The Nature Conservancy

  • Nature, Animals & Parks
  • 1951

The Nature Conservancy has more than 1 million contributing members and is the largest environmental charity in the U.S. measured by revenue (nearly a billion dollars in 2015, mostly donations of land or cash) and assets. In addition to working with private owners to protect land in all 50 states it has also expanded to more than 35 countries overseas. The group is the national leader in popularizing conservation easements, debt-for-nature swaps, land trusts, and other voluntary and market-based techniques for preserving land. The conservancy’s success and expansion, which has put more than 120 million acres under long-term protection, stems from four factors: A commitment to practical, non-confrontational solutions. A rooting of actions in good science (the group employs hundreds of staff scientists). Creative and flexible management of lands under its protection (in some cases permitting timbering, mining, or gas and oil drilling). And assiduous, productive partnering with land owners, indigenous communities, businesses, governments, and fellow nonprofits.