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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Nature Conservancy, Inc.

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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

43 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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

1

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!!!

1 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

8

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.

2

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.

12

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.

3

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

7

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

5 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

5

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

6

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!

1 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.

1

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.

1

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