Faith in established systems has been challenged in recent years. Inviting philanthropic investments in the causes nonprofits champion is important to create the world we’re all dreaming of. In our case, we tell all Coastal Watershed Council donors and partners that we’re accountable, transparent and strategic in all we do. It’s comforting to hear from you that we continue to earn your trust and respect. Now CWC has even more evidence that we’re following best practices and “doing good well.” has awarded CWC a 2021 Platinum Seal of Transparency, the highest possible award.

Guidestar is a leading force bolstering confidence and trust in the nonprofit sector. They offer best practices for public charities to follow and they’ve evaluated CWC’s program metrics, theory of change, strategy documents and IRS filings as part of this rating, along with our staff and board of directors’ practices and policies, equity strategy and demographics. Guidestar’s rating and online profile for CWC improves transparency so that the community knows as much as they can about our river work.

CWC is a leading champion of Santa Cruz’s vision of a healthy, welcoming and fun San Lorenzo River that connects our diverse neighborhoods to nature, a river that is recognized as an attractive and desirable destination for outdoor recreation and reflection. That vision requires enrolling supporters who want to know how their investment is making a difference. CWC’s profile can be viewed on the Guidestar website, along with financials (which we always post on our own website as well), a public charity summary and a Guidestar Charity Check Report.

It takes a bit of time to go through the process of assessing how well we measure up to world class standards for all public charities. This work for people and planet is important, so it’s worth that extra time – and we’re proud to share that the end result of this external assessment is a platinum seal of approval, the highest rating granted by Guidestar. Now back to excellent work for the river and community!

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