Direct Funding Opportunities

Photo by Mike Baird

Funding Opportunities

You partner with us in supporting the interpretation, education, and volunteer efforts in local state parks when you donate to Central Coast State Parks. You help to assure the legacy of California State Parks when you purchase firewood from your camp host when camping at Montana De Oro, Morro Bay State Park, Morro Strand State Beach, Pismo State Beach, or Oceano State Beach. You create a lasting difference when attending our events and connecting with like-minded people in the community. You maintain our vision for future generations to experience and participate in our programs when you become a member.

We believe parks and public lands are essential to the health and well-being of everyone. As an independent non-profit, we rely heavily on community support and other fundraising activities. Central Coast State Parks Association provides financial support to our local CA State Parks’ educational and interpretive programs. Our regular income comes from the following four sources: retail stores, firewood sales, special program fees and CCSPA membership dues.

When our State Parks have emergent programs, they often need new funding sources. CCSPA encourages donors to consider opportunities to provide funding for the following programs or organizational needs. If any of these funding opportunities interest you, please contact Executive Director, Kristin Howland at 805.548.0391 or for more information.

Program Funding Opportunities

School Groups 2019-20 Transportation Matching Grant

Expected Need: $10,000

For the past five years, CCSPA has received grants and private donations to provide funding towards the transportation costs incurred when school groups travel to our parks for field trips. These trips occur out of the Morro Bay Museum of Natural History, Pismo State Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove, or the Oceano Dunes Visitor Center at Pismo State Beach. The field trips are led by our highly trained docents or State Parks Interpreters, and are free of charge. However, the cost to transport the students to our sites is often prohibitive for many schools. The grants provide a reimbursement for up to 50% of the transportation cost for schools serving lower income and underprivileged students. The 2016-2017,  2017-2018 and 2018-2019 grants were made possible by an anonymous donor who saw the benefit of the original grant and wanted to provide the opportunity again.

Docent Clothing Fund

Expected Need: $2,000+

State Park docents are always recognizable by their blues – blue jackets, shirts, vests, and hats. All docents are required to wear this identifying apparel, however they are also expected to purchase their clothing themselves. Trying to underwrite uniform costs for all of our 200 docents is not feasible. However, we would like to have some clothing available for those docents for whom purchasing these uniforms is a financial hardship. Most of our docents are retirees, and many live on fixed incomes. They selflessly give hours and hours of time to their volunteer work (we have some among them who have earned over 10,000 volunteer hours with us!), and we would like to help make sure that volunteering for our park programs does not create a financial burden on those volunteers. The docent clothing fund would be a restricted fund savings account, used only when a docent expresses a need for financial assistance with their docent clothing purchases.

Photo by Mike Baird

Internal Funding Opportunities

Overhead and operational costs are often the most needed. CCSPA is looking for funding assistance in the following areas to help us do our job more effectively.

Cargo Vehicle

Expected Need: $15,000 –  $25,000

The Central Coast State Parks is seeking a donation of or towards a newer model Cargo Vehicle. In order to fund services and programs, we rely on fundraisers, donations and the support of our members. But our main sources of revenue are our four retail stores: Morro Bay State Park Natural History Museum, Spooner Ranch House, Pismo State Beach Monarch Grove Mercantile Trailer, and the Oceano Dunes Visitor Center.

Our retail operations are successful, but there are many needs and costs associated with running these stores. Currently, our staff is using our own personal automobiles to transport all the merchandise we sell. We are quickly outgrowing our capacity to manage transporting these goods with our own passenger vehicles. Your donation of, or towards, a newer model cargo van will help us succeed in our goals to streamline retail operations and give us a reliable and efficient method of delivering our merchandise as needed.

In return for your support we would like to offer you prime advertising on the vehicle wrap that will beautifully display scenery from the parks we support, listed on all outreach materials as a keystone member and corporate sponsor of the Central Coast State Parks Association.

Sheds for Firewood Program

Expected Need: $14,000 $5,000 (We replaced six so far! Only two more to go.)

Our firewood sales are a large part of our regular income stream. CCSPA sells firewood through the camp hosts at the campgrounds at Morro Bay State Park, Morro Strand State Beach, Montaña de Oro State Park, and Pismo State Beach. We count on our firewood sales to net around $40,000 each year. Unfortunately, the sheds that store the firewood at each camp host’s site are in poor condition and all need to be replaced. Each new shed will cost $2,500.

State Park Interpreter & Docent Continuing Education Fund

Expected Need: $1,000+

As educators, the work of State Park interpreters and docents is continually emerging, and ongoing training is essential. While CA State Parks believes in supporting continuing education for their staff, these are funds that often get cut during tight budgets. CCSPA would like to create an ongoing fund to support the continuing education of our interpreters and docents.

Spokes Training & Facilitation

Expected Need: $1,020

We are fortunate to live in a community that has an organization like Spokes. Formerly the Nonprofit Support Center, Spokes provide resources for everything that a nonprofit could need – from research materials to physical and online libraries, opportunities to connect with other local nonprofit professionals, and much more. Two of the most valuable aspects of Spokes services are their trainings and consultation services. As Spokes members, we have utilized these services as staff and board members, always with excellent experiences and success. We would like to make these trainings available to more of our organization, such as docents, State Parks partners, and new board members. Training classes cost between $20 – $50 per person, and consulting services run at $50/hr. Funding for one annual facilitation (12 hours x $50 = $600) and 12 training classes per year ($35 x 12 = $420) would provide us with a great resource to achieve and maintain organizational clarity, effectiveness, responsibility, and transparency.

Store Displays

Expected Need: $2,000

We have worked hard to provide an excellent selection of items for sale in our retail shops. While the selection is wonderful, these unique and fabulous selections are being displayed on old tables, shelves, and in plastic Tupperware. We need some updated and more appealing display fixtures.

Staffing & Overhead

Additional contributions could be used to help fund a full time Retail Manager to assist the success of our retail operations. We have grown out of our current office space and are looking for a larger office with storage.