All posts by Laura Deaton

T4CI Adds Two New Board Members: Welcome, Sam Goldman and Ryan Cabinte!

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T4CI is delighted to welcome not one but two new additions to our board: Ryan Cabinte and Sam Goldman. They join six other members of the board, rounding out the board’s collective expertise in all matters related to conservation.


Ryan Cabinte is excited to draw on his experience as a strategic consultant and legal adviser to numerous social entrepreneurs and sustainability ventures in providing his insight to the T4CI board. Ryan is currently the Associate Dean of the MPA and Dual Degree Programs at Presidio, also teaching Market Failure and the Regulatory Environment in both degree programs. His academic areas of interest include innovations in corporate structure, law and governance as well as novel approaches to moving capital to mission-driven organizations. Before Presidio, Ryan worked with the Amada Group, an impact investing private equity firm focused on sustainable businesses. He also worked for almost ten years as an environmental and corporate litigator. Ryan is a graduate of Yale University, Boston University School of Law, and Presidio Graduate School.


Sam Goldman brings experience in environmental consultancy, electoral campaigns, and land conservation and T4CI is incredibly pleased to have him join the board. Sam has been the California Program Director for the Conservation Lands Foundation since 2011. Previously, Sam coordinated California wilderness campaigns for the Wilderness Society for four years. He worked to help pass the Omnibus Public Land Management Act, which protected 2.2 million acres of wilderness across the country. Sam is active in the Jewish community and serves on the board of Wilderness Torah and is a member of the Wexner Heritage Program. A graduate of Bates College and Green Corps, field school for environmental organizing, Sam is an avid backcountry skier, hiker, and loves exploring remote regions of California and the West.


Project News: Maven’s Notebook wins award at California Water Policy conference

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CWP-AwardA big congratulations to Chris Austin, who won an Award of Merit at the California Water Policy conference this past weekend.

Chris’ blog, Maven’s Notebook, is the premier compendium for all you’d ever need to know about California water policy, including the science behind the headlines. In Chris’ own words, she’s “dedicated to creating the crazy-best, the most informative, and the most useful website on California water issues.” Her readers agree, heralding the blog as a main part of their daily work-related reading, and  a must-read for folks interested in western water issues.

Maven’s Notebook aggregates California water-related news content from other sources including newspaper articles/editorials, press releases, blogs, legislator statements, research journals, and academic institutions. But wait, there’s more! She supplements the news with original and detailed coverage of agency meetings, legislative hearings, and seminars and conferences. Maven’s Notebook focuses on the major planning processes currently underway such as the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan, as well as the activities of the State Water Resources Control Board, the Delta Stewardship Council, and the California Water Commission.  The blog also follows statewide policy issues, such as groundwater, the water bond, and other state and federal legislation, and the latest developments in Delta science.

We are so proud to count Maven’s Notebook among T4CI’s many innovative projects and excited for Chris’ accomplishment!

Learn more about Maven’s Notebook here.


T4CI welcomes Ocean Outcomes!

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O2 boat

T4CI is proud to welcome Ocean Outcomes (O2) as a new project partner. Ocean Outcomes’ mission is to improve the sustainability of commercial fishing by teaming up with fisheries to implement science-based improvements to management, supply chain policy, and other business practices. Working on the ground in fisheries in Japan, Russia, and the Pacific Northwest, O2 is dedicated to educating commercial fisheries in the tangible economic benefits of instituting sustainability measures industry-wide.

Ocean Outcomes have implemented several successful projects prior to joining T4CI, from protecting wild salmon with the help of one of the world’s largest chum fishery to fighting salmon poaching in eastern Russia. O2’s vision of a world with healthy aquatic ecosystems, a plentiful and profitable wild seafood supply, and thriving fishing communities is something we can all aspire to help create and T4CI is excited to partner with O2 to help accomplish that.

Learn more about Ocean Outcomes:

Welcome, Climate Communities International!

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batumi bikeshare 2The Trust for Conservation Innovation is excited to announce the addition of Climate Communities International (CCI) to our conservation community, specifically addressing Environmental Education, Outreach, and Advocacy. CCI directly empowers university faculty and students to design and carry out local solutions through peer networking; partnering with other universities, international experts, and donors; and the acquisition of skills and resources necessary to address climate-related impacts in their communities. CCI is instilling college students with a passion for taking action against climate change and providing them with the tools to accomplish those goals, and we are so proud to have them as a project partner.

Learn more about Climate Communities International here

Welcome, Allison McAndrew!

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allisonWe’re very pleased to welcome Allison McAndrew, who joined our team this week as the Trust for Conservation Innovation’s Marketing and Administrative Coordinator. Allison will be taking on TCI’s day to day operational duties as well as managing our marketing efforts, with a specific focus on social media presence.
Allison comes to us originally from Rochester, NY but has lived in the Bay Area for almost three years. She is a graduate of Williams College and Northeastern University School of Law. A Jill-of-all-trades, she has worked as a Task Rabbit, bartender, and office manager of a Bitcoin exchange. In her free time, Allison is a local standup comedian and contributor to the Savage Henry Independent Times, a comedy magazine based in Humboldt County, CA.

A Greener World/Animal Welfare Approved is hiring for a Development Director

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Position Announcement
Development Director
Near Any Major Airport or West Coast

A Greener World welcomes applications for the position of Development Director, available immediately.

About A Greener World and Animal Welfare Approved

With so much negativity around our food systems, A Greener World serves as a beacon of positive change, presenting real-life farming models and practical guidance on achieving truly sustainable livestock farming systems. Our evolving mission has two key components: (1) to identify and promote agricultural systems that have a positive impact on the environment, society, and animals and (2) to educate today’s consumers about the environmental, animal and social outcomes of their food purchasing decisions, using trusted farm certification to help reconnect consumer and food producer.

Serving as a key advisor to organizations on system development and food animal production, A Greener World also offers world-class farm certification via its internationally-recognized Animal Welfare Approved certification. This has been achieved by focusing on encouraging—and demonstrating the rewards of—farm management changes that have a positive impact on the environment, society, and animals, and by walking a very clear policy line. We are extremely proud of our reputation among farmers and the wider food industry as a pragmatic farming-based organization driven by practical science, and whose farm standards are grounded in the everyday reality of farm life.

A Greener World is a project of the Trust for Conservation Innovation (T4CI), a nationally-recognized nonprofit that incubates and accelerates program capacity for local, regional, national and global initiatives that conserve and protect a sustainable and resilient world.

The Position

A Greener World has reached an inflection point where we are preparing to diversify and scale both our certification programs and our technical assistance/consulting services. We seek an experienced Development Director who can be an integral part of taking us to the next level. Reporting to and working in close collaboration with the A Greener World’s senior leadership, the Development Director will design and execute a comprehensive development strategy for A Greener World. The Director of Development will first be charged with oversight and executive of ongoing and new fundraising efforts to support its 20-person staff and $3.7M annual budget.  As success is achieved, the Development Director will also form and manage A Greener World’s development team.

Key Responsibilities

  • Design development strategy for A Greener World: Work with the management team to identify funds needed, desirable funding targets, and strategy/approaches
  • Fundraising: Conduct research, prospecting, and applications to multiple donor sources
  • Manage capital campaigns, engaging and overseeing capital campaign firms as necessary
  • Oversee ongoing development efforts
  • Build a robust donor base: Develop and maintain key long-term relationships with donors and prospects
  • Communicate and train: Train and mentor staff and communicate fundraising goals and progress throughout the A Greener World team.

The Ideal Candidate

You are a skilled and savvy development generalist with a solid reputation as a collaborative team player. With a thorough knowledge of all of the key elements of development and fundraising, you will feel at home in a lean nonprofit work environment, yet be comfortable navigating within larger institutional structures and hierarchy. Key personal attributes include: results‐orientation, the ability to move self‐confidently through uncharted waters, and a desire to be part of an evolving and growing organization.

You are also an experienced fundraiser with proven ability and a record of success, together with a reputation for honesty, fairness, and high ethical standards in all aspects of your professional work. Since this position is both strategic and tactical, you are equally comfortable when rolling up your sleeves to write a grant proposal as you are coaching senior leadership on successful major donor approaches.

Specific Requirements

Development/Fundraising Guru: Proven success in nonprofit development for similarly-sized nonprofits across multiple donor channels, including building effective online crowdfunding campaigns.

Always-On Networker: Takes initiative and actively seeks, at every turn, to deepen current donor relationships and to forge new ones. Opportunistically lives and breathes the mission 24/7/365. Understands that business development, fundraising, and donor stewardship are essentially intertwined.

Consummate Communicator and Influencer: Skilled in both listening closely and creating powerful, compelling written and oral communications for fundraising. Ability to convey complex ideas through brief, simple materials. Convinces others using both data and emotions and creates win-win donor opportunities. Experienced and credible spokesperson when presenting to diverse external audiences.


Please send a compelling cover letter and resume that describes your interest in this position, your relevant qualifications and experience, your availability and your salary requirements (please don’t just say “negotiable”). All applications will be treated in confidence. Applications will be accepted until position is filled. Applications can be sent to

T4CI provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws.


TCI welcomes the nationally recognized “Animal Welfare Approved” program

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The  Trust for Conservation Innovation (TCI)  and the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) are pleased to announce that the Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) program has officially become a program of TCI’s “A Greener World” project, effective November 1, 2014.

“Promoting high welfare, animal-sensitive standards of animal husbandry in farming is a major objective of the Animal Welfare Institute,” said Cathy Liss, president of AWI. “As an organization with a long history pioneering standards for high-welfare farming practices, AWI developed the Animal Welfare Approved program, establishing standards predicated on the principle of fitting the farming system to the animals, rather than the animal to the system.  The program has since flourished. Today, Animal Welfare Approved has come to be the most highly regarded food label in the nation in terms of animal welfare, with an increasing number of farmers, exceptionally high standards that are continually evolving, and a growing team of well-trained, knowledgeable staff and consultants.”

TCI is a nationally recognized nonprofit that incubates and accelerates program capacity for initiatives that conserve, protect and sustain a resilient world. TCI’s portfolio includes projects in sustainable food and agriculture systems, wildlife conservation, energy efficiency and urban infrastructure, marine and fisheries conservation, and conservation technology. Serving as an umbrella organization, TCI provides a cost-effective, shared administrative backbone that includes comprehensive human resources and financial management, insurance and risk management, grants administration, fundraising support, and fiduciary oversight.

AWA will continue its groundbreaking work in auditing and certifying farms according to the highest welfare and sustainability standards as part of TCI’s “A Greener World” project.  “A Greener World” seeks to define and support sustainable agriculture in the broadest sense, educating today’s consumers about the environmental and social outcomes of their food purchasing decisions, and using robust and trusted farm certification to help reconnect food producers and consumers. As part of “A Greener World,” AWA will build on its success in certification and educational outreach, while expanding to offer even more resources to farmers and consumers. AWI will remain an important ally of the project and will have representation on the AWA Advisory Board, which provides oversight for the program’s standards and operations. 

“This is an exciting time for the AWA program and our community of famers,” said Andrew Gunther, program director of AWA. “TCI will provide us with essential financial, administrative, and legal support, allowing us to focus our energies on what we do best. As we explore new areas of growth for our certification program, we look forward to continued collaboration with AWI. We are grateful for the stewardship provided by AWI over the past eight years, and for the encouragement they are giving us as we enter the next phase of our growth plan.”

The Animal Welfare Approved logo is a trademark of the Animal Welfare Institute and is licensed to the Trust for Conservation Innovation for the exclusive use of the Animal Welfare Approved program, a program of A Greener World.

Project News Trifecta: Olazul, Zero Foodprint and Food Commons

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iStock_000019152453_MediumIt’s always exciting when our projects are recognized for the innovative work they do.  This week brought a trifecta of good news.

On Tuesday, October 14th, Olazul was featured at National Geographic for their pioneering work on seaweed aquaculture as an option for creating sustainable ocean livelihoods that drive fishery reform. Olazul works with vulnerable fishing communities to create new ocean-based jobs that reduce poverty and support conservation. Learn more about Olazul.

On Thursday, October 16th, Zero Foodprint was recognized in an article on the front page of the SF Chronicle about the coming launch of The Perennial restaurant, which will be an laboratory for sustainable practices that drive environmental impact.  Co-Owner Anthony Myint serves on Zero Foodprint’s advisory board and is a driving force behind the project’s focus on helping restaurants reduce their carbon footprints. Learn more about Zero Foodprint.

Also on Thursday, Pete Russell, the founder of Ooooby published “A Call to Arms: In Defense of Our Food” on Huffington Post.  The article references Food Commons as an example of a pioneering organization with an ownership and governance model based on principles like fairness and transparency.  Learn more about Food Commons.

TCI is proud to support our innovative projects as they conserve and protect a sustainable and resilient world.  Learn more about all of TCI’s projects here.

Not Your Mother’s Nonprofit: Leveraging Fiscal Sponsorship in an Impact-Focused World

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We were honored to be invited to facilitate a panel of awesome entrepreneurs at last month’s SOCAP14 conference held around the corner from us at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. Our session was titled “Not Your Mother’s Nonprofit: Leveraging Fiscal Sponsorship in an Impact-Focused World” and featured four project leaders who talked about the benefits leveraging fiscal sponsorship to support their nonprofit work.  We’ll recap what our entrepreneurs had to say in our second “Not Your Mother’s Nonprofit” post, but first we wanted to share our introduction about about the many different kinds of projects that are exploring fiscal sponsorship:

Different Ways that Entrepreneurs Leverage Fiscal Sponsorship

“The Placeholder” – Undecided about which model to choose or unsure where your early support may come from? Choosing fiscal sponsorship can allow you to leverage early donations or “angel” funding from family and friends (or yourself) while ensuring tax deductibility. It can also allow you to test interest from foundation funders for early stage proof-of-concept or pilot project work.

“The Kickstarter” – Want to be a 501c3 but have funding opportunities now that can’t  wait for 2+ years? This is the traditional use of fiscal sponsorship as a temporary 501c3 structure prior to IRS approval. Can be a follow-on model to a Placeholder if the choice of structure is 501c3.

“The Backbone” – Have no desire to ever run board meetings, oversee admin/finance/HR, go through financial audits, and file state and local tax returns? Many projects are choosing fiscal sponsorship as a long-term cost-effective solution that allows them to exclusively focus on raising funds and building out their programs and team.

“The Asset Protector” – Want to make sure that other corporations without a double bottom line don’t get their hands on your intellectual property down the road? Do your R &  D work in tandem via a sponsored project without having to run a separate side-by-side nonprofit with complex compliance rules. You may even be able to leverage pro bono resources like legal help with patents and licensing.

“CSR in a Box” – Want to run a for-profit business and start donating a percent of your proceeds to fund related nonprofit work down the road without creating a separate foundation or fund now? Set up a fiscally-sponsored project and your for-profit company can make tax-exempt donations to the project. When you’re ready, those tax-exempt donations can be used to fund related charitable activities.

“Switzerland” – Need a neutral place to house a coalition, network, or collective impact project that involves a variety of stakeholders? A fiscal sponsor can serve as a home for coalition or network staff and avoid perceived favoritism or control by any one organization while also not competing for funding with any specific stakeholder.

These are just a few of the types of projects that are fueling our growing project portfolio at TCI.  Let us know if you can think of others ways that both for-profit and nonprofit entrepreneurs could benefit from fiscal sponsorship!



Welcome to the Grumeti Community and Wildlife Conservation Fund!

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TCI is pleased to welcome the Grumeti Community and Wildlife Conservation Fund to our growing portfolio of Habitat and Species Conservation programs! Based in Tanzania, the Grumeti Fund works to safeguard and enhance Africa’s Serengeti ecosystem in the Singita Grumeti reserve.  Grumeti Fund’s programs are diverse and include habitat protection, anti-poaching activities, fire management, the prevention of invasive species that threaten the native ecosystem, environmental education, and natural resource conservation.  Grumeti Fund also supports surrounding communities by helping them meet basic needs through the development of clean water systems and by fueling sustainable jobs and resource-based enterprises.

Founded by seasoned international conservationists, the Grumeti Fund is a Tanzanian non-governmental organization.  In the United States, the Grumeti Fund is sponsored by TCI and tax-deductible contributions received by TCI are regranted to the Grumeti Fund to support their charitable work.

Learn more about the Grumeti Fund.