EIN 52-1388917

The Conservation Fund

IRS 501(c) type
Num. employees
Year formed
Most recent tax filings
The Conservation Fund is the nation's top environmental nonprofit dedicated to protecting America's most important landscapes and waterways for future generations.
Also known as...
The Conservation Fund A Nonprofit Corporation
Total revenues
Total expenses
Total assets
Num. employees

Program areas at The Conservation Fund

Conservation real estate:conservation acquisition. Since its founding in 1985, The Fund has conserved more than eight million acres across all 50 states with A total appraised value of more than $7 billion, in over 3,400 separate transactions. Conservation acquisition is The Fund's primary business unit for implementing The Fund's strategy of buying land and interests in land for Conservation. This business unit acquires land and interests in land on behalf of government agencies at The federal, state and local levels. It also provides financial and technical assistance to government agencies and to other Conservation organizations to acquire Conservation properties on their own behalf. The Fund does not generally serve as The permanent Conservation steward of The properties it acquires. Instead, The Fund acquires properties deemed priorities by The Fund's partners, holds those properties for interim periods to allow The partners time to secure permanent funding for The acquisitions, and then sells The properties (in whole or in part) to The partners seeking assistance.the Fund uses its own capital for real property acquisitions as well as philanthropic donations, program-related investments, and government grants. The Fund's capital used for acquisitions largely consists of funds from its "revolving Fund," which is made up of charitable gifts, gifts of surplus corporate real estate that The Fund has sold for cash, and accumulated gain on and capital returned from past real estate transactions. Sources of funding for dispositions to partners include federal, state and local government funding programs and philanthropic funds from foundations and private individuals. Once A property has been transferred to The long-term holder and if The Fund is able to recoup its investment, capital is returned to The revolving Fund for use in other real estate transactions, thus "revolving" these funds.working forest Fund. The Fund believes The loss of working forests is The single greatest land Conservation challenge in The u.s. today and A critical aspect of The country's ability to mitigate climate change and support at-risk rural economies. As of december 31, 2019, The Fund has protected approximately 660,000 acres of critical forests in The u.s., securing 154 million metric tons on carbon dioxide equivalent (mtco2e).the working forest Fund business unit is committed to conserving The last of The large intact forests in The u.s. So they remain sustainably managed forests, providing good local jobs, as well as clean water, clean air, habitat for wildlife and outdoor recreation, and critical carbon sequestration capacity to help address climate change. Like The Fund's other real estate activities, The working forest Fund seeks to be an interim owner of these forest assets to facilitate permanent protection through The implementation and sale of Conservation easements and direct sales of The properties to public agencies. The working forest Fund's focus is on large, natural forests with The highest Conservation value and often The highest risk of fragmentation when sold on The open market.by 2060, The u.s. could lose up to 37 million acres of privately held forests to fragmentation or conversion to non-forest uses. To meet profit maximization mandates within 10- to 15-year Fund lifecycles, The investor owners of timber properties frequently over-harvest, break up large forest parcels, and convert forests to development. The working forest Fund seeks to disrupt this pathway of forest loss while preserving The productive value of these working assets and securing The multiple societal benefits working forests generate. The working forest Fund has developed A successful model to acquire, sustainably manage, and permanently protect high Conservation value timberland. As of december 31, 2019, $542.9 million in capital has been deployed in 38 projects to protect approximately 723,000 acres of u.s. timberland. The working forest Fund has fully exited 13 projects, achieving permanent protection of The properties and generating A positive return on The Fund's investment. The remaining projects are being sustainably managed by The Fund or its partners and are awaiting permanent protection through Conservation easements or transfers to public agencies or other Conservation partners.conservation loans. The Conservation loans business unit provides bridge financing and technical assistance to land trusts and other organizations to protect critical natural resources in their communities. Working closely with Conservation acquisition field staff, this business unit addresses an unmet need for bridge financing and provides The Fund with an alternative mechanism for The Fund to achieve Conservation outcomes through assistance to other organizations in lieu of implementing land transactions directly.as of december 31, 2019, Conservation loans have assisted with The Conservation of 158,000 acres through 385 loans in 40 states. The Fund's portfolio of loans made by this business unit had A principal value of $17.7 million as of december 31, 2019.mitigation solutions. In partnership with developers and regulatory agencies, The Fund completes Conservation acquisitions and other projects to offset The impacts on natural resources from construction and operation of energy and infrastructure projects and provides advice on mitigation strategies before and during infrastructure project development. The mitigation solutions business unit helps developers meet regulations and offset construction or operational impacts to sensitive resources. The Fund does not advocate on behalf of infrastructure projects but serves as A bridge between project developers and regulatory agencies to help develop and then implement mitigation plans. To cover core operating expenses, The Fund receives an administrative fee for The Fund's mitigation services. The Fund provides mitigation solutions for The often-unavoidable impacts of infrastructure projects on The following resources: endangered species; migratory birds; bald and golden eagles; aquatic resources; visual and cultural resources; and state and federal lands. Mitigation services have been provided for all seven sectors of major energy and infrastructure development: oil and gas (upstream and downstream), electric transmission, wind, solar, hydropower, and transportation.the Fund's mitigation activities provide private capital to enable its Conservation partners to achieve their priorities. This capital has largely been used as funding for The Fund's Conservation acquisition activity but also has been used on occasion for The Fund's working forest Fund activity. Since The Fund began providing mitigation services in 1998, nearly $250 million has been transferred to The Fund to use over varying time periods to acquire land and interests in land, to complete restoration and/or to take other actions to mitigate for impacts to resources; over half of this amount was spent as of december 31, 2019 on mitigation projects. Additionally, more than 285,000 acres have been protected in 30 states using mitigation funding.
Other Conservation services:conservation services. Conservation services comprises A group of programs dedicated to advancing The dual mission of The Fund by building networks of support for Conservation. These grant-funded and fee-for-service programs focus on impact areas such as sustainable food system implementation, access to land for disadvantaged populations, urban Conservation, rural economic development, water quality/supply protection and enhancement, aquaculture, and climate change adaptation. This business unit includes:conservation leadership network. The Conservation leadership network ("cln") is A team of experts that brings diverse constituencies together to achieve common ground to facilitate results such as revitalized downtowns, comprehensive transportation solutions, small business development, resolution of infrastructure challenges, more livable communities, and support for innovative markets for ensuring water quality. Cln delivers these results through multi-disciplinary course offerings, innovative demonstration projects, regional programs, and sustainability consulting that supports on-the-ground solutions.freshwater institute. The freshwater institute is A research and development facility dedicated to sustainable water use and reuse. This program combines applied research, engineering and economic development skills to show how freshwater resources achieve economic and environmental goals. It works with government, industry, nonprofits and individuals to shape sustainable, environmentally responsible solutions to water resource management, creating innovative solutions to sustainably produce salmon and other cold-water species. Resourceful communities. Resourceful communities involves work with grassroot organizations to create opportunities to preserve rural landscapes and strengthen local economies, primarily in north carolina. Examples include network building and managing grant programs that support eco-tourism, youth Conservation programs, farmers markets and cultural heritage preservation. Resourceful communities also provides A range of training and technical assistance to achieve community goals.strategic Conservation planning. Strategic Conservation planning brings strategic Conservation expertise to communities, government leaders, and industry across The country to achieve The multiple benefits from investing in clean air, clean water, habitat, climate resilience and adaptation, and community livability. Areas on which advice is provided include urban sustainability, food and farmland security, climate resiliency, water resources and strategic mitigation.

Grants made by The Conservation Fund

GranteeGrant descriptionAmount
Lancaster County ConservancyConservation of Natural Resources; Sustainable Economic & Community Development$1,575,000
The Nature ConservancyConservation of Natural Resources; Sustainable Economic & Community Development$1,081,692
Credit Unions Chartered in the State of Tennessee / State of Tn-Dept of Financial InstiConservation of Natural Resources; Sustainable Economic & Community Development$907,500
...and 84 more grants made totalling $5,906,052

Who funds The Conservation Fund

Grants from foundations and other nonprofits
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)Various Conservation$6,664,480
Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift FundFor Grant Recipient's Exempt Purposes$2,224,434
Delaware Community Foundation (DCF)To Support the Final Payment Towards Acquisition and Other Unrestricted Support$1,167,266
...and 119 more grants received totalling $15,681,012
Federal funding details
Federal agencyProgram nameAmount
...and 21 more federal grants / contracts

Personnel at The Conservation Fund

John G. GilbertExecutive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer$354,109
Holly CannonExecutive Vice President and General Counsel
Kelsi EcclesSenior Vice President and Western Director, Conservation
Tom DuffusVice President and Northeast Representative
Will AllenSenior Vice President, Strategic Giving and Conservation Services
...and 32 more key personnel

Financials for The Conservation Fund

RevenuesFYE 12/2020
Total grants, contributions, etc.$80,995,756
Program services$179,378,713
Investment income and dividends$1,275,136
Tax-exempt bond proceeds$0
Royalty revenue$49,222
Net rental income$0
Net gain from sale of non-inventory assets$840,415
Net income from fundraising events$0
Net income from gaming activities$0
Net income from sales of inventory$0
Miscellaneous revenues$0
Total revenues$262,539,242

Form 990s for The Conservation Fund

Fiscal year endingDate received by IRSFormPDF link
2019-122020-12-04990View PDF
2018-122019-12-20990View PDF
2017-122018-10-16990View PDF
2016-122017-09-25990View PDF
2015-122016-11-08990View PDF
...and 7 more Form 990s

Organizations like The Conservation Fund

National Park Foundation (NPF)Washington, DC$89,244,569
New Venture Fund (NVF)Washington, DC$975,483,022
Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE)San Diego, CA$219,508,719
CalstartPasadena, CA$123,376,166
The Energy FoundationSan Francisco, CA$125,609,558
Global ImpactAlexandria, VA$115,280,034
Easter SealsChicago, IL$72,314,443
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)Washington, DC$347,046,387
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)New York, NY$462,416,393
Energy Trust of OregonPortland, OR$179,219,016
Data update history
August 4, 2022
Received grants
Identified 28 new grant, including a grant for $6,664,480 from National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)
December 16, 2021
Updated personnel
Identified 15 new personnel
September 24, 2021
Received grants
Identified 54 new grant, including a grant for $1,167,266 from Delaware Community Foundation (DCF)
September 6, 2021
Used new vendors
Identified 4 new vendors, including , , , and
August 22, 2021
Posted financials
Added Form 990 for fiscal year 2019
Nonprofit Types
Social advocacy organizationsEnvironmental organizationsHeadquarter / parent organizationsCharities
Energy conservationLand and water conservationEnvironment
LobbyingConservation easementNational levelReceives government fundingTax deductible donations
General information
1655 N Fort Myer Dr Suite 1300
Arlington, VA 22209
Metro area
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
Arlington County, VA
Website URL
(703) 525-6300
Facebook page
Twitter profile
IRS details
Fiscal year end
Taxreturn type
Form 990
Year formed
Eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions (Pub 78)
NTEE code, primary
C34: Land Resources Conservation
NAICS code, primary
813312: Environment, Conservation, and Wildlife Organizations
Parent/child status
Central organization
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