The Mt Shasta Avalanche Center functions as a partnership between the US Forest Service and a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization known as Friends of the Mt Shasta Avalanche Center. These entities have partnered through a formal agreement to provide a quality product for the public and affected agencies.
The Shasta/McCloud Ranger District on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest houses and runs the avalanche forecasting operations of the avalanche center. It houses one full-time avalanche forecaster and one professional field observer and provides infrastructure including office space, computers, internet access, phones, vehicles, fuel, safety equipment, and supervision. The forecasters gather avalanche, snowpack, and weather observations then use this data to create and issue avalanche advisories and avalanche warnings. Both employees also function as climbing rangers on Mt Shasta and also teach all the educational components that the avalanche center offers throughout the winter months.
The 501(c)(3) not for profit organization known as Friends of the Mt Shasta Avalanche Center is focused on fundraising to support the financial needs of the program. It consists of a volunteer Board of Directors and a paid Executive Director help run programs and operations. Through its fundraising efforts this group provides much of the funding necessary to cover budget expenses and operations. Expenses paid for by the not for profit include the costs of continuing education and some of the cost of the equipment necessary for the forecasters to operate safely in the field. Fundraising for these expenses is accomplished through the organization of the annual Snow Ball, movie nights, slideshows, the Mt Shasta Ascension backcountry randonee race, by securing sponsorships and grants, as well as by gathering private donations and conducting a membership drive for user support. Additionally, the Board of Directors works jointly with the Tahoe National Forest to make decisions regarding the future direction of the avalanche center that are acceptable to both parties.