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Inside the Outdoors Foundation

 200 Kalmus Dr., P.O. Box 9050
 Costa Mesa, CA 92628
[P] (714) 708-3889
[F] (714) 662-8716
[email protected]
Lori Kiesser
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA --
Former Names Orange County Outdoor Science School and Environmental Field Study Foundation (2006)
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Employer Identification Number 33-0373014 00000


Mission StatementMORE »

The Mission of the Inside the Outdoors Foundation is to provide financial, educational, and advisory support to the Inside the Outdoors Science Study Programs. Inside the Outdoors programs empower students, teachers, parents and the community through hands-on educational experiences in the natural world to expand their knowledge, understanding and stewardship of the environment. 


Mission Statement

The Mission of the Inside the Outdoors Foundation is to provide financial, educational, and advisory support to the Inside the Outdoors Science Study Programs. Inside the Outdoors programs empower students, teachers, parents and the community through hands-on educational experiences in the natural world to expand their knowledge, understanding and stewardship of the environment. 


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2020
Projected Expenses $687,800.00
Projected Revenue $687,800.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Inside the Outdoors programs

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

The Mission of the Inside the Outdoors Foundation is to provide financial, educational, and advisory support to the Inside the Outdoors Science Study Programs. Inside the Outdoors programs empower students, teachers, parents and the community through hands-on educational experiences in the natural world to expand their knowledge, understanding and stewardship of the environment. 


Background Statement

Inside the Outdoors empowers students, teachers, parents and the community to explore natural areas and increases their knowledge, understanding and stewardship of the environment. Founded in 1974, Inside the Outdoors has helped bring science and environmental education concepts to life for generations of children – more than 3 million in all – through nature’s classroom.
We offer Traveling Scientist, Field Trip ,and Service-Learning programs that teach environmental education aligned with California curriculum standards. Each year, more than 120,000 K-12th grade students, teachers, parents and community members connect with nature through the hands-on lessons of an Inside the Outdoors program.
In all, Inside the Outdoors offers four programs:
· Field Trips – Students visit one of 15 sites to experience and interact with science, health and social-science. They experience hands-on lessons as they become water droplets to learn about water quality, as they do leaf rubbings to learn about the makeup of plants and how they grow.
· Traveling Scientist – Students get hands-on lessons from a naturalist in a small, in-class session. Natural and physical science concepts come to life for students – who may, for instance, not only learn about the parts of a spider but get to pet a tarantula.
· Service-Learning – A hands-on multiple experience community service program focused on the real life application of STEM principles.
· Community Programs – Students, their families and community members connect to nature through outdoor education programs, including an Astronomy and Stargazing Family Hike, Get Outdoors OC! and Summer Day Camp.
Inside the Outdoors is a recognized leader in science and environmental education. We have received numerous awards, including: the 2008 and 2015 California School Board Association’s Golden Bell Award for academic excellence and the 2008 and 2011 California Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award for children’s education. Our community partnerships have been highlighted in the corporate reports of The Walt Disney Co., Disneyland Resort and Boeing.

Impact Statement

Since it was founded in 1974, Inside the Outdoors has:
· Served more than 3,500,000 students, teachers and community members, providing hands-on lessons in nature’s classroom, awakening students’ innate curiosity and bringing new understanding to concepts that students of various learning styles might struggle with in the classroom.
· Provided a broad range of learning opportunities to students in grades K-12, through our four programs – Field Trips, Traveling Scientist, Service Learning, and Community Programs.
· Led the formation of a Youth Stewardship Council made up of high-school students, allowing them to take science lessons and create action plans to restore wetlands, clean-up beaches, build recycling programs and tackle other projects setting the foundation for them to become environmental stewards and, perhaps, pursue science careers.
Each year, Inside the Outdoors delivers 150,000 hours of STEM education and engages over 120,000 students in hands-on learning. With continued funding, Inside the Outdoors will:
· Continue to lead the way in providing schools-based Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education that is engaging and accessible for tens of thousands of students in grades K-12, making science both fun and understandable.
· Reach out to more students in low-income neighborhoods so that they can participate in one of our programs and improve their science knowledge regardless of their financial situation.
· Provide Community and Service-Learning programs that allow students – and family and friends – to continue to discover and learn outside of the classroom, improving understanding and changing habits that will improve the environment and make them happy, healthier and smarter, along the way.

Needs Statement

Inside the Outdoors’s staff is proud of its 45-year+ history as a leader in providing hands-on science and environmental education to thousands of students annually. Our program is administered by the Orange County Department of Education, which ensures top-notch curriculum and the highest levels of student safety and care.
Inside the Outdoors programs, however, are completely self-sustaining and receive no taxpayers funds to operate. The Inside the Outdoors Foundation works hard to establish strong partnerships with corporations and other private funders to ensure that any child who wants to participate in our programs can do so.
Unfortunately, more than 60 percent of the students who participate in one of our programs require a sponsorship to attend. Inside the Outdoors Foundation is looking for financial help that goes directly to sponsoring students to attend one of our programs:
· $25 Will send 1 student on a Field Trip program
· $100 Will provide a Traveling Scientist program for an after-school program
·$500 Will provide a Family Science Night for 100 children and families
· $1,000 Will send 30 students on a class Field Trip
· $5,000 Will provide youth leadership training for 100 afterschool youth

CEO Statement

Board Chair Statement


Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer

Inside the Outdoors welcomes donations through our website, which gives supporters the chance to give "gifts with purpose" such as sending a single student or an entire class to one of our science programs. We are pleased to explain more about our programs for anybody who has interest in learning more or in donating time, money or in-kind materials. Please contact us at 714-708-3885.

Geographic Area Served

West Orange County
Central Orange County
South Orange County
North Orange County

Orange County, California. Also counties of Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Organization Categories

  1. Education - Elementary & Secondary Schools
  2. Environment - Environmental Education
  3. Science & Technology - Physical & Earth Sciences



Inside the Outdoors programs

Field Trips: K-12 students travel to local parks for day-long, hands-on environmental education

Traveling Scientist programs: Scientists visit schools to teach interactive environmental awareness
Service-Learning projects: participating students use STEM concepts to address environmental issues in their local communities and implement campus-wide projects, such as a recycling program or school garden.
Community programs: Families participate in stewardship education and activities at area parks and camps.  
All ITO programs support the California Content Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. 
Budget  2,200,000
Category  Education, General/Other Elementary & Secondary Education
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) General/Unspecified Hispanic, Latino Heritage
Program Short-Term Success  Students who attend Inside the Outdoors programs demonstrate a change in attitudes and behaviors related to becoming better stewards of their environment. After participating in programs such as "Project Zero Waste," in which students learn to reuse and recycle rather than throw away trash, students demonstrate a commitment to change behaviors, including making pledges to setup recycling bins at home and at school. Students who participate in Service-Learning projects reflect on what they've learned and pledge to pass along lessons on how to be environmental stewards to classmates and family members. Teachers, who often have no time to teach science lessons in the classroom, report that Inside the Outdoors' programs aligned with state standards help students understand and retain science knowledge and prepare them for classroom science tests.
Program Long-Term Success 
Since it was founded in 1974, more than 3 million students, teachers and community members have been positively impacted by an Inside the Outdoors program. With ITO's four current programs, about 120,000 students, teachers and community members participate annually. Through hands-on lessons, students increase their knowledge and understanding of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) concepts and have been shown to increase their understanding of science concepts by up to 27 percent, based on pre- and post-visit tests.
Students who participate in Service Learning through Inside the Outdoors work with professional scientists and engineers and, in some cases, have been inspired to pursue STEM-related careers.
Program Success Monitored By 
Inside the Outdoors programs are routinely evaluated to measure success and make adjustments or create new programs to provide the best programs to meet the goal of providing the best student education and experiences. Participation is tracked through an online registration system.
Increases in knowledge are tracked through pre- and post visit assessments.
Changes in behavior -- such as recycling, water and energy conservation -- are tracked by student reflections.
Program effectiveness is measure through teacher surveys and evaluations.
Examples of Program Success 
Students have showed an increase in science knowledge of up to 27 percent (and an average of a 14 percent jump) after participating in an Inside the Outdoors' programs.
Melody, a sixth grader from Anaheim, said: "I actually felt like I could help our world ... I've become more aware of the environment, more responsible."
Jose, a high-school student at-risk of dropping out, teamed up with a Boeing engineer through Inside the Outdoors to design and build a shade structure to support an outdoor classroom after a previous structure was destroyed by wildfire. With new-found understanding and confidence, Jose reported that he was planning to attend to college to pursue engineering.
Jose's instructor, Mike Gill, said Jose and many other students experienced "aha! moments." They were "significantly more aware of the larger environment in which we all live and, in the process, actively stepped into stewardship roles that served both the community and the environment," he said.


CEO/Executive Director Lori Kiesser
CEO Term Start Dec 2006
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience
Ms. Kiesser has over 12 years of experience working in the area of environmental education and for the past 10 years has served as the Chief Development Officer for Inside the Outdoors.  Ms. Kiesser has experience in program design, management, and fund raising.
Ms. Kiesser is active in state and national environmental organizations, including the Children and Nature Network, North American Association for Environmental Educators, and the National Youth Leadership Council.
During Ms. Kiesser's tenure with Inside the Outdoors, she designed and implemented community and high school Service-Learning programs. These programs have received several awards, including the Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award and the Mesa Green Design Award.

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
Golden Bell California School Board Association 2015
Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award California Governor 2015
Employees Community Fund of Boeing CA Crystal Vision Award Boeing 2011
Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award California Gov. Jerry Brown 2011
Planning Commission Mesa Green Design Award Costa Mesa Planning Commission 2011
Enviornmental Champions Award Sempra Energy Foundation 2010
Best Day Camp, Readers Choice Parenting OC Magazine 2008
Big Heart Award Samueli Foundation 2008
Golden Bell California School Board Association 2008
Governor's Environmental & Economic Leadership Award California Gov. Jerry Brown 2008


Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


Inside the Outdoors collaborates with numerous organizations that share common goals toward educating students and community members to become better environmental stewards. Such organizations include the Orange County Department of Education, Children & Nature Network, California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC), OneOC, OC Waste & Recycling, California Department of Education's Environmental Literacy Initiative, California Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education and Foundation for Youth Investment (FYI).

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 1,000
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --
Staff Professional Development Yes

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: --
Asian American/Pacific Islander: --
Caucasian: --
Hispanic/Latino: --
Native American/American Indian: --
Other: --
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: --
Male: --
Not Specified --

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 2
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan Yes

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A

Government Licenses


CEO Comments


Foundation Comments



Board Chair Gisele Nguyen-Gill
Board Chair Company Affiliation LifOpps, Inc.
Board Chair Term July 2019 -
Board Co-Chair Manny Kiesser
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation The Walt Disney Co.
Board Co-Chair Term July 2016 -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ann Brazill Cox Communications Voting
Tony Bube Ph.D. Retired Educator Voting
Jay M. Carr Wholesale Capital Corporation Voting
Dawn Curtis Inside the Outdoors Voting
Steve Eaton Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) Voting
Manny Kiesser The Walt Disney Company Voting
Kathy Klitzner Abbott Laboratories Voting
Giselle Nguyen Community Volunteer Voting
Brandon Roberts U.S. Bank Voting
Arnold Shugarman Ph.D. Consultant Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --
Lelani Kroeker CLR Marketing NonVoting
Megan Lavender Ink Agency --
Hani Sayed Boeing --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 9
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 4
Male: 6
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 75%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Board Orientation Yes

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments


Standing Committees

  • Advisory Board / Advisory Council
  • Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Endowment
  • Executive
  • Fiscal Affairs


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2019 to June 30, 2020
Projected Revenue $687,800.00
Projected Expenses $687,800.00
Form 990s

2017 Form 990

2016 Form 990

2015 Form 990

2014 Inside the Outdoors Foundation - 990

2013 Form 990

2012 Form 990

Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $430,477 $364,492 $652,983
Total Expenses $429,336 $313,888 $801,758

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$335,846 $339,792 $598,112
Government Contributions $0 $0 $45,676
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- $0 $45,676
Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support -- $0 $0
Earned Revenue $94,317 $23,847 $15,932
Investment Income, Net of Losses $287 $221 $347
Membership Dues -- $0 $0
Special Events -- $0 $0
Revenue In-Kind -- $0 $0
Other $27 $632 $-7,084

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $423,426 $305,635 $796,235
Administration Expense $5,910 $8,253 $5,523
Fundraising Expense -- $0 $0
Payments to Affiliates -- $0 $0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.00 1.16 0.81
Program Expense/Total Expenses 99% 97% 99%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 0% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $225,815 $224,607 $173,787
Current Assets $225,815 $224,607 $171,464
Long-Term Liabilities $323 $256 $40
Current Liabilities -- $0 $0
Total Net Assets $225,492 $224,351 $173,747

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities inf inf inf

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%
Endowment Value $36,000.00
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage(If selected) 0%
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose Capital campaign to purchase new vehicles for our Traveling Scientist program.
Campaign Goal $100,000.00
Capital Campaign Dates July 2019 - June 2020
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount $0.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments

Summary financial data is per the form 990s and consultation with the organization. Foundation/corporate and individual contributions are combined under Foundation and Corporation Contributions. 


Other Documents

Inside the Outdoors (2014)

No Other Documents currently available.