s the mama bear of the transition initiatives sprouting up all over, and as such is a great place to leverage support for creating restorative, community-enhancing, intensely-local-but-globally-networked economies that are healthy, interesting and full of opportunity.

1 Don Hall

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In my opinion, Transition US provides an extremely valuable service networking, supporting, and training the burgeoning Transition Movement throughout the United States. Transition is very ambitious work, but by offering the two-day Training for Transition, as well as various educational webinars and conference calls, they are helping to build the necessary leadership capacity to make relocalization in this country possible. Transition US also serves as hub for Transition activity in the United States. It is the one place where hundreds of active Transition Initiatives across America can go to find out what is happening in the movement, and it is where new initiatives can find ample guidance about how to begin. In my experience, the staff of Transition US have always been pleasant and helpful and their website is an excellent resource. Finally, Transition US has set an excellent tone for Transition in this country. It has done so by encouraging grassroots participation in nominating board members and cultivating a diverse board. It has invited feedback and celebrated the accomplishments of Transition Initiatives everywhere. The tone it has set is clear, inclusive, positive, and focused. I don't know if I have any constructive feedback at this point other than: keep up the good work!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Several members of Transition Cotati worked together to create greater community connection with a local university. We collaborated on planning and envisioning what was possible, had several conversations with the person in charge of community engagement and developed a written plan of action. In part, this initiative served to inspire a university-based sustainability conference that served to connect numerous environmental non-profits with professors of a wide range of disciplines to explore what was possible. It has been a sincere pleasure to work with the thoughtful and collaboratively engaged people who share the common vision of sustainable future.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Transition is one of the greatest initiatives because it's so positive. Amidst the gloom and doom that seems so pervasive elsewhere, Transition holds a number of events that bring communities together in learning how to take forward-looking steps toward increasing community resilience. I've worked on various projects with them, including bicycle skills workshops, reskilling workshops, climate action events, educational films, and others. It's been great!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 4

We began here in Santa Cruz a little bit before Transition US was established, based on the inspiration of the Transition Towns in England. It has been thrilling to build a Transition Initiative here. Even though progress seems slow, when compared to the urgency and importance of the tasks before us, I can think of no more flexibly rewarding way to move forward than doing Transition among friends here in my own town. The Transition US nonprofit has done a stellar job in supporting Transition Initiatives, with their friendly availability to offer help on the phone or by email, their webinars, which are always on point, and increasingly, their online resources.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

The worldwide Transition Town movement is making vital contributions to empowering local communities to turn toward sustainable lifestyles and re-localize essential human needs. For over a year, I've been working with the steering committee of Transition Town Ashland (Oregon). I've come to value and admire the outstanding work Transition US. They gather and share information from Transition Initiatives all across the country and the world, including solutions to problems and best practices. They publish a valuable monthly online newsletter. They produce and host excellent Webinars. And that is just a partial listing of their services. Transition US is a very high-quality operation, doing crucially important work.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I joined the Transition Sebastopol group after 25 years of developing a sustainable community based farm. I tend to be a person who likes to show by example so the Transition model resonates with me, especially the reskilling aspect. Transition is a hopeful model of moving towards a society where the community are conciously choosing to live in a way that is more gentle on the planet and more connected. I am finding that people in the local community are getting involved because they feel good about the approach this model promotes along with the feeling that each individuals thoughts and feelings are recognized.

5

Donor

Rating: 5

The staff at Transition US is what makes this organization so valuable to me. Their support as our Initiative has grown has been unwavering. The webinars and conference calls are a welcomed addition to the website, trainings and personal advice they offer. As Transition Anderson moves forward, I know Transition US will be there for us for support, guidance and resources.

5

Former staff

Rating: 5

I fully embraced the Transition model both personally and professionally when I realized it had the capacity to move us from a sense of doom and gloom to a personal and community sense of creative exploration, of new ways of seeing our possibilities, and of giving our best to ourselves and each other. The Transition approach honors each participant by valuing every way of thinking and perceiving, and listening to every voice. It offers an adaptive whole-systems approach to perceiving the complex challenges facing humanity, questions our underlying assumptions that keep us mired in object-oriented ways of thinking and perceiving; and most importantly, offers the adaptive whole-systems design methodology of Permaculture as a simple model to guide us in our creation of resilient, relocalized community systems. These gifts, along with the ability to network our ideas and results locally and around the world as we explore what works and doesn't work within each bioregion, make the Transition model profoundly appropriate to our times. Transition US has constantly and successfully adapted itself to meet the needs of those participating in the Transition process, learning as it goes just as those participating in the individual Transition initiatives do.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

We have been now officially a Transition town since late 2008. For this past year, along with showing awareness raising films, talks, open space, honoring our elders and many other transition programs, we participated in our town's rewriting of the environmental sections and other pertinent sections of our Town Comprehensive Plan, and have achieved getting our government's sponsorship of Permaculture and Transition education listed in our Comp Plan that will guide the next ten years. We are a small town of 2000 very active creative and civic minded people and will soon embark on helping our town draft an EDAP reinforced town readiness for emergency plan.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This grass roots organization has the capability to change the world. I am involved with Transition Laguna Beach. We are getting a tremendous response to our outreach program. We recently showed the movie Fresh and we were shocked when 300 people showed up. Our Grand Unleashing is May 15...at this rate we may get 500 people. People are anxious for change and the Transition movement is clearly striking a chord. Start one in your town!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I graduated from New College of California in Santa Rosa in 2001 and went to grad school at New College of California in San Francisco. I got a Permaculture Design Certificate from the first Earth Activist Training in the NW Sonoma County forest taught by Penny Livingston-Stark and Starhawk. After grad school, I came back to Texas, the biggest CO2 polluter in the country by so much that if Texas were a country it would be the 6th worst CO2 polluter in the world. It's also a Deep Red state, #49 in school funding in the US, just ahead of Mississippi. No state-supported college teaches ecology unless you're a Biology major. Then you get biological ecology, ecology neutered by left-over modern reductionism. Texas is the front lines of the fight to reclaim the future. I organized Transition in Austin once but the Libertarians tried to get control of it and attend to the elements of the system rather than the system itself, so I organized the current Hub group and we have six Transition Towns coming along. Recently, we held our first Training for Transition, T4T, and had twenty six enrolled until eight flaked right at the last. Eighteen showed up, and we had a wonderful time of it. Transition Austin is a different being now. I think we're really on the path now. Our trainers, Zaida Amaral and David Johnson, came from Transition US. They helped us over a hump in our development. I was amazed at how good they were. We're going to have another T4T then have a Training for Trainers and train the trainers who will train most Texans in Transition. It could not happen without Transition US. I'm grateful for them. They've been supportive all the way, and get moreso all the time, as they add ways to help to the website.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working on these issues since before the movement matured enough to organize itself. Mostly I still work at the grass roots level, but it is wonderful to have a resource that allows us to learn about and from each other. I constantly refer people to the website, which has filled a very important need. I also really enjoy and appreciate the monthly newsletter. It is so important to be inspired when we are working on such difficult and depressing topics.