An Organizational Update From CivicWell - CivicWell

An Organizational Update From CivicWell

CivicWell

News

May 30, 2024

This message is to update CivicWell’s friends, supporters, and partners on significant changes happening within the organization. 

Over recent years CivicWell has experienced challenges with our funding streams, fee structure, and financial model. For the last year, our leadership has been working to remedy these issues, but it has become clear that it is no longer feasible for the organization to operate at the level it has been. We have taken immediate action to remedy this situation. 

Over the past few months we have been working to substantially restructure the leadership and administrative teams to improve efficiency and save costs. We have been examining our programs to determine the best path forward with a new administrative structure. During this transition, we are pausing some projects and initiatives and moving some to a new home.

We have a number of incredible partner organizations who are stepping in to shepherd our programs forward, and are honored to work with people—both internally and at fellow nonprofit organizations—who are committed to a strong future for the programs and the work. We anticipate that many of our programs will continue with minimal disruption due to a strong foundation and committed network of partners.

We would like to acknowledge and thank our staff members, including former employees, for their hard work and dedication. We are fortunate to have a team of passionate, inspiring people.

Below you will find updates on specific programs and events. We are working on the details and will share more information as plans are finalized. Thank you for your support.

CivicSpark

CivicSpark will continue to operate without disruption and is moving forward with recruitment for Fellows and partners as scheduled. Partner Applications are due June 7, and Fellow Applications are due June 14. We have received a record number of applications on both sides and have begun the routing process with current applicants.

CivicWell is exploring options for the transfer of fiscal sponsorship of CivicSpark. We are still in the exploratory stages of making this move, and we are hopeful that it will be a seamless transition with minimal impacts on partners and Fellows.

CivicSpark recently reduced staff in order to control expenses, but the financial challenges and staffing changes are expected to be temporary. In a year when many AmeriCorps programs across the country are facing significant program cuts, we have been lucky to maintain mostly stable funding and expect to be able to accommodate approximately the same number of partners and Fellows in California, Colorado, and Washington.

We are on the national waitlist for additional expansion to other states, and we are hopeful that we can operate in at least one more state next year.

California Climate & Energy Collaborative (CCEC) and the CCEC Forum

The 15th annual California Climate and Energy Collaborative (CCEC) Forum will continue as planned. The event will be held June 25-26, 2024 in Palm Springs. We are seeing strong registration numbers and are on track to break our own attendance records. We are excited to gather with several hundred local government staff, elected officials, and community organizations to collaborate and learn.

CivicWell plans to continue managing CCEC, which includes the forum, education through the Local Energy Resources Network (LERN), and coalition work and advocacy through State/Local Energy & Climate Coordination (SLECC). CCEC programming such as the Monthly LERN calls, state policy engagement efforts, and wEEkly newsletter will experience no delays or stoppages.

Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation (ARCCA)

ARCCA is in a strong financial and programmatic position. We are working with ARCCA leadership and partners to find an appropriate new fiscal agent and will share more information as details are finalized. We are working to ensure that ARCCA programming is impacted as minimally as possible.

Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative (CRCRC)

In the coming months, CivicWell staff will be working to transition management and facilitation of CRCRC to our trusted partner and regional leader, Valley Vision.

CivicWell staff is working closely with CRCRC’s Executive and Steering Committees to strategize around this upcoming transition. While this is a significant change, it also provides the opportunity for comprehensive strategic planning to ensure that CRCRC programming is actively supporting and meeting the needs of its members. We are working to ensure that CRCRC programming is impacted as minimally as possible.

Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition (LGSEC)

LGSEC is in a strong financial and programmatic position. We are working with LGSEC leadership and partners to find an appropriate new managing organization for LGSEC and will share more information as details are finalized.

California Adaptation Forum

We hope to hold the 2025 California Adaptation Forum as planned. Details are still being finalized, and we will share more information as soon as possible.

CivicWell Policymakers Conference

We hope to hold the 2025 CivicWell Policymakers Conference in Yosemite National Park as planned. Details are still being finalized, and we will share more information as soon as possible.

Planning, Capacity-Building, and Technical Assistance

CivicWell has a long legacy of providing planning and technical assistance to local governments and their implementation partners, and supporting capacity building in communities. During this transition period we have contacted all of our current partners about the implications of this restructuring for our projects. 

Due to reductions in staff capacity, some of these projects are concluding, and others are having deliverables shifted to to other qualified partners. Several projects are continuing as planned, and others will have adjusted timelines to accommodate the restructuring period. If your community is receiving TA from CivicWell, the project leads at your local civic and community organizations have already been updated on the plan for that engagement.