Top Environmental Organizations by Employees

Environmental education, energy conservation, or natural resource conservation programs employ the most people, often 100-4000 employees
Beach cleanup by Brian Yurasits at Unsplash

The environmental organizations that employ the most people have between 143 and 4,091 employees, and tend to run environmental education, energy conservation, or natural resource conservation programs (among other types of environmental organizations). The more popular environmental organizations — Nature Conservancy, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, etc. — are present, but the realm of environmental nonprofits is much larger than just environmental advocacy. And geographically these top environmental organizations are distributed throughout the country, with states like Minnesota, Colorado, and Montana having a disproportionate presence.

Trends among the top environmental organizations

States with the most large environmental organizations

StateNumber of big environmental orgs
California
 
14
 
Virginia
 
9
 
New York
 
9
 
Massachusetts
 
9
 
District of Columbia
 
8
 
Minnesota
 
5
 
Ohio
 
4
 
North Carolina
 
4
 
Colorado
 
4
 
Pennsylvania
 
3
 

List of the top environmental organizations

  1. The Nature Conservancy
    Employees
    4,091
    Revenue
    $1.1 billion
    EIN
    53-0242652
    Website
    Year founded
    1951
  2. Foundation for California Community Colleges
    Employees
    3,939
    Revenue
    $68 million
    EIN
    68-0412350
    Year founded
    1998
  3. Alliance for Sustainable Energy
    Employees
    2,866
    Revenue
    $546 million
    EIN
    26-1939342
    Location
    Year founded
    2008
  4. Wildlife Conservation Society
    Employees
    2,796
    Revenue
    $255 million
    EIN
    13-1740011
    Location
    Website
    Year founded
    1895
  5. Student Conservation Association
    Employees
    2,605
    Revenue
    $37 million
    EIN
    91-0880684
    Website
    Year founded
    1964
  6. Conservation Legacy
    Employees
    2,043
    Revenue
    $28 million
    EIN
    84-1450808
    Location
    Year founded
    1998
  7. American Conservation Experience
    Employees
    1,621
    Revenue
    $21 million
    EIN
    37-1473291
    Year founded
    2004
  8. Coastal Villages Region Fund
    Employees
    1,357
    Revenue
    $54 million
    EIN
    92-0156736
    Year founded
    1992
  9. National Audubon Society
    Employees
    1,161
    Revenue
    $157 million
    EIN
    13-1624102
    Location
    Year founded
    1905
  10. National Outdoor Leadership School
    Employees
    1,095
    Revenue
    $25 million
    EIN
    83-0204184
    Location
    Website
    Year founded
    1965
  11. Sierra Club
    Employees
    1,033
    Revenue
    $156 million
    EIN
    94-1153307
    Location
    Year founded
    1892
  12. New York Public Interest Research Group Fund
    Employees
    980
    Revenue
    $2.7 million
    EIN
    13-2876109
    Location
    Website
    Year founded
    1976
  13. Natural Resources Defense Council
    Employees
    868
    Revenue
    $197 million
    EIN
    13-2654926
    Location
    Website
    Year founded
    1970
  14. Massachusetts Audubon Society
    Employees
    867
    Revenue
    $37 million
    EIN
    04-2104702
    Location
    Year founded
    1896
  15. The Trustees of Reservations
    Employees
    812
    Revenue
    $88 million
    EIN
    04-2105780
    Location
    Year founded
    1891
  16. Environmental Defense Fund
    Employees
    785
    Revenue
    $200 million
    EIN
    11-6107128
    Location
    Website
    Year founded
    1967
  17. Appalachian Mountain Club
    Employees
    760
    Revenue
    $35 million
    EIN
    04-6001677
    Location
    Year founded
    1876
  18. George Washington's Mount Vernon
    Employees
    752
    Revenue
    $66 million
    EIN
    54-0564701
    Year founded
    1853
  19. Wurstfest
    Employees
    686
    Revenue
    $5.2 million
    EIN
    74-1590351
    Year founded
    1964
  20. Ducks Unlimited
    Employees
    678
    Revenue
    $185 million
    EIN
    13-5643799
    Location
    Website
    Year founded
    1937
  21. World Wildlife Fund
    Employees
    677
    Revenue
    $286 million
    EIN
    52-1693387
    Year founded
    1960
  22. World Resources Institute
    Employees
    622
    Revenue
    $159 million
    EIN
    52-1257057
    Website
    Year founded
    1982
  23. Great Basin Institute
    Employees
    614
    Revenue
    $15 million
    EIN
    88-0431016
    Location
    Year founded
    1999
  24. Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
    Employees
    575
    Revenue
    $60 million
    EIN
    94-2781708
    Year founded
    1981
  25. Greenpeace
    Employees
    563
    Revenue
    $35 million
    EIN
    52-1541501
    Year founded
    1987
  26. National Arbor Foundation
    Employees
    516
    Revenue
    $83 million
    EIN
    23-7169265
    Location
    Year founded
    1971
  27. National Geographic Society
    Employees
    481
    Revenue
    $70 million
    EIN
    53-0193519
    Year founded
    1888
  28. Pheasants Forever Incorporated
    Employees
    475
    Revenue
    $67 million
    EIN
    41-1429149
    Year founded
    1982
  29. Conservation International
    Employees
    424
    Revenue
    $159 million
    EIN
    52-1497470
    Year founded
    1987
  30. National Wildlife Federation
    Employees
    397
    Revenue
    $82 million
    EIN
    53-0204616
    Location
    Website
    Year founded
    1939
  31. Rocky Mountain Youth Corps
    Employees
    374
    Revenue
    $3.4 million
    EIN
    84-1483022
    Year founded
    1999
  32. The Trust for Public Land
    Employees
    367
    Revenue
    $141 million
    EIN
    23-7222333
    Website
    Year founded
    1972
  33. GrowNYC
    Employees
    363
    Revenue
    $19 million
    EIN
    13-2765465
    Location
    Year founded
    1970
  34. Lake Junaluska
    Employees
    356
    Revenue
    $12 million
    EIN
    56-0547461
    Year founded
    1938
  35. Montana Conservation Corps
    Employees
    356
    Revenue
    $7.0 million
    EIN
    81-0467431
    Location
    Year founded
    1990
  36. Semcac
    Employees
    354
    Revenue
    $14 million
    EIN
    41-0907135
    Location
    Website
    Year founded
    1966
  37. Calleva
    Employees
    330
    Revenue
    $6.6 million
    EIN
    52-2082054
    Year founded
    1999
  38. National Wild Turkey Federation
    Employees
    324
    Revenue
    $33 million
    EIN
    57-0564993
    Website
    Year founded
    1973
  39. Trout Unlimited
    Employees
    323
    Revenue
    $70 million
    EIN
    38-1612715
    Website
    Year founded
    1959
  40. Grid Alternatives Affiliates & Subsidiaries
    Employees
    314
    Revenue
    $32 million
    EIN
    81-4042787
    Location
    Year founded
    2013
  41. Chesapeake Bay Foundation
    Employees
    298
    Revenue
    $37 million
    EIN
    52-6065757
    Website
    Year founded
    1966
  42. NatureBridge
    Employees
    295
    Revenue
    $15 million
    EIN
    94-2145930
    Year founded
    1971
  43. Vermont Energy Investment Corporation
    Employees
    292
    Revenue
    $121 million
    EIN
    03-0304418
    Location
    Website
    Year founded
    1986
  44. Kupu
    Employees
    285
    Revenue
    $8.6 million
    EIN
    51-0652665
    Location
    Year founded
    2007
  45. Citizens Campaign for the Environment
    Employees
    284
    Revenue
    $1.9 million
    EIN
    11-2717326
    Year founded
    1985
  46. NH Lakes
    Employees
    277
    Revenue
    $1.0 million
    EIN
    22-2668396
    Location
    Year founded
    1992
  47. Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs
    Employees
    277
    Revenue
    $21 million
    EIN
    95-4116679
    Year founded
    1994
  48. Nature's Classroom
    Employees
    273
    Revenue
    $4.6 million
    EIN
    04-2621656
    Location
    Year founded
    1977
  49. Georgia System Operations Corporation
    Employees
    265
    Revenue
    $81 million
    EIN
    58-2231207
    Location
    Website
    Year founded
    1997
  50. Rocky Mountain Institute
    Employees
    261
    Revenue
    $61 million
    EIN
    74-2244146
    Location
    Website
    Year founded
    1982
  51. Voyageur Outward Bound School
    Employees
    257
    Revenue
    $3.6 million
    EIN
    41-0877459
    Location
    Website
    Year founded
    1963
  52. Tree Trust
    Employees
    252
    Revenue
    $4.7 million
    EIN
    41-1291626
    Location
    Year founded
    1976
  53. Chewonki Foundation
    Employees
    252
    Revenue
    $7.4 million
    EIN
    01-0269460
    Year founded
    1917
  54. Earth Island Institute
    Employees
    252
    Revenue
    $16 million
    EIN
    94-2889684
    Location
    Year founded
    1982
  55. Teton Science Schools
    Employees
    251
    Revenue
    $14 million
    EIN
    83-0219163
    Location
    Year founded
    1974
  56. IslandWood
    Employees
    250
    Revenue
    $6.1 million
    EIN
    31-1654076
    Year founded
    1999
  57. Trail Blazer Camps
    Employees
    246
    Revenue
    $2.1 million
    EIN
    13-1771421
    Location
    Year founded
    1887
  58. Johnny Morris' Wonders of Wildlife Foundation
    Employees
    244
    Revenue
    $36 million
    EIN
    82-2342237
    Year founded
    2017
  59. Center for Sustainable Energy
    Employees
    241
    Revenue
    $305 million
    EIN
    33-0936366
    Year founded
    2000
  60. The Wilds
    Employees
    240
    Revenue
    $6.6 million
    EIN
    31-1113570
    Location
    Year founded
    1984
  61. National Ability Center
    Employees
    238
    Revenue
    $8.0 million
    EIN
    94-3025807
    Year founded
    1986
  62. Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
    Employees
    233
    Revenue
    $21 million
    EIN
    25-1053485
    Year founded
    1932
  63. Puerto Rican Action Board
    Employees
    221
    Revenue
    $12 million
    EIN
    22-1944440
    Website
    Year founded
    1971
  64. The Conservation Fund
    Employees
    220
    Revenue
    $221 million
    EIN
    52-1388917
    Year founded
    1985
  65. Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art
    Employees
    210
    Revenue
    $6.8 million
    EIN
    51-6020908
    Year founded
    1967
  66. Southern Environmental Law Center
    Employees
    206
    Revenue
    $39 million
    EIN
    52-1436778
    Year founded
    1985
  67. Southern California Mountains Foundation
    Employees
    203
    Revenue
    $5.6 million
    EIN
    33-0556414
    Year founded
    1992
  68. Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa
    Employees
    202
    Revenue
    $95 million
    EIN
    98-0513530
    Website
    Year founded
    2007
  69. Friends of the High Line
    Employees
    199
    Revenue
    $20 million
    EIN
    31-1734086
    Location
    Year founded
    2000
  70. North Carolina Outward Bound School
    Employees
    199
    Revenue
    $4.3 million
    EIN
    56-0857708
    Website
    Year founded
    1966
  71. Stark County Community Action Agency
    Employees
    196
    Revenue
    $14 million
    EIN
    34-1320658
    Location
    Website
    Year founded
    1980
  72. National Parks Conservation Association
    Employees
    194
    Revenue
    $40 million
    EIN
    53-0225165
    Website
    Year founded
    1919
  73. Friends of the Forest Preserves
    Employees
    192
    Revenue
    $2.7 million
    EIN
    36-4519273
    Location
    Website
    Year founded
    1998
  74. Slipstream Group
    Employees
    190
    Revenue
    $50 million
    EIN
    39-1356152
    Location
    Year founded
    1980
  75. Energy Federation
    Employees
    188
    Revenue
    $23 million
    EIN
    04-2790398
    Website
    Year founded
    1982
  76. The New Haven Ecology Project
    Employees
    187
    Revenue
    $5.4 million
    EIN
    22-3171185
    Year founded
    1991
  77. Oceana
    Employees
    186
    Revenue
    $38 million
    EIN
    51-0401308
    Website
    Year founded
    2001
  78. Conservation Corps of Long Beach
    Employees
    185
    Revenue
    $5.8 million
    EIN
    33-0293393
    Year founded
    1987
  79. Strategic Energy Innovations
    Employees
    185
    Revenue
    $4.8 million
    EIN
    68-0404081
    Website
    Year founded
    1997
  80. Hale Reservation
    Employees
    182
    Revenue
    $3.0 million
    EIN
    04-2111550
    Location
    Year founded
    1930
  81. International Fund for Animal Welfare
    Employees
    178
    Revenue
    $31 million
    EIN
    31-1594197
    Website
    Year founded
    1998
  82. Camp Joy
    Employees
    178
    Revenue
    $4.3 million
    EIN
    31-0672822
    Year founded
    1937
  83. Center for Energy and Environment
    Employees
    177
    Revenue
    $15 million
    EIN
    41-1647799
    Website
    Year founded
    1989
  84. Ceres
    Employees
    177
    Revenue
    $24 million
    EIN
    22-3053747
    Location
    Website
    Year founded
    1990
  85. Wilderness Society
    Employees
    175
    Revenue
    $39 million
    EIN
    53-0167933
    Year founded
    1937
  86. Dollar Energy Fund
    Employees
    170
    Revenue
    $21 million
    EIN
    25-1442933
    Year founded
    1983
  87. Find Outdoors
    Employees
    168
    Revenue
    $3.2 million
    EIN
    56-1302500
    Year founded
    1972
  88. Defenders of Wildlife
    Employees
    166
    Revenue
    $34 million
    EIN
    53-0183181
    Year founded
    1947
  89. Community Action Partnership of Strafford County
    Employees
    166
    Revenue
    $12 million
    EIN
    02-0268636
    Location
    Year founded
    1965
  90. Ecology Action of Santa Cruz
    Employees
    162
    Revenue
    $21 million
    EIN
    94-2584236
    Website
    Year founded
    1979
  91. Chattahoochee Nature Center
    Employees
    160
    Revenue
    $2.8 million
    EIN
    58-1275604
    Location
    Year founded
    1976
  92. Cornerstone Community Action Agency
    Employees
    160
    Revenue
    $6.5 million
    EIN
    75-1230663
    Location
    Year founded
    1965
  93. Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center
    Employees
    158
    Revenue
    $8.0 million
    EIN
    04-3027900
    Location
    Year founded
    1988
  94. Eagle's Nest Foundation
    Employees
    155
    Revenue
    $3.0 million
    EIN
    56-6009912
    Website
    Year founded
    1948
  95. Elevate Energy
    Employees
    154
    Revenue
    $28 million
    EIN
    36-4443093
    Location
    Year founded
    2001
  96. Grid Alternatives
    Employees
    152
    Revenue
    $16 million
    EIN
    26-0043353
    Location
    Year founded
    2002
  97. Miami Valley Community Action Partnership
    Employees
    146
    Revenue
    $14 million
    EIN
    31-0709198
    Location
    Year founded
    1965
  98. Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission
    Employees
    144
    Revenue
    $10 million
    EIN
    39-1468447
    Location
    Website
    Year founded
    1983
  99. Pacific American Foundation
    Employees
    143
    Revenue
    $1.8 million
    EIN
    54-1696134
    Location
    Website
    Year founded
    1993
  100. Keep Indianapolis Beautiful
    Employees
    143
    Revenue
    $3.4 million
    EIN
    31-1005792
    Website
    Year founded
    1980

Methodology

Cause IQ digitizes and cleans electronic and paper / scanned Form 990s for over 400,000 IRS-registered tax-exempt organizations. We narrowed these to environmental-related organizations, excluding nonprofits that are botanical gardens and pet-focused. Specifically, we are looking at organizations classified within these following NTEE codes, or their subordinates: C30, C50, C60, and D30.

Article originally published on January 22, 2020.

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