Grants for natural resource conservation nonprofits

3,241 natural resource conservation organizations received at least $551.5 million in grants for the most recent fiscal year. This includes 8,898 grants made from 3,981 grantmaking organizations, with a median grant amount of $1,000. Of these 3,981 foundations, 60% made just a single grant to conservation orgs, and 11% made grants to four or more conservation orgs. This analysis is based on grantmakers that e-file their Form 990s, and likely is an undercount of grants.
$551,508,727
Total grant dollars given to natural resource conservation nonprofits
8,898
Number of grants made annually to natural resource conservation nonprofits
3,981
Number of grantmakers funding natural resource conservation nonprofits
$1,000
Median grant size to natural resource conservation nonprofits

Foundations that support natural resource conservation organizations

Out of all grants made to natural resource conservation nonprofits, 81% came from small foundations with less than $10 million in assets. The top 10 grantmakers accounted for 77% of the dollar-value of grants to conservation orgs. Foundations funding conservation orgs also made grants to land conservation groups, water and wetland protection organizations, animal shelters, international humanitarian organizations, and environmental education programs.

Foundation size

Foundation sizeNumber of grantmakers
Small
 
3,260
Medium
 
457
Large
 
264
Small foundations have <$10M in assets. Medium foundations have $10M to $50M in assets. Large foundations have >$50M in assets.

Foundation type

Foundation typeNumber of grantmakers
Community
 
79
Private
 
3,554
Corporate
 
174
Other
 
174

Grants made

Grants made to conservation orgsNumber of grantmakers
1
 
2,414
2-3
 
1,091
4-10
 
413
11+
 
63

Top 10 foundations supporting natural resource conservation organizations

GrantmakerStateGeographic focusPercent of grant dollars to conservation orgsNumber of grants made to conservation orgsMedian grant size
Seattle FoundationWAState0.3%191$1,000
Shell Oil Company FoundationTXNational0.5%112$400
The Rhode Island FoundationRIMetro0.4%105$1,000
Abbvie FoundationILNational0.1%87$200
JP Morgan Chase FoundationNYNational1.2%86$250
Clif Bar Family FoundationCANational8.8%77$3,500
Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee (CFMT)TNMetro0.2%75$1,000
Salesforce Com FoundationCANational0.2%71$100
Community Foundation of Greater Des MoinesIAState0.2%62$651
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)NJNational0.0%61$375

Natural resource conservation organizations grantees

Natural resource conservation nonprofits with more than $5 million in total revenues received 94% of all grant dollars. These larger organizations accounted for 46% of all conservation orgs.

Grant amounts

Size of grantNumber of grants
<$10k
 
8,841
$10k-$25k
 
0
$25k-$100k
 
0
$100k+
 
57

Grant amount by grantee size

Grantee annual revenueMedian grant size
<$100k
 
$1,000
$100k-$500k
 
$1,000
$500k-$1M
 
$1,500
$1M-$5M
 
$1,000
>$5M
 
$1,000

Grantee states

State of granteeNumber of grants
District of Columbia
 
1,172
California
 
1,096
New York
 
991
Virginia
 
655
Other
 
4,984

Grantee metros

Metro area of granteeNumber of grants
Washington DC
 
1,791
New York City
 
847
San Francisco
 
605
Boston
 
246
Other
 
4,076

Top 25 grants made to natural resource conservation nonprofits

GranteeGrant sizePurposeGrantmaker
Sierra Club$79,006,516Environmental EducationSierra Club Foundation
Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)$56,250,000Agricultural DevelopmentBill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Walker Basin Conservancy$47,985,925FMVNational Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)
The Nature Conservancy$42,482,096Various ConservationNational Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)
Sixteen Thirty Fund$33,013,025Capacity BuildingNew Venture Fund
Sixteen Thirty Fund$33,013,025Capacity BuildingNew Venture Fund
Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)$15,000,000Toward the Costs of Implementing Its New Strategic Approach To Inclusive and Integrated Agricultural Transformation in AfricaRockefeller Foundation
Walker Basin Conservancy$12,544,151CashNational Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)
Walker Basin Conservancy$12,544,151Various ConservationNational Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)
Natural Resources Defense Council$7,516,450Daf - EnvironmentCombined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston
Sixteen Thirty Fund$7,342,000Clean Slate ReformChan Zuckerberg Initiative Advocacy
National Audubon Society$7,100,224Various ConservationNational Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)$7,009,315Daf - EnvironmentCombined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston
The Conservation Fund$6,664,480Various ConservationNational Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)
Resources Legacy Fund$6,655,000Conservation and ScienceDavid and Lucile Packard Foundation
The Nature Conservancy$6,378,340Civil Rights, Social Action, AdvocacyHopewell Fund
The Trust for Public Land$6,012,250EnvironmentSilicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF)
Open Space Institute (OSI)$5,681,501Conservation ActivitiesThe Nature Conservancy
Windward Fund$5,550,000For the Women and Climate FundWilliam and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Sierra Club Foundation$5,005,010Daf - EnvironmentCombined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston
The Nature Conservancy of California$5,002,185Wildlife/environmentCraig and Susan McCaw Foundation
Stowe Land Trust$5,002,000Gen. PurposeVermont Community Foundation
The Nature Conservancy$5,000,000In Support of A Strategic Alliance With Environmental Defense Fund To Advance Climate Solutions.John D & Catherine T Macarthur Foundation
Sierra Club Foundation$5,000,000To Support the "beyond Coal" Campaign.John D & Catherine T Macarthur Foundation
Renew Oceans$5,000,000Project GrantsAlliance To End Plastic Waste
Methodology: To determine grants and grantees, Cause IQ analyzes electronically-filed Form 990, Form 990-EZ, and Form 990-PF financial disclosure documents, matching grantees to specific organizations using EINs and fuzzy matching logic. The "Natural resource conservation nonprofits" category for this page is determined by the "C30: Natural Resources Conservation and Protection" National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE) code. Cause IQ determines NTEEs for organizations by its own internally-developed secret-sauce algorithms.