Like many organizations, Laguna Canyon Foundation operates on a fiscal, not calendar, year. That means July 1st each year is a fresh start, and a time for us to set goals and budgets for the next year. When we consider the seasons of our work, and the timeliness of both our habitat restoration projects and our education program, it makes sense that we spend the summer gearing up, planning, and getting ready for the busy fall and winter.
Last year, we set some internal goals for ourselves. We focused on ‘battening down the hatches,’ streamlining our systems, structuring our technology, and organizing our staff to operate more efficiently and effectively.
I’m proud to say we accomplished much of what we set out to do! I know this might not sound like the most exciting work LCF has ever taken on, but launching a new time management and payroll system actually makes a huge difference in our ability to focus on our mission.
This year, our focus is on SMART development. These goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely) focus on growing our programs in the right way. Not growth just for the sake of getting bigger, but growing in impact to further our mission. Specifically, we’re working on board development, strategic planning, and strengthening our diverse programs. We will restore even more of Aliso Creek and Laguna Canyon, and continue to protect our sensitive habitats through sustainable fuel modification. After a two-year hiatus, our education program will be back in full force, hosting 2500 Title I students on 50 field trips (crossing our fingers the pandemic continues to ease!). We’ll also build back our volunteer base, growing the core crew of people who make our work possible.
Of course, a huge part of the behind-the-scenes is financial. How are we able to move our mission forward, and keep the doors open? We depend on a variety of income streams, ranging from our annual fund donors to large restoration contracts. As you can see from the charts here, the majority of our income comes from four basic areas: contributions from people like you, restoration contracts, estate gifts, and foundation grants.
One of our key priorities is to make sure those income streams are well-balanced, so if we have a tough year in one, we’re balanced in the others. That allows us to weather ups and downs, like the current downturn in the stock market.
While it’s not quite as fun as looking at photos of coyote puppies, our financial health is one of the most important parts of my job. It allows us to continue protecting Laguna Canyon, and our surrounding open space, and ensures that we’re carefully stewarding your generous donations.
Thanks for all you to protect our open space. Here’s to another year, and another field season, in our wilderness!