Become Part of the Foundation of SCA

In addition to yielding a more resilient natural world, SCA programs provide youth and young adults with opportunities to develop their social, emotional, and leadership skills. Independent studies have shown SCA programming significantly strengthens participants’ self-confidence, decision-making, and other life skills that foster optimal advancement. At the same time, our hands-on service-learning projects nurture green job readiness and foster a lifelong ethic of stewardship.

SCA’s programs are informed by research and analysis as well as 60+ years of working with youth from all backgrounds as we support them in accessing the natural environment, increasing their commitments to community, and preparing them to enter the eco-workforce. The American Institutes for Research has featured SCA’s program design in a brief on the science of learning and development and our Theory of Change as illustrated by the image below.

Funding from foundation partners not only provides critical support for SCA programs, it also affords strategic investments to build capacity, enabling SCA to continuously improve its program offerings and provide uniquely transformative experiences for the young people we serve. Below is a select list of projects and initiatives supported by SCA foundation partners:

  • Develop and codify SCA’s program framework based on research from related fields, such as service learning, environmental education, and developmental psychology
  • Scale SCA’s urban programs for high school students and provide a pathway into conservation careers for young people of color
  • Embed citizen science that aligns with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) into SCA high school program curriculum
  • Broaden SCA’s approach to equity and inclusion by developing board, staff, youth leader, and member training designed to build shared understanding of systemic inequities as well as issues of race, class, power and privilege
  • Training to promote mental health among youth participants, enhanced mental health situational assessment tools, and mental health incident response skill building

Several of these capacity-building initiatives were highlighted in a case study by the Blue Sky Funders Forum.


The accomplishments and educational experiences of SCA’s young participants result from the investment our funders make in their potential to become future conservation leaders. We are grateful for this support, which is instrumental to our success. We invite you to join a distinguished list of SCA supporters.

Lead foundation partners include:

  • S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation
  • The JPB Foundation
  • The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
  • Helen Gurley Brown Foundation
  • Pisces Foundation
  • National Park Foundation
  • Keta Legacy Foundation
  • Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation

Please see our latest annual report for a complete list of funders.

For more information about how to partner with SCA, please contact Vice President for Philanthropy Lauren Harnishfeger.

Foundation Partners

Student Conservation Association