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Get Inspired

 6192 Santa Rita Avenue
 Garden Grove, CA 92845
[P] (714) 206-5147
[F] --
[email protected]
Nancy Caruso
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
Employer Identification Number 01-0927185 00000


Mission StatementMORE »

To inspire stewardship and curiosity for the natural world through the exploration of science. 

Mission Statement

To inspire stewardship and curiosity for the natural world through the exploration of science. 

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2019
Projected Expenses $64,000.00
Projected Revenue $130,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Aquaponics: Food for our future
  • Orange County Ocean Restoration Project
  • Science Expeditions

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

To inspire stewardship and curiosity for the natural world through the exploration of science. 

Background Statement

Get Inspired was started in 2009 in an effort to restore the kelp forests of Orange County.  This project, like all our projects, involves the community and students grades 5 through community college. More than 12,000 students have grown animals and kelp in their classrooms and 250 volunteer scuba divers have been involved in our varied projects to restore our healthy kelp forest ecosystem.  We successfully restored the kelp and we are now focused on restoring green abalone and white seabass.  Students raise all these species in specially designed classroom nurseries where they make their own seawater and daily test and adjust the water chemistry to maintain the perfect environment for our organisms.  An intensive hands on STEM program, there is no other program like in the country.  Several of our students have published their own scientific research papers with the Academy of Sciences and many have been "Inspired" to study marine sciences in college and have even come back to volunteer as professionals!   
In addition to hands on classroom STEM curriculum, we also have taken thousands of students to Yosemite, Channel islands, and Joshua Tree National Parks to study ecology and geology.  These AP Environmental Science students participated in our "Science Expedition" trips to learn field research techniques and also conducted field research projects for their classes. 
With STEM as our continued focus, we offer Aquaponics programs in schools to give kids a hands on science and experiential learning opportunity.  Students build and  operate a system designed to grow fish and food crops all in one tank system.  The kids learn biology, engineering, chemistry, and ecology applicable for every grade level AND learn how to grow their own food (we believe this is an essential life skill) .  The fish and food crops are harvested and eaten throughout the school year.

Impact Statement

We have taught over 12,000 students in Orange County to grow kelp, abalone, seabass and food in their classrooms.
This school year, we are educating 1200 students directly in their classrooms through our Ocean Restoration Projects and our Sustainability Projects.  Sixth through twelfth grade students and college students at OCC rare raising green abalone and white sea bass in classroom nurseries which are used to restock coastal kelp forests.  We restored these kelp forests over the last 15 years. Students care for the animals in custom built growing systems while learning all about their ecology and biology.  Our sustainability project allows students to learn to grow their own food using Aquaponics.  In this program, students grow crops and food fish together in the same fish tank.  The fish waste fertilizes the plants.  It is a great hands on science learning tool and introduces students to healthy eating and growing your own food.  This type of farming uses 90% less water than traditional methods.  We also started "KelpFest" in Laguna Beach to educate the public,  with 20 educational and interactive booths and a mission to "foster an appreciation for the kelp forests", each year we had over 2000 in attendance. Get Inspired also conducts  research expeditions to Yosemite, Joshua Tree National Parks, and 5 locations in Orange County, as well as underwater research expeditions to the Channel Islands.  Through these programs students learn to do REAL research.  We have had over 2000 kids participate. Some have gone on to actually publish their research.  Our annual "whale hugging" expedition to Baja California continues to introduce families to the majesty of the gray whale and the ecology of Baja. We have been leading these trips for 7 years.
Next year, we hope to continue our school programs but to expand to 3 additional schools and to continue to grow and restock the threatened green abalone and white sea bass.  We currently have more than 2000 baby abalone (1cm up to 2" is size) growing at public aquariums and schools in the area which will be restocked in the ocean along Orange County.

Needs Statement

  • $36,000 for salaries
  • $2,000,000 for a 10 year project to restore Green Abalone Populations
  • $130,000 to build 12 classroom nurseries

CEO Statement

Get Inspired is driven by passion and operates on purpose.  Directed from the passion and purpose of the Executive Director, all of our programs have meaning and make a direct positive impact on the environment and our participants.  They are meant get people involved in solutions not tell them about our problems.  All of our programs make a difference and it is our hope that people are compelled to continue their engagement in the work through their passion..

Board Chair Statement


Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer

Volunteer opportunities are available. To donate you may click on our Paypal link under "donate" on our website or mail checks to 6192 Santa Rita Ave Garden grove, CA 92845

Geographic Area Served

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

Orange County, CA
We have worked in 56 different schools in Orange County. 

Organization Categories

  1. Environment - Environmental Education
  2. Education - Elementary & Secondary Schools
  3. Animal Related - Wildlife Preservation & Protection



Aquaponics: Food for our future

Students learn the farming technique called aquaponics using fish and water to grow crops for food.  Fish provide everything the crops need to grow with out soil and using 90% less water than gardening in soil.  And they can do it all in their classroom.
Budget  28,000
Category  Environment, General/Other Environmental Education
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short-Term Success 

Schools are harvesting food and weekly feeding their students.

Program Long-Term Success  25 schools have participated and still run the systems in the classrooms
Program Success Monitored By 

Students running the system, growing their own food, designing and building their own systems.

Examples of Program Success  23 schools and 5800 kids!

Orange County Ocean Restoration Project

Get Inspired is dedicated to inspiring stewardship and curiosity for the natural world through the exploration of science.  We have an innovative approach to our mission by involving and engaging the public in ocean restoration projects and getting people out into nature to experience science.  With 17 years of ocean restoration experience in Orange County, we are proposing to restore a species that despite protection for the last 22 years, is not recovering and needs help. To do this, we have launched our Green Abalone Restoration Project.  This project  includes collaboration with five public aquariums, hundreds of volunteer divers, 30,000 children growing them in their classrooms, and will educate millions of people about the story of our abalone and how we nearly overfished them all in one human lifetime.  We hope that this story will not only help the abalone but will raise the consciousness of our communities to understand the fragile balance in our ecosystems and that they can all individually and collectively can make an impact.


Budget  $80,000.00
Category  Environment, General/Other Marine Conservation
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults
Program Short-Term Success 

We are testing out 4 new abalone nurseries in  classrooms.

We just delivered 150 seabass to 800 students in 5 schools and they are living and well.  The students have learned to make their seawater, test the water chemistry and care for the fishes health.
We are monitoring the Orange County coast by doing juvenile abalone surveys in every tidepool in the county.  We have trained over 100 volunteers to help us do this work.
We have over 2000 baby  abalone that we have spawned and will be outplanted along our coast.
We have 4 abalone spawns planned for this year. 
Program Long-Term Success  Over the last 17 years we have restored Orange County's kelp forests with the help of  10,000 students, 250 adult volunteers. We are also raising white seabass in 5 schools and releasing them twice per year. There are more than 3,000 students involved with that.
Program Success Monitored By 

Annual Results:

-#released fish
-education of 2000 students per year to do hands on restoration
-training 100 new volunteers per year
-successful spawns of green abalone 
Examples of Program Success 

restoration of an ecosystem one species at a time

students who were involved in  the project  over the last 17 years, now coming back to volunteer as actual marine biologists
Kelpfest - A Laguna Beach Festival was created by Get Inspired 
Published, peer reviewed, research paper on our abalone outplanting pilot project.
1020 White seabass released by students.  

Science Expeditions

Science Expeditions- aims to get kids outside the classroom learning real field science.  Designing research and carry it out.
Budget  69,000
Category  Science & Technology, General/Other Biological & Life Sciences
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Program Short-Term Success 
Students walk away from the program understanding research from the formation of a question, to methods design, and analysis to the final research paper.
Program Long-Term Success 
This program is in it's 3 year and has served 400 students.  It is student funded.
Program Success Monitored By 
Program completion and the research poster night held to display their science to the world.
Examples of Program Success 
We have had many successes


CEO/Executive Director Nancy Caruso
CEO Term Start Apr 2009
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience Founder

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
Steward of Nature - The Nature Conservancy 2015
100 Most Influential People in Orange County OC Register 2014
My Hero Foundation My Hero Award - 2013
Earth Month Hero Wyland Foundation 2012
Commitment to Education/ Ocean Science Leadership Award Quicksilver/USC 2011
Ocean Hero Award Oceana 2011
Neighborhood Excellence Initiative Award Bank of America 2010
100 Most Influential People in Orange County Orange COunty Register 2004


Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


CA Dept Fish and Wildlife

Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute

62 different schools in LA and Orange County
Orange Coast College
Cal State Fullerton
Cal State Long Beach
The Cultured Abalone
The Ocean Institute
Pennington Marine Lab
Cabrillo Aquarium
CA Science Center
Catalina Sea Ranch
Concordia University 

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 1
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 100
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100%
Staff Professional Development --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 100
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 100
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 10
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy --
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? No
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency No --
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency -- --
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency -- --

Government Licenses


CEO Comments


Foundation Comments



Board Chair Nancy L Caruso
Board Chair Company Affiliation Get Inspired
Board Chair Term Nov 2009 - Nov 2010
Board Co-Chair Thomas Caruso
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation none
Board Co-Chair Term Nov 2009 - Nov 2010

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mrs Barbara Baxter child advocate and attorney Voting
Gail Bebee retired Voting
Nancy Caruso no affiliation Voting
Mr Thomas Caruso small business owner Voting
Mr Steve Doucett teacher Voting
Mr Travis Garwick teacher --
Mrs Cheryl Martynec retired accountant --

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 7
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 4
Male: 3
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 95%
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



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2019 to Dec 31, 2019
Projected Revenue $130,000.00
Projected Expenses $64,000.00
Form 990s

2017 990

2016 990

2015 990

2014 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 $113,339 $128,984 $170,326
Total Expenses $60,474 $31,959 $77,274

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$113,339 $128,984 $120,604
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- $49,722
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $53,713 $18,503 $51,033
Administration Expense $6,761 $13,456 $26,241
Fundraising Expense -- -- --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.87 4.04 2.20
Program Expense/Total Expenses 89% 58% 66%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 0% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $282,942 $230,077 $133,052
Current Assets $282,942 $230,077 $133,052
Long-Term Liabilities -- -- --
Current Liabilities -- -- --
Total Net Assets $282,942 $230,077 $133,052

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 --
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage(If selected) --
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Capital Campaign Purpose To restore green abalone populations along the Southern California Coast
Campaign Goal $2,000,000.00
Capital Campaign Dates Jan 2016 - Jan 2026
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount $340,000.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

CEO Comments

We have a launched a 10 year project to restore populations of Green abalone along the coast of Southern California.  We will involve 36,000 kids ( growing them in their classrooms) and 200 volunteers ( to outplant them) in this effort and educate hundred of thousands through our displays and nurseries in five Public Aquariums.

Foundation Comments

Summary financial data is per the form 990 for 2013 and compiled financials for 2011 and 2012 as well as consultation with the organization. 


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.