California Conservation Innovations: Constituency Engagement Strategy Evaluation

Resources Legacy Fund (RLF) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) that works with philanthropists to conserve land, water, and ocean resources while advancing healthy communities and social equity. For 20 years, RLF has made significant achievements in conservation by partnering with nonprofit organizations that can lead the effort to advance conservation benefits in their communities and beyond. Despite the success that RLF has helped foster, California’s environmental policies, institutions, and natural resources face considerable challenges in the years ahead. Conservation policies and funding have not evolved to reflect the interests of California’s diverse populations.

RLF’s California Conservation Innovations (CCI) program, funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, seeks to address this imbalance to better reflect the needs, values, and faces of the entire state. To accomplish that goal, one of CCI’s three core objectives is to engage younger and more ethnically diverse people in environmental advocacy and leadership. CCI refers to this objective as its constituency engagement strategy.

In the following report, we evaluate the importance and effectiveness of CCI’s constituency engagement strategy. The qualitative and quantitative data laid out in this report are intended to:

1) Define CCI’s grantmaking approach and impact;

2) Help RLF understand the effectiveness of its CCI constituency engagement strategy; and

3) Provide RLF with recommendations to enhance its constituency engagement strategy and further improve upon the impact and durability of the conservation outcomes in which it invests.

Through this assessment, RLF is endeavoring to establish a framework for broader, more intentional constituency engagement both for the future of the CCI program and for grantmaking across the entire organization.