In Spotlights

Christine Sculati is a development consultant and writer for  nonprofits in the Bay Area. The UC Berkeley graduate has run her own business since 2001, helping small- to medium-size non-profits rally support and volunteer engagement. Sculati is an avid outdoors woman and rock climber who also write a blog to highlight ideas, news and resources for nonprofit and community innovation.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I like to help organizations solve tough community problems by effectively engaging people in their causes to offer volunteer and philanthropic support. Currently, most of my work focuses on helping two of my wonderful clients through development director transitions. I have run my own business since 2001.

Before I changed directions in my career to focus on nonprofits and philanthropy, I worked in the private and public sectors as an environmental consultant.  I started interning in this field before I graduated from the environmental sciences program at UC Berkeley and continued on for nine years.  My work ranged from regulation development and oil spill prevention inspections for the Environmental Protection Agency to helping California businesses and nonprofits to prevent pollution and find and implement green business solutions. I wrote proposals, developed budgets and managed projects. I also took a sabbatical to live, volunteer and travel in South America for six months, which likely spurred my eventual career change.

What are some environmental issues that concern you?

A number of environmental issues concern me, but right now the California state parks crisis is on the top of my mind with the date of July 1 looming, by which time parks will close and museum artifacts will be packed up and shipped to warehouses in Sacramento. Last year, 70 parks were slated for closure due to budget cuts. At least 30 of those now have a temporary reprieve, but the whole system is under siege due to under-funding for many years. Proposition 21, which would have helped us rebuild and sustain a world-class state park system in California, failed at the ballot box in fall 2010. My concern is that Californians and youth are becoming increasingly disconnected from the outdoors and environmental issues. Youth, our future environmental stewards, need opportunities to experience the benefits of parks and wilderness areas offer. It is hard to believe, but some urban youth in San Francisco have never been to the beach or seen the Golden Gate Bridge.

How long have you been a WEN member?

I have been an avid reader of the WEN newsletter since 2007. That year I attended my first WEN event and remember being impressed that it was “zero waste” with compostable plant-based utensils, cups, and plates, including vegetarian tamale husks.

What do you like best about WEN?

I really enjoy the newsletter to get a pulse on what is happening in the community of women working in the environmental fields, especially because several members work with nonprofits. Last year, I participated in a couple of great events with inspiring conversation, including a brunch and hike to Tennessee Valley and a craft night and potluck for the holidays.

What are some of your other activities?

When I am not working, I like to spend as much time as possible in the outdoors, experiencing nature, wilderness and adventure with my husband and friends.  One of my favorite places in the world is Yosemite National Park, where I have spent many weekends camping, rock climbing and backpacking.

I also write a blog to highlight ideas, news and resources for nonprofit and community innovation. Since September 2011, I have dedicated that space to follow the current California State Park funding crisis, drawing attention to nonprofit leaders who have stepped up to save our parks and park system. I treasure our state parks and think it is devastating that these beautiful places are endangered.

What is your favorite thing about living in the Bay Area?

The Bay Area has it all – from arts and culture to some of the best places to experience nature and wilderness within a very short distance from urban areas. I also love how bicycle friendly it is here.