Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Nature Conservancy, Inc.

10,518 pageviews

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Environmental Education, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection

Mission: To preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.

Programs: In today's world, everything is connected. And that is the crux of how we get conservation done. We build on our work at particular sites, taking successful ideas and growing them into coordinated strategies across many places and countries. We integrate our efforts so that policy, funding, training and science all work together.We look at the big picture, taking a global view of the Earth's habitats -- forests, oceans and estuaries, lakes, deserts and grasslands -- and the major threats to those habitats, such as climate change, habitat fragmentation, and invasive species. Yet we are grounded in the places we aim to conserve. In each place we work, our local staffs and partners tailor conservation actions to reflect an area's unique natural, cultural and economic conditions. We take an integrated, ecosystem-based approach that crosses political boundaries. We depend on local partners and stakeholders to identify, support and help implement realistic conservation solutions.By linking our on-the-ground, in-the-water efforts with our global priorities and strategies, The Nature Conservancy creates conservation results built to last.

Community Stories

46 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

I was stunned when I discovered the nature conservancy was supporting the construction of the Obama presidential center, inside of historic Jackson Park, in Chicago, IL. This center features a central building 235 feet in height. There are also four other buildings, this on twenty acres of the park, designed by F.L. Olmsted, on the National Register. This lies directly in the path of the Great Lakes migratory flyway, and is situated up against the park's nature area. The nature area contains an old growth oak savannah ecosystem known to be eight thousand years old, a micorhyzal community. It is one of the best birding sites in the midwest.
What is sad is that other, equal sites for the OPC are abundant on the Southside of Chicago.
I worked, in the past, with the nature conservancy. But no more. These are mostly people who are in it for their salaries.

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Please also bear in mind that The Nature Conservancy has dealings with Investment funds where the individual Investors are goaded by investment returns far higher than what an ordinary person could achieve in the current climate with extremely low interest rates. There is no mention at any of their websites that part of the money finances RoI for a few fund investors, and it very difficult to find any information about this to be able to make the Connection. Their motto seems to be: Let the general public donate and work for free while the investors achieve a healthy financial return.

Review from Guidestar

11

Donor

Rating: 1

I've been a member for at least 30 years, but will now be contributing to other organizations that better share my ideals. Reading reviews going back to 2011, I see a lot of people ending membership because of the then CEO salary of $320k/annum. Seven years later the CEO salary is $730k/annum! WOW! This is supposed to be a charitable organization. Compare this salary to other large green charitable groups. Only 2/3 of contributions go to TNC stated goals, the rest is mostly administrative...like CEO salary. If in 7 years their CEO salary can more than double, they don't need my money. I will definitely reconsider when CEO salary gets more in line with reality and administrative costs drop. I have a feeling if more donors knew about this, more donors would stop donating.

Review from Guidestar

8

Donor

Rating: 1

$59 MILLION IN INVESTMENT LOSSES LAST YEAR!!

How does this happen? Charities are obligated to be great stewards of our precious donations. Not here! They have your and my money invested in risky complex investments that are causing massive investment losses. This has to stop and someone needs to be held accountable. Funds are spread amongst 50 to 60 different investment managers for so -called diversification. This is absurd and makes it impossible to monitor the investments in a safe and sound manner. Please help to force management and the Board to fix this situation.

Review from Guidestar

5

Volunteer

Rating: 1

I had considered past financial donations to , in addition to my previous years of volunteerism and service to assist their paid staffers. After being hounded by them for financial support and subsequently, affter being repeatedly denied full and fair consideration and due process while applying to MANY jobs that I qualified for, I have decided that this organization is NO longer at all worthy of my volunteerism, let alone any financial support, as they continued to deny me full or fair consideration for jobs! Way to go, TNC, including TNC in Northeast region! It seems or appears to yours truly that TNC, its management, including HR and its project leaders and supervisors are ethically and morally bankrupt, or nearly so, and less than grateful or appreciative of ones volunteerism work. All sad and very shameful and pretty woeful too! I'd steer clear of this organization for any contributions and donations. It needs serious top to bottom review, scrutiny and reforms!
Shame on TNC management and its various state chapters. Shame, shame, shame!!!

2 Land_Trust_Accreditation_Commission

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Nature Conservancy is an accredited land trust. Accreditation means The Nature Conservancy meets national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. The Nature Conservancy has demonstrated to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission its commitment to excellence. Accredited land trusts meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. These land trusts demonstrate their commitment to excellence by adopting Land Trust Standards and Practices, the ethical and technical guidelines for the responsible operation of a land trust, and meeting the accreditation requirements drawn from them. Learn More: http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org/about.

Review from Guidestar

12

Donor

Rating: 1

I've removed them from my will. From Wikipedia: "1900 corporate sponsers ... legislation to allow drilling [in the ANWR] is supported by members of the Conservancy leadership council, which consists of members from BP and ExxonMobil, as well as by Phillips Alaska, Inc.". They're mission has clearly been corrupted.

4

Donor

Rating: 1

I was ready to write a check for my annual contribution until I read the review coments.
I agree with the issues of paying too high a salary to the CEO as well as the
cruel results of hunting.

22

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Just a thought regarding salaries. I have worked in the non-profit field my entire career, and in my current employment, the CEO is paid a six-figure salary for managing a regional program with a multi-million budget. This CEO compensation, if compared to the for-profit sector is probably in line, for a national company. Too often, the term "non-profit" seems to equal substandard. You do often get what you pay for. I have had to leave jobs, and seen my colleagues leave great organizations, because they could not feed their families. Obviously, this guy can feed his family, but if he is worth the pay in the private sector, and the job is worth the pay in the private sector, then it is not too much. What he will not likely get, by working in the non-profit world, is large bonuses and similar perks.

5

Donor

Rating: 3

I am not discounting the concerns that many have over the salary of the CEO. Just wanted to provide food for thought. Given how much money this charity has to manage, you may want the best leader you can find and you usually have to pay more to get the best. It could be that this organization is run well because they inveseted more for a top leader. However, the comment about the inhumane practices to deal with non native species sounds horrific to me. If they endorse those practices, that would be a deal breaker for me. Now I wonder if they are not animal sensitive but really more about fighting urban sprawl into wilderness areas. I am a strong animal advocate and maybe this is not the charity for me. Not sure about them now.

Review from CharityNavigator

9

Donor

Rating: 3

I am very aware of TNC's mission and some of the activities, as I have been a donor for many years and follow progress. I am very disappointed to see an excessive salary for the CEO, and while it takes good money to keep good people in such roles, this is a bit over the top. Also, I tire of the wasted $ I donate in going to more and more fund raising mailings. I have noted that this organization, as most all of the non-profits soliciting money, hit you with a mailing for support immediately following receipt of your donation. This is a good trick....that is why I keep spreadsheets now. Bottom line: I will give less to TNC and put $'s elsewhere.

Review from CharityNavigator

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

Count me in as someone who was ready to contribute, until I saw the Director's annual compensation. Are they kidding? I am glad this website reveals this information, it is very informative. Paying someone more than 200K to head a CHARITY is unconsionable.

Review from CharityNavigator

4

Donor

Rating: 1

A good cause but I don't support them any more because they allow hunting on their land and kill
non-native species in very cruel ways like slow strangulation by snare.

Review from CharityNavigator

6 Jerry17

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

Like others who have commented, I was going to donate to Nature Conservancy until I saw the CEO's salary. He likely gets expenses like dinners at fine restaurants to lobby Congress, etc. paid for. I'll donate elsewhere this year.

Review from CharityNavigator

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

I support the work of the Nature Conservancy but cannot support an organization that pays its director almost half a million dollars every year (plus who knows what else). This is way above salaries for the Washington DC area and way way above salaries for non-profit organizations. Surely he could manage on half that salary and use the remaining money for land preservation and conservation!

Review from CharityNavigator

8

Donor

Rating: 1

They never sent the 'Adopt an Acre' gift pack that was supposed to come with the donation. A phone call every few weeks got nowhere. If they can't efficiently and accurately handle a simple mail out, how can I expect them to help with the real issues they are supposed to address? I'm also sick of the mail outs asking for donations. It's a waste of paper and adding to the carbon footprint.

Review from CharityNavigator

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering for this organization when I learned, much to my surprise, that there was a preserve only a few miles from my back door. I was immediately smitten and, as I visited each preserve in northeast Ohio in turn, became even more impressed. More than 10 years and almost 5000 volunteer hours have passed. I'm the volunteer crew chief at my local preserve and still can't get enough! The more we do, the more beautiful the preserves become!

2 Kathleen35

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Very informative, interesting articles that encompass the entire ecosystem. The focus includes all parts of the earth, forests, oceans and wildlife; and there are many articles that show how projects are underway to positively help improve a part of nature that is in trouble. Also the articles include excellent photography that encourages an appreciation for the natural world and wildlife! I like this group for nomination.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

There is no greater service to the Earth than the preservation of our natural resources. Once we have lost the wilderness and wildlife that the Nature Conservancy helps to protect, we will not be able to regain them. As a nation and a species we cannot survive the loss of these resources without irrevocably changing, and I doubt that it will be for the better. The Conservancy is remarkable in the effectiveness and the importance of the work that they undertake.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Nature Conservancy is a top notch organization that hes been engineering innovative methods and solutions for protecting natural areas all over the planet for decades. I have been a member and supporter and online activist for the Conservancy for decades as well, and am proud to have volunteered in Florida at the Wilderness preserve. The Conservancy has been a leader in conservation and been the Gold Standard that many other environmental organizations strive to replicate.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member and supporter of The Nature Conservancy for over 25 years, and have had the privilege of volunteering at one of their preserves. The Conservancy has grown and adapted it's mission as times and conservation ideas have changed and evolved. The sheer scope of the national and worldwide conservation initiatives that the Conservancy has instituted and supported is nothing short of astounding. On the list of the conservacy's successes is a roster of earthly places simple and the sublime. I have never seen an organization do more to preserve nature and biodiversity on our planet.

Paul76

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Imagine standing in the middle of an 1100 acre mounded prairie. It's February. There's a little snow on the ground and it's drizzling. You're dressed for it and only a little cold. Last year's wildflowers are senescent, but wild strawberries are visible, and the evergreen of scotch broom stands out. You're with about a dozen like-minded friends attacking the broom with weed wrenches. There's a group of students from the local college out shooting a documentary, asking questions like, "Why are you out here?" Because I remember the place when it was old-growth broom taller than me. The Nature Conservancy got me connected with this place and the South Puget Sound prairies. It is the persistence of volunteers, fueled by the Conservancy's volunteer organisation, that has made this place a candidate for re-introduction of captive-raised endangered butterflies. That's big. That's why I'm out there.

Donor

Rating: 5

great photos, much aid to protecting entire ecosystems to preserve out wonderful natural heritage.

Janet56

Donor

Rating: 5

Out of the many excellent conservation efforts underway, I have chosen to support the Nature Conservancy above all others. It has been instrumental in obtaining properties in Northeaster Illinois and in facilitating habitat restoration through local public education programs and activities. It has been beautiful to see the return of area wildflowers, birds, and animals that nearly went extinct in my own lifespan of 63 years. In observing the tragic wreckage of hurricanes, tornadoes, dust storms, and earthquakes it may seem that the destruction of life on earth is always dramatic, giant, impactful, and demolishing. Meanwhile, the long-term demise of our entire species is in the almost unnoticeable, slow, and steady decay caused by the habits of humans who often do not even know what they are doing. The Nature Conservancy does a great service on behalf of our planet and ALL of her inhabitants. I hope my review will place the Nature Conservancy's enduring, subtle, humble, and effective efforts in the limelight it deserves. Best regards, Janet Horton, Wonder Lake, IL

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Nature Conservacy keeps us up to date with how improvements are made and can be made to look after our beautiful World and Protect all its Enviroment!!! So proud to have joined them on twitter and will always follow!!! Well done!!! Keep up,the good work guys!!!!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a former employeeof TNC and a current elementary school teacher, I have come to rely on the conservation work done by this org. I always make sure to donate when I have some extra cash. They are a fine examp.le of what a small group of caring individuals can do for or planet. The Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Pawhuska, Ok will always be a bit of heaven on earth for me!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As the founding Pres. of a National Wildlife Refuge Friends 501(c)(3) organization, I greatly appreciate the work that the Nature Conservancy does on behalf of all of us.

4

Donor

Rating: 1

I have The Nature Conservancy named in my Trust. I like what it does. But after seeing the CEO's salary I wonder if I should reconsider.

Review from CharityNavigator

3 Robert60

Donor

Rating: 2

i was planning on donating until I saw the ceo's salary

Review from CharityNavigator

2

Donor

Rating: 2

I donated in late 2010. Since then, I regularly receive multiple-sheet mailings from them telling me that my membership is expiring and to "RENEW NOW." It seems like these Asks come monthly, or more frequently. This would feel excessive and frustrating if the letters were from a credit card company, but from an organization dedicated to protecting "Earth's natural systems [which are] at risk," this is particularly maddening. I feel vaguely hounded by them and believe that their frequent mailings undermine their goals of conservation. I'm writing this in May 2012. More than a year after my contribution, I continue to receive their "renewal notices."

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Donor

Rating: 2

I can't contribute any longer while the CEO makes a half million dollars per year.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

Others have complained about the Director's pay at $300,000 dollars; that's why I stopped contributing last year. Now it's $482,632. This is a charity, folks! Given how many of the well-known charities are giving their management outrageous amounts, I'm guessing it's for the same reason as Wall Street....they're all on each other's boards and give each other approval for that sort of thing. This is the way I'm sending the message....hope enough people do that they listen.

Review from CharityNavigator

Donor

Rating: 5

The Nature Conservancy is a great organization that pursues what I call "practical environmentalism". They don't get mired down in political controversy; they just go about the business of protecting lands, waters, and diversity of life.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In Texas, amazing what they do. Think about how much this organization does everywhere. Of course they need professionals to run it. 120 million acres it says on their web site. That's a lot to take care of. Glad they do pay staff well. That way it really will be in good shape.

1

Donor

Rating: 2

I've given to the Nature Conservancy for over 20 years, but no more. I live on less than 25,000 a year and don't see why I should give my hard earned money so the CEO of the organization can make almost $500,000 per year.

I love the mission of the Nature Conservancy but in the future I am donating to the Salvation Army.

L Burton

Review from CharityNavigator

Advisor

Rating: 5

Hi, my name is Joe Peal. I work for The Nature Conservancy as the new Manager of our Member Care Team. We strive for a five-star experience and if you're not satisfied, I'd like to hear from you. Please contact me at 703-841-5300 so we can make things right.

Donor

Rating: 5

I too only have rave reviews for TNC. I learned about them a few years ago with the Plant a Billion Trees campaign. To be able to plant 1 billion trees is such an undertaking. They can do it. They use science and they are strategic. We need more to work on the ground like TNC. All my interactions are only positive and I encourage all reading this to donate today.

Donor

Rating: 5

I just called the membership department toll-free and they addressed my need immediately. My experience for nine years is only positive. Best of all, I see the results of The Nature Conservancy in my home state as they help to protect very important places in Vermont.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

So their rating is 3 stars and they have raised the CEO salary from ~$320,000 to ~$360,000? Why would I want to donate to this group? I used to but this is not fiscally responsible. Sorry.

Review from CharityNavigator

2

Donor

Rating: 1

Terrible customer service, and apalling lack of urgency. I have donated twice to The Nature Conservancy (TNC). The first time they charged my account twice and failed to correct the error until I had called a total of 4 times over 3 weeks. I had to literally harrass them until they did something about it.

The second time was about 5 weeks ago when I made a donation to "Save Coral Reef" for my wife's birthday. I made it well in advance hoping she would receive her gift pack and certificate in time. 2 weeks after her birthday, still nothing. I emailed TNC to let them know we had gotten nothing in the post. It took them a week just to respond to my email! When they finally did, they apologised and insisted they would immediately send out a new gift pack and certificate. It has now been 5 weeks since I made the donation. We have received ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Disgraceful.

I will not be making any donations to this charity again, and will be sure to let other conservationists know of their incompetence and lack of customer care.

If you are considering of donating to this charity, do yourself a favour - pick another one instead.

Review from CharityNavigator

2

Donor

Rating: 1

I beleive that TNC has lost its way in its corporate structure. While the organization has fantastic staff working at the local, state and foreign country levels in many programs; the regional / national / international corporate structure is destroying this organization. Unfortunately, a lack of ethical commitment to conservation continues to drive TNC into making bad decisions based on poor ethical choices. At TNC the money always wins and the loser is typically true cosnervation.

Review from CharityNavigator

4

Donor

Rating: 1

This charity is the lackey of big business who want to assuage their guilt by donating to an environmental charity who will not bite them in the ass. Better to donate to a 4 star charity that is smaller, more focused and supportive of the environment.

Review from CharityNavigator

5

Donor

Rating: 2

My wife and I are life members of TNC, and are in the process of preparing a new will. We plan to leave much of our estate to charities, but only to charities that are managed efficiently.
TNC used to be among the top charities when it came to the percent of donors' moneys spent on programs. I am disappointed that it now gets only three stars on Charity Navigator, and that it spent $182 million on administrative and fundraising expenses during the latest period.
Has TNC been hijacked by leaders/managers whose priorities are no longer "nature conservancy?"

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

As a 4th generation of settlers of land in Wyoming, I have lived with the land all of my 62years. Coming from this linage of pioneers, it has always been, and still is, our life goal to have a sustainable life, while enhancing the land we love, according to what and how God ordained it to be used. From lands I have observed being taken over by the NCI, it has not been the same management goal, nor anything resembling the Code of the West that we live by. Lands left to nature are not always the best, as we were given the 'brains' to make things better. I will grant, that not all of the West has been treated as it should, but that is a very small percentage. Of course, that small percentage is always the only news that makes the headlines. People don't realize the importance of livestock in the sustainability of rangeland....this has been proven by Alan Savory.....look him up! Without the pioneers of the Western States, the wildlife would never have been established as it is now. Thats all because of the grass production on private lands that have been managed for 'optimal' use for livestock and wildlife. If all the lands were reverted back to 'nature' it would not take long to slip back to desolate, unusable wastelands, unaccessible and useless for life there, as we see it today.

Review from Guidestar

2

Donor

Rating: 2

It looks like the Charity Navigator decided to remove the comments tab (maybe under the pressure from the charity due to the criticism of the high CEO and past CEO pay [over 300,000 each]). These comments can be accessed via a link at the bottom; but I wonder for how long?

Review from CharityNavigator

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

TNC has consistently operated and worked toward its mission over many years. Check it out and if its goals match yours, then join and help become a steward of the earth.

Review from Guidestar