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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Conservation Fund

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Forest Conservation, Land Resources Conservation, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Water, Water Resources, Wetlands Conservation & Management

Mission:

At the Fund, we make conservation work for America. By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, we are redefining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, we have worked in all 50 states to protect more than 7.5 million acres of land since 1985.

Results:

We practice conservation to achieve environmental and economic outcomes. Our trusted and get-it-done staff throughout the country create and implement innovative, practical ways to benefit the natural world and the well-being of Americans from every walk of life. While we are a national organization, The Conservation Fund's accomplishments are delivered locally. We have active or completed projects in all 50 states.

We have saved 7.5 million acres of land and valued at more than $4.7 billion.

Through our Land Conservation Loans program we have provided 250 low-interest loans to local conservation groups in 34 states and 4 Canadian provinces to help them conserve more than 110,000 acres.

Our Natural Capital Investment Fund has provided 12,000 hours of technical assistance to over 400 natural resource-based small businesses; over 2,700 jobs have been created or retained by these businesses.

Through our Working Forest Fund, more than 400,000 acres have been protected in 13 states.

Geographic areas served: United States

Programs: land conservation loans, community development programs, sustainable forestry management, green infrastructure planning and more.

Community Stories

29 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Land_Trust_Accreditation_Commission

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Conservation Fund is an accredited land trust. Accreditation means The Conservation Fund meets national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. The Conservation Fund 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

Donor

Rating: 5

Providing a place for our youth to learn, play and grow for generations to come and preserving our natural resources for us to learn from, utilize, and enjoy. The mountains of Western North Carolina changed my life and I hope they can do the same for many more as they learn to love and appreciate the simple pleasures nature can provide. Get your hands dirty, remember your childhood mudpie's and go play outside!

Donor

Rating: 4

The Conservation Fund has permanently protected critical natural cultural areas in my home city of Altanta, GA, which very likely would have been developed otherwise because our city is growing so rapidly. The Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area is so important to me: a unique and fascinating landscape of granite outcrops, beautiful rare plants, and archaeological relics from Georgia's farming families. Thank you!!

Laurie T.

Donor

Rating: 5

I was looking for a charity for a last minute donation. I am someone who values conservation of our environment and protecting wildlife. I was impressed with the reviews and the knowledge that 96% of my donation will go directly to help these efforts.

Donor

Rating: 5

As a company showing clients the natural beauty of North America we feel it is in our best interest to support groups like The Conservation Fund who protect our environment. It was further important to us that the money donated will go to work without much of it being used up for administrative expenses.

Donor

Rating: 5

I love the low overhead cost and my company has the 100% match for the charity. I also love the web site design and management, which makes it easy to make donation and to print out the donation record, unlike WWF's print out that was full of junks with the first two pages did not even mention my donation. And I get instant e-mail acknowledge from your web site, unlike WWF's no response on e-mail.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Efficient and Effective! I would highly recommend The Fund to everyone with a passion for the environment or for economic growth.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Came across the Conservation Fund while I was browsing a website on the most efficient charities in America. I'm an architect in Chattanooga and have witnessed the witnessed the benefits of public/private partnerships and non profit organizations. I'm also a lover of the outdoors and historic places, and noticed that the Conservation Fund had worked on some projects in my region. All of these factors made it seem like the Conservation Fund was a great charity to donate to and I continue to proudly support it.

Donor

Rating: 5

Your recent help in the Fiery Gizzard land purchace inspired my donation. My family is from the Tennessee Savage gulf area "God's country" and has been there for over 200 years. I love natural beauty and it does not get any better. I travel all over this beautiful country and would like to help see it stay that way. I would like to thank you and support for your continued effort.

rlairdjr

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a huge fan and supporter since I first learned about The Conservation Fund from Blaine Phillips, Jr, who is the Mid-Atlantic Regional Director., in 2008.

In my opinion, The Conservation Fund is a very special organiazation comprised of highly dedicated and passionate individuals who deeply care about saving our habitat.

The Conservation Fund's role in making the first National Monument in the State of Delaware a reality is a powerful testament of how collaberative efforts between various organzations can have on making a vision a reality.

This is why I believe in and support The Conservation Fund.

Donor

Rating: 5

For several years, I've given off and on to various well-known conservation organizations. In response, I was inundated with calendars, greeting cards, address stickers and other unsolicited "stuff." It struck me that if we're into conservation, why in the world would we have various types of paper piling up in our house sent to us in the form of junk mail? I looked them all up on Charity Navigator, an assessment organization I trust, and discovered that none of them were particularly great stewards of donations. But I never found a good replacement until today. Although Charity Navigator ranks The Conservation Fund as one of the Top 10 Charities Everyone Has Heard Of, I had somehow managed to miss it. After reading their evaluation, then exploring the Conservation Fund's website, I feel so much better about where my donation is going. Even though it's not a huge sum, I feel pretty confident it will make a difference.

Donor

Rating: 5

This donation was made in memory of Eleanor June Mantoen, a lover of natural beauty. Your outstanding ranking on Charity Navigator made the selection of your charity an easy one.

Donor

Rating: 5

I learned from Charity Navigator that several organizations We have been supporting for years were much lower rated than The Conservation Fund. So we decided to put our money where it could be more effective.

Harrison G.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am only a teenager but I am planning on exploring all that my home country has to offer so I was looking for a group that I could trust to help me look after it until I can. The Conservation fund comes extremely highly recommended, I assume largely to how transparent and honest they are with the public with any and all relevant information! I strongly believe that I can trust this group with my donation and I will definitely give more on later occasions!

Donor

Rating: 5

I understand this charity works to change the environment politically and in other ways.

1 Gabriel Z.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have always supported the preservation and protection of our ever-fragile environment. The Conservation Fund has the highest rating on Charity Navigator, and is extremely efficient in how it distributes its funds. I am proud to be a small financial supporter of the environment, and I look forward to a greener future that The Conservation Fund will make possible.

1 Carolyn Appleton

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experiences with The Conservation Fund are with the Texas field office (see: http://www.conservationfund.org/places-we-work/texas/). I have known Texas Director Andy Jones and his colleague in the Pineywoods, Julie Shackelford, for more than a decade. Whenever I can provide assistance, I jump at the chance. I only wish I could do more.

What I have witnessed is a no-nonsense, scientific, intellectual, and businesslike approach to habitat conservation. The Conservation Fund is lean and focused. They have also been among the first to adopt new business models in keeping with the times. Their approach is a bit like a SWAT team - they identify the need, and they proceed to fix it. The end.

I have worked for other conservation and wildlife nonprofits over the years, both as a staff member and as a volunteer. The Conservation Fund stands head-and-shoulders above the rest. Whenever I have asked for advice and assistance, they have given it to me without delay and without question. They are not emotional, but they are kind, and they adhere to the highest ethical standards.

Other groups in the conservation arena are quite adept at "feel good" self-promotion, and many are also staff-heavy. The membership you contribute is eaten-up quickly by administrative overhead, and the land and/or species protected are relatively fewer. When asked, I always suggest people contribute to The Conservation Fund. I have the utmost trust in them.

2 Charles A.

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been a long time supporter and advocate of the fund. They assisted me and my former employer (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) in protecting many thousand acres of valuable wildlife habitats. They facilitated these actions in most professional and efficient manner and did so with a minimal amount of funding spent on administrative overhead.

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I support the Conservation Fund over other environmental charities for four reasons.
1. It protects not only environmentally sensitive land, water, air, and habitats; but historic and culturally important places too.
2. It makes local individuals and groups partners in its efforts, rather than alienating local interests.
3. It is nonpartisan.
4. Most important, it is incredibly efficient. I know that almost all the money I give protects important places and habitats, rather than being eaten up by overhead and administrative costs.

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I am impressed by the ratio of "good deeds" to fundruaising and administrative costs. My core values match the Conservations mission of preserving land using partnerships with public and private entities so that conservation fosters economic viability. I further believe strongly that our chldren need to know nature on a first name basis, and to feel at home there, which is a core program of the Conservation Fund.

Review from CharityNavigator